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Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Daniel Acuna (art), Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo (cover art), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters and production), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer) with special thanks to Diego Olmos and Santi Arcas
Luke and Jessica meet up in a diner and the conversation soon turns to her future and whether or not she wants to be an Avenger when she has a small daughter to look after. As they chat they spot Ms. Marvel trying to prevent a large falling object from destroying a chunk of Manhattan. She slows it down but it still explodes upon impact. From within, out steps Dr. Doom. Luke and Ms. Marvel do battle with him but it takes a concerted effort from Jessica to help put him down. They discover that it’s a Doombot. When the other Avengers arrive Ben Grimm quickly removes its operating system to prevent it from rebooting. The Doombot is given over to Tony Stark and the Avengers return to the mansion where Jessica informs them that she is going to be a super hero again going by the name Power Woman.
Luke Cage is sitting in a diner waiting for Jessica to arrive. Two attractive women walk past and stop after recognizing him. They approach the window next to him and ask if he is Luke Cage… the Luke Cage. He says that he is. One of them tells him that she’s waited all her life to bump into an Avenger. He’s still an Avenger, right? “I am,” he replies. She tells him she wanted to bump into him or one of his friends just to say thank you. She doesn’t hear people thanking them enough. He’s probably saved her life and she doesn’t even know it. Luke tells her it’s damn nice of her to say so. She asks what he’s doing right now. Does he have any plans tonight? Would he like to go out with them? Luke flashes his wedding ring and informs her that he’s waiting for his wife. “Ugh!” she smiles, “A wife. That is too bad.”
Jessica joins him and tells him that was a good answer. The two women wave and walk away telling Jessica that she’s so lucky. Luke replies that he’s the lucky one. “Another good answer,” says Jessica. Luke grins and says this isn’t his first rodeo. Jessica takes a seat and Luke smiles at her. He reckons she really enjoyed that. Jessica grabs the menu and tells him she was just thinking of how much she saved him. What a horrible life he used to lead… skank ho after skank ho. Luke thanks her for saving him. “It was awful,” he jokes.
He tells her she looks great. Jessica replies that they haven’t been on a date like this in forever. Luke can’t remember going on a proper date. He doesn’t think that hiding in Dr. Strange’s basement during the super hero civil war is actually a date. Jessica says it’s weird that they got married, then. Luke tells her it would be an awfully bad time to find out they suck at this. He then asks if she is going to be a super hero or not. “Really?” she asks. “I don’t get to order first?” A waitress approaches. She tells him she doesn’t know. Luke tells her that he knows they’ve talked about it before but things are different now. She has to commit to their new lives in New York somehow or other.
He asks if he can say a few things. Jessica says she can’t see any possible way she could stop him. Luke tells her she is a mother, a wife and an Avenger. She’s great at it. He thinks that when they were younger, things didn’t go well for her, but that’s all behind her now. Now she’s a grown up. “Yeah,” she replies. “How did that happen?” Luke asks which part. She says all of it. Being a grown up. Who wants to be a grown up? Luke grins and tells her that she should be Jessica Jones - Power Woman.
As the bored waitress waits for them to finish their conversation, they discuss the name’s merits, or lack of and Jessica admits that she doesn’t know if she should even be doing this. If she dies, what happens to Danielle? She is a mother. She is someone’s mother and her parents died when she was a little girl. She’s lived her life without her real parents and knows exactly how that feels… every single second of it. He has unbreakable skin, a protective bubble around him but she doesn’t. She doesn’t have that luxury. But, she adds, here’s the big but. She should live a life by example. She should be the best she can be, if only to show her how you live your life. She should inspire her by being who she is.
Luke can only agree with her. Jessica asks if an Avenger being the best person she can be. Right now, the best person she can be is married to him and the best person she is, is being Danielle’s mother. These are all new things, so even coming to this realization is a huge step. Again, Luke agrees. So, Jessica continues, being a super hero and being an Avenger… is that who she is or is it just that it’s who she is because they are the circumstances she finds herself in? Luke reminds her that they didn’t stumble into this life, but Jessica replies, arms folded, that she didn’t go looking for it. “But here you are, replies Luke. “Power Woman.” Jessica tells him that just because he has unbreakable skin, it doesn’t mean she can’t find a way to stop him from saying that.
Luke tells her that he loves her. “And?” she replies. Luke reckons that she’s scared and she doesn’t like to be scared, but that’s okay. He is scared too. Just because he has unbreakable skin doesn’t mean… Jessica interjects, asking what he’s scared of. “Things I can’t control,” he replies. Before he can explain, Jessica look out the window and up into the sky. She sees a large silver object heading towards the city. Trying to stop it is Ms. Marvel. She pushes back with all her might but struggles to stop its momentum. Luke immediately heads outside purposefully as the object collides with a building and explodes in the street. Both people and cars fly in different directions. “That’s it!” cries one guy. “I’m done with this city!
