New Avengers #36

Issue Date: 
January 2008
Story Title: 
The Trust part five
Staff: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Leinil Yu (artist), Dave McCaig (color art), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letterer), Irene Lee (production), Molly Lazer (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Luke Cage explains what happened with the Symbiotes and Mighty Avengers to Jessica Jones. She is surprised that the other Avengers didn’t try and arrest them, but no matter. He tells her that Jessica Drew was with the opposition, and Jessica Jones wonders what she told Stark. Cage tells her that Logan is having words with her. Over in Avengers Tower, Ms. Marvel informs her team that they are going to head over to Latveria and take down Doctor Doom for dropping the Venom bomb. Jessica Drew heads off for a shower, and Wolverine joins her there, asking what she’s told Tony Stark. She informs him that she told him they were being invaded by Skrulls. She didn’t give his team up. Logan warns her that there is a Deathlok on its way. Jessica doubts that and tells him to turn on the television. When the Black Widow appears, Logan escapes through the window and later joins his team on a rooftop in Jersey. They look down at the scene of a large theft. Logan tracks the scent of those responsible and the team finds the Hood, the Wrecking Crew and a few others alone in a building. They enter the building hard, and the villains look out to see not just the New Avengers, but a large group of other super heroes as well.

Full Summary: 

Luke Cage recalls, for the benefit of Jessica Jones, what happened when the symbiotes attacked New York City. His fellow new Avengers, including Iron Fist, Wolverine and Doctor Strange, were somehow transformed by the symbiotes into monsters. Somehow, though, Luke remained unaffected. When Jessica wonders aloud why it didn’t happen to him, Luke replies that he didn’t know it then, but he knows now. Someone dropped a chemical bomb on New York City.

Continuing, he explains that the other Avengers showed up and Wonder Man asked what was going on. Luke didn’t know, but he did know that his crew weren’t doing well. All around him, the people of New York and several heroes were running amok having been turned into Venom-like creatures. They were eating, fighting… screaming. Luke knows now that he didn’t change due to his unbreakable skin. No chemicals got into his pores. When Iron Man’s Avengers showed up, he ended up fighting alongside them, despite their recent differences.

Jessica asks if Tony Stark tried to arrest him, to which Cage replies that he had his hands full. Stark left to try and cure the problem, leaving him and the Avengers to contain the problem for the time being. Wolverine’s healing factor kept trying to push the symbiote out of him, which hurt a lot more than Luke would think. The Wasp had been transformed and had to be taken out due to her size. The Sentry took the lead on that one.

Jessica asks Luke if Ms. Marvel said anything to him. Luke explains that they really did have their hands full, and she said nothing. During the fight, Stark whipped something together, and everything calmed down. The people of New York returned to normal along with all the other heroes. “Just like that?” asks Jessica. Luke says that’s how it happened, though he’s sure it was a little more complicated on Stark’s end.

Jessica asks who did it. How did it happen? Luke really doesn’t know. He then asks if anything happened to her, or the baby. Jessica replies that she was taking a nap. Luke asks why she thinks nothing happened to her. He knows she’s not a Skrull. That’s not why he’s asking. Jessica replies that he doesn’t know she isn’t, but he wants to know. “I’m okay,” says Luke. “You’re mostly okay,” replies Jessica.

Jessica wonders if perhaps Doctor Strange’s house of creepy floating books and weird windows protected them. She mentions something, just to put in his tiara for the near future. “I don’t want to live here anymore,” she whispers. Luke asks jokingly if Wong is creeping her out, but Jessica simply repeats the line. Jessica then sits up and asks how he’s not in jail. The real Avengers were right there and the monster problem was solved. Did he have to throw down with them or just run away? Luke, cradling baby Danielle, tells her that he thinks this is why he has so much love for the team that they’re stuck with.

When they changed back to half-naked super heroes on the run from the law, they simply stayed and helped. Even though the people assigned to bring them in were right there, they didn’t even discuss it. They just go on with helping those who needed their assistance.

