Heroes for Hire (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
April 1998
Story Title: 

John Ostrander (writer), Pascal Ferry (pencils), Jamie Mendoza (inks), Jon Babcock (letters), Joe Rosen (colors), Marcel Bernardo (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The Master of the World has been informed that the earlier, presumed heroes have returned from the dead, which could mean his plans might not succeed, and he worries. At the same time, Iron Fist informs Luke Cage about him having summoned the K’un Lun, which shall arrive on Earth at the millennium. Luke is upset about hearing about it only now, as the thing happened a while ago and now isn’t sure where their friendship stands. A few moments later, Luke and Danny are introduced to new additions to the Heroes for Hire, namely Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Their field handler, Jim Hammond, gives the group a new mission. They are to travel to Symkaria and bring a mad scientist named Hessler back to the base. But, unfortunately, he’s under the protection of Silver Sable and her Wild Pack, so more reinforcements for the Heroes shall be needed. The Master is also informed about this mission. Also, Ant-Man talks to his daughter, Cassie, about the time she was swallowed by the Super-Adaptoid and learns there’s more about it than he thought. The Heroes for Hire travel to a private airport, where they meet their newest member: Deadpool! Though everyone’s annoyed by it, he tags along for the ride. They arrive at Hessler’s base, where an impatient Deadpool teleports inside to get things done with. However, he is spotted by Paladin and Nomad and they fight. During the battle, Nomad reveals his true identity of Madcap. The other Heroes also make it inside the castle, but are soon met up by Sable and the other Wild Pack members, and they start fighting each other.

Full Summary: 

Bad guy alert! Bad guy alert! Bawhoop! Bawhoop! Sitting in his lab, the self-styled Master of the World (‘The Master’ for short and Eshu to a friend or two), is busy contemplating. And when bad guy’s think, it mostly means trouble for the rest of us! Okay, maybe not every time, like today.

The Master opens his computer screens, wondering what he’s going to have for dinner tonight. But he supposes he can worry about dinner later. He has to focus on the matters at hand. New factors have arisen that may affect his plan. The heroes that were thought dead have returned back to life. But, they are not the Master’s true concern. It is those who may have returned with them. He’s talking about the likes of Dr. Doom, Thanos, Kang and even the Red Skull. They will all have their agendas that will conflict with his. And that will not be allowed. The Master snaps with his fingers, and the computer screens close down. The Master knows he has allies working with him and his success will be assured.

Meanwhile, at the Oracle HQ back in New York City, where…
Luke Cage is angry with Iron Fist. Danny explained he summoned the K’un Lun, which is coming with the millennium. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Luke wants to get this straight. K’un Lun is coming, tied to Danny’s heartbeat. A new Camelot with the Dragon King as the Lord of the Earth, and the Heroes For Hire are supposed to become the Knights of the Round Table. Danny confesses that that’s essentially the plan. Luke thinks his friend has gotten completely mental. Danny defends that the world was falling apart! The heroes were dead and Danny thought he needed to do something. Luke tells Danny he sure did something and asks if Hammond knows about this.

Danny denies that. Just they two and Misty know about it. He tried telling it to Luke before, but other things happened. Luke angrily shouts that Danny didn’t tell him before he started summoning K’un Lun. Danny defends that Luke wasn’t around much and wasn’t sure where their friendship stood. Luke thinks that makes them even now, as he doesn’t know that for sure either! He thinks Danny should go talk to Hammond.

Iron Fist does and, a few moments later, Jim has been informed, but he’s angry about it as well. He can’t believe that after hearing this story, Danny gave him a hard time about hiring Scott Lang without telling him. Danny turns away, not knowing what to respond. Jim doesn’t think it matters now as they’ve got a mission to go on. As they are short-handed, he took the liberty on hiring a few temps. He trusts no one present has a problem with the ladies of Nightwing Restoration joining them. He introduces both Misty and Colleen, thinking they know everyone present.

