Colleen Wing has been a well-recognized and beloved character of Marvel fans since her debut in the 1970s. Though mainly known Misty Knight’s crime-fighting partner, Colleen has established herself throughout the comics as a skilled detective, exceptional martial arts fighter, Kenjutsu swordswoman, and respected leader. Originating in Iron Fist’s history, Colleen has become an established character in her own right with connections to the Heroes for Hire, the X-Men, the Avengers, and Spider-Man.
Colleen will make her premiere in the Marvel Universe the much-anticipated (and controversial) series Iron Fist. Her debut will certainly make her one of the newest characters that fans will come to love, if the clip released by Netflix is any indication. Since many non-comic book fans know very little about her, we will explore her history throughout the comics and the lesser known facts about her life.
Here are the 15 Things You Need To Know About Colleen Wing.
15. Samurai Ancestry And A Millenium-Old Katana
Descended from a family of Japanese samurai, Colleen Wing possesses some exceptional fighting abilities. She was trained by her grandfather, Kenji Ozawa, in northern Honshu, Japan. Not only was the maternal side of her family descendants of samurai and daimyo, but Ozama was also a member of the Japanese secret service. Her only living parent – her father Professor Wing – taught Oriental studies at Columbia University in New York and could not help in her upbringing. Since her mother had passed away while she was a child, Colleen’s grandfather dedicated his life to raising her.
After her grandfather was murdered by Hong Kong crime lord Emil Vachon, Colleen eventually moved to New York to join her father. In his passing, her grandfather bequeathed her with what would become her signature weapon: a 1000-year-old Meitou (or “noted sword”). With her samurai lineage and martial arts upbringing, Colleen gained the foundation for her future as one for Marvel’s most skilled heroes.
14. She Helped Train Iron Fist And Was His First Partner
In the upcoming Iron Fist series, some fans were surprised to see that Colleen Wing (and not Luke Cage) was playing a significant role in the show. However, this depiction mirrors the comic book origin stories for both heroes. Years before the Heroes for Hire team-up ever took place, Colleen Wing and Danny Rand (Iron Fist) began their hero journeys together.
Professor Wing initiated their first meeting while Colleen was visiting him in New York City. During his travels in Asia, he learned from a monk named Da Tempa about the young fighter and his training in the ancient city of K’un-Lun. After their initial meeting, Colleen assisted Iron Fist in defeating the Cult of Kara-Kai, an organization intent on destroying Danny’s former home.
Sharing a talent and love for martial arts, they began training together to hone their skills and share their techniques. Serving as his first partner, Colleen developed a close friendship with Iron Fist and frequently teamed up with him to help defeat his enemies.
13. Iron Fist Gave Her Superhuman Abilities By Accident
When Colleen Wing premiered in the comics, her greatest strength was her Japanese samurai training and excellent swordswoman skills. Unlike many of the heroes in the Marvel Universe, Colleen was a normal human being who possessed no additional supernatural or mutant abilities. However, her powers eventually changed due to the life-saving efforts of Iron Fist.
After being kidnapped by Danny’s enemy Master Khan, she was brainwashed into believing that he was her enemy. In a desperate attempt to free her mind, Iron Fist connected their minds with his powers and broke through to her consciousness. After recalling their shared memories and thoughts, Danny finally awakened Colleen and restored her sanity.
Since then, Colleen discovered she learned some of his K’un-Lun martial arts training. She also obtained the knowledge of chi control, which gave her enhanced abilities over her body. Her new powers included enhanced strength, self-healing, and the capacity to reduce her bodily functions to near zero when needed.
12. She Went Into Business With Misty Knight
Though Colleen allied with Iron Fist for years, she did not reach her true superhero status until her partnership with ex-NYPD cop Misty Knight. The two met when Misty saved her life during a gun battle, and they became close friends afterward. When Misty lost her arm in a bombing, it was Colleen’s support that gave her the strength to overcome depression and gain a new outlook on life.
Since both women possessed exceptional martial arts and fighting skills, they earned the nickname “Daughters of the Dragon.” First used as a sarcastic insult by the villain the Serpent in Marvel Team-Up #64, the moniker became well-known in the streets of New York.
They later transformed their partnership into the creation of a detective agency called Nightwing Restorations Ltd. Often partnered with the Heroes for Hire, these heroines maintained a successful business until the team broke up over Misty ‘s relationship with Tyrone King. After working separately for some time, they reformed Nightwing Restorations Ltd as a bounty hunting and bail bonds business.
11. She Was Once Addicted To Heroin
Colleen faced many precarious situations with her partner Misty Knight, including a face-off with recurring villain Emil Vachon, the man who murdered Colleen’s grandfather. However, this instance had lasting effects on Colleen Wing and led to her becoming addicted to heroin. After being kidnapped, Colleen and Misty were forced to bathe and dress for a formal dinner with Emil. He advised the two heroines that he planned to make them develop an addiction to heroin and then sell them as slaves. They attempted to escape, but their captures chained them in a room to begin their heroin treatments.
