In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments. This week, however, the question was posed on Twitter by Avengers’ writer Brian M. Bendis: who should be luke cage and jessica jones’ baby super powered nanny? For those of you who may not follow the various Avengers-related titles, Luke Cage (formerly Power Man) and Jessica Jones (formerly Jewel, not in the superheroing at the moment, but going to be soon) married in the not-too-distant past. Their daughter, Dani, has spent her infancy in hiding from Tony Stark, Norman Osborn, or whatever other person wanted to arrest her parents. In a recent Avengers issue, Dani was handed off to Spider-Man to get her out of a fight scene in which her father was possessed. Clearly, the kid needs a super-powered nanny for these situations.
So, as Bendis asked, who should it be?
Who should be Dani Cage-Jones’ super-powered nanny?
Dear Mr. Cage, Ms. Jones, and associated,
I am writing in regards to the enquiry for a nanny for your daughter, Danielle. While not precisely “superpowered” I have been working as a masked superhero for many years and apprenticed to the greatest (and non-superpowered) of our kind before striking out on my own. I’ve also worked in and with teams. I am more than highly qualified and I have a long experience with technology to enhance security and safety.
Master detective. Expert in martial arts, computer science, criminology, forensics, surveillance. Also skilled in weaponry, photography, and acrobatics. Strong leader and strategist, with experience working in groups and alone. Extensive background in working with superpowered individuals. Driven, goal oriented person, good professional attitude and highly motivated individual. Excellent communication skills. First aid/CPR certified. Energetic and responsible.
Work experience and references available upon request; various names withheld to protect identity. Until we come to an agreement, please respect mine and my associates’ privacy. You may refer to me as Mr. Draper.
Thank you and I look forward to meeting with you and your daughter.
*If contractual obligation requires that “Mr. Draper” is unavailable, my suggestion is ANYA CORAZON.
It’s no secret that my favorite Marvel Universe character is Jean Grey, so I suppose I have a bias, but let’s look at this objectively. Jean has experience with a child care in a superpowered setting, having helped raise Scott’s son when they were both members of X-Factor. She also has a personal history and trusting relationship with Jessica Jones, who she helped guide out of a coma when Jess was the heroine of Alias. Aside from being dead (only a minor detail in Marvel Comics), Jean presents a fine resume.
Caring and cautious parent that he is, Luke Cage might be inclined to raise some objections. For instance, Scott’s son was at least partly under Jean’s care when he was infected with a techno-organic virus and sent into the future. Luke would probably even be forced to mention the time she went insane and ate a planet. If Jessica forced the issue though (she knows as well as anyone that people deserve second chances!), Luke would then agree that Jean was the right choice, provided she spend a few hours a week in rehabilitative exercises with the rest of the ex-villains on the Thunderbolts. When they needed somebody to cover, obviously, Wolverine would be available. This would inevitably lead to drama of the, “Jeannie, I love you — I thought you were dead!” “We could be together if only we didn’t have to work opposite shifts!” variety. Fortunately, though, Wolverine has infinite spare time, as witnessed by his ability to be on every team at once, and it works out splendidly for everyone.
Until Cyclops shows up. . .
After a childhood spent reading every novel in the Baby-Sitters Club series, my default image of a person involved in childcare is a teenage girl. Luckily, the Marvel Universe is FULL of teenage girls. My favorite teen team, the Runaways, lives in California, so they’re out, but New York City has my second-favorite teen team, the Young Avengers. And while I can’t see Kate Bishop wanting to take care of a baby, Cassie Lang would do an EXCELLENT job.
Cassie, after all, grew up surrounded by superheroes. She spent a good portion of her childhood in Avengers Mansion, Luke and Jessica’s current home, so she knows exactly what it’s like to be a kid in a place that’s regularly attacked by supervillains (and probably knows about some secret nooks and crannies for hiding, if need be). Between her experience and her superpowers, she’s uniquely suited to anticipate and respond to Dani’s needs, and any situation that came up that required knowledge she didn’t yet possess could be resolved through a quick call to her robot supercomputer boyfriend, Vision. Plus, Jessica Jones once dated Cassie’s late father, and has acted as a mentor to the Young Avengers in the past, making Jessica a mother figure to Cassie — and thus making Cassie an older sister, of sorts, to Dani Cage. She might not be able to do full-time nannying, given her obligations to school and superheroing, but I think she’d make an excellent baby-sitter.
I’m trying to think what qualifications a person would need to be nanny to Dani Cage-Jones. Fearlessness. An intense devotion to duty in the face of completely ridiculous and difficult-to-believe threats. A general liking of children. Lots of connections to useful people, but a dearth of entangling attachments. Someone like, for instance, Agent Olivia Dunham from the television show Fringe.
Agent Dunham is unflinching in the face of weird science, dopplegangers, and other dimensions. She’s used to shape-shifters and understands the threat posed by someone taken over by alien intelligence. She is a crack shot and has an extensive network of connections in law enforcement and business — she could go underground for months if necessary, hiding Dani around the world. She has an over-inflated sense of duty and white-knight-crusading — Agent Dunham will. Not. Let those under her protection come to harm. She just won’t. Oh, and, Olivia Dunham has the power to [cut for spoilers for Fringe] and might be the savior of this reality.
Moreover, she sorta likes kids.
I can see the interview process now. Jess would be a little put off by Dunham’s formal manner. Luke would like her intensity, though. He would, in fact, pull Jess aside to mention that Dunham reminds him a bit of Misty Knight. After a demonstration of a diaper change and a feeding, a round in the pistol range with Clint, and a quick assessment of combat skills with Bobbi, Dunham would have a new job.
And Walter Bishop would be in charge of storytime.
Who should be Dani Cage-Jones’ super-powered nanny?