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Comic Book / Heroes for Hire

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Click to see the 2006 team 

Heroes for Hire is a group of super heroes of Marvel Comics. It has been published in sporadic periods through the years. The main idea is that this Punch-Clock Hero group that perform hero type services sometimes outside of the normal heroes' areas of expertise. At times even the title itself is an Informed Attribute depending on the incarnation of the group and story arc, though money is always a factor.

First there was just Luke Cage, the original hero for hire, then he teamed up with Iron Fist, and the two became synonymous with the title of being Heroes for Hire. Supporting characters Misty Knight, a detective and sometimes girlfriend of Iron Fist, her partner Colleen Wing, martial arts expert would at times team up with the main two but not become official members until the 2006 series where Misty Knight officially takes over the organization. Throughout the various runs various other characters would team up/work for the organization on different missions.


The group at first was restricted to the pages of Power Man and Iron Fist but would only get its first book under the name Heroes for Hire in the 1990s when the Fantastic Four and the Avengers were killed off after the Onslaught event, it featured a rotating cast of characters and lasted for 19 issues. A third run, without Cage or Fist, but starring Misty & Colleen, took place between Civil War and World War Hulk, it came out in 2006 and lasted 15 issues. A fourth run debuted in 2010, officially lasted 12 issues although it had a one-shot Spider-Island tie in and a spin off mini series titled Villains for Hire that closed off that run.

Misty Knight made her live action debut in Luke Cage (2016), the third of five planned Netflix shows set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as played by Simone Missick. Likewise, Colleen Wing made her debut in Iron Fist (2017).


Heroes For Hire contains examples of:

