It’s always disappointing when a comic book series ends up cancelled. This was the case with the Marvel comic book series Luke Cage: City of Fire. Although the reason was unclear at the time – it turns out that Luke Cage: City of Fire was cancelled due to a fear of “right-wing nuts.”
This was revealed by comic writer Ho Che Anderson who recently spoke with CBR on the matter. He recalled the events that led to the series being cancelled while he was midway finished with the third issue.
Here’s how Anderson summarized his discussion with Marvel executives at the time and how he was warned that Luke Cage: City of Fire could attract “right-wing nuts” to attack:
“Long story short, they sat me down and said, ‘We’re canceling this book. We’re afraid that the subject matter is going to be damaging for you. We don’t want you to be attacked by right-wing nuts.'”
It appears that Luke Cage: City of Fire used real-world examples of police brutality, such as the George Floyd incident, to draw inspiration from. In fact, the actual premise for the comic run was described as the following:
“What would happen if the mother of George Floyd hired Luke Cage to protect Derek Chauvin, her son’s murderer?”
However, with other incidents going on at the time such as Kyle Rittenhouse being acquitted, it seemed like too controversial of a series to continue publishing. Anderson explained:
“They were really worried that there was going to be some blowback with the Kyle Rittenhouse lovers of the world or whatever,” Anderson said. “So they chose to take the cautious route.”
Sadly, he noted how “devastating” the experience was given that three talented artists were involved with the project. Sean Damian Hill, Ray-Anthony Height, and Farid Karami were said to have done a “phenomenal job.” As a result, he questioned his career for some time after the cancellation:
“Why am I doing this? I don’t need to do this in my life.”
However, given that he now works with Marvel on other projects, he did get over it. But it was not easy.
“I will never do work for Marvel that is about anything other than ‘The villain of the week wants to take over the world.'”
He finished his thoughts with the following conclusive statement:
“I felt like we had an opportunity to tell a story that had some real-world relevance. The fact that it got shut down so quickly told me unequivocally that that is not what they want. They don’t want that at all. They just want safe material. So if they hire me again, that’s what I’ll give them. I’ll give them safe material. But it’s a shame because I feel like we had an opportunity to tell a story that had some relevance, and they would have been on the right side of history for being strong enough to tell the story. So it’s a missed opportunity.”