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Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Leinil Yu (artist), Dave McCaig (color art), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letterer), Brad Johansen (production), Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
After rescuing Maya Lopez from the Hand, the Avengers have gone to the Silver Samurai’s fortress in Osaka. There, they are confronted by Elektra and her ninja, causing Spider-Man to wonder if maybe they should go back and fight Brother Voodoo. Yesterday, the Avengers were confronted by the Mighty Avengers, who used a fake Captain America to try and capture the Avengers at the Raft. They weren’t expecting Dr. Strange to be with them, and he used a spell to give the Mighty Avengers nightmares. He then teleported his team away to his Sanctum in Greenwich Village. Later, Stark and his team visited the Sanctum and found nothing and no one there. The next morning, the Mighty Avengers visited Danny Rand in his office and tried to get him to admit to being at the Raft. Stark had proof that he was at the Raft, however Rand and his lawyer ran rings around Stark and the Mighty Avengers were forced to leave. Danny was then visited by Dakota North, who passed on the letter by Maya to Matt Murdock, asking for help. Danny took the letter to Strange’s Sanctum and the team agreed to go and rescue Maya, with time being of the essence, as the Mighty Avengers arrived at the Sanctum, with Brother Voodoo. In the present, Elektra attacks Luke Cage, but he stops her in her tracks and suggests that they talk.
(Yashida Clan Fortress, Osaka, present)The recently rescued Maya Lopez is suffering from being worked over by mystics working for the Hand. At the Silver Samurai’s fortress in Osaka, Elektra and her ninjas crash through the fortresses’ windows and surround the team. Faced with another all-out brawl, Spidey quips that maybe they should go back and fight Brother Voodoo.
(the Raft, yesterday)The Mighty Avengers are waiting for Doctor Strange’s team when they arrive to rescue who they think is Captain America. Iron Man states that they are under arrest for violating the Superhuman Registration Act. He reminds them that the war is over and the law is the law. Luke Cage replies that they’ve made it pretty clear that the war is over when they say it’s over. They then realize that something is wrong, and Iron Man informs them that their powers have been negated by a localized neural-net.
He asks them politely to surrender, but what he hasn’t counted on is the presence of Doctor Strange. He doesn’t appear to be affected by the neural-net, and he utters the phrase, “Miftana fantadada.” Ms. Marvel instantly realizes there is a problem, and the Mighty Avengers are then subjected to haunting images of their enemies, including Wonder Man’s brother, the Grim Reaper, Sentry’s nemesis, the Void and the now deceased Captain America. While they are temporarily suffering, Strange teleports his team away, leaving the Mighty Avengers wondering what happened. They hadn’t expected Strange.
The team returns to Strange’s Sanctum in Greenwich Village, where Jessica Jones is reading her baby a passage from a book about Andy Kaufman. As soon as they are inside, they see a light outside the heavily disguised building.
Outside, the Mighty Avengers arrive with a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. troops, along with Maria Hill. They are intrigued that Strange’s house has a large banner across the front, informing the general public that another Starbucks is on the way. They have the paperwork filed from the Starbucks Corporation, and understand that Doctor Strange supposedly sold the building and left the country. Iron Man, however, doesn’t believe that to be the case. Carol Danvers asks if they should go in, but Iron Man replies that there are no life readings, and asks Maria Hill what the legalities are for something like this. Hill thinks it’s a slippery slope, but they did break into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. The Black Widow isn’t the type to hang around talking, and promptly declares that she “heard a shot.” Inside, Strange’s team knows that they are about to be confronted.
The Black Widow kicks the door in and the Mighty Avengers enter. The Wasp asks Natasha if she really heard a gunshot. “No,” she replies, nonchalantly. Strange informs his team that the others can’t see or hear them, and asks Wolverine to put his claws away. He asks Strange if he’s sure. Stark has some fancy toys to play with. The spell seems to do its job.
The Mighty Avengers know it might be a trick, but Iron Man’s armor does a full environment scan and discovers nothing. With no one around, Iron Man calls for his team to leave empty-handed, but gives the place one last scan for assurance after pausing, as if something is amiss. Once they’ve gone, Spider-Man breathes a sigh of relief, and Wolverine asks what’s for dinner. Spider-Woman thinks that they should split up and regroup the next day.
(flashback, the next morning - Rand Corporation)The Mighty Avengers turn up at Rand Corporation to see Danny Rand. They are invited in, and confront Danny, seated in the boardroom alongside several staff members and his lawyer, Jeryn Hogarth. Stark explains that they’d like to talk to him about last night, to which Danny innocently asks what happened. Stark realizes that it’s going to be one of those conversations; the kind where one of them pretends not to know what the other is going to say. He proceeds to inform Danny that last night, as Iron Fist, he was among a group of vigilantes that broke into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Is he sure he wants to have this conversation in front of his staff? Danny replies that last night he was at his office. He tells Stark that he can check the computer logs with his fancy computer suit.
Stark doesn’t want to play this game, but Danny continues to point out that it wasn’t him. It must have been one of those copycat costume guys. Weren’t there, like, three Daredevils running around a little while ago? Ms. Marvel tries to speak, but she is cut off by Jeryn Hogarth, who introduces himself as Danny’s lawyer. He asks what law he is breaking, exactly. He asks Stark to speak up, as he’s digitally recording this meeting. Stark knows that already. He states that Danny is not registered with S.H.I.E.L.D., but Danny refutes this. Stark explains that he might be registered as a lethal weapon, but he also needs registered as a super hero. Hogarth reminds Tony that it has yet to be laid out in a court of law. They have an appeal in with the federal court system to define exactly what is a power.