Misty does, and Colleen walks over to Danny, kissing him on the cheek. Danny jokes that he told them like Jim suggested it, and it hasn’t gone down too well. Colleen has been informed by Misty and doesn’t know what Danny was thinking. Danny is angry with Colleen for telling Misty. Colleen defends that, unlike Danny, she doesn’t believe in keeping secrets from a partner. Jim asks everyone if they don’t mind carrying on their personal squabbles later, as they’ve got some business to conduct.

He opens a computer screen, and shows everyone a picture of Professor Wolfgang Hessler, a bio-technician and geneticist. His specialty is weapons and, according to their client, he has created a bio-weapon of enormous power, and is planning to sell it to the highest bidder. Luke wants to know who the client is. Jim claims that’s classified for now. He can’t risk it being leaked in case the mission fails. Misty wants to know where Hessler is. She’s assuming from Jim’s tone he’s not in this country. Jim explains that Hessler has taken refuge in Symkaria and is under the personal protection of Silver Sable and her Wild Pack, until the weapon auction is complete.

Danny thought that Sable was one of the good guys. He remembers her recently being right there in New York, helping out Spider-Man. Jim thinks that, given the fact that the Thunderbolts turned out to be the Masters of Evil and all the other secrets being hidden, he doesn’t know who they can trust anymore. Misty jokes that Hammond is getting cynical, but thinks that’s okay, as cynical can be attractive.

Luke wants to know what they are supposed to do about this Hessler. Jim explains the Heroes have to go get Hessler and bring him here. He can’t be allowed to sell what he knows. He adds that Sable has a special Wild Pack team protecting him, which consists out of her, Paladin, Sandman, Nomad and the Cat. She’s expecting trouble.

Luke realizes that the Black Knight is still off with the Avengers and Ant-Man is on leave, and White Tiger is still missing! He doesn’t know if they’ve got the personnel to pull this off; that is not without getting someone killed which he is certain is not part of the plan. Jim mentions the Heroes will be met by another freelance operative at the rendezvous point. The sooner they get started, the sooner it will be over, so Jim suggests they leave now. Jim also promises Danny that they’ll discuss the situation about K’un Lun later.

At his lair…
The Master is furious about the news he receives and asks the caller to say it again. The caller does, and informs the Master that Iron Fist summoned the K’un Lun to Earth and that it’s tied to his heartbeat and can’t be reversed. The Master doesn’t understand and thinks it’s unacceptable! He fears that if the appearance of K’un Lun is tied to Iron Fist’s continued life, then some consideration must be given to his death!

Later, at a private airfield near the Adriatic sea…
This is where the Heroes for Hire are supposed to meet their newest member. Whoever it is, it’s making Misty angry, as the person is late and she hates waiting. Suddenly, a familiar voice tells the Heroes they don’t have to wait any longer. A monkey trainer appears in front of them, asking what the plan is. Not that he needs a plan, mind you, he’ll just make it up as they go. The man apologizes and drops his image inducer reflection, and is revealed to be… Deadpool! Wade apologizes for the prank. He explained that the boss of the Heroes for Hire called his bosses at Landau, Luckman & Lake, and they told him to come incognito. But, since Wade couldn’t find a Cognito he came in a Porsche.

Luke recognizes Wade. Wade jokes around, thinking Misty and Colleen are Soy-N-Peppa and that he has all of their CD’s. Wade says hi to Luke and when he notices Iron Fist standing around… he laughs! As Wade continues to laugh, Danny and the others ignore him and walk back to their jet, ready to take off. Wade notices and apologizes, begging Obi-Wan Rand to let him join the crew as he’s only just now learning how to be a hero. At the plane, Luke blames Fist for this. He thinks Hammond hired this fool to get back at Danny for summoning the K’un Lun and now they’ve all got to pay for it. Wade calms Luke down, warning him not to get seduced by the Dark Side.

At the same time at Central Park, Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie are enjoying a nice walk…
Cassie asks her dad if they have to live at Oracle, Inc. Scott explains they don’t have to. But, the free apartment is provided and it seems nice. But he’s sure they could afford something else on another place. When he asks Cassie if she doesn’t like living there. Cassie admits she finds it a little… creepy there. Scott thinks they need to have a little talk. Cassie fears her dad’s going to yell at her but Scott promises he won’t do that, and asks Cassie to talk to him, now!

