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Comic Book / The Crew (2003)

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The Crew was a Marvel Comics series from 2003, written by Power Man and Iron Fist and Black Panther writer Christopher Priest. A pet project of his, which sadly was cancelled before the first issue was even released. The seven published issues make up the first story arc, Big Trouble In Little Mogadishu.

The Crew takes place in Brooklyn, between the mean streets of Little Mogadishu, or the Mog, and the gated community of Princeton Walk. Four men, all of whom have lost family in some way, come together initially for reasons of their own, and the series would have been about their gradual personal evolution. The Crew consisted of:

  • James "Rhodey" Rhodes, formerly Iron Man and War Machine. He comes to the Mog to investigate after his sister is killed by the 66 Bridges Gang.
  • Danny "Junta" Vincent, a freelance intelligence agent and con man.
  • Kasper "White Tiger" Cole, an NYPD cop who was briefly the Black Panther.
  • Josiah al hajj Saddiq, or Josiah X, or Justice, and former actual Black Panther. He is a Muslim minister and the son of Isaiah Bradley, the legendary "Black Captain America" from WWII. He carries Isaiah's shield.

Christopher Priest remains somewhat bitter over the series' cancellation, which he suspects was due to it being viewed as a "ghetto book".

As part of All-New, All-Different Marvel, a new group of heroes consisting of Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Storm, and Manifold were gathered by Black Panther to combat evidence of outside influences fueling dissent in Wakanda. Luke Cage described the group as "The Crew." In 2017, as part of the Marvel NOW! (2016) initiative, a new team book was released called Black Panther and The Crew, continuing the adventures of this team, though it too was hit with cancellation after its first arc.

Not to be confused with the racing video game or the comedy film.

The Crew contained examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: Junta only gets involved with Rhodey's plan in order to salvage his own efforts to get back into the NSA.
  • The Atoner: Josiah threw himself into activism and charity as a way of atoning for supposedly accidentally killing his teacher when he was a kid. He later finds out that he didn't actually kill her; she was just knocked out and he was too young to realize that she was still breathing.
  • Badass Family: Josiah X's father was Isaiah Bradley, the only survivor of a group of African-American GIs given an experimental form of the Super-Soldier Serum in WWII. Josiah's nephew Elijah Bradley is Patriot of the Young Avengers.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Rhodes is working without any powered armour.
  • Cain and Abel: The 66 Bridges Gang is being run by Triage, Kasper's half-brother.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: During the final battle, Kasper throws away his shot at a huge arrest in order to help Josiah rescue civilians.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Not visually, but Priest described Josiah as "Denzel Washington in Malcolm X" and Kasper as "Denzel Washington in Training Day."
  • Disposable Woman: Rhodes' sister is killed by the 66 Bridges Gang in the first issue, prompting him to come to The Mog.
  • Jewish Mother: Kasper has a Jewish mom, and there's a running gag of her calling him up at the worst possible times to nag him.
  • Older Than They Look: Josiah was born in the fifties, but thanks to the super-soldier serum running through his veins, he looks to be in his thirties.
  • Only in It for the Money: Kasper's primary motivation for becoming a superhero is to find some big crime that he can bust in order to raise his profile as a cop and get promoted.
  • Properly Paranoid: Josiah's biological mother had him sent away as a child because she feared that if the government found him, they would not allow him to live free.
  • Put on a Bus/Out of Focus/What Happened to the Mouse?: This was pretty much the last major appearance for Kasper Cole. After that, he was only every seen as a voiceless cameo in the infrequent crowd shot, and it didn't take long for even that to stop happening.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: One former big-league superhero, one moonlighting cop, one Muslim minister and a spy with his own agenda team up to take down an influential gang.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Kasper Cole.
  • Villainous Gentrification: In Black Panther and The Crew, T'challa uncovers a gentrification scheme by HYDRA targeting Harlem. Not only do they intend to move the old residents out, but are working alongside a business manufacturing robot cops and have laced the new buildings with devices meant to increase anger in the residents and encourage racial riots. But they couldn't resist building all their new complexes in the shape of the HYDRA logo when seen from above.

Alternative Title(s): The Crew