Back in 2021, Marvel announced a 3-issue Luke Cage: City of Fire miniseries from author Ho Che Anderson and a rotating workforce of artists together with Farid Karami, Ray-Anthony Height, and Sean Damien Hill solely to abruptly cancel the miniseries lower than two weeks earlier than the release of the primary situation. The prevailing assumption was that given the political material of the collection, exacerbated by the present tense political local weather, the writer bought chilly ft. In a CBR interview with Anderson, the topic was introduced up and the creator principally confirmed the explanation divulging extra particulars:

It actually threw me off. I had a few actually darkish nights of the soul, the place I assumed, “Why am I involved in work which can be summarily thrown away at the drop of a hat?” I assumed, “Why am I doing this? I don’t need to do this in my life. I could do something else.” I got here round to actuality as a result of I can’t do jack shit. So I form of have to do that. It made me query my involvement in comics and storytelling basically. It was darkish. I’ve gotten over it now. Like I mentioned, I’m persevering with to work with them. I’m nonetheless having fun with myself, and I managed to determine a strategy to repurpose City of Fire for its personal creation, which I’m tremendous enthusiastic about. But I’ll by no means do work for Marvel that’s about something apart from “The villain of the week wants to take over the world.”

I felt like we had a chance to inform a narrative that had some real-world relevance. The undeniable fact that it bought shut down so rapidly advised me unequivocally that that’s not what they need. They don’t need that in any respect. They simply need protected materials. So in the event that they rent me once more, that’s what I’ll give them. I’ll give them protected materials. But it’s a disgrace as a result of I really feel like we had a chance to inform a narrative that had some relevance, and they might have been on the suitable facet of historical past for being sturdy sufficient to inform the story. So it’s a missed alternative.

Anderson additionally revealed that the challenge was initially a brief story however expanded to a miniseries with Marvel excited concerning the challenge.

But Luke Cage was painful, man. I used to be so excited and cautious as a result of Marvel’s bought a historical past. I feel we’re all conscious. You know, poke the bear, and it may very well be harmful. But on the identical time, I used to be nonetheless excited to be working with them. They approached me and have been like, “Do you want to write a short story for us?” I had simply carried out an interview with the [Cartoonist] Kayfabe guys, and I’d requested Ed Piskor to hook me up, which he had carried out very graciously. So they approached me about doing this brief story, and I got here up with a Luke Cage story. Five pages. [It was] primarily what would occur if the mom of George Floyd employed Luke Cage to guard Derek Chauvin, her son’s homicide. That was the place the premise sprang from.

Anderson recounts that Marvel gave him a name and he thought it was in bother but it surely was simply to say the mini-series had a whole lot of plots strains. However, “I knew I was dealing with a major corporation like Marvel. I didn’t choose to push it as far as I could have. But apparently, I still pushed it too far.”

Marvel was fantastic with the pitch, the scripts, the artwork for the primary situation and about half of points 2 and three. Anderson even did some lettering notes. While he was conscious that the subject material was well timed and probably painful, all gave the impression to be going nicely till he was requested to go on a Zoom name, and so they advised him it was cancelled. 

Despite the cancellation, Ho Che Anderson nonetheless has initiatives within the works with Marvel, noting that editor Wil Moss is “a really cool guy. We’re very creatively in sync.” He additionally has an excellent relationship with e-i-c CB Cebulski. 

Evidently the “no hard feelings” angle has continued, as Anderson just lately wrote Killmonger and Spider-Man, and is slated to do a Blade brief story. 

Ho Che Anderson

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