Cassie’s point is made, and cries a little. She was told that people told her dad she was messing with the Super-Adaptoid when it swallowed her up. But, she claims she wasn’t. Scott wants to know the truth. Cassie remembers. She was off exploring at the Oracle base and got a little lost. She found a computer terminal, but it didn’t look like any of the other terminals, so she started messing with it. Scott’s a little upset about that. Cassie understands but tells her dad to just listen as she saw something. It was some sort of schematic of a city underwater and the city was rising! She didn’t knew if it was a game or a simulation, or whatever. She was mesmerized! But the next thing she knew, she was swallowed by the Super-Adaptoid and later everyone blamed her for waking it up, and didn’t think her dad would believe her if she told him the truth. Scott does believe her if that’s what’s really happened. He cheers Cassie up, suggesting they head back to the Oracle base and try to go find that monitor she saw.

Elsewhere, at St. Eobar’s…
Once, this castle was a monastery, then a World War II fortress, and now serves as a high mountain sanctuary in Symkaria. It serves as a stronghold for a dangerous woman called Silver Sable and her group of mercenaries known as the Wild Pack!

One of Sable’s troops informs her that all the other units of the Wild Pack have reported in and the other assignments are proceeding as planned. Sable is glad to hear that. She thinks Symkaria needs continued revenue and her Wild Packs are her principal force. She feels they can’t afford to suspend all other operations while they tend things here. She orders her troops to maintain the surveillance, while she goes to check on the reason they are all there.

Sable walks to a restricted lab, where she meets up with Hessler and asks him how his work is going. Hessler thinks he’s very close but refuses to have any more interruptions. Not when he’s so near the results. Sable understands, and appreciates the pressure he is under, promising she’ll try to prevent any more intrusion. Sable promises to herself that, once this is thing is all over, she’ll personally see to it that Hessler takes a very long vacation! She thinks she better goes back to prepare her Wild Pack, as she has also been told forces are heading towards the castle.

Outside the castle…
Deadpool goes over things again. He asks the Heroes if they were supposed to scale the cliff in bad weather to bring back Hessler. Luke confirms. Wade jokes he can’t believe they are up against the brute force of the mountains. They are up against the elements of Mother Nature, waiting to put them over her knee and spank them. Oh, the humanity! Misty angrily asks Wade if he ever shuts up, but he denies that never happens. He suggests someone flies to the top and throws down a rope or something. Luke explains that’s because nobody on the team can fly. Deadpool claims that, in order to be successful, super-teams need to have at least one member that can fly! But, luckily for the group, Wade mentions that somebody of them can teleport, namely him, and he vanishes. Luke thinks that their element of surprises has just gone down the toilet.

Back inside the palace, Paladin asks Nomad what happened to that kid he used to travel with, joking he must have lost visiting rights. Nomad ignores Paladin and keeps chewing on his gum. Paladin begs Nomad to talk to him, as he’s starting to make that guy on Millennium look like Krusty the Klown! Nomad still doesn’t say anything, but whistles. They hear something and look up, as Deadpool teleports inside!

Out of words, Wade says hi to them. Deadpool quickly attacks them both, swearing that if they ever tell anyone he was out of words he’ll kill them. Of course, he may have to kill them anyway. With both villains down and thinking the area is secured, Wade throws a rope to the others below. Paladin gets up and points his gun at Wade, telling him he’s a little premature. Wade recalls his mother saying that about him as well. Below, Iron Fist grabs the rope but hears a shot, sighing that they must have been discovered.

Both Deadpool and Paladin have hit each other. Paladin survives thanks to his bullet free vest, and Wade thanks to his rapid healing factor, or else he would have bleed all over Paladin for that stunt. Paladin angrily turns back to Nomad, shouting that he could have used some help. Suddenly, Nomad starts to glow! He introduces his true self, as… Madcap! And he’s no-madder than the rest of them. But, given what he has seen, that isn’t saying much. He confesses that Silver Sable would have never had hired him if she knew his true identity.

