Misty Knight and Colleen Wing debuted in 1972 and 1974 respectively and seem to epitomize the culture of the time. (Blaxploitation, the popularity of martial arts due to Bruce Lee, and the female empowerment brought upon by the creation of 'the pill'). And while I cannot attest to their popularity levels between then and now (is there a place to look up sales records for comic book characters? would be interesting.) I can tell you I have read some of the current Daughters of the Dragon and Heroes for Hire (love Dr Pepper/Marvel Online Unlimited promos, thanks Avengers) and I think they were awesome. The right mix of action, sexuality, and humor. So now without further ado, I give you...
Daughters of the Dragon
Int. Nightwing Investigations Office- Night
Our favorite big afro-sporting private detective Misty Knight sits at her desk. A single desk lamp illuminates her features. Her left arm holds her cell to her ear.
Voice (off-panel): You told me to call.
Voice (off-panel): He made parole.
Misty is unmoved at her desk, but she has put down the cell phone and now hangs her head as if a heavy emotional weight has landed on her shoulders.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): Jimmy ‘Free Bird’ Byrd is a free man after nearly 40 years.
Int. A posh San Francisco Nightclub in the height of the disco era- Night
Soul Sister Misty Knight, looking stunning in an orange and red disco inferno bell-bottomed jumpsuit, is heating up the dance floor with her red-haired Asian-American partner Colleen Wing who is styling and profiling in a Go-Go Mod Mini dress complete with matching white thigh high boots and a big old floppy hat. Maybe Misty’s jumpsuit has too big of a diamond pattern cut out the center for her ample cleavage to show through or perhaps Colleen’s dress is a little too short to get up and get down, but it’s San Francisco at the height of the sexual revolution and the crowd; they dig it.
The crowd, specifically, include a barely twenty-something muscular white boy named FREE BIRD looking all sorts of Dennis Hopper circa Easy Rider, the black turtleneck under black leather jacket headband-around-his-large-afro BLACK DOG, and the waif-thin innocent blonde in jewelry-laden cornrows SISTER GOLDENHAIR. These three hover around our heroine’s like white on a polyester jacket but our ladies just keep shaking their groove thing.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): I remember when we first met Jimmy back in the day.
Int. Free Bird’s yellow & black 1970 Dodge Challenger RT- Night
All five people are crammed into Jimmy’s Dodge with Black Dog and Sister Goldenhair making out in the backseat with Colleen laughing beside them and Misty in the front beside Free Bird. Misty is giving Free Bird her best ‘Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir’ look and Free Bird is holding her gaze with a cocky grin when he’s supposed to be driving.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): Colleen and I had just started our private detective agency while Jimmy and his friends had just started some big time grifting.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): I think we were all in it for the thrill.
INT. FREE BIRD’S Apartment- Night
Free Bird sits on the couch with a beer while Misty is shadow dancing in front of him. The lighting is dark but the mix of lava lamps around the room throw up some wild shadows on the walls. Colleen is sitting at the Formica and steel kitchen table set against the exterior window with Black Dog and Sister Goldenhair. All sort of drug paraphernalia litters the small surface. Outside the red neon of San Francisco’s Chinatown district beckons.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): We went undercover when they decided to con a “connected” Chinese family. If we could find the money first, we could save Jimmy and his friends from a Triad hit squad.
Sister Goldenhair is bent over the table with a straw to her nose and the other end of the straw dipping off panel. The closed eyes and furrowed brow suggest she is enjoying whatever’s in the tube. Black Dog has a smug smile beside her as he waits for his turn.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): They had begun to experiment with drugs. Most kids their age were.
Sister Goldenhair and Colleen have embraced for a deep meaningful (i.e. sloppy open-mouthed) kiss. Black Dog has dipped his head down as he takes his turn with the straw. Sister Goldenhair has her arms wrapped lovingly around Colleen’s neck and Colleen has hugged the young blonde around the waist.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): But it was the 70’s, there was a lot of experimentation going on back then.
Misty has climbed onto the couch so that she is kneeling with a leg on each side of Free Bird, facing him. His hands instinctively have reached around to grab her backside. Sister Goldenhair is showing off some of her night moves as she is leading Colleen gingerly by the hand down the hallway while Black Dog follows as he is about to drop his leather jacket to the floor.
