Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32-33 Bizarre Adventures #25 (Daughters of the Dragon)
Issue(s): Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #33, Bizarre Adventures #25 (Daughters of the Dragon stories only) Cover Date: Jan-Feb 77, Mar 81 Title: "Daughters of the Dragon" / "Sword of vengeance" / "Safe streets" Credits:
Chris Claremont - Writer
Marshall Rogers - Penciler
Marshall Rogers / Bob McLeod - Inker
This reprint of some Daughters of the Dragon stories are some of the few issues from Marvel's B&W magazine line that are in my collection. The B&W line was not subjected to the Comics Code Authority, so the stories were allowed to feature semi-nudity, more explicit violence, and mature themes.
Colleen Wing takes Misty Knight on a trip to Japan. They went to visit Colleen's grandfather in an attempt to recover from the experience of mind-melding with Iron Fist, which was a major violation for her. However, it turns out her grandfather has been murdered, and she and Misty head to Hong Kong to avenge his death.
The Hong Kong in this story is very much like Claremont's Madripoor: full of seedy places, poverty, corruption, and plenty of angry thugs waiting around to get into fights.
As the two detectives start asking around for the man who killed Colleen's grandfather, they get into fights with the gang lord's thugs. During their first major fight, they both lose all their clothes.
Marshall Rogers describes it like this:
"Chris's plot called for Colleen and Misty to move from point 'A' to point 'B', fighting a $@%!load of bad guys along the way. My thought was, 'When a male protagonist was in that situation, nine times out of ten, he would end up with the shirt ripped off of his back. It would be very sexist of me to assume that a woman wouldn't fight as hard or be in a less precarious situation so...' the shirts were ripped off of their backs. Besides, the female form is enjoyable to look at and draw."
They are forced to flee to a police station, where they are re-clothed.
The police are very helpful considering the level of corruption in Hong Kong, and several of their officers are killed in a subterfuge attempt to protect the two Americans. After destroying the gang lord's arms shipment, they are captured and taken prisoner. With the intent to turn them into sex slaves, they are force-injected with heroin.
Misty tricks her captors into injecting her in her bionic arm, thus avoiding the affects, but Colleen is fully addicted and winds up begging for her heroin. After the mind-meld with Iron Fist, which was depicted almost like a rape, these scenes with Colleen are especially painful - how much abuse does Colleen need to be subjected to?
However, while Misty escapes and fights the gang leader's primary henchmen...
...Colleen is able to meditate and cleanse her body of the addiction. She is then able to fight the gang leader herself and avenge her grandfather's death.
Claremont has a nice narrative style and a good sense of plot pacing and nice twists. Rogers is a good artist, and there's definitely a difference in looking at art that was intended for black and white versus the photocopies or whatever that are used in the Essential reprints.
The one odd thing is Colleen's costume; i'm not quite sure what it's supposed to be but it looks like she's walking around with no pants.
The second story in this reprint deals with Misty meeting up with an old friend named Angie Freeman, who turns out to be a vampire. This is picking up on a story that Claremont wrote for Vampire Tales #6, which showed Angie becoming a vampire.
As we saw in the original story, she lives in a neighborhood of NYC that "keeps" the vampires in return for her keeping their streets free of crime. Misty gets bit by Angie and becomes her thrall, but she's able to resist when she goes to bite Colleen. Colleen and Misty then kill Angie, to the anger of the locals. As we saw in the original story, Angie was unwillingly made into a vampire, so she expresses her thanks when she is killed.
Quality Rating: B-
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue is referenced in Power Man #48 as something that Colleen has not yet recovered from. The Bizarre Adventures story was printed four years later, but is context free and fits fine here as well.
its a pity these have never been reprinted in essential format
Kveto from Prague |
May 13, 2011 8:30 PM
The topless shots actually got censored when reprinted in the mid-2000s.
Mark Drummond |
July 17, 2011 12:45 AM
Denny O'Neil was the originally announced writer for the Bizarre Adventures story.
Mark Drummond |
September 2, 2012 7:41 PM
And here's the story of why Marvel Preview became Bizarre Adventures: Cadence VP Milton Schiffman saw the nudity in "Paradox" in Preview #24 before publication, didn't like it, told Marvel circulation head Ed Shukin, and he threw a fit about it to Marvel B&W editor Lynn Graeme. She pointed out several concurrent nude flagellation panels in Savage Sword of Conan that nobody seemed to have trouble with in defense. So Jim Shooter, Stan Lee, Cadence president Jim Galton(Stan's boss) and Ed Shukin had a meeting and decided to "divorce" the B&W line from the regular Marvel Universe in order to avoid chances of children buying a B&W mag by mistake and getting **SCARRED**. They did do by cancelling Howard the Duck(which was announced to return in 1981 as a 75 cent quarterly, like King Conan),cancelling Hulk, renaming Preview as "Bizarre Adventures", and hastily sketching underwear on the naked ladies in SSOC. Two big ironies:1) No complaints about "Paradox" were ever received, and 2)"Bizarre Adventures" showcased Marvel Universe characters more than Marvel Preview ever did.
Mark Drummond |
September 7, 2012 5:27 PM
The hollowed out volcano fortress which is Emil Vachon's base here is later shown as a base for Matsuo Tsurayaba's branch of the Hand in Uncanny X-Men #255.
Wonder how they came to obtain it after his death?
The antigravity platforms in Vachon's base (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-brboQ-agXaI/ULvrLnTrkmI/AAAAAAAADMc/NBslS9MEEYw/s1600/kungfu3343.jpg) look nearly identical to the platform and setting that Carol Danvers in dancing on in her vision of being seduced by Shaw in Marvel Super-Heroes 11 / Ms. Marvel 25, which also takes place in Hong Kong.
Now that I think of it, the Lady Mandarin turn with Psylocke is a riff on the Carol/Dark Phoenix thing, using many of the Ms. Marvel 25 elements, including this base.
Walter Lawson |
September 1, 2014 1:36 AM
Now I'm wondering about what Mark Drummond claimed 4 years ago about Denny O'Neil being the original writer for the Bizarre Adventures story. I mean, it was obviously a sequel to the Vampire Tales story Claremont wrote. So was Denny being listed as the writer a mistake? Or was there another Daughters of the Dragon story that never saw print?
June 20, 2016 9:56 PM
Strangely, Angie Freeman seems (at least to me) to resemble Angela Bassett -- an actress who hadn't even made her debut yet! -- especially her ass-kicking role in 1995's 'Strange Days'.
June 21, 2016 8:36 AM
The Denny O'Neill announcement was made in the Comics Journal. I'm guessing it was another DoD story that he wasn't able to get done due to editorial commitments.
Mark Drummond |
June 22, 2016 10:48 AM
Pretty crap doctor to not realize he was injecting heroin into a bionic metal arm.
December 26, 2016 7:58 PM
This is one of those issues I managed to sneak into my parents' shopping cart when we'd go get groceries at Kroger and I'd stay by the magazine rack and look at the comics. I was a whopping 7 years old, although big and well-read for my age. After we got home, I read #32 and kept it hidden from the folks after taking in the "Knightwing" story. Seeing Misty and Colleen fighting in and running through the streets of Hong Kong made quite an impression on my tender young mind, needless to say. Unfortunately, the worn copy of DHOKF #32 would become the victim of a spring cleaning spree a few years later, along with my 1978 Nolan Ryan and Paul Molitor rookie cards. Needless to say, though I thought I was pretty smart as a youth, at that time I had no concept of value. Lessons learned.
Brian Coffey |
September 28, 2017 9:06 PM