Thursday, June 5, 2008

Luke Cage & Iron Fist Fantasy Series

Inspired by Frank's little "fantasy booking" of the DCU, I've decided to share a similar project I undertook (admittedly on a smaller scale) a few years back.  In the midst of "Avengers: Disassembled," I accepted a challenge on a Heroes For Hire message board to create a new HFH series.  I took this literally, and wrote the following plots/summaries for the never-gonna-happen Luke Cage & Iron Fist series, which was rendered moot when Cage became a member of the New Avengers, and later Fist got his own title.  Anyway, this is the first half of the two years worth of plots.  If you guys like this part, I will post the second half.  Enjoy!  

#1 "The Boys Are Back In Town!" -- The setting: Modern day MArvel Universe. Cage is working a case in Midtown, his old stomping grounds, when he runs into DW Griffith. Turns out that DW was willed the Gen Theatre after his uncle's passing, and DW sold the theatre to a big developer firm (it IS in Times Square) and made some big bucks! Luke and DW reminisce for a while, until the conversation turns to Danny. Luke laments than he hasn't seen his old partner since he moved out west...

Cut to Iron Fist busting into a Denver warehouse which is being used as a chopshop! Danny busts up the operation, but finds out that it is just one of many satelite operations controlled out of New York. 'Looks like I'm heading back home...' Danny thinks to himself, as he begins the cross country trek back to the East Coast.

Meanwhile in Manhattan, Luke is closing in on his prey: a flunky for a up and coming drug czar who has been making his presence known as of late. After Luke makes short work of the flunky's securty and makes some thinly-veiled threats, the flunky gives up that his Boss is not just in drugs, but has his fingers in all sorts of pies at once, effectively linking him to everything from numbers rackets to protection. With Jessica working on the "official" end of the investigation, Luke tracks down the supposed whereabouts of the "Street Lord," only to run face first into... Iron Fist!

The man who Cage was after is the same man Fist is looking for. Happy to see each other, the two men exchange information and agree to join forces to take down this guy. Cage and Fist make their way into the swank midtown office of their target, busting their way through heavily armed guards and into the armored (!!!) office of their employer, who is sitting with his back to the boys in his office chair at his desk.

"Alright, we've taken down all your goons, punk..."

"...So we suggest you show yourself!"

The man obliges, turning slowly, saying, "Now now gentlemen. Let's do try to be civil. This is my place of business." And as he turns he reveals himself to be... POWER MASTER?!!

Cage and Danny stare in shock. "No way... you're dead!" "Oh yes. Such a nuisance, that." And with that, the fight is on! A knock down, drag out brawl ensues, but in the end Power Master escapes. Luke and Danny go to Luke's place in Harlem to clean themselves up and sort things out, and end up talking about the old days and the old business. Luke gets a devilish grin, to which Danny can only look on in puzzlement as Luke grabs his cell phone, and makes a call to DW Griffith...

#2 "His Mother's Keeper" -- The first new case the Heroes For Hire take is an unusual one -- hired by a pimp to protect his ladies from a killer stalking the streets of Manhattan killing prostitutes. Faced with the life these women lead, Danny is shocked and appaled, while Cage puts on his best "not my problem" face. When they track down the maniac, he turns out to be the mentally unhinged son of a prostitute, taking vicarious revenge on his mother.

#3 "Midtown Mayhem pt.1" -- After several small businesses run by Palestini-Americans are bombed, a group of store owners get money together to hire Cage and Iron Fist to find the culprit. Without any real leads, the Heroes set a trap for the bomber, hoping to flush him out. When they find him, however, they are shocked to discover that the man is like a walking anti-tank squad! Enter: WRECKAGE!

#4 "Midtown Mayhem pt.2" -- Wreckage is revealed to be a former Army anti-armor specialist who, after the Gulf War, settled down with his Israeli wife. But when she was killed by a suicide bomb while she was visiting family, he snaped, and decided to bring his brand of "justice" to all those he blames for her death! Cage and Iron Fist are game, but can they stop Wreckage and his arsenal of explosives before any other innocent people are killed?