Over the next several days, they became addicts and even resorted to willingly shooting themselves up. As the onsite physician, Dr. Hartmann, tried to force himself on Colleen, Misty broke free from the restraints and killed him. Luckily, he had been injecting the heroin into her bionic arm, so she was unaffected by the drug.
Colleen, however, struggled to break her addiction. By undergoing deep meditation, she was able to take control over the addiction long enough to help Misty defeat Emil. After the fight, she noted that she had officially conquered her addiction.
10. She Was The Key Connection In The Creation of Heroes For Hire
As one of the great duos of the Marvel Universe, Iron Fist and Luke Cage (better known as the Heroes for Hire) came to exist through mutual connections with Colleen Wing. Once she introduced her close friends Misty Knight and Iron Fist to each other, they began dating. Then, because of Misty Knight’s history with villain John Bushmaster, Luke Cage became a new face in their world.
Luke Cage was pressured by John to kidnap Misty Knight. Luke stormed into Danny’s apartment to kidnap Misty but found Colleen instead. As he tried to capture her, Colleen got away long enough to call Misty’s apartment and ask for help. After Misty arrived, she fought Luke but was knocked unconscious. Iron Fist entered to assist with Colleen’s rescue and began fighting Luke. However, he overpowered Danny and wrapped his hand around his throat. While choking him, Luke realized he was not a killer and came to his senses. After the fight ended, the group decided to join forces and helped Luke clear his name.
9. She Has Partnered With Many Heroes Throughout The Marvel Universe
Colleen Wing’s initial appearance in Marvel Premiere #19 in 1974 relegated her into the role of Iron Fist’s sidekick. She eventually started showing up more after meeting and partnering with Misty Knight. Her partnership with the Heroes for Hire helped to expand her presence in the Marvel Universe and led to her involvement with many other superheroes.
When Iron Fist fought Steel Serpent and got severely injured, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing partnered with Spider-Man to help take the villain down. Later, she traveled to Japan with the X-Men and Sunfire to defeat Moses Magnum. In fact, during this job, she first noticed and flirted with X-Men hero Scott Summers. She has even been caught in a fight with Wolverine’s nemesis Sabretooth.
During the Onslaught Crisis storyline, Colleen helped Misty, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage form an expanded Heroes for Hire team with new members, including Ant-Man, Deadpool, She-Hulk, Brother Voodoo, Black Knight, Human Torch, and Shang-Chi.
8. She Was #TeamIronMan During The Civil War Arc
Though the Daughters of the Dragon and the Heroes for Hire partnered together for years, they found themselves on opposing sides during the Civil War comic book event. During this series, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight sided with Iron Man on the Superhero Registration Act. In fact, they were among the 142 registered superheroes that signed up during the Initiative.
Tony Stark, Spider-Man, and Reed Richards contacted Colleen about creating a new version of the Heroes for Hire to assist with their efforts. The creation of this team was necessary because Iron Fist and Luke Cage opposed the law and were helping heroes fight back against the forced registration.
The new group was formed to help locate any superhumans that refused to comply with the new act. Their team included Black Cat, Paladin, Okra, Tarantula, Humbug, and Shang-Chi. Though successful in their efforts, the new team divided due to some of Misty Knight’s questionable decisions as their leader. Colleen Wing eventually walked away from the group, leading to their disbandment.
7. She Led Her Own All-Female Ninja Team With The Hand
Other than her samurai ancestry, Colleen Wing knew very little about her mother’s past. However, Daredevil shared the secrets of her history in the short-lived 2010 Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow comics. He revealed to Colleen that her mother was once part of the supervillain organization The Hand.
According to Daredevil, Azumi Ozawa was initially trained by her father Kenji (Colleen’s grandfather) in the ways of the samurai, but she decided to join the criminal group instead. Within the Hand, she joined an all-female group of fighters known as the Nail, a faction that had existed for the last 1,000 years. During her time with the organization, their secret identities were revealed, and the members, including Azumi, were killed one-by-one.
Daredevil then offered Colleen the same opportunity as her mother, and she soon became the new leader of the Nail. Her team consisted of fighters Yuki, Cherry Blossom, Black Lotus, and Makro. During her brief time with the team, Colleen eventually betrayed them, and they turned on her. In the end, she was allowed to leave the group permanently.
6. She Used To Date Cyclops
Colleen Wing’s romantic history included a brief relationship with X-Men leader Cyclops. Jean Grey (who was also Misty Knight’s roommate in the comics) and Cyclops were dating when the epic Phoenix Saga and Dark Phoenix Saga took place. During these storylines, the Phoenix Force joined with Jean Grey and the two committed heinous murders and caused devastation throughout the universe. This destructive behavior continued until Jean Grey selflessly committed suicide to save the world from the Phoenix.
