Previously, “Issue 5”
In this week’s issue, we’re introduced to Kenny Driscoll, a two-bit anarchist criminal. He set fire to a bookstore in the village that he saw as spewing socialist propaganda. He also seems to be in a bit of a panic, as he’s diving into a taxi and avoiding…a pigeon. This is important, as we shall see later. The next thing we see is Adam Brashear dropping off a refrigerator and dryer. He’s helping Luke Cage and Jessica Jones move from their home above the Gem Theater to Danny Rand’s old apartment in Brooklyn. It turns out the events of issue 5 kinda turned Jessica off from raising their daughter in a home above the headquarters of the Mighty Avengers. Jessica and Adam bond over their daughters – Jessica’s daugher Danielle is a toddler, and Adam’s daughter Adrienne is at Spelman College. We also learn that Adam doesn’t need to eat or sleep anymore to function; part of that is because of his biological makeup, but the other is because he’s still in mourning over what happened to his wife.
Inside the apartment, the rest of the Mighty Avengers are chatting over such mundane things as fashion (Ava and Luke are chatting about Luke’s bright yellow shirt from his Power Man days), child hypnosis (Danny is giving Danielle a light show to fall asleep, much to Jessica’s consternation), and mourning (Ava is dealing with the death of her friends, as well as holding a pretty powerful grudge against Gideon Mace; he killed her brother – the original White Tiger, and she’s hell-bent on revenge). Ava insists that she has to go on patrol, despite Luke reminding her that she’s already done a full day of patrolling the streets. Ava insists that she’ll rest when she’s dead, and that doesn’t necessarily go over well with everyone else, but she has the power of the Tiger God, so no one wants to argue with her.
On Liberty Island, Monica and Jennifer are helping Vic with his chi powers. Vic’s chi power comes from his surroundings, and the more he knows about an environment, the stronger he becomes. This means he’ll be doing research on his surroundings for the rest of his life, and he’s not thrilled about that at all. What does thrill him – as well as the rest of the group – is the fact that they now have a pretty potent fanbase. Of course, this leads to a pretty funny exchange that will instantly be familiar to black readers everywhere:
Back at the apartment, Danny and Dave Griffith – the first Iron Fist – are putting on an impromptu concert. Ava is still insisting on going on patrol, and she picks up a box full of signal devices to help in her cause. Meanwhile, Adam and Luke are in the kitchen bonding over a cold beer, when the two alpha males end up arguing over Adam’s decision to leave the superhero business, and Luke’s growth after his incarceration. The debate is about to become heated until Adam gets an alert and has to leave. The conversation between the two is actually very well done, as it shows them just talking like civilized human beings, and not thugged out stereotypes.
Going back to Kenny Driscoll, he appears to be having a very bad night; it turns out that the lone pigeon he was running from suddenly became a flock. He ditched the cab he was in and started running through the alleyways trying to avoid them, but it’s not easy to hide from something that can fly. They end up guiding him into the direction they want him to go, and that direction ends up bringing him face to face with Sam Wilson. Sam drops him off at the police station, and radios back to Luke; Kenny set that bookstore ablaze under the orders of Gideon Mace, and he felt that Luke needed to know. Unfortunately, Luke wasn’t the recipient of the call…in fact, it went to the absolute worst person who could’ve received it.
Al Ewing does his usual stellar work in this issue, as the conversations between the team never seem forced. You feel Ava’s pain, Vic’s cockiness, and Sam’s sense of justice. The absolute best part of this issue is the conversation between Luke and Adam; Luke looked up to Adam and was sorely disappointed when he stopped being a hero.
Like I mentioned before, the conversation was so natural that it seems like it would be one that I would have with my friends; in fact, it’s eerily similar to ones that I’ve had with my friends – although none of us have been in jail, and none of us are superheroes. We’re also introduced to a new artist; gone is Greg Land, and we’re introduced to Valerio Schiti’s artwork. It’s not as colorful as Greg Land’s, but it does feel more natural. That goes a long way in making this issue pleasing to read.
All in all, this was a good setup issue; we get a bit of downtime before the next round of fireworks begin, and it was certainly necessary. It was great to see them in a natural habitat, and it left me hungry for more.