Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Early Black Comic Book Heroes: Misty Knight (4/6)

Published just before the two issues of Deadly Hands of Kung Fu featured in the previous Out Of This World posts was X-Men 102, in which Misty Knight and Jean Grey became room-mates! For a while Misty would feature in the New X-Men Phoenix saga, but not just yet.

Iron Fist continued to be the main vehicle through which Misty became established in the Marvel Universe. Issue 11 saw her reappear as a major character in the plot. By now something of a romantic relationship seems to be on the cards between Misty and Danny (Iron Fist). Danny is troubled, and spilling his guts to Misty, when their stroll in the park is interrupted by the resurgence of the Wrecking Crew, a super-powered bunch of vandals/hoodlums out for revenge on Thor!

Problem: The Wrecking Crew is after kidnapping Dr. Don Blake. The park is outside the hospital. Misty and Iron Fist are way out of their league with these particular bad guys, but the hospital is full of vulnerable people who stand to get very hurt if things get out of hand. But with no other superheroes in the vicinity, Misty and Iron Fist are all they've got between them and the insane super villains.

Iron Fist gives it his best shot, but it's not enough. The Wrecking Crew takes Misty hostage, and Iron Fist has to agree to get the baddies into Avengers Mansion so they can lay a trap for Thor. One parting condition, though - Iron Fist has to kill any Avengers he finds there. Misty's horrified that Iron Fist would sell out the Avengers to save her, but she doesn't yet realize what Danny's plan is.

In the next issue Iron Fist gains entrance to the Avengers Mansion, and explains everything to Captain America, after the two have slugged out their introduction to each other. Cap agrees to play dead, and be the Avenger Iron Fist found and killed when he entered the Mansion. The Wrecking Crew are extremely powerful, but not particularly smart, so they fall for it. The result? Wrecking Crew vs. the Avengers version of the Danger Room, designed to give guys like Thor a workout! Trouble is, Iron Fist and Cap are in there as well, and have to dodge the attentions of The Wrecking Crew and the Danger Room just to stay alive. Misty is still outside the door, not fully aware of what's really going on, a little mad at being excluded, and worried about Danny's safety.

Misty waits as long as she can bear, then wrenches the door open with her bionic arm, to find that it's all over. The Wrecking Crew are subdued, and Iron Fist and Cap are none the worse for wear. Danny and Misty walk off arm in arm, to begin what looks like it could develop into a serious romance.

Iron Fist 13 begins with Misty and Danny at the docks. Misty wants to talk to Iron Fist about a dangerous assignment she's been asked to take on, but before any discussion can take place, Iron Fist is attacked by Boomerang.

This encounter sees Danny barely escape with his life. But as he and Misty talk, the subject matter moves from his survival onto saving a friend whom Misty can't accept. Terrorist bombers are one category of person Misty doesn't tolerate, especially since it was one of their kind that cost her her real arm. Danny makes the mistake of giving Misty an ultimatum, which of course she is going to refuse, and their fledgling relationship seems over at that point. Misty's gone, and Iron Fist continues his battle with Boomerang.

This turn of events, of course, frees Misty up for a new plot line - that assignment she was talking about, and we'll find out more about that in the next installment of the history of Misty Knight here on Out Of This World. We've learned here that anyone who wants a relationship with Misty is going to have to be willing for it to function on her terms. She has her gentle side, but she can take the heartache if necessary, and stand her ground firmly. Tough lady!

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