  • Afro Asskicker: Luke Cage and Misty Knight
  • All According to Plan: The Earth's collective hive recruited humbug to fight against the alien hive that come with Hulk. He goes along with it, but eventually he betrays everyone and join the alien hive. Does our hive have a back up plan for this? No, it's better. They were counting on humbug to betray them, and be selected as the host of the alien eggs. They poisoned him, and so both humbug and the alien eggs would die.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In the end of the 2006 run, Shang kills Humbug. He does not say anything before, during or after that. Was it a Mercy Kill? Or was it vengeance?
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: A dinosaur that had offspring with himself? Not terribly likely.
  • Attack Reflector: In the 1990s series, the Black Knight Dane Whitman gains the Sword of Light and the Shield of Night, where whenever the shield absorbs energy it channels it to the sword, which can then fire the energy back at the attacker.
  • Badass Bookworm: Tarantula is a trained martial artist and knife fighter. She also shows some knowledge in biology and engineering helping the heroes deduce how the Skrull organ transplant ring is doing their work.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Misty Knight and Iron Fist have this. They're an on-again off-again couple with a tendency to be a abrasive to one another in one moment and engaging in rough passionate sex in another.
  • Blood Knight: Tarantula in the 2006 series. Even when instructed not to kill she has not trouble gravely injuring an opponent much to her teammates' chagrin. Shang Chi grows worried that she is becoming a negative influence on him due to their mutual attraction.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: A ship with a huge bomb, heading to the Statue of Liberty, and with super heroes aboard? And they are not even tied or restrained in any way? Of course that the bomb would be disabled!
  • Bounty Hunter: That's what they are there for mainly in the 2006 incarnation.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Humbug can't seem to go one issue without someone insulting him.
  • Catchphrase: Misty in volume 3 has "Hello, hero. Are you for hire?"
  • Celibate Hero: Shang likes Tarantula, but refuses to accept that. Savage sex destabilizes his Chi.
  • Contemptible Cover: Issue 13 of volume 2, a tie-in for World War Hulk is infamous for depicting Black Cat, Misty, and Colleen surrounded by tentacles, looking more like the cover to a hentai manga than a mainstream superhero book.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Shang-Chi, a Kung-Fu master, against mad scientists, a sorcerer, an android (or whatever Ruby Thursday is), a man with the body of an adult gorilla, and a killer robot that had just murdered Orka. None of them stood a chance.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Lampshaded and inverted in a row by Paladin, when he fought Scorpion and got inside a warehouse of forgotten super-villain weapons. He took a random weapon, realized that it turns things into gold, and wondered what kind of fool could have had a ray to turn things into gold and use it for Bank Robberies. And then it hits him: "TURNS... THINGS... INTO... GOLD??? So Long, Suckers!, Screw This mission, I'm SO outta here! Subverted in that he doesn't know the transmutation is only temporary, and transformed items will crumble into dust after.
  • Doctor Whomage: Professor Justin Alphonse Gamble, an energetic, bizarrely dressed fat British man who pops up throughout the time stream, seen combating the incinerators who wheel around shouting their name at everything. Late of the Time Variance Agency, his mode of conveyance is a disappearing shop which helpfully changes to suit the time period. Clearly based on the Doctor, with probable special emphasis on the Fifth Doctor (the incumbent at the time of Gamble's first appearance, circa 1982).
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Ricadonna. She had no powers in the "Daughters of the Dragon" limited series (and even so, she managed to cut Misty's bionic arm), now she has super-powers.
  • Fanservice: The 2006 all-female team. The comic has an indecent amount of Male Gaze on Misty.
  • Genius Bruiser: Tarantula, who unexpectedly shows a level of intelligence similar to Reed Richards.
  • Hello, Sailor!: In the second volume of, the main characters find themselves in a stolen boat with the Coast Guard about to board them.
    Misty: What do we do?
    Colleen Wing: Relax, they're sailors. Just look cute.
    Shang-Chi: That might not work for all of us, Colleen.
    Black Cat: They are sailors, Shang.
  • Intro Dump: The first 2006 issue introduced everyone, narrated by Misty Knight.
  • Kneel Before Zod: The hive queen orders Humbug to accept her and kneel before her... and he does.
  • Licking the Blade: Tarantula licks her blades after one battle.
  • Lovely Angels: Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. The two of them happen to be so badass, even the Rhino is afraid of them. They are good friends and normally appear together, but the epitome of their Lovely Angels dynamic can be seen in Daughters of the Dragon.
  • Mission Control: Misty in the 2010 series, who is unable to enter the field because she's being held prisoner by the Puppet Master.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: The Heroes For Hire... and Paladin.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution
    • Paladin does not care about anything, as long as he gets paid. Bill Foster has died in the Civil War? The dinosaur is sad for being set apart from the ape? Who cares? Paladin only looks out for Nº one: himself.
    • The hive queen follows Hulk and Miek in their vendetta, but she's not interested in it. She's more interested in creating a new hive on planet Earth.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Cage is so dedicated to his job that he once shook down Dr. Doom himself for just $200 owed to him. Throughout the various other incarnations of the team, the dynamic has shifted a little now and then - to the point that in the latest version, "for hire" means "available to do a favor for Misty Knight".
  • Rotating Protagonist: This is the hook for the latest version of team: Misty Knight uses her contacts to "maximize the potential of [her] address book", calling in favors from different heroes in every issue. The only constant besides Knight herself is Paladin.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Don't tell the kid that the evil Doombot he has found is, well, evil. He thinks it's his best friend in the world.
  • Shout-Out: Several panels in the fourth series depict Misty Knight's lips near the microphone that she's using to contact the current hero, evoking similar imagery from the film The Warriors when the radio host is informing other gangs of the protagonists' whereabouts.
  • Spiritual Successor: The 2006 run is a successor of the "Daughters of the Dragon" limited series (with only Misty Knight and Colleen Wing doing work for hire, but without using the group's name). Humbug, Orka, Otis, Ricadonna, have all appeared there as well.
  • The Team Benefactor: Iron Fist would sometimes fund the group if Luke Cage was hardup for cash.
  • Token Minority: Played With. Shang-Chi was the only male member of the group during the Civil War.
  • Tranquil Fury: Averted. When the headmen killed Orka, Shang-Chi gave him his last rites (with the villains right there). When it was done, Otis reminded him that it was not the time for his Zen calm. Shang-Chi calmly agreed... and then all hell broke loose.
  • We Help the Helpless: Power Man and Iron Fist, though if the cause is just enough, they'll waive the fee.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Paladin betrayed the Heroes For Hire, but still, he gives them well-paid missions and in later incarnations is one of Misty's closest agents/friends.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Invoked. The owner of some jewelry hired the heroes because criminals stole his diamonds, and he wanted them back. They investigated, and discovered that the Grim Reaper and the Man-Ape were doing this to finance a terrorist campaign, and sought to blow up a bomb at the Statue of Liberty. In a frantic battle, the Heroes for Hire foiled their plan, got rid of the bomb, stopped the ship and saved the symbol of liberty in the free world! "Wow. What a story. And my diamonds?" A few lame excuses later, the man closed his portfolio with the money that he was going to pay, and walked away.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Misty Knight gave one of those to Iron Man for the death of Goliath during the Civil War.
  • World of Action Girls: The 2006 team was filled of girls: Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Black Cat and Tarantula. And none of them plays it soft, they all kick ass.


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