Ms. Marvel becomes agitated, and warns Hogarth to be still; calling him a wig-wearing hump. She reminds Danny that Luke and Jessica have a baby, and this is a very dangerous game he is playing. What is their goal? What does he hope to gain from this? Somebody is going to get hurt. “You mean someone other than Captain America?” replies Danny, annoyed at her reasoning.
Hogarth asks Stark if he’s pressing charges against his client? If so, what physical evidence does he have? Stark uses his breastplate to produce a hologram of Rand’s fellow heroes at the Raft, and informs Hogarth that his armor technology has scans, radars and environmental sensors running at all times and recording every and anything he came into contact with last night.
Jeryn Hogarth replies that he hopes Stark has prepared to have all those files and that technology subpoenaed by the highest courts in the country. If he admits one file, he warns, they will subpoena all the files. Which does Stark will last longer - the trial or his tenure as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
The Mighty Avengers know that they’ve lost this battle, and depart, with Carol telling Hogarth that she hopes his wig glue makes him impotent. She tries one last time to appeal to Danny as a friend, but her pleading falls on deaf ears. Danny asks for his employees to clear the room, and Jeryn grins that they’ll release that footage to the Internet. Danny tells him that he’ll do no such thing. He then receives a call, informing him that Dakota North from Murdock and Nelson is there to see him. She says it’s important.
He meets with Dakota, who passes him a large envelope. Inside it is the Ronin costume and a letter to Matt Murdock. Danny opens it and reads aloud. “Dear Matt. My name is Maya Lopez, and if you’re reading this I’m probably already dead.” Danny takes the letter and reads it aloud to Doctor Strange and the group at his Sanctum. Wolverine instantly states that they’re going to Japan, but Spidey asks what if this is a trap. Logan replies that they’re not refugees in other countries. They’re actually safer there.
Cage asks Strange if he can magically pop them out of the country, but he replies no. Danny explains that he has a plane, upon which Strange says he can get them on that plane. Logan has the Ronin costume and tells the other that he can track the scent down in two hours when they get there. However, he warns that when they do arrive, things will get dicey.
He understands that, if Elektra is involved, something’s gone wrong. They may need to get dirty. If they really want to change things there, and if they’re going to do something of real value as a group, they’re going to have to get dirty. He mentions that, at this stage, if anyone isn’t ready to do that, there ain’t no reason to stay at all. No one argues. Jessica Drew mentions that they can take out their pent-up frustration on those ninja %^#. “That is a plan,” remarks Luke Cage.
Doctor Strange suddenly senses something outside, and calls for everyone to wait. He creates an image of the man outside for everyone to see. Cage and Spider-Man recognize him as Brother Voodoo, but Logan appears unaware of him.
Outside, the Mighty Avengers and some S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives discuss the man. Stark informs them that he is Jericho Drumm, Haiti’s Houngan Supreme. He’s the only magician-slash-mystic he could find who would even come near Strange’s Sanctum. “Let’s see if everything is as it seems,” comments Stark. Brother Voodoo lights a candle and goes into his trance. Inside, Cage asks Jessica to get herself and the kid out of there, but Strange asks him to hold on. “Maybe we should go to Japan now,” remarks Spider-Man.
(Yashida Clan Fortress, Osaka, now)Spidey wonders about Brother Voodoo, as the Avengers find themselves surrounded by Hand ninja. Cage asks Elektra to stop. He explains that they are not in Japan to fight them. They hurt one of theirs and they came to get her. That’s business. Elektra attacks Cage, despite what happened last time she did that, but he grabs her sword in his strong fingers. He reminds her that they can hit him with all the swords they have, but they won’t put a dent in him. Logan’s been split in two by more than one ninja and he’s still here. Doc Strange can whip something up what’ll turn her into a bunny. She isn’t going to win this fight. Not the best way to start her reign as queen of the Japanese underworld is it? He tells Elektra that she needs them. They’re criminals now. That’s the hand that God dealt. “So, criminal to criminal,” he says, “Let’s talk.”
Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Ronin, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Echo/Maya LopezThe Silver Samurai
ElektraThe Hand ninjas
(in flashback)Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Ronin, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Mighty Avengers)
Maria HillS.H.I.E.L.D. agents
Jessica Jones and her babyWong
Jeryn Hogarth and Rand Corporation employeesDakota North
(as nightmares)The Brood, Captain America, Crimson Dynamo, Grim Reaper, the Void, Yellowjacket, Zeus
At the start of this issue, the note states that the Avengers are in Tokyo. This isn’t the case, as they are at the Silver Samurai’s fortress in Osaka, where they went after rescuing Maya from the Hand in Avengers (3rd series) #27 - 28.
Andy Kaufman was an American comedian who regularly appeared on Saturday Night Life and in the television show, Taxi. He passed away in 1984.
Danny Rand fought crime in Hell’s Kitchen as Daredevil while Matt Murdock was in prison.
Starbucks is an international coffee shop.
Logan doesn’t seem to know Brother Voodoo, but his X-Men colleague Gambit met him recently in Gambit (4th series) #8 - 9.