Marvel Comics- Who are the Heroes for Hire?
Gas prices are going up, economy’s going down—how does any superhero make a living? Most of them are just heroes for free. Sorta. Tony Stark bankrolls everyone on the Avenger’s roster, and S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely pays well. But who pays the day-to-day street level heroes?
Well, usually no one. But Luke Cage, aka Power Man, had to make a living somehow! When he debuted in the 70’s, he was Harlem’s hero for hire, taking care of small time criminals in exchange for payment.
After teaming up with his business-minded partner Danny Rand, the Immortal Iron Fist, they created the official company called Heroes for Hire.
It’s not always easy being super-powered. You have villains coming after you, and there’s a whole pecking order of people who take to fighting you just because you’re strong or clever. It’s not an easy life. And with all the things you own constantly breaking just cause you don’t know your own strength? Well, Sweet Christmas, something’s gotta pay the bills. So Luke Cage started a superhuman security and private investigation service called HEROES FOR HIRE.
The company only got better when Iron Fist signed on. The team usually has a rotating roster of heroes and anti-heroes, all just trying to make a living while doing some good for the city.
They’ve not just been hired on the street level, though. These heroes have been hired by the High Evolutionary to help him fight against Exodus and the Man-Beast. After the events in Civil War, and the Superhuman Registration Act was passed, Misty Knight brought the Heroes for Hire together to defend against the villains taking advantage of the situation. Misty Knight led the Heroes for Hire through many iterations, fighting against the Purple Man, Zebediah Killgrave, and all of his attempts to rule the criminal underworld.
Heroes for Hire has had all sorts of costumed heroes passing through the ranks, including Spider-Man. At one point, Deadpool tried to start his own Heroes for Hire, called Mercs for Money! Let’s take a look at the most notable vigilantes to ever sign themselves up with the Heroes for Hire.
Real Name: Carl Lucas (formerly)
Alias: Power Man
Abilities: Superhuman strength, unbreakable skin, accelerated healing factor
Luke Cage was the original Hero for Hire. His debut solo series comic was called Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, wherein a Super Soldier serum experiment gone wrong granted him strength and invulnerability. When he escaped from Seagate Prison, he immediately started tackling the street-level threats in his home town of Harlem.
Real Name: Daniel “Danny” Thomas Rand-K’ai
Alias: Immortal Iron Fist
Abilities: Skilled martial artist, utilizes chi energy to use the power of the Iron Fist
Iron Fist was a founding member of Heroes for Hire, with Luke Cage. He was already a business owner, having inherited the Rand Corp. company, so he knew how to help Luke Cage get the business going. He founded the team in Power Man and Iron Fist #54, published in 1978.
Real Name: Mercedes “Misty” Knight
Alias: Misty Knight
Abilities: Skilled martial artist, Bionic right arm
Misty Knight is an investigator and police officer with a powerful bionic right arm. One half of the Daughters of the Dragon, she’s a skilled and no-nonsense martial artist and crimefighter. She joined the Heroes for Hire in Heroes for Hire #4 in 1997.
Real Name: Colleen Wing
Alias: Lady Samurai
Abilities: Chi Control, expert martial artist
Colleen Wing has worked with Iron Fist in nearly every team that he’s been in. It only makes sense that she would continue to work with him in Heroes for Hire, starting in Heroes for Hire #10 in 1997. She also makes up the other half of the iconic Daughters of the Dragon duo with Misty Knight.
Real Name: Johnny Blaze
Alias: Ghost Rider
Abilities: Penance stare, hellfire weaponry, immense strength and agility, immortality
After making a deal with the demon Mephisto, Ghost Rider became a Spirit of Vengeance, with hellish mystical powers strong enough to face off with the Hulk. He joined the Heroes for Hire in issue #2 in 2011.
Real Name: Scott Edward Harris Lang
Abilities: Size-shifting to subatomic and giant sizes, telepathic communication with ants
Scott Lang is the second Ant-Man, after Hank Pym, who uses the Pym particles to size-shift and command a fleet of ants. This reformed thief and electronics expert joined the Heroes for Hire in issue #6 in 1997.
Real Name: Samuel “Sam” Thomas Wilson
Abilities: Flight via wing harness, empathetic link with birds and pet falcon, can see through eyes of nearby birds
Real Name: White Tiger
Alias: White Tiger
Abilities: Super Hearing and Smell, Shapeshifting into a tiger or weretiger, resistance to mental powers
One of the heroes known as White Tiger was originally an actual white Bengal tigress. The High Evolutionary needed someone to right his wrongs and hunt down the evil Man-Beast, another creation of his, and so he changed her into a woman capable of shapeshifting and immune to mental control. She joined the Heroes for Hire in issue #1 in 1997.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be a P.I. like Luke Cage? Test your sleuthing skills when you search our website for all your favorite heroes as exciting Marvel collectibles. You can also learn more about the Heroes for Hire in our Top 10 Marvel Mercenaries podcast.
What would you name your private investigation company? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to let your Geek Sideshow!