Heroes for Hire #11

Issue Date: 
May 1998
Story Title: 
Misalliances: Conclusion
Staff: 

John Ostrander (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), John Babcock (letters), Mark Bernardo (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The Heroes for Hire and the Wild Pack start fighting each other. Deadpool and Madcap especially enjoy each other’s beating, as neither of them can get really hurt. But not after long, most Heroes end up defeated. Only Deadpool is left standing, but he teleports away into safety. While the others imprison the defeated Heroes, Silver Sable tells Sandman that he can go to that Avengers meeting, thinking the prime problem has been dealt with. He leaves and, not much later, Sable goes to take Danny out of his cell, wanting to talk to him privately. Once Luke is gone, Luke has enough of the faking and breaks himself free. He is contacted by the Master, who reveals to Luke that Hessler was a former employee of his, until he learned that his genetic research work would be used as a weapon by the Master. And now, he wants Luke to install a controller’s disk in Hessler’s brain, so the Master can learn what Hessler knows about, as his knowledge is vital to the Master’s eventual plan. Luke does as told. After the other Heroes for Hire are freed, they locate Hessler in his lab. Back at the Oracle, Inc. base, Jim gets the visit from White Tiger, Thena and her kids who get briefed about the bad situation. Also, Ant-Man learns that Luke has been requesting information about Hydra on the base’s personal computers, and that the files can only be summoned by Luke himself. Fist and Sable show up and inform everyone about the truth about Hessler, but at that moment the Master reveals himself and the fact that Luke is a traitor working for him. The Heroes gather around Luke ready to take him out, but the Master sends help so Luke can install the disc and download the knowledge. After that, both the soldiers and Luke teleport away. Content at his success, the Master reports to his other secret agent, namely Jim Hammond! He orders Jim to lead the Heroes back to him and, once they are at his citadel they shall all be killed, especially Iron Fist.

Full Summary: 

Deadpool and Macap, sitting in a tree. F-I-G-H-T-I-N-G. Okay, okay, okay. If it’s not a tree, it’s a secluded monastery in Symkaria, but people say that this is a “retro” type summary and we were doing a childhood taunting song. But you know, it was for Nostalgia’s sake. Hey so sue us, it was a nice opening!

Deadpool and Madcap are facing each other. Wade shouts that he can’t be killed, as he heals quick. Madcap replies he can’t be hurt because he doesn’t feel pain. So, it’s time for them to paaartaay! And so, the battle between the Heroes for Hire and the Wild Pack begins.

Misty faces Paladin and manages to shoot the guy’s gun out of his hands. Paladin doesn’t waste any time, and takes a brick nearby and throws it towards Misty’s direction. Misty thinks that’s nice, but thinks nobody informed Paladin about her bionic arm and easily demolishes the brick! Both Paladin and Misty think this is going to be harder than either of them thought.

The two martial artists, Iron Fist and Shang-Chi, stare at each other for a while. They gracefully bow, and start hitting and kicking each other, before they eventually realize they are equally strong. Deadpool takes out a flamethrower and burns Madcap’s butt with it. Colleen holds her knife against Silver Sable’s throat, thinking she must want to give up now. Of course that’s unlikely, and Sable hits Colleen in her face. The two girls start fighting each other.

Luke gets attacked by Sandman, but a mass of concrete isn’t going to stop him. Sandman laughs that he knows more than one way to beat Luke, knowing that muscles don’t mean anything if someone can’t breath. So, Sandman starts throwing lots of sand around, and captures Luke in a sandstorm until he’s knocked out. He notices his boss in trouble, and also throws a lot of sand of Colleen. Sable thanks Sandman for the help and finishes her battle by kicking Colleen down.

They both rush to attack Misty, who gets distracted. That’s all Paladin needed, and he manages to knock her out. Iron Fist gets worried about her, hence giving Shang-Chi the free opportunity to hit him again, until Fist is down. Shang-Chi quotes that the mistake of caring is to leave one-self open to distraction, meaning getting vulnerable. The Wild Pack notice Madcap, who warns them that Deadpool is a bad boy and deserves a beating. They gather around and are ready to take the merc down. Deadpool notices that he’s a desperate one in a desperate situation. And, when the going gets desperate, the desperate himself gets ready to teleport into safety! And so Wade does and vanishes from sight.

Sable orders her team to pick up the heroes that are defeated, and mentions that she’s going to have some questions for them once they wake up. She mentions to Sandman that he can go to that Avengers meeting after all as she thinks the main target has been neutralized. And, Sable also wants someone to explain why she thought she hired Nomad and wound up with Madcap!

