In the age of Afros, bell bottoms and jive talk, Marvel introduced a character clearly inspired by the females heroines seen in movies like Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones and TV shows like Get Christie Love! (“You’re under arrest, Sugah!”). That character is the super sexy supercop Misty Knight…
Creation and Inspiration
Knight was first mentioned in Marvel Premiere #20 (January 1975) and was created by writer Tony Isabella and artist Arvell Jones. NOTE: Chris Claremont and John Byrne revealed that Misty had first appeared as an unnamed character in Marvel Team-Up #1 (March 1972). Misty Knight and Colleen Wing have starred in comics in Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #32–33 (January — February 1977) and Bizarre Adventures #25 (March 1981).
The original depiction of Knight was heavily influenced by the blaxploitation and Kung-Fu crazes of the 1970s. Writer Tony Isabella was writing on the Iron Fist comic at the time, having stated that he and artist Arvell Jones were fans of blaxploitation films and they went to a screening of the Jim Kelly film Black Belt Jones. The film featured former Bond girl Gloria Hendry as a female martial artist who was the love interest. After the screening, Tony turned to Avrell and stated he wanted to create a character like her for Iron Fist.
Misty Knight was a rising star with the NYPD when she was seriously injured preventing a bomb attack that forced the amputation of her right arm. Tony Stark provided her a bionic arm which endowed her superhuman strength. Rather than taking a desk job for the police, she resigned and became a private investigator in her own right.
Misty’s Bionic Arm
Her bionic arm is said to be 75 times superhumanly stronger than a normal arm. With it, she can punch with incredible force and crush objects as tough as steel. Her original bionic arm was made of an alloy called Antarctic vibranium (this type of vibranium can liquefy all known metals including adamantium). Thanks to upgrades from Stark, it can now generate an anti-gravity repulsor field similar to Iron Man’s armor.
Misty teamed with her friend Colleen Wing in a fight with criminal Emil Vachon in Hong Kong and saved Colleen from an attempted beating/rape. After the adventure, Misty set up a private detective agency with Colleen called “Knightwing Restorations Ltd” as a female equivalent to Luke Cage and Danny Rand’s Heroes For Hire. In fact, Nightwing Restorations Ltd helped Heroes for Hire on multiple occasions. NOTE: Another name for the duo is “The Daughters Of The Dragon“.
Misty’s Love Life
For a long period, Iron Fist (aka Danny Rand) was the love of Misty’s life. Danny and Misty finally become a formal couple in the pages of Immortal Iron Fist. At the end of that series, Misty was believed to be pregnant with Iron Fist’s child. However, Misty found out it is a false pregnancy (it was only traces of Danny’s ‘life-force‘). After the revelation, the two heroes soon split…
Since the 2015–17 All-New, All-Different Marvel promotion, Misty Knight has been a supporting character to Sam Wilson, The Falcon. When Sam operated as the new Captain America, he became uneasy when Steve Rogers returned to regain the moniker of Captain America as well. Though the two men wanted to share the name, the civilian populace felt Sam was undeserving of the title. Misty appeared to help him deal with his