The legendary creator of animated classics like Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory and the more recent CGI film Hotel Transylvania once worked on a Luke Cage comic for Marvel.
Let that sink in: Genndy Tartakovsky, the man responsible for drawing the beautifully animated, action-packed Samurai Jack, worked on a Luke Cage four-issue miniseries back in 2007. It was called Cage!, and by all accounts, it sounds awesome. The only problem is he never finished it. Speaking with IGN, Tartakovsky explained why the project fell apart.
"The deal was, I agreed to do the comic as long as I had no schedule, and I actually finished all the pencils and part of the inking, and it was just a matter of continuing on," Tartakovsky said. "Then I think I got into Sym-Bionic Titan, and then into the features, and then I got too busy — and I think my contact at Marvel left."
He asked the site to put the word out to Marvel for him, saying he would love to finish the project.
"I actually just found them last week, all my pencils, and I was like, 'Oh, this still stands up! It'd be fun to finish it.'"
The timing couldn't be better. With Luke Cage set to appear in Netflix's Jessica Jones show before getting his own series, the character will finally be entering Marvel's cinematic universe. What better time for a new Luke Cage comic?
Not to say that Tartakovsky's comic would be anything like the Luke Cage Netflix show. Tartakovsky's unique art style isn't exactly dark and gritty. Instead, it's more of a throwback to the character's origins, as seen in this concept art for the project that has Cage sporting his old-school costume.
"This series takes the essence of Luke Cage and pushes him more in that direction," Tartakovsky said back in 2007. "If we were going to make a Cage film set in the 70's, this is how it would be."
IGN reached out to Marvel for comment, but the publisher had nothing to say on the matter. That's unfortunate, but perhaps somebody at the publisher will take notice. It would be a shame for such an interesting and colorful project (and one that is nearly complete) to sit unfinished. You can check out our own interview with Tartakovsky about the upcoming Hotel Transylvania 2, in theaters September 25, here.