Meanwhile, a plane lands on the roof of Oracle, Inc. White Tiger, Thena and her kids walk out of it, having dropped by for a visit. Tiger meets up with Jim, thanking him for letting them borrow his plane. Jim wants to deal with that later, mentioning they’ve got a situation as a part of the team is down. Tiger immediately worries about Iron Fist. Jim explains that he, along with the other members of this team, are captured. He’s planning on seeing if he can get field a rescue team together, that is unless everyone isn’t off at that Avengers meeting.

Ant-Man isn’t, who is busy at the computer room of the base. He has found a compute,r which seems to be the terminal Cassie told him about, namely the one that she was looking at before she was swallowed up by the Super-Adaptoid. He accesses a file, which is labeled as Hydra-island, the former base of the subversive organization Hydra, which later sunk by the forces of SHIELD. Its current status is that it’s rising from the seabed, as per schedule. Scott asks the computer why it’s tracking this and on who’s authority. The computer apologizes, but that information is only available to one person. Scott wants to know the name of that user. The computer reveals it’s… Luke!

Back at Symkaria, Iron Fist wakes up in a cell. He sees Luke chained on a wall, and he doesn’t know where either Misty or Colleen are, and has absolutely no idea of what happened to Deadpool. And his head feels like someone is chopping it off with a dull icepick! Suddenly, the door opens. It’s Silver Sable, who claims to just be there to talk. Guarded by Shang-Chi, Sable tells Iron Fist that, if he can give her his word that he won’t try to escape, they can perhaps sort things out. Iron Fist agrees. He’s not convinced, but since all bets are off he has no choice. Sable warns that if Fist does try to escape, she’ll have to kill him. She and Danny take off and close the door again.

Luke wakes up, having enough to have to pretend to be knocked out while he isn’t. He gathers enough strength to break free from his chains, and contacts the Master. He reports that he’s in the dungeon like the Master wanted and thinks that maybe now he wants to tell him what this situation is all about. The Master agrees. He explains that it concerns the scientist that is hiding at the base, namely Professor Wolfgang Hessler. Hessler was in the Master’s employ, at least until recently. Hessler, however, didn’t know it was the Master he was working for, or the nature of his plans. When Hessler did become aware of them, he fled to his homeland of Symkaria for protection.

The Master warns Luke that Hessler’s plans are vital his plans. He informs Luke he must use the controller’s disc to download what Hessler knows. The Master orders to leave this channel open and promises he’ll send help, warning that everything else is secondary. Luke jokes that something primary is getting out of his cell, and kicks its door open!

Elsewhere at the base, Misty and Colleen are being interrogated by Madcap. They won’t confess and Madcap quotes that, if that’s the case, they shall use the pluffy pillows! And, if those are not enough, they shall use the comfy chair! Misty hates the lousy Monty Python routines Madcap is quoting. She thought torture was against the Geneva Convention.

Suddenly, there’s a knock on the door. Madcap wonders who’s there. He opens the door, and… looks at himself! Surprised, Madcap wonders who the person really is, but then gets knocked out! Deadpool reveals himself, joking that being Madcap made his image inducer want to throw up.

Colleen and Misty are glad to see him, and Deadpool releases them from their bounds and even gives their weapons back. Colleen wonders how Deadpool managed to conceal them. Wade asks Colleen if she reeeaallly wants to know that, because it involves an awful lot of lubricant. Misty tells him to skip it, as she wants to go find Danny. And so, they depart.

As they walk through the hallways, they meet up with Luke and ask him if he knows what happened to Luke. Luke lies that he isn’t sure, lying that he thinks Sable took Iron Fist away to be tortured, claiming he was pretty out of it. He suggests they start kicking doors in until they find the guy.

Meanwhile in his lab, Hessler thinks he’s finally found it. Suddenly, Luke kicks the lab door open! He grabs Hessler by his clothes, informing the others that this is the guy they came there for. Luke threatens that the professor is going to tell them where their friend is, or else he’ll personally put him into orbit. At that very moment, Iron Fist and Silver Sable enter. Danny calms Luke down, explaining he’s fine and that there’s been a terrible mistake made by them!

Luke doesn’t understand. Iron Fist explains that Professor Hessler is a Symkarian national, who was doing genetic research until he learned his work was going to be used as a weapon. He fled here and asked Sable for protection and time. Sable confirms, adding that they were specifically warned about the Heroes for Hire since Hessler was doing work for an offshoot of Oracle, Inc, who are the Heroes’ sponsors! Hessler reveals he has been working on the counter-measure to his earlier work, which he will then give back to the world! It will make the genetic weapons useless. And he has just come up with the solution.

