Marvel Premiere #17-19
Issue(s): Marvel Premiere #17, Marvel Premiere #18, Marvel Premiere #19
...and a guy in a powered exo-skeleton...
...only to find that Meachum is already a broken man with a crippled body.
He got frostbite in the Himalayas and his legs had to be amputated, and he's spent the past ten years waiting for Daniel to come and kill him. Iron Fist decides not to kill him, but a ninja (or actually, The Ninja) shows up and kills him instead.
Harold's daughter Joy thinks Iron Fist did the killing, and swears vengeance on him.
She informs her uncle, Ward Meachum, about her father's death. He's less upset about it.
A woman named Colleen Wing arrives to help Iron Fist. No indication yet that she's actually a trained samurai warrior.
She provides a place for him to hide from the police at her father's house.
Her father is in need of protection as well since he has angered the Cult of Kara-Kai due to the fact that he has one of their books.
Iron Fist contacts Joy and tries to set up a meeting to convince her of his innocence, but she sets a trap for him instead. The Ninja appears and helps him get out of it before disappearing again.
The story is well told and contains plenty of fun martial arts fights.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Just to create some space between entries, i'm assuming that Iron Fist took some time to recover and plan after his fights last issue before raiding the Meachum building. Iron Fist is wanted for the murder of Harold Meachum after this arc, but the MCP does have him appearing in other books (like Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Special Album Edition #1 and Marvel Team-Up #31) before next issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Iron Fist vol. 1
Inbound References (5): showColleen Wing, Iron Fist, Joy Meachum, Lee Wing, Ninja, Princess Azir, Triple-Iron, Ward Meachum
The title of #17 most likely refers to the Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 19, 2011 11:47 PM
After watching the new Iron Fist Netflix series, at first I thought they'd changed Colleen Wing's ethnicity from white to Japanese so the show would have at least one heroic Eastern Asian character. Based on her appearances in X-Men and a few other '80s comics that I'd read, I was under the impression she was white. But looking at her first appearance here, looks like she was definitely meant to be Eastern Asian right from the start. But it seems to me that later on artists like Byrne started drawing her looking more white, for example giving her brown hair instead of black. Which is weird.
Also, according to the Marvel Wiki Colleen is Japanese in the comics too, but "Wing" and "Lee Wing" certainly aren't Japanese names. Were she and her father originally Chinese-American and then retconned to being Japanese at some point?
Posted by: Tuomas | March 27, 2017 5:09 AM
Colleen's entry in Marvel Universe claims that Colleen has a mixed racial background, and is partially Caucasian. I can't remember if this comes from the comics or not.
Posted by: Michael | March 27, 2017 7:40 AM
Reading fnord's reviews I get the impression the creators saw Colleen as Iron Fist's love interest early on. Possibly Doug Moench created her for that role and named her carefully.
Perhaps her name was supposed to show she's of mixed Irish/Chinese heritage? It could be later creators didn't always realise the Wings are Asian-Americans because of her hair and first name, and Professor Wing's glasses and scruffy don look.
As far as I know it was Chris Claremont who decided they were Japanese. Perhaps he assumed their Asian ethnicity hadn't been defined. Or he may have thought Professor Wing must be Japanese due to the Ninja storyline.
Colleen has Asian features in the Byrne/Chiaramonte panels in fnord's review of IRON FIST #5-7. The extracts implicitly represent her as Japanese. She uses a shuriken; the net tells me the kiai cry is Japanese in origin; and her skill with a sword recalls samurai films. Of course, they had swords in China too.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | March 27, 2017 8:16 AM
In Iron Fist #7, Colleen thinks to herself "Osama-san, you taught me for twelve years -- ever since I was old enough to hold a sword -- called me daughter and... lady samurai".
Her grandfather is confirmed to be Japanese and she's said to be half-Japanese on her mother's side in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 27, 2017 9:24 AM
Adding: this is just what i've found. I didn't see anything on Colleen's ethnicity earlier than IF #7 (e.g. nothing when we meet her or her father, and when Iron Fist mind-melds with Colleen in IF #6, her mother's funeral is depicted with a closed casket). But there may be a line of dialogue that establishes something after IF #7 but before DHOKF #32.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 27, 2017 9:37 AM
Okay, thanks for digging all that info... I guess the idea is then that Lee Wing is Chinese(-American), because that certainly sounds like a Chinese name, and Colleen is Japanese on her mother's side?
But it definitely seems to me that Byrne, as well as other artists that followed, later on forgot she's supposed to be ethnically Eastern Asian. I'm not saying an Asian character needs to look like a quasi-racist stereotype, but there are definitely certain visual cues used by superhero comic artists to denote Eastern Asian ethnicity, the most obvious of them being how the eyes are drawn. Compare the way Byrne draws Colleen and Mariko Yashida in the same issue (Uncanny X-Men #118) to see what I mean. That was one of the first stories featuring Colleen that I read, and nothing in that story, nor in her other X-Men apperances, made me think she's Asian-American.
And then in her later appearances, like the Byrne's Namor issues you've recapped, or Marvel Comics Presents #42 she looks totally white, with blue eyes and everything. So something weird seems to have happened with Colleen, as Marvel either forgot her original ethnicity, or deliberately changed it.
Posted by: Tuomas | March 28, 2017 5:27 AM
@Tuomas I can agree with that about Colleen's depictions. My first (and, for years, only) exposure to the character was in this shrunk-down, black-and-white reprint of UXM 123-124 (the first Arcade X-Men story) that appeared in a little pocket-sized paperback book that also had, I think, UXM 110 (I definitely have never understood why those three issues were smushed together). Anyway, Colleen appears there, and I don't think she looked Asian at all. Yes, the quality of the reprint was pretty bad and it probably wasn't easy to tell, but I saw nothing to really indicate to me that she was anything other than Caucasian. So I basically thought she was just some white chick for YEARS (I didn't know much about either Luke Cage or Iron Fist until several years later).
Posted by: J-Rod | March 28, 2017 10:21 AM
I was right, it was 110, 123, and 124. Inexplicably, the book has the opening splash page from Cockrum's UXM 107 as the cover... http://www.ebay.com/itm/Uncanny-X-Men-Tor-Books-Paperback-Reprints-110-123-124-1990-Claremont-Byrne-/182490626663
Posted by: J-Rod | March 28, 2017 10:25 AM
Thanks, fnord. I think that implies Claremont interpreted Professor Wing as of British descent. Apparently Wing can also be an English name.
The change in Byrne's Colleen might be partly due to different interpretations of his pencils by the inkers.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | March 29, 2017 10:10 AM
Colleen Wing isn't a samurai because Chris Claremont is not yet writing the book. Once he does, she becomes a trained samurai because that is the kind of thing he does. No one is just normal if you are a Chris Claremont main or major supporting character. Right now, Colleen is just a routine and predictable candidate for romantic involvement of the hero.
Colleen's father is obviously meant to be white based on his appearance. "Lee" is a normal English given name. Either short for Leland or in its own right. "Wing" sounds more like a Chinese name, but it too is a perfectly normal English surname.
I don't know what Colleen's racial heritage is meant to be in these first few issues, she could easily meant to be white. However, by the time I was reading comics in the eighties she was clearly established to be half Asian/half European ancestry. Colleen usually looked more European than East Asian, but often there was different look in the eyes to create the appearance of a slight Asian ancestry.
Posted by: Chris | October 29, 2017 6:48 PM
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