In Case You Didn't Know: Colleen and Misty are Awesome
It being Martial Arts Week, and all, it seems like an excellent time to finally post a story rather dear to my heart called "Daughters of the Dragon*" first published in Marvel's DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU magazine back in 1976.
If you're not familiar with DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU, I'll let Wiki explain it, because the editor's use of scare quotes is hilarious:
This magazine was published in the early 1970s amidst the "Kung Fu" or "Chopsocky" movie craze. Bruce Lee movies were scoring huge box-office grosses, and the Kung-Fu television series was being watched by millions. Billy Jack the half-Indian, Green Beret martial arts hero was making his appearance, and people were "shaking their booty" to Carl Douglas's hit "Kung Fu Fighting". Kung-Fu was on many people's lips and the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu was there to capitalize on it. [...] Each issue had various comic stories from the above mentioned characters, both single issues stories and multi-issue arcs. Most of the issues had some kind of martial arts movie review from a recently released film. Other issues had interviews with authentic Martial arts instructors, while others had interviews with movie or television celebrities related to martial arts.
Add Women By Claremont to the mix, and sounds like fun, don't it?
Our story begins in Hong Kong, with two women walking into a seedy bar.
Why are Colleen and Misty looking for this Vachon? Why, for honor of course.
It's funny, but for the detectives par excellence they're supposed to be, Colleen and Misty spend pretty much this entire story blundering around being fairly incompetent. I mean, yes, back in the 70s comic book characters were still allowed to screw up sometimes - even Batman got regularly captured - but these two sort of take it to extremes here.
Though they never screw up a moment when fighting.
Man, this art is ridiculous.
Did I not promise naked ladies? This story got reprinted in the recent Deadly Hands Special, complete with an underwear edit. Which I object to on principle, but in practice, it doesn't bother me here, since the hottest thing on this page is actually Colleen in that comfy-sexy shirt.
Anyway, Colleen tracks Chung to his ship in the bay (which is so packed with junks, sampans and other small boats that they can basically hop their way from one shore to the other without getting wet), and, once again, get in over their head and have to flee.
She does blast the ammo. It goes up bigger than expected, and both women get knocked into the water, unconcsious, by the force of the explosion, whence they're recovered by Vachon's men.
Vachon is not very nice to them.
So, they're there for a few days, which at the dose they're being given, is more than enough time to have them begging for the next fix (which sounds pretty expensive, frankly - Vachon's throwing good money after bad here if you ask me). Doc Hartmann there decides they're far enough along to indulge his depravity, and strips Colleen, telling her she'll get her smack when he gets her sex.
Misty decides that's about enough of that, breaks her chains, and snaps Hartmann's neck.
On the way out Misty runs into Chung, Vachon's 2IC (the guy with the electric bolo from earlier).
The ish is pretty much solid fight from here on out and I gotta crop something, so as fun as Misty vs Vachon is, we're going to jump ahead a bit to where Colleen joins the party, just in time to save Misty's life.
Nice of them to give us these little lessons in the vagaries of Asian weaponry as we go along, isn't it?
Sniping is a martial art, right?
I can add nothing to that, except to say that I truly love Chris Claremont.
* The first one, that is. Not to be confused with the second one printed later in BIZARRE ADVENTURES and subtitled "Safe Streets." Or the mini that preceded v2 HfH. The title seems to pop up a lot where these two are concerned.