Doctor Strange had cast a series of spells that soothed people’s emotional states. Wolverine and Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Spider-Man, Ronin and Maya Lopez - they simply got on with the task at hand. Jessica asks again whether Ms. Marvel said anything. “Nah,” replies Luke. Luke explains that the Avengers just let them go after that. He adds that Jessica Drew was with them. This surprises Jessica. It looks like she switched sides. Jessica wonders if Tony Stark now knows where they live, in that case. Luke doesn’t know what he knows.

Jessica then tells Luke that they could be pounced on at any moment by Skrulls, but Luke replies that they could get pounced on anytime. That’s life. Jessica wants to work on finding out more about the Skrull problem, and Luke points out that she’s the private eye. She should be working on it more than anyone. They lie down together on the bed. “Anyone could be a Skrull,” says Jessica. Anyone in the world. “Animals too,” replies Luke. Anyone could be a Skrull except for them, because Doctor Strange did some magic to show them they weren’t, unless Strange is a Skrull and he used fake magic to put them off their game. That idea freaks Jessica out. At any time, any one of them could be replaced by a Skrull. They’re being invaded. In her whole life, she explains, she’s never wanted to go screaming through the streets like a crazy person more than she does right now.

“Well that’s not true,” replies Luke. Jessica admits that it isn’t. There have been thousands of times when she’s wanted to do that, but that doesn’t take away the fact that she really wants to do it now. “Go ahead,” says Luke. Jessica reminds him that she’s a mom. She wonders what Jessica Drew told Stark. Luke informs her that Logan is having words with her right now. “Words or claws?” asks Jessica.

(Avengers Tower)
The Mighty Avengers are seated around a dining table, as Jarvis clears away the empty plates. Ms. Marvel speaks to the group. She informs them that in one hour they are invading Latveria. Not the U.S. - Them. Tony is heating up the troops and the helicarrier and as soon as she hears word, they’re off. “Doom?” asks the Wasp. “Yes,” confirms Carol. The Sentry knows it was Doctor Doom. Carol adds that Tony has evidence that Doom dropped the Venom bomb on New York so that’s it for him. They’re invading Latveria and bringing him to justice. She points out that this is a military operation which means they follow orders… unquestioned.

She continues to state that Tony is running the show. She is second in command and the Black Widow is next. They have the military background. She informs Ares that Jarvis is getting him specs for Castle Doom. He should look them over and if he can cook up a battle plan, they’d love to use his ‘God of War’ brain. They have one hour so they should eat, shower and get ready. She understands that they’re tired, but Doctor Doom needs a spanking and they’re just the people to give it to him.

Jessica Drew hits the showers and climbs in. As she turns on the sprinkler, she realizes that Wolverine is there with her. “How on Earth did you get in here?” she asks. He replies that he never gave back his key. Funny, she says, before apologizing for zapping him back in Chicago. Logan warns her that if she tries it again, she’ll be hurting. He asks what she told Stark.

Jessica informs him that she told Stark that they’d been invaded by the Skrull Empire and that he needs to do something about it. Logan asks what he did. “He freaked out,” she replies. Logan, with three adamantium claws at either side of her face, focusing her attention, asks if gave them up. She says no, because Stark knew she wouldn’t. He thinks the Skrull problem is a little more important than that. He thinks there is a Skrull or Skrulls on their team. Logan replies that there’s definitely Skrulls on their team. Like Stark!

Jessica turns and tells Logan that the only person she knows isn’t a Skrull is herself. Logan asks if she learnt nothing from Nick Fury. You back your team. You don’t turn on them. Jessica replies that the world is coming to an end. The human race is her team. She is where she thinks she can do the most good. “Where you can do the most good for who?” asks Logan. Jessica doesn’t appreciate the accusation. If he thinks she is a Skrull then he can slice her.

