Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Brian Michael Bendis starts wrapping up his stint of eight years with the Avengers by bidding farewell to one of the most representative characters of his tenure: Luke Cage. While securing a dangerous mutant, Mr. Cage, Daredevil, Mockingbird, and The Thing are attacked by the Purifiers and chaos ensues. Heroes that they are, the New Avengers protect their prisoner from the fanatic sect and do so with a damn smile. Cage's instant of realization has been building up for several months, and his one-on-one with Daredevil finally brings it all to a close; Luke's contribution to the book had always been his humanity, and here he is more human than ever before. The light moments of the issue come from the most unexpected places and play off perfectly with the action and the characterization. The somber tone of the issue is nicely conveyed by Mike Deodato and Rain Beredo. Best of luck, Luke!