CAPTION (MISTY’S VOICE OVER): They were young and dumb; A great combination for someone to get hurt.
Misty has leaned in real close to Free Bird’s ear.
Misty: Do you know what I want?
Free Bird: What’s that?
Colleen is backing out of the bedroom into the hallway in only her bra and panties while pulling the door closed behind her.
Colleen: No, no. I’ll be right back. Keep going. I just wanna see if my girlfriend brought, y’know, protection.
Free Bird’s eyes are wide with fear as the implication of Misty’s request hits him.
Misty: The money.
Colleen has opened another door down the same hallway and open garbage bags overflow with money in every corner of the room.
Colleen: FOUND IT!
Free Bird has shoved Misty off of him with all of his might as he races like a bat out of hell to get to his feet.
Misty: Surrender Free Bi-AIIEEEEEE!
Black Dog and Sister Goldenhair have emerged barely-dressed out into the hallway behind Colleen who had heard Misty’s cry.
Black Dog: What’s the haps, man?
Free Bird is born to run, having jumped out the window to escape. Misty is already up on her feet about to go after him.
Misty: I’m fine. Secure the money, honey.
Sister Goldenhair has been shoved back into the left wall by Colleen’s foot in her abs while Black Dog is being pushed into the right wall by Colleen’s knee in his chest. Only through brute strength, extreme flexibility, and the force the scantily-clad Colleen is exerting on both is she able to keep herself in mid-air bridged between the two. With her free arm, Colleen has punched Black Dog in the face.
Black Dog: ARE YOU JIVIN’ ME?
Free Bird lays hurt on the pavement amongst the broken glass of the window. The looming foreign red neon of San Francisco’s Chinatown district seems to surround him on all sides. Misty has landed with the grace of a dancing queen behind him.
Misty: Save your strength, Free Bird. Look, it’s better this way. The Triad are after you, you made some powerful enemies.
Free Bird: We were just have fun.
A brusied, bloodied and broken Bird has been hoisted to his feet as Misty has cuffed his hands behind him.
Free Bird: Are they really coming after us?
Misty: Don’t worry. Misty has you now. I won’t let anything happen to you.
CAPTION (MISTY'S VOICE OVER): I thought we had saved them.
INT. KITSUNE’S Chinese Restaurant- Night
Jimmy Byrd, some 40-years older than the last we saw him, is holding a bottle of sake to his lips. He is obviously drunk
JIMMY: You said you wouldn’t let anything happen to us. You gave us your word, Misty. Where’s my crew? Where’s Roxanne?
Misty Knight, oddly not much older than last we left her, is seated at the bar beside him with a shot of scotch held up to drinking height but just can’t seem to bring the drink to her lips. Her clothing and her bionic right arm are the most telling signs of how time has passed by.
Misty: Oh Gawd, Jimmy. I’m sorry. I did the best I could. But Sister Goldenhair…er, Roxanne; she had an addiction. She died of a cocaine overdose shortly after they let her out.
Jimmy hangs his head in sorrow. Colleen stands on the other side of him.
Jimmy: I told them, Billy, Roxanne. I told them when I got out I’d make it all right. We are family, I said. How’s Billy taking her death?
Colleen: Black Dog? I’m so sorry, Jimmy. Didn’t anyone tell you? He contracted AIDS, died of pneumonia in ‘82.
Jimmy has stumbled off the barstool and half walks half falls into a table in the gaudy Chinese restaurant. Both Colleen and Misty attempt to help him.
Jimmy: Are you telling me I lived because I had the most warrants out for my arrest? I’m still here because I stayed in prison the longest???
Misty: That’s not how you need to look at things. You’re alive. You made real progress in prison and you now have a choice. You can be the new law-abiding citizen Jimmy Byrd or the old street hustler ‘Free Bird’.
Colleen: Please Jimmy. Come with us. What are you going to do?
Close on the drunk, disheveled Jimmy who even with mussed-up receding hair, wrinkled skin, and a wardrobe out of goodwill still maintains his trademark cocky grin.
Jimmy: Only thing I know how. Gotta keep on Hustlin’.
CAPTION (MISTY'S VOICE OVER): But some people don't wanna be saved.