Marvel’s latest crossover has heroes fighting heroes again. When Luke Cage and Danny Rand talk through which side they’ll align with, the Heroes for Hire have the most sensible reaction I’ve read so far.
The last time a Civil War broke out amongst Marvel’s world-saving community, Iron Fist and Power Man wound up siding with Captain America’s anti-registration faction. They didn’t like the idea of having superheroes registering their powers and real names with the government. The best buds tussled with friends and former allies who believed in Tony Stark’s pro-registration argument. Luke later became leader of an Avengers team and it took a while for tensions to dissipate.
Now there’s a new philosophical conflict splitting heroes into camps. When a young man named Ulysses undergoes the Terrigenesis transformation and emerges with the ability to experience predictive visions of future, Captain Marvel wants to use that knowledge to preemptively stop threats. Others disagree and soon heroes start getting hurt and dying.
Written by David Walker with art by Flaviano, John Rauch and Clayton Cowles, Power Man and Iron Fist #6 ties into Civil War II. Tensions are running high when Luke and Danny go to visit the injured She-Hulk, where they run into Carol Danvers. After hearing Carol’s perspective, the two friends talk. Luke says he’s not up for another experience like this and Danny agrees.
However, a group of wannabe vigilantes calling themselves Predictive Strike have other ideas. Using facial recognition software and databases, they’ve been going around profiling inactive super-criminals and beating them up on suspicion that they might break the law again.
Some of those retired crooks and their family members go to Luke and Danny for help, unwittingly bringing Predictive Strike right to their doorstep. The cops get involved, too, and it’s here that Walker ties the fictional proceedings back to real world injustices, just as he’s doing in Nighthawk.
The chokehold that a cop uses on one of the family members recalls the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police.
I loved this issue because it has Luke and Danny choosing to opt out of the divisive nature of Civil War II’s central conflict. But even Iron Fist’s superhero Avenger privilege can’t stop the cops from surrounding him with the threat of lethal force.
Even worse, Predictive Strike gets to run away unharmed while the people who were trying to stop their loved ones from getting brutalized are the ones who get arrested. Screwed-up policing takes its toll on everyone, even for those who choose to opt out of another round of heroes-vs.-heroes battles.