Wade jokes that, while the folks at home try to figure out who Madcap is, he’ll just try to kill him and opens fire. Though the bullets hit Madcap, he’s unharmed claiming he doesn’t feel any pain and always mends. Wade wants to know if he can slice Madcap up into sushi and takes out his sword, but that suddenly gets pulled out of his hands. Sable and the other members of the Wild Pack have arrived! Sandman doesn’t know what the story with Madcap is, but he knows for sure Deadpool isn’t one of them. He throws some sand over Deadpool who is surprised this really happened.

Sable knows Deadpool can be hired as well, and realizes this must be the case today, so she wants to know who his employers are. The other Heroes for Hire enter and introduce themselves. Iron Fist defends that Deadpool is one of them; K’un Lun may help them, but they’ve come here for Hessler. Iron Fist wasn’t exactly who Sable expected, but it doesn’t matter. She opens fire, and everyone of both the Wild Pack and the Heroes for Hire start fighting each other!

Characters Involved: 

Ant-Man, Colleen Wing, Iron Fist, Jim Hammond, Luke Cage, Misty Knight (all Heroes For Hire)
Cassie Lang


Madcap/Nomad, Paladin, Sandman, Silver Sable (all the Wild Pack)
Silver Sable’s various soldiers (all unnamed)

the Master of the World
Wolfgang Hessler

as images shown on various computer screens:
Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Vision (all Avengers)
the Thing (all Fantastic Four)
Madcap/Nomad, Paladin, Sandman, Silver Sable (all the Wild Pack)
Dr. Doom, Kang, Red Skull, Thanos, Wolfgang Hessler (powerful villains)

in Cassie’s flashback:
Cassie Lang

Story Notes: 

Iron Fist earlier wanted to inform Luke about him summoning the K’un Lun in Heroes for Hire #5 but got side-tracked when they got attacked by Ghaur and his army. The consequences of him summoning the K’un Lun can be found in the Iron Fist/Wolverine four-part limited series.

Silver Sable helped out Spider-Man in Sensational Spider-Man #26.

Most heroes were believed dead after the Onslaught disaster, but were actually transported to an imaginary world created by Franklin Richards. Later, thanks to him and a partnership with Ashema of the Celestials, the heroes could return to the proper world as seen in the Heroes Reborn: the Return limited series.

Deadpool’s began working for Landau, Luckman & Lake as of Deadpool (3rd series) #14 and his status quo changed after hearing (partly false) prophecies of him becoming a great hero in the future, as seen in Deadpool (3rd series) #17.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker are both characters from the Star Wars movies. Luke is the son of the main villain, Darth Vader, and rebel trying to take his father’s evil Empire down. Obi-Wan is his friend and mentor.

Ant-Man was revealed to have been secretly hired by Jim Hammond as part of the team, but could only act in case back-up was needed, as revealed in Heroes for Hire #6. Cassie got 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.

The Thunderbolts already revealed to themselves to be formerly the Masters of Evil under Baron Zemo’s leadership at the end of Thunderbolts #1. However, thanks to the fact everyone besides Zemo was starting to enjoy being a hero, he couldn’t allow that and made the secret public in Thunderbolts #10.

Iron Fist is angry with Jim because Fist is team leader, and he wasn’t informed Ant-Man joined the team from the beginning. Their fight can be found in Heroes for Hire #8.

Luke Cage and Deadpool earlier met when they were both fighting Malachi, as seen in Secret Defenders #15-17.

‘Krusty the Klown’ is a cartoon character from the popular cartoon series called the Simpsons, having Bart as his biggest fan.

Madcap assumed his Nomad identity back in Captain America (1st series) #309. This issue reveals his true identity to the other super heroes. The other Nomad whom Paladin talks about used to be Jack Monroe, who really did travel the world with a baby girl named Bucky.

Millennium was a grim television series created by X-Files creator Chris Carter, which dealt with an investigator capable of metaphorically putting himself in the mind of a killer. The investigator, Frank Black, played by Lance Henriksen, whose personality was less than “clown-like.”

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