Quote:But now I'm reading the Civil War/post-CW issues of New Avengers- written by Bendis himself- and my original interpretation of the SHRA doesn't seem to be the case at all! Luke Cage repeatedly argues that the SHRA makes people have to register just for being different, and at first I thought he was just plain wrong about how the law worked, but then Iron Man says that Jessica Jones would have to register, and when she says she doesn't use her powers or intend to, he says it doesn't matter. Later on, Iron Man confronts Danny Rand, who's claiming that he's not Iron Fist anymore (he's lying, but that's besides the point), and Iron Man tells him that even if he isn't putting on the costume he'll still have to register. So, what the hell's going on?!
Pretty simple really, your first assumption was wrong.
As long as you had superpowers, you had to register. For instance, a character in Avengers Initiative named Cloud 9 didn't want to be a superhero, she just wanted to use her powers for fun. But she still had to register. So Jessica Jones, even though she was not a superhero and had no intention of using her powers for any purpose, still had to register. Registration seems to be a simple process of SHIELD knowing the information about the person. This has always been the case.
Iron Fist/Danny Rand was always registered, which is why he was able to stay out in public without fear of being imprisoned.
There has always been a huge problem with what "registration" actually means, and how that relates to joining the Initiative. We've never had a clear answer on what those things mean, and what the SHRA actually says. We do know that to be a registered superhero, you had to prove yourself of being worthy and joining the Initiative.
In Civil War-Frontline, Wonder Man was basically drafted by SHIELD to do spy work on Atlantean terror cells. He said that SHRA didn't mean that he was in the employ of the government and was told that he should have read the fine print.