In the past, something special nearly happened. Dontrell, who would later be known as Cockroach, wanted to form a team of villains to take control of their community and take it from the likes of Kingpin. He gathered his friends – Mariah, Raymond, Cornell, Mortimer, and Lonnie, and they largely took to the idea. They filed their teeth and called themselves the Fang Gang, but the dream didn’t last. They quickly split up due to infighting, but Dontrell just couldn’t let the idea go. The Fang Gang. The greatest group of criminals that never was.
Today, Iron Fist and Luke Cage have taken to rounding up those who have escaped from a recent prison break at Ryker’s. They are nearly arrested for doing so, and realize they are going to be late for an important meeting. Elsewhere, Lonnie, who, these days, calls himself Tombstone, is visited by his old friend Mortimer. Tombstone has gotten quite a bit of power since the days of the Fang Gang, but lately he’s been slipping. Black Cat is setting her sights on his territory, and things don’t look good. All is not lost though, and Mortimer is here to help.
Luke and Danny go back to their headquarters which are being rebuilt by former criminals the two have hired. They go inside, where everyone is waiting for them – and yes, the two are pretty late. The two heroes explain to everyone that they were recently hired to help a family of ex-cons who were wrongfully arrested. It seems somebody, and they don’t know who, has devised a means to hack into government databases and alter them at will. They have been falsifying records to get people sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. Danny sends the details to the rest of the heroes. Luke and Danny now have one, simple goal – to legally get everyone wrongfully sent to jail released, regardless of whether or not they have a criminal record. This is what they are going to do. Nobody is going to jail for something they didn’t do on their watch.
In the South Bronx, Cornell and Raymond, who now call themselves Cottonmouth and Piranha, have gotten a new offer. Cottonmouth recently escaped from prison thanks to the heroes being distracted fighting themselves, but he has nothing left. His criminal network is long gone, but this new opportunity should turn things around. Piranha introduces Cornell to the Black Cat, and together, the three are going to take everything Tombstone has.
The heroes seemed to take the meeting reasonably well, but Luke and Danny don’t know all of them that well. The new Spider-Man is hard to read and so much younger than them, for example. But the only thing that matters is the job at hand. The sorcerer Senor Magico stops by, having been tasked with finding out who made the software that’s being used to put people behind bars. It has some sort of mystical protection around it, and, even worse, the copy of the software was stolen from him. Luke is furious, but Senor Magico promises to help them get it back from the hooded figure that took it.
Mariah, who also escaped from Ryker’s, is visited by Cockroach and the hooded figure. She doesn’t know this stranger and doesn’t trust him, but Cockroach insists he has the offer of a lifetime. The hooded figure knows all about Mariah. She never got the respect she deserves. But if she helps him, that will change. The hooded figure is getting an operation started. He’s thinking of calling it the New Pride. His name is Alex Wilder.
So this was fun. I haven’t checked out this series yet but I was pleasantly surprised. It reminds me a lot of the older Heroes for Hire comics – it has a very similar style and character designs, the story and dialogue have a familiar feel to it, and on the whole, it was a fun read.
It wasn’t hard to jump on here as the comic does a good job at explaining everything. And the story is pretty cool. I like what’s being set up here – a bunch of criminals setting up factions and preparing for war with one another while Luke Cage and Iron Fist seem on course to be smack in the middle of everything.
The two are unsurprisingly pretty fun together and I like the little community they’ve set up around them – mostly with ex-cons and the like. It’s robustly in character for both of them, giving former enemies second chances and working to make a better world around them. That’s a great thing with these heroes and this comic as a whole – it’s nicely grounded in the real world and life in a modern city, which makes the events have a certain level of realism to them.
The characters are pretty cool, too. I like most of the villains being brought in here – and even Black Cat, who’s usually been kind of annoying in her new role as a crime boss feels less… obnoxious in this story, so far. Maybe the lack of Dan Slott can account for that. I’m still pretty sure her character went this direction because Spider-Man hurt her feelings that one time, so yeah, her breaking away from that seems to be a healthy decision overall.
Finally, we get a pretty cool twist at the end. Unless I’m mistaken, Alex was already brought back from the dead in the short lived but pretty awesome Avengers Undercover comic, but I was wondering what happened to him after all that. For those of you that don’t know who this is, you should definitely check out the Runaways if you get the chance. That is an excellent series I really enjoyed, and seeing him here was cool. I would not be against some of the other Runaways showing up in this story, too – that might be a fun addition and I could see Nico Minoru in particular wanting to do something about Alex.
This comic gets a solid recommendation for me. It promises a new story, is easily read without the first nine issues of the series, and was fun overall. This review is actually our first Patreon bonus review, and was chosen by one of our donors. If you’d like to have a say in the comics we review, you can check out our Patreon page. For only five dollars a month you get to vote every week on a bonus review like this one.