#5 "Road Trip!" -- Picking up a bounty for an escaped convict, Luke and Danny hit the road down South to make what they think will be some easy money. But nothing is ever easy for the Heroes For Hire, as they run into everything from road hazards to crazy chilli cooks to crocodiles! Will the boys survive their stint in Dixie -- and will Dixie survive their visit?

#6 "High Rollin'" -- The Heroes are hired by a multi-millionaire real estate developer who has had some strange goings-on taking place at his new, state of the art hotel in Midtown. Electrical systems seem to short out for no reason, and workers are nearly killed in an elevator accident -- saved only by the timely intervention of Luke and Danny. Who is behind these acts of sabotage? Would you believe... The Ghost?!

#7 "He Doth Stride Across The Earth..." -- Tracking down a lead on Power Master's syndicate, the smash front after front until they arrive at the Syndicate's nerve center. The Power Master himself is on hand, but informs the boys that he won't dirty his hands with their blood, leaving that to his "associate" Caesar! Cage and Iron Fist are in for a rude awakening, though, as Caesar is not only as fast and agile as Iron Fist, but as tough and invulnerable as Cage! In the end, Caesar and the Heroes fight to a standstill, and Caesar escapes. When Cage and Iron Fist reinvestigate the area, the nerve center is gone without a trace.

#8 "Close To Home" -- Cage agrees to take a case brought in by a little girl -- for a nickel. The girl is afraid for her mother, who is dating a man who can be as sweet as a puppy one minute, and a brutal sadist the next. Danny warns Luke that this is a matter best left up to the police, but Luke refuses to listen, hiding the girl and her mother in his apartment and going after the guy himself. What Luke doesn't know is that the guy's name is Calvin Zabo -- AKA Mister Hyde!

#9 "Due Process" -- Hired by a grieving widow to bring her husband's killer to justice, Luke and Danny head to some seedy neighborhoods to track down the young man she thinks is responsible. One problem: He's innocent! So says Daredevil, who listened to the kid's heartbeat and knows he is not lying when he said he didn't commit the crime. And he's not about to let them take the kid away without a fight!

#10 "Street Justice -- Its street level action as the Heroes For Hire and Daredevil bust heads and take names in their search to find the perpetrator of the cold blooded shooting they were hired to investigate last issue. Once they find the shooter though, will Daredevil's insistance on letting the law take its normal path be enough to counter Luke's desire to turn the guy's face into hamburger?

#11 "The Razor's Edge" -- While Luke and Jessica take a much needed long weekend in the country, Danny tries to take it easy as well. But his plans are dashed as he is attacked, seemingly out of the blue, by Scimitar! The two clash time and again, culminating in a brawl around, on, and in the NY Public Library. Who is behind this attempt on Danny's life? And more importantly, will he survive?

#12 "S.M.I.L.E. Time" -- Double Sized Issue. The Heroes For Hire arrive at their office one afternoon only to find the unpredictable Gordy sitting inside, waiting for them. Seems that S.M.I.L.E. has a use for them, as Gordy explains that the largest European arms dealer is in New York -- and packing some serious hardware for the highest bidder. Luke and Danny infiltrate the auction site, and find every conceivable sort of scum, villian, and generally not-so-nice type trying to get ahold of the weapons!

Yeah, I don't think anyone would actually buy this series, but hey.  You never know, right?


Mister Bones said...

I'd buy it! Especially #5, heh and the two-parter with Daredevil.

Adama said...

I would buy you comic magazine, good sir! I do so enjoy the Power Man and the Iron Fist.

Diabolu Frank said...

I like that you kept the street vibe of the classic series. I don't fault Iron Fist for going the fantasy route, which was always his thing, but taking Luke Cage big time misses the appeal of the character. Cage perserveres against adversity. Once you give him money, a super-team and such, he's a different character. Maybe the Skrulls will help there...