After a brief impasse, Jessica tells him that she could have venom-blasted his face off at any time. Wolverine asks if she knows who Parker Robbins is. The Hood. Jessica doesn’t. Logan warns her that he’s got a Deathlok and he’s heading her way. That’s why they came out before. Jessica tells Logan that Deathlok isn’t on his way. He asks what she knows about it. “Turn on the T.V.,” she replies. At that moment, the Black Widow appears and asks what the hell is going on. Logan stares at her for a moment before defenestrating himself, only to be caught by Spider-Man who has been waiting for him.

(later, Jersey)
Out on the rooftops, Spider-Man takes Wolverine to the rest of the team and they look at the devastation below. A large hole in the ground is being investigated by police detectives. Logan says it’s one of the largest cash heists in U.S. history. It’s probably over ten million dollars. They spot a stretcher being taken away with Deathlok on it in pieces. Luke guesses that they thought there wasn’t enough cash in trashing Avengers Tower. Spidey adds that the Venom bomb might have been a distraction for this. Kingpin did stuff like that all the time. Luke tells him that the Venom thing was Doom. Starks’ boys are already heading to Latveria to mop the floor with him. About time, adds Logan.

Maya doesn’t understand why they are there. What does this have to do with what they’re doing about the Skrulls? Logan explains that he was following the Skrulls. The trial led him to the Hood, which led him to Deathlok, which led him to this. This is what you call a lead. “Or it’s just very bad guys who stole a lot of money,” replies Maya. Iron Fist says it could be, but either way, it’s a good use of their time. Logan asks them to be quiet. He’s got the scent. He can track it and that’s why they are there. As the team heads off, Spidey quips, “So Deathlok wasn’t a Skrull. Maya guesses not. Spidey reckons they should start making a list.

They come to the edge of a rooftop and Logan tells them that the people they are after are in the building across the street, above a place called Kwan Chow. Strange casts a spell and takes a look. The wall becomes invisible to them and the New Avengers can see inside as well as listen to what’s going on. $12.7 million and change, is the total for the haul. Clint recognizes the Wrecking Crew and knows that they ain’t small potatoes. Logan adds that the Hood is also a tough one. Spidey bags dibs on the skinny bald guy. Iron Fist asks if it’s Madame Masque that he sees with them. Where did they dig her up from? Luke notes that there is no one else in the building which is a good thing.

Spidey remarks that it’s late. Everyone who isn’t insane is home sleeping. By that, he’s implying that they are clearly insane. Clint says that they may be outpowered here. “So we leave?” asks Danny. Luke mentions that it took a bunch of them just to take out the Wrecker a few months ago, but they’ll play it smart this time. Doctor Strange grins and tells them that they’ll call for back-up.

In the building across the street, the television shows the government-sanctioned Avengers battling the Venom symbiotes in New York City. The Hood says it’s a grand opportunity. At that moment, Luke punches through the door, taking half the wall with it. “Tell me you were stupid enough to come alone, Cage,” says the Hood. “Hardly,” replies Luke, and the Hood looks up to see them surrounded by a host of heroes, including Mr. Fantastic, Storm, the Sentry and Thor.

Characters Involved: 

Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Ronin, Spider-Man, Wolverine (all “New” Avengers)
Jessica Jones and Danielle Cage
Maya Lopez

Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Spider-Woman, Wasp, Wonder Man (all “Mighty” Avengers)

Jarvis
Lindy Reynolds
Deathlok
Police and Fire Crews

The Hood, Piledriver, Wizard and the Wrecker

(in flashback)
Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Ronin, Spider-Man, Wolverine (all New Avengers)
Maya Lopez
Symbiotes/victims

Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Spider-Woman, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Mighty Avengers)

(on television)
Ares, Iron Man, Sentry, Wonder Man (all Mighty Avengers)
Symbiotes

(as illusions)
Heroes including Angel, Black Panther, Black Widow, Cyclops, Daredevil, Doc Samson, Hercules, Howard the Duck, Human Torch, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Ms. Marvel, Punisher, Sentry, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, Silver Surfer, Storm, Thing, Thor, Vision

Story Notes: 

Spider-Woman took down Wolverine in New Avengers #32, taking the Skrull Elektra’s body to Tony Stark, as seen in Mighty Avengers #6.

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