As Luke Cage busies himself rescuing trapped construction men from a condemned property, two of his former contemporaries are breaking out of Seagate Prison.
Shades and Comanche are inspired by a common drive - get out... get Rackham; the brutal racist guard who made their time inside a living hell with regular beat-downs.
The target for such concentrated hate, is in New York at the Daily Bugle offices to place an ad touting for whatever work a washed-up ex-prison guard can catch. Unscrupulous journalist Phil Fox, catches sight of Rackham leaving and scampers after him.
Luke's evening is broken up by Mrs. Jenks, an old client. She's just given her sleazy lawyer the brush-off after an impromptu dinner date. The date announces himself bulldozer-like, as Big Ben Donovan.
Rackham - Billy Bob, to his friends and drinking buddies, which are few, knocks back the vodka while Phil Fox compares notes. From the stolen diary of Noah Burstein and Rackham's recall, Fox has fathomed the background origin of Luke Cage.
With this priceless information, the two weasels plan to blackmail Cage into being their lackey. Kidnapping Luke's girlfriend Claire Temple might be a persuasive inducement.
Upstairs at the Gem Theatre, Big Ben laments a sore head before testing his platform heels against Cage's steelskin hide. Cage brings Ben under manners, and not before time.
Escaped cons, Shades and Comanche waste little time slipping back to their criminal ways. Eagle-eyed Shades spots Rackham's ad in the Personals column. Won't be long before these three meet again.
Rackham had followed Mrs. Jenks to her apartment, mistaking her for Claire Temple. Violence erupts out of frustration when Fox tells him he's got the wrong woman.
The real Claire has traced Mrs. Jenks to her home, meaning to have some kind of tête-à-tête over who commands Luke's affections. Just as she's about to knock, furious shouts from within give her pause. She not only overhears that Luke is an escaped con, but also a decisive gunshot.
As Claire rushes inside, she finds the lifeless, prone body of Phil Fox. Instinctively, Claire handles the murder weapon, just as the boys in blue arrive on the scene, late as usual.
First appearance of Big Ben Donovan.