So when he met Colleen Wing, Cyclops was coming to terms with his feelings for Jean. In his mind, Jean was no longer the woman that he had fallen in love with and he decided to move on. Their relationship did not last long, though, once Cyclops discovered that Jean Grey was still alive. Cyclops realized he was not over Jean and promptly broke up with Colleen to reunite with Jean Grey, his true love. Poor Colleen got dropped like a bad habit.
5. In Another Universe, She Was Married To Iron First
Though Colleen Wing and Iron Fist maintained a very close friendship, they never tried to develop it into a romantic relationship. Their romantic possibility was not explored until the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series which was published from 2000 to 2011. During the arc, Iron Fist has been recruited by Daredevil to join his team and take down Kingpin. However, by issue# 107, he has betrayed the group and informed Kingpin about their existence. He explained that Kingpin had blackmailed him and threatened to kill his daughter if he did not comply. Choosing his daughter’s life over the plans of the group, he had no choice but to reveal their secrets.
However, Iron Fist assisted with the team capture of Kingpin’s wife, Vanessa Fisk. They threatened to take life in exchange for his confession. After Kingpin had declined to confess, Daredevil forced the couple to leave the country permanently. In the end, Kingpin’s crimes were revealed after Ronin admitted that Kingpin tried to have him killed. As the storyline closed, we get a quick glimpse at Iron Fist with his daughter and wife, Colleen Wing.
4. She Has Been Killed By Misty Knight
During the Age of Apocalypse storyline, many heroes found themselves pitted against their former allies and friends. Colleen Wing’s relationship with Misty Knight was truly tested in their appearance in the Tales of the Age of Apocalypse comic in issue #2. While traveling to Canada, they were taken by Scavengers working for Apocalypse.
They were brought to one of Apocalypse’s breeding pens, here people were brutalized, tortured, and experimented on throughout the invasion. Misty Knight was eventually able to escape with the help of Scott and Alex Summers but found her friend Colleen, chained and lifeless. She said her goodbyes and left, thinking Colleen was dead. However, the deceased were reanimated because of the Brood DNA and began to attack the group of survivors. This group included a now Brood version of Colleen Wing.
3. There Was A Daughters of The Dragon Tv Show In The Works
The dynamic Daughters of the Dragon have long been a favorite team of many Marvel fans. Maybe it was this popularity that almost led to the first live-action depiction of the duo on television. Back in 2001, several Marvel TV projects were in the works, according to an article on Comics Consortiuum. Along with new seasons of the animated shows X-Men-Evolution and Spider-Man Unlimited, Rick Ungar, former president of the Marvel Character Group, stated that some live-action shows were in the works for Thor, Nick Fury, and Mutant X.
He also mentioned that one of the shows was “Daughters of the Dragon, based on the comic book that starred Iron Fist supporting characters Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. However, the TV show will feature three characters and Misty Knight will not be one of them because of a feature-film conflict.” After this 2001 interview, no further updates were given for the show, and it never came to pass. Hopefully, this will be a project that Marvel revisits in the future.
2. There Is A Colleen Wing Easter Egg In the Luke Cage Series
Last year, Netflix premiered the superhero show Marvel’s Luke Cage to critical acclaim. Audiences were introduced to Luke, Misty Knight, and other characters from their world. However, with the introduction of one-half of the popular duos of Heroes for Hire and Daughters of the Dragon, fans expected to see the inclusion of Danny Rand and Colleen Wing. Unfortunately, their presence did not fit into the overall storyline for the show.
However, viewers were treated to an Easter egg that hinted at the future of Colleen Wing’s inclusion in the Luke Cage world. In the last episode of the series titled “You Know My Steez,” one of the final shots showed Claire Temple (played by Rosario Dawson), passing an advertisement for self-defense classes taught by Colleen Wing and taking one of the phone number slips. Not only did this serve as a hint at Colleen’s arrival but to the upcoming new Iron Fist series as well.
1. Iron Fist Will Be Her First Live Onscreen Depiction
With the arrival of the next Netflix original series, Marvel’s Iron First, we finally get the first onscreen portrayal of Colleen Wing. In the past, she has only made appearances in several Marvel video games including Marvel Heroes and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Actress Jessica Henwick will portray Colleen Wing alongside Finn Jones as Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist. Known for her roles in Game of Thrones and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Henwick’s portrayal will introduce Colleen as a samurai fighter who owns her own dojo in New York City. Though this portrayal does not mirror their relationship in the comics, it will establish Colleen as an essential part of Iron Fist’s establishment as a hero.
Moreover, we already have confirmation that Henwick will return as Colleen in Marvel’s The Defenders series so fans could see the first live onscreen depiction of the Daughters of the Dragon. Though the show will focus on the partnership between Iron Fist, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, we cannot help but hope for hints of Nightwing Restorations Ltd and Heroes for Hire.
Iron Fist will premiere on Netflix on March 17. The Defenders will premiere in Summer 2017.
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