muccamukk: Misty and Colleen lying on a beach at sunset. Text: "...happily ever after. The end." (Marvel: Happily Ever After)
[personal profile] muccamukk posting in [community profile] fanifesto

It was the '70s, okay?

Misty and Colleen came in when Marvel Comics was in the middle of jumping on the Blacksploitation and Kung Fu trends (respectively). Our heroines ran a private investigation agency, worked as bodyguards, and later had bail bond company, and tended to mostly be back up characters in other people's books. (I have a section on what comics to read below.) They were what Marvel called Street-Level Heroes, who mostly lived in New York, mostly had relatively low-level superpower sets, if powered at all, and mostly dealt with smaller issues than alien invasions and the end of the world. The Netflix shows are basically lifting this set of characters.

Colleen Wing: A Samurai in New York

Colleen is the daughter of American Asian-history professor Lee Wing and Hand assassin Azumi Ozawa. How the hell those two met is never explained, but clearly it didn't last, as Colleen was raised in Japan by her maternal grandfather, Kenji Ozawa, a secret service agent and samurai. As a young adult, Colleen travelled to New York to live with her father, where she met Misty Knight and later Danny Rand and Luke Cage. The timeline on this is pretty fuzzy, but they met while Misty was still a cop, bonded when Misty lost her arm, and eventually founded a private investigation agency called Knightwing (sometimes Nightwing) Investigations. After working with Misty and on various teams for many years, she eventually found out about the whole her mom was an assassin thing, rounded up a whole team of ex-assassins, and headed back to Japan. She more or less hasn't been seen since.

Colleen tends to be the cool one, who deals with emotions via good deal of repression, and possibly sulking, while claiming to be zen. She has fewer problems with outright murdering people with a sword. Other than that one time she dated Scott Summers for fifteen minutes, she doesn't really have canon love interests.

Misty Knight: One-Armed Lady Cop

(I'm sorry, that's seriously what she was called back then.)

We don't know a lot about Misty's family, aside from her dad really wanting her to be a cop and probably being dead. She has a bachelor's on criminology from John Jay, and was a beat cop when she met Colleen. Canon on how she lost her arm in the line of duty varies, with earlier versions having her still being a beat cop, and later ones having her on the bomb squad. She left the force because of her injury, and Colleen helped her recover and get back on her feet. At some point, she got a cybernetic arm from somewhere, but where and why is unclear. It's been upgraded a bunch of times, and the current version is Stark Tech, but we don't find out a lot more, (I talk about the various retcons involving Misty's arm here. Following her break up with Colleen, she ran Heroes for Hire for a while, was a Fearless Defender, and now seems to be hanging out with Sam Wilson.

Misty tends to deal with stress by yelling, is generally resentful about not being a cop any more (even though she chose to leave), will generally use her detective skills first and punch second. Up until Shadowland, she kept in touch with her old police partner Rafe Scarfe, and has had an on-and off relationship with Danny Rand since they met. (They almost got married at one point, but it didn't take, and they've been off ever since, as far as I can tell.)

That classic buddy cop vibe

You really cannot go wrong, imo, with strong feelings about loyalty, which these two have in spades. There will never be a time when the one is in trouble that the other will not come for them. They push, and tease, and are way too into each other's pockets, but in the end they care about each other deeply. They also have the fun back and forth of being two very different people who probably shouldn't get along but end up bonding almost instantly.

Another attraction, for me, is that ship is currently broken in canon. There is not nearly enough fixit fic getting them back together. Hopefully some of you will write me some.

So here's a stack of comics spread across four decades...

The best thing about Marvel Comics is that there's so many of them. The problem with Marvel comics is that if you're interested in B-or-C-list characters, they're usually scattered across a dozen titles and often show up as supporting characters. Both Misty and Colleen originally showed up in Marvel Premier, a title meant to introduce new characters to see if people liked them enough to support their own titles. The character being introduced was Danny Rand/Iron Fist, and they were very much secondary characters who spent a lot of time getting kidnapped.