Luke tries to corral people away from the crash site. He then spots Carol lying unconscious next to the object. He can’t believe it as Dr. Doom emerges from the object. Luke cries his name and leaps at him, but Doom zaps him causing another mighty explosion. Jessica gets on the phone to Avengers Mansion and tells them to get the Avengers here right now. “Avengers assemble!”
As Carol gets up, Luke engages Doom, smashing him through a nearby shop window. Luke asks Carol how this happened. She admits that she doesn’t know. “You came with it,” he reminds her. Carol explains that she was flying by and it came crashing down on top of her. Doom emerges from the shop and zaps them both so Carol responds by blasting him. She doesn’t suppose it would do any good to tell him he’s under arrest. She asks Luke how his date is going. Luke admits that he can’t get through to Jessica. Carol says she told him so. He should let it be. He asks what the plan is. Carol reckons they should stall Doom until the rest of the Avengers arrive. Luke reckons it’s a terrible plan. “Or we could just leave,” she replies.
Dr. Doom hits them both with another powerful electric blast which drops them both. As Luke gets up, Ms. Marvel takes to the air. She tells Doom that he isn’t his usual chatty self. Where’s all the propaganda he likes to throw at them while he whips up his magical whammies? she asks. Doom blasts her again. Luke groans and asks him what he did to him. “The end of times,” replies Doom as he opens his palm ready for another attack. Out of nowhere, Jessica slams a fire hydrant into him and pummels away leaving him no time to think. He manages to recover and tells her that he does not know of her. He prepares to attack but Luke tells him not the wife. Big no-no. He smashes Doom so hard his armor punctures and energy oozes from his face plate.
The three of them are perplexed. Luke doesn’t believe that it’s actually him, though he doesn’t know what it is. He bends down, takes a good look and reckons it might be a Doombot. Jessica asks what the hell that is. Luke replies that she used to be a detective. What does it sound like? “A robot made to look like Doctor Doom that Doctor Doom made because he’s crazy in love with himself?” she suggests. “Bingo,” replies Luke. Jessica asks what it’s doing here. Luke reminds her that he hasn’t left her side all day. There’s nothing going on here that he knows that she doesn’t. Jessica says she’s just thinking out loud. Luke tells her that she looks right at him when she does it. It makes him think she’s talking to him. Jessica smiles and says that’s his business. Luke tells her she’s just mad because she thought she’d beat up Dr. Doom and was all proud of herself. Jessica replies that he’s just mad because he thought he’d got beat up by Dr. Doom and now realizes it was just a robot. Luke grins and says she’s having a good time. She tells him he owes her a dinner.
The Quinjet then appears and out steps Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Iron Fist and Wolverine. Ben Grimm tells Luke that he just beat up Dr. Doom. Luke admits it was just a Doombot. Ben rushes over to it and plucks its processing unit out. He warns Luke that you never, and he means never, leave a Doombot’s operating system operational. Its brain ain’t in its head. It’s in its chest. It wasn’t dead… it was rebooting. He asks what the hell it’s doing here.
later:Back at the mansion the Avengers are seated at the dinner table. Victoria Hand says that she’ll explain exactly what it was doing here, or at least what she’s allowed to say at this point. There’s not a lot she’s allowed to say because it’s mostly matters of national security, but supposedly there’s been a lot of chatter about Dr. Doom losing not only his footing as monarch of his country, but that he’s also losing his mind. Iron Fist asks if she means he’s going crazy. Before she answers, Spidey puts up his hand and asks if she can’t talk about matters of national security because he is here in his full body costume and mask. “Yes,” she replies. Spidey says he knew it. “Persecution complex assembled!” Ben tells her he knows a little about Dr. Doom and he knows that his run-ins with the Fantastic Four have been extra crazy. There is definitely something going on with that wackadoo. He wants to get his mitts on him.
Dr. Strange adds that he dabbles in the dark mystic arts. He has warned him that it would take its toll on any man. Carol asks Victoria what the Doombot was set to do. Victoria says she wasn’t told that, but Tony Stark was very excited to get his hands on it. He was giggling. “It was off-putting,” she adds in a whisper. But, Captain America, or rather Commander Rogers, wanted her to tell them that it was a great takedown. He seemed very happy. “Even though we don’t know what the hell it was about,” replies Mockingbird. Wolverine reckons life’s like that. You don’t always get to know everything about everything when you most want to know.
Jessica tells them that she’s not sure how much they care, but she’s been hemming and hawing about whether or not to be an Avenger or a super hero. The thing is, she’s decided that it’s best for everyone that maybe she should just go all in. So, from now on, if they don’t mind, she will go by the name of Power Woman. Luke stands up and punches the table. “Boo yah! Ha ha!” he smiles. “Big win! Awesome!” The conversation between the team then collapses into daftness.
Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Jewel, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Thing and Wolverine (all Avengers)
Dr. DoomVictoria HandDanielle Cage
Two strangers, diners and waitressShoppers