Friday, February 11, 2011

Early Black Comic Book Heroes: Misty Knight (6/6) in Bizarre Adventures 25 - "Lethal Ladies - Daughters of the Dragon"

With the demise of the original Iron Fist series, Misty made appearances in Powerman and then Powerman and Iron Fist. As one half of The Daughters of the Dragon, her next story with Colleen Wing was in this all ladies issue of Bizarre Adventures (March 1981). And bizarre adventure it is alright. We're introduced to an old college friend of Misty's, Angie Freeman, who has, unfortunately, become a vampire! Read on...

Misty doesn't really know what happened yet, but as time goes on she'll come to understand that Angie has used her vampire abilities to bring Misty under her control. She's preparing Misty as a sacrifice in exchange for the protection of the local community from criminals!

Right now Colleen would make a great partner for Blade the Vampire Slayer, but she has to go this one alone. Sure enough, Misty's all set to become the new vampire on the block. Colleen's martial arts kit is vampire slayer oriented, and against huge odds she goes into action.

Misty's strong friendship with Colleen gives her enough strength to fight back against Angie's influence. When Colleen is downed, Misty picks up the battle, and finally releases Angie from her vampire hell with an improvised stake through the heart, courtesy of her bionic right arm. Colleen finishes the job by beheading Angie's body with her samurai sword. Strangely, the heroines aren't appreciated by the local populace, who were happy being indebted to vampires in exchange for freedom from criminals. Not a bad deal, actually when you think about it. No wonder they're angry at Misty and Colleen.

The girls get a well-deserved break on some tropical island. But even though they could relocate their business there if they wanted, Misty feels obliged to return to New York and help the people whose vampire protectors she and Colleen vanquished.

Merging kung fu and vampire slaying seems like a good combination on the basis of this issue. I wonder if there were subsequent team-ups with The Daughters of the Dragon and Blade the Vampire Slayer. In keeping with the other comics featuring Misty Knight that Out Of This Word has looked at in the previous 5 posts, this story simply presents African American and white/Asian in harmony. Race hasn't been an issue in any of these stories. Misty is an example, at least from what we've examined, of a simple passive approach to racial integration in comics, showing members of different races happily integrated as members of some overarching category, be it human or American, that puts race in a subordinate position. It seems, from her personality and activities, that Misty Knight is as much a feminist heroine as one promoting racial harmony.


  1. I still own a copy of this one. Great, solid mag. Gulacy cover is perfection. Thanx for the memories !

  2. Lysdexicuss: I had to re-buy this one recently, after realizing its significance as a relatively early appearance of an African American heroine in comics. It's for a writing project I'm working on. This and other earlier b&w mags from the 1970s that I've been reading recently, are giving me a new perspective on the Bronze Age.