Suddenly, the Master opens an astral projection of himself, and orders Luke that the moment to strike is now! Luke sarcastically thanks Eshu for blowing his cover like this, but informs that the disc is in its place. Iron Fist wants to know what Luke is doing. Luke angrily shouts that he’s taking care of business – his REAL business! The Master warns Luke to keep the disc in place, informing him that his other employees are already downloading directly from Hessler’s brain. He informs that help is on the way. Luke hopes so. Deadpool doesn’t know about his other chumps and chumpettes, but maybe it’s because he doesn’t have such a close personal feeling with Cage, but he knows a traitor when he sees one and starts shooting at Luke!

Much as it pains her to say it, she mentions to the others that Deadpool is right. Luke has gone rogue and they’ve got to stop him. Luke invites them to try. Meanwhile, Paladin and Madcap are hiding behind a corner. Paladin thinks Madcap is right, and that the escapees are back after the professor. Madcap agrees, and they start fighting the others with him hitting Deadpool again. Luke thanks the two, mentioning he’ll use any diversion he can get right now. He hits both Colleen and Sable, knocking them both out. He faces Iron Fist.

Danny doesn’t know what sort of game Luke is playing, but he wants to be let into it. He refuses Luke has turned bad on them. Luke tells Fist he can believe what he wants. He reveals that the only reason he agreed to join this group in the first place was because of the Master’s request. He tries to hit Danny, who gracefully dodges the punch. Sadly, Danny is convinced Luke really is a bad guy now and powers up, thinking his old friend really needs to be stopped. On that moment, the Master’s soldiers materialize inside, telling Iron Fist that the battle is already over and that he has lost.

The soldiers move to Hessler’s direction and want to leave with him. Iron Fist realizes that Hessler is the key and tries to make it to him in time. He tries hitting the soldier nearby Hessler, but he somehow anticipates Danny’s move. The soldier reveals that he’s on every bit Iron Fist’s equal, and even more as well. And he promises Danny he shall soon learn that lesson. The soldier places his hand on Luke’s soldier, telling him the Master bids he returns to him. Luke agrees, and they teleport away!

Silver Sable recovers, and shouts that Iron Fist had a traitor in his group and now that the Master, whoever he is, has access to the most powerful genetic weapon in the world! Danny tries to relax Sable. He tells her that if her group had closed ranks with them instead of blindly attacking, they could have prevented this. Danny knows they will find the Master and his goons. They will also bring Hessler back even if they have to destroy the Master for it. They shall succeed, no matter what or who they will have to go through in order to finish this situation. Danny swears that on his life.

At his citadel, the Master is informed by another of his soldiers that the retrieval team has returned and that all is as he planned. The Master believes then all is as it should be. He promises the soldier he shall be with him in a moment after he has finished with their other “friend.” He orders to open communications line Beta, and it quickly gets done. His computer screens reveal vital statistics about Iron Fist.

As the Master sees it, Daniel Rand remains a problem. He knows K’un Lun will manifest itself wherever he is on that moment. And since K’un Lun poses a threat to the Master’s plans, Iron Fist must die. He orders that Fist and his other Heroes must be dispatched to him right inside the citadel, knowing the hero will be quite eager to find him. He orders his agent to lead them by himself. And once the Heroes are here, especially Iron Fist, can be terminated. He asks his agent if that’s clear.

From his own base, the agent has understood everything perfectly. He promises the Master that all shall be done as he ordered it. He closes communication, and steps out of the shadows. The Master’s secret agent is revealed to be none other than… Jim Hammond?!

Characters Involved: 

Ant-Man, Colleen Wing, Jim Hammond, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Thena, White Tiger (all Heroes for Hire)

Deborah & Donald Ritter (Thena’s twin children)

Deadpool

Madcap, Paladin, Sandman, Shang-Chi, Silver Sable (all Wild Pack)

the Master of the World

the Master’s soldiers (all unnamed)

Wolfgang Hessler

Story Notes: 

Sandman eventually does make it to the meeting of the Avengers, who have just returned from the Heroes Reborn universe after having believed dead. The meeting itself can be found in Avengers (3rd series) #1.

Cassie was swallowed by the Super-Adaptoid in Heroes for Hire #7 but with the help of the Thunderbolts got soon rescued at the end of the issue. She informed her dad about the weird computer system she was looking at last issue.

More information about Iron Fist and the K’un Lun can be found in Heroes for Hire #8.

Silver Sable really thought she had hired Nomad in her group, but as revealed last issue that was only Madcap in disguise.

Luke Cage originally joined the Heroes for Hire in Heroes for Hire #2, and was revealed to be secretly working for the Master of the World in Heroes for Hire #3.

Issue Information: 
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