The Return Of The Crew To Marvel Comics – Just A Very Different Crew

crewA long time ago, Christopher Priest wrote a comic called The Crew. It wasn't called Black Avengers because it wasn't Black Avengers – but he noted that if it had been called Black Avengers it may have prospered.

But it didn't. It was cancelled at issue 7.

The Crew was War Machine, White Tiger, Justice and Junta. Alex Power and Quicksilver weren't available.

four hardened heroes who had all lost their families. Four men who came together initially out of self-interest, but would soon discover their commonality of loss

Little Mogadishu, the principal location for the series, is exactly one half of the creative environment for this series. In the 1970's, the brilliant Jack Kirby created a ying and yang of Apokolips and New Genesis. THE CREW takes place within the ying and yang of Little Mogadishu and Princeton Walk. An exclusive, Bill Cosby-esque gated community, Princeton Walk was developed by multi-million dollar investments and tax incentives to Grace & Tumbalt, a largely black-owned corporation, who cleaned up a section of Brooklyn and moved the criminal element (and the poverty-line residents) out in favor of gentrified quarter million-dollar townhomes. Little Mogadishu, or The Mog as the locals call it, is a side effect of that gentrification process, the displaced criminal and poverty elements now concentrating in a zone beyond the safety of Princeton Walk's electric fence. THE CREW is not about the ghetto but about the cause and effect of the politics involved in elevating one class over another. But, more importantly, THE CREW is not about a street or a skin color or Huggy Bear or any of that. THE CREW is, first and most importantly, about family.

Yes, in a way, THE CREW is a warm and fuzzy family book about four guys who have all, to one extent or another, lost their family. Drawn together initially out of self interest, the four CREW-mates soon discover their commonality of loss. They are all, in one way or another, orphans. Cut off from parents and siblings and birthdays and  Thanksgiving turkey. These are four men intensely dedicated to their rerspective professional goals, but who each has a hole in the center where family and love belong. It takes some time, but eventually this Crew becomes a band of brothers. THE CREW is about that evolution.

And now from Ta-Nehesi Coates and Chris Sprouse, the name returns for Black Panther #7. Albeit with a very different Crew. With other characters already spinning off into the new World Of Wakanda comic book, can it be that long before these folk do?

And if you are looking for other members… from that recent issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson...


Could this be where Marvel are going with this?

And is this actually going to end up as Black Avengers after all?


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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