After discovering that the real mastermind behind this drug scheme in Philly is a politician, Cage heads to the man's office with an aim to sort things out but good with him.
Canete has this great raw energy that makes this all seem so alive. I just love the way he renders everything - - even the incidental kayaker in the creek. Arcudi weaves dialogue with real personality, rhythm and some surprising storytelling touches like the smugglers' small talk about the origins of smack and the reappearance of the van Cage ripped in half at the end. I also enjoyed the final confrontation dialogue with Woodward - - how Cage tore him down without flying a single punch.
Luke Cage getting back to his roots and taking care of real life crime is something of a double edged sword. On the one hand, it gets to the heart of the character and brings him back to his roots. On the other hand, bringing up reality begs the question of why he doesn't just call the Avengers over to snap their fingers and put these guys out of business permanently. It also makes the whole thing seem something like a tempest in a teapot given that this issue even says that Cage is just about to go handle Viking god affairs in Siege.
The Verdict - 3.5/5
I liked the first issue of this mini, but I missed out on the second one so I might be missing some important details. I enjoyed this issue as a fun departure from typical superhero fare in the Marvel universe, but I can't help thinking that this only skimmed the surface of what they could've done. I wonder if this plot could've been taken farther if it were about a unique creation of Arcudi and Canete's, rather than Luke Cage.