Rand is under fire for their chemical emissions, Colleen has a new student, and the Hand introduces a new drug to New York.
Now with Rand’s resources and a lead in his investigation, Danny focuses on the Hand’s new synthetic heroin hitting the streets of New York City. After discovering how the drug is made and its potency, he learns that it is being brought in through the pier Joy and Ward recently purchased. As he is now technically the owner of the pier, he has no trouble finding the delivery schedule so he can catch them in the act.
While Danny is off in another world tracking down the Hand, Joy and Ward try to put out a fire of a recent lawsuit against their Staten Island chemical plant. The case against them is that they are polluting the area and have caused 16 cases of cancer in a mile radius of the plant. Joy has a solid defense against their claims, but becomes complicated when the kind hearted Danny accepts blame on camera to a mourning mother. To get rid of the problem, Joy suggests settling, with the clandestine support of Harold. But, to go against his father, Ward decides to prolong the court case, sure that they have kept their emissions within legal limits. The pressure, however, of juggling Harold, Danny, and the Rand, begins to push Ward over the edge.
With some help from Colleen, Danny investigates the pier in order to find some proof of the Hand’s heroin shipments. Instead, what they discover is the source of the drug, a Russian chemist named Radovan. After escaping with an injured Radovan, Colleen contacts a student and friend of hers, Claire Temple, New York’s superhero doctor, to help with the chemist’s wounds. Once he becomes stable, he tells them all he knows of the Hand and their plan to create the drug in New York and export it to the world, and to insure his cooperation, they have taken his daughter. Claire has dealt with the Hand before and cautions Danny about going up against them, but is surprised to discover Danny is another person with special skills.
“Under Leaf Pluck Lotus” introduces a HUGE connection to the other Marvel series, Claire Temple, who has been a strong presence in aiding the various vigilantes that have popped up to defend New York. But, this appearance was teased at the end of Luke Cage when Claire found out about self defense lessons from Colleen Wing. Along with Jeri Hogarth and her newest associate Foggy Nelson, the string pulling these series closer to the Defenders are strengthening.