Previously, “Issue 3”
We open this tie-in with the Inhumanity event with Cortex CEO Jason Quantrell shooting a commercial for his company. Cortex Incorporated deals in a lot of the usual things: hardware, software, business solutions, and other “questionable” dealings, but they’re more interested in helping humanity on a deeper level. After a successful shoot, we next meet his assistant/bodyguard Barbara McDevitt. Barbara was affected by the Terrigenesis event during the Infinity crossover and transformed into the Inhuman called Quickfire; she gained the ability to manipulate time, slowing down objects as she moves through them normally. Jason mentions trying to bottle the Inhuman gene and selling it to regular humans, granting them Inhuman abilities, but they need to get ahold of some Terrigen crystals in order to do that. Fortunately for them, there is a honking amount of Terrigen crystals in Attlian, the home of the Inhumans…which happens to be floating in the middle of the Hudson River.
Meanwhile, the Mighty Avengers have decided to set up shop in the Gem Theater, thanks to Dr. Brashear selling some of his patents to help the team generate income, as well as accepting donations from regular people. Luke Cage’s idea for the Mighty Avengers isn’t to be some sort of worldwide peacekeeping force; that’s what S.H.I.E.L.D. is for. His idea is to have the team help out with more street-level stuff. You need legal representation? Call the Mighty Avengers. Car’s busted and you need to get to work? Call the Mighty Avengers. You just need someone to talk to? Call the Mighty Avengers. Cage’s vision is to be whatever the citizens of New York need, and that doesn’t sit well with Superior Asshole-Man, I mean Spider-Man. Spidey doesn’t like the fact that he uses the Avengers moniker, and essentially challenges Cage for the right to call himself the leader.
Coming along for the ride is Sam Wilson, aka Falcon. Sam is interested in joining the group, but he wants to join it on his own terms. This, of course, leads to a pretty deep exchange between Sam and Luke as the latter wonders where Captain America is:
Elsewhere, Spider Hero is in his secret lair talking to the immortal black magician Kaluu about his own mission; he’s hiding from someone called the Walkers, while doing his own investigation. Kaluu congratulates him on his work against Shuma-Gorath, and Spider Hero mentions Adam Brashear and Luke Cage were in action with him. Kaluu, who has history with both Brashear and Luke’s father (more on that later), essentially says that time is running out, and that part of what they’re looking for is sitting in the middle of the Hudson…in Attilan. Speaking of which, Barbara is sneaking past a S.H.I.E.L.D. battalion guarding the semi-submerged city on her mission to find more Terrigen crystals in order to achieve Jason’s “brilliant” plan. The ever diligent guards are getting dressed down by Maria Hill, then they’re getting possessed by a mysterious force only known as the Deathwalkers; they’re searching for some sort of talisman that will help them take over the world and eliminate humanity forever.
Spider Hero shows up at the headquarters and casually mentions needing to break into Attilan and needing some help from the Mighty Avengers to achieve that goal. That, and he needs a new costume. Jessica grabs Clint Barton’s old gear which was still upstairs in the apartment, and Spider Hero is now known as Ronin.
Luke watches them leave before getting ready to meet with their legal representation – representation that Jessica is none too thrilled about, before Superior Spidey comes back to challenge Luke, and he’s brought an army of robots to help aid his cause.
This was a slower paced issue, and after the events of the first three, slower is good. We get a lot of character moments from everyone, especially Sam Wilson, who I think gets a lot of good moments, especially explaining that he is indeed his own man, and not just a sidekick. Something that also goes unmentioned a lot is the asides that the characters give. You’ll have the normal conversation in the normal sized font, then you’ll have their little aside moments sprinkled in. I think that’s pretty cool, and it helps give them more personality and emotion.
I think the theme of this issue should be character beats; just about everyone has one, and they’re all potent. Even Vic’s coming in at the tail end of a pretty deep conversation shows that he can simultaneously lighten the mood while making it a little bit awkward. That takes talent, folks; believe me, I know. Monica helps to keep Luke and Jessica’s daughter Danielle (just a little ball of adorable) occupied with a light show, and even that shows Monica’s gentle side. The mention of the Deathwalkers, the talisman, and Luke’s father Jim Lucas points to a deeper connection that will eventually pay off, but it’s not ready yet; it just needs to percolate a little bit more. But, Superior Spidey is in the forefront, and it’s gonna be good to see what happens next.