They carried on, spending slightly less time kidnapped, in the Power Man & Iron Fist, and pretty much continued that way for the next ten years, until the title was cancelled, after which they showed up as background characters in Daredevil, Namor and Deathlok, briefly co-starred in Heroes for Hire, vanished again, co-stared in Immortal Iron Fist, and so on. (I spent a lot of time tracking down truly random comics for these two!)

Great, so how do I read anything that's actually about them?

If you don't want to read a lot of Power Man & Iron Fist, which they co-star in a fair bit, I can rec five titles:
  1. The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32-33 (1977) by Chris Claremont and Marshall Rogers: This is basically an idtastic, h/c extravaganza; there's naked hugging and crying. It's also the best we do for backstory in terms of how they met, and so on. It's got some pretty 1970s views on race and disability. You can find it reprinted in a probably unfindable trade called Daughters of the Dragon: Deadly Hands Special (2005) (apparently with the nudity redacted), and as a back up to Deadly Hands of Kung Fu (2014).

  2. Bizarre Adventures #25 by Chris Claremont, Marshall Rogers and Bob McLeod: This is more of the same. Misty's ex-girlfriend childhood friend, Angie, shows up and hits on her, Colleen is jealous. Turns out Angie is actually a vampire who wants to drink Misty's blood so that they can be together forever. Misty gets bit, but the Power of True Love wins out and Colleen is able to save her. Then they go hang out on the beach and talk about feelings. If you think that description's slashy, you ain't read nothing yet. Unfortunately, it's only been reprinted in Daughters of the Dragon: Deadly Hands Special (2005), so it's tricky to find.

  3. Daughters of the Dragon (2006) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Khari Evans: It's mostly an action/adventure story with a fair bit of cheesecake and a decent amount of stabbing. It's fun to see these two basically getting along and just getting the job done, and it has a few nice h/c moments and some backstory. Also it's easier to find (huzzah!).

  4. Heroes For Hire (2006) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Francis Portela and Billy Tucci: More a less a continuation of the last one, except there's a team. To be honest, I only like the first trade of this, which also happens to be a Civil War tie in. After that, it all gets rather grim: s bunch of people die, more are tortured, Misty and Colleen have a huge fight, and more or less break up.

  5. Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow (2010) by Jason Henderson and Ivan Rodriguez: Okay, so this is kind of depressing post-break up storyline, where Misty and Colleen at best make peace with not being a couple team any more, and is part of the largely pointless Shadowland event, but it does have more Colleen back story than anything ever, and after forty years, we finally find out things like who her mom was. It's collected in Shadowland: Street Heroes.

That sounds like too much work, just post some shippy scans!

How they met:
The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #33

The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #33

Hugging and crying:
The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #33
The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #33

That time Misty was kidnapped and turned into a vampire:
Bizarre Adventures #25
Bizarre Adventures #25

After an argument:
Daughters of the Dragon #5
Daughters of the Dragon #6

Agreeing about the SHRA:
Heroes for Hire Vol.2 #1

Fighting Hydra with Luke Cage:
Immortal Iron Fist #6
Immortal Iron Fist #6

So where's the fic?

Yeah, so there's not a lot of fic.

Here's the AO3 tag which has all of eighteen stories in it. There's a handful more in the friendship tag. (Disclaimer, I have a story in both links.)

I'm hoping that the Netflix Iron Fist series, which introduced Colleen, will lead to a bit more. As it stands, I'm hesitant to pick out specific recs when the collection's so small as it is. Go forth, enjoy. Find some fun stories. Write more!

(Originally posted on imzy here)

Date: 2017-04-12 09:26 pm (UTC)
dhampyresa: (Epic shit happening on the internet)
From: [personal profile] dhampyresa
I've been meaning to find comics about Coleen and Misty for ages, because I've always enjoyed seeing them pop up in various places, so thank you so much for the list!


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