Black History Month 17: Return of the Gangsta

February 17th, 2008 by | Tags: , , ,

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art from marvel comics’s new avengers: civil war. words by bendis!, art by leinil yu
Return of the gangsta, thanks ta’
them niggas who got them kids who got enough to buy an ounce
but not enough to bounce them kids to the zoo or to the park
so they grow up in the dark
never seein’ light
so they end up being like
yo’ sorry ass
robbin’ niggas in broad ass daylight?
Get down!

–Andre 3000, “Return of the Gangsta”

Man, a nigga don’t want no trouble
a player just want to kick back with my gators off
and watch my li’l girl blow bubbles
But, still ready to rhyme
standin’ my ground, never back down
Willin’ to rob, steal, and kill any thing that threatens mine

–Big Boi, “Return of the Gangsta”

Fatherhood is a tough one for me. What makes a father? What makes a man? It’s all mixed up and entwined with each other.

The one thing I do know is that you gotta be hard, you gotta be strong, and you gotta leave behind a worthwhile legacy. It’s a pride thing, with a side dish of honor. This way, you end up with dudes that are solid as a rock. Men who, when faced with overwhelming odds, hopelessness, and generally poor situations, will stand tall, look it in the eye, and say, “I will not move.” It’s a kind of noble stubbornness.

Bendis’s Luke Cage, and Cage in general, is a good example of this. This scene up above is probably one of my most favorite Cage scenes. His friends have allied themselves with the government and are working to support an unfair law. They’re delivering ultimatums on behalf of their masters and are assured of their righteousness.

Luke’s response is simple. He doesn’t want his daughter to grow up thinking that her daddy went through all the things he did and punked out at that point. He doesn’t want to compromise his principles just for the sake of an easier life. He is doing the right thing and he is going to keep doing the right thing, no matter the consequences.

It’s like that old saying… “you’ll either stand for something or fall for everything.” Cage is standing tall. He’s doing this for his daughter, because once you become a parent, the only thing that matters is the next generation and the future that you can give them.

“I’m going to raise my kid right.”

Apologies for the short post. I mean, really, those two quotes up top say what I’m trying to say here better than I ever could.

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5 comments to “Black History Month 17: Return of the Gangsta”

  1. I haven’t really been happy with BMB since he started on the Avengers books, but this one? This one was a reminder of everything I loved from Alias. And the one of the first signs I’ve noticed from him that the Registered “heroes” are STILL on the wrong side…

    And next Skrulls.


  2. oh man, make me want to read CW again.

  3. The pages preceding this scene were also great for the nuanced and proper portrayal of Stark as he pleads with Luke. Bendis has down what writers like JMS, for whatever reason, can’t touch: how to portray Iron Man as wrong but not evil.

  4. It might not be a case of can’t. It might be a case of won’t.

    As much as a lot of comic readers claim to want nuance, there really isn’t that much room. When it comes to superhero comics, most people put you in the villain or hero column. Most complaints about everyone in superhero comics acting like jerks these days, or yearning for an imaginary halcyon period where the good guys acted like heroes, bear this out. For every person who has a legit complaint you can sort of shoehorn into the above (and, to be honest, the position of the rational and logically sound people bears little resemblence to either), there’s twenty guys who just won’t face up to the fact that Iron Man was mindwiping people and building suits of armor to fight his good friends back in the Good Old Days or that Superman trying to kill Lois or Jimmy was standard operating procedure.

  5. I’m late to the game here.

    I just want to say that those four panels almost had me in tears.