When the initial "Heroes for Hire" storyline (with Misty Knight under the control of the Puppet Master) came to a conclusion, I was a tiny bit worried that the book would revert back to just a series of one-off missions. It's nice to see that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are determined to prove me (and anyone else who thought that) wrong, with the conclusion of a three-part story picking up right where the last one left off.
The basic thrust, with Spider-Man and Paladin in over their heads trying to stop a drug ring, is just all right. But what I found myself enjoying above all else was watching Misty Knight and Satana come to the rescue. Paladin and Satana's flirtatious dialogue is a fun give-and-take, and as for Misty Knight? Well, anyone who underestimates her pays that price in this issue. She's back to butt-kicking and name-taking, fully recovered from her ordeal in the previous issues, and I'm loving it. She's too good to just be the operator for the Heroes for Hire organization, and this is a firm reminder that she's a super-hero in her own right.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Brad Walker's pencils continue to look great. His collaborations with Abnett and Lanning on "Guardians of the Galaxy" were always entertaining, and this continues that strong team-up. Misty Knight looks a little '70s retro here, but it's such a fun outfit (although perhaps big dangling hoop earrings in a fight aren't such a good idea) that I was grinning. And in general, Walker draws super-heroes in outfits that look like they're actually made of cloth, with folds and creases when appropriate. It's a little touch, but I like it. Of course, he's also drawing velociraptors and a bad guy with a huge scorpion tail, so you take the realism where you can get it.
Best of all, the conclusion of this issue sets up the next story, and it's fun to watch each piece of the story being a direct line to what's to come. Misty Knight is driving this book through her intelligence and competence, not through any sort of blind luck. So long as she's the star and the stories and art are this entertaining, I know I'll keep sticking around. Good stuff.