Synopsis:After recording a brief video for his company, Cortex Industries, Jason Quantrell talks in private with his personal security Barbara, code-name Quickfire, about her recent metamorphosis into an Inhuman after the detonation of the Terrigen Bomb in Infinity. Barbara now has the power to slow down time, though at the moment she can only use it on one target at a time. Desiring to bottle and sell these abilities for profit, Quantrell sends Quickfire to the ruins of the Inhuman city Attilan, which is still being excavated from the Hudson by S.H.I.E.L.D, to retrieve some fresh Terrigen crystals.
We then jump to the Inhuman city itself, where Agent Tremaine is being yelled at over the phone by S.H.I.E.L.D Director Maria Hill, who wants to know why the city is still buried in the Hudson. She interrupts Tremaine's excuse that Hank Pym and his A.I Avengers had business in the wreckage, saying they got it done already, and warns him not to patronise her before ending the call, causing Tremaine to mutter that he misses Daisy Johnson as Director. Tremaine and the other agents stationed at the site are then suddenly possessed by a mysterious force, which says that "until the Talisman is found", "Attilan must not be disturbed".
While this is going on up top, Quickfire infiltrates Attilan from underwater using a light bending suit crudely modelled on Stark technology. She contacts Quantrell, informing him that she has breached the objective, unaware of several pairs of red eyes glinting at her.
Back at the Gem Theater, as Falcon is discussing membership with Spectrum, Spider Hero arrives, with Cage commenting that he shouldn't wear the same "nasty-ass coat" if he doesn't want to be recognised, to which Spider Hero responds "you dream of a coat so nasty (I second that!). He asks for help getting into Attilan, to which Cage agrees, as well as asking Jessica if they still have that big box with Clint Barton's stuff. When we next see Spider Hero, he's strolling out of the building with the rest of the Avengers, but he is Spider Hero no longer. Now he is clad in the slick ninja threads of Ronin!
Cage decides to stay behind and let Monica lead the team on this occasion so he can spend time with his family, as well as make an appointment with their legal representation. Unfortunately, this causes friction with Jessica as the lawyer in question is Luke's ex, which means ol' Lukey-boy will be spending the night on the "power couch". Their little domestic is cut short however by "Spider-Man", who's brought an Arachnaught and several Spider-Lings with him. He threatens to tear the place down unless Cage comes outside and essentially relinquishes his leadership to SpOck...
Thoughts:Having to tie the first storyline of a series in with a crossover event is hard enough. Having to tie your first two in with two separate events is somewhat ridiculous, but Al Ewing looks to be handling it rather well as he kicks off his next story with the Mighty Avengers.
Cage himself is, of course, way more sympathetic and his characterisation is still in line with Bendis' run on New Avengers, and though his approach to setting up these Avengers base and the way they operate is pretty grounded, it looks as though Ewing will also be continuing the contrast of street-level heroes going up against supernatural and cosmic threats. I like how Cage is throwing himself into managing this team instead of doing so reluctantly as it's more in-keeping with his character and allows for better drama between him and Jessica, though I hope Ewing is not headed towards making these two divorce as it's nice to have an actual married couple in the Marvel U.
As I hinted at earlier, this issue features our mystery hero retiring his Spider Hero identity and assuming that of Ronin, which is both a little sad and really cool. We aren't outright told who we're dealing with, but the inclusion of the leather coat and the sharp weapons are painting a pretty clear picture. I suspect that we'll get a full confirmation next issue, especially if the Avengers are dealing with what I think their dealing with. The rest of the team are in the background for this issue and right now that's fine, though Falcon's inclusion provides some good comedy as well as a brief commentary on people's general perception of the bird-man.
If Jason Quantrell was the only villain of this story, then we'd have a problem as he's pretty bland, but with a more interesting threat lurking in the background, his presence is acceptable at best and his segment features a really clever demonstration of his assistant's Inhuman powers, so I can't really complain too much. Greg Land's art is the same as ever, good, but full of weird facial expressions, though Frank D'Armata still provides a nice mix of colours. Next issue looks to be very exciting, though hopefully we'll be able to get to a point where the series isn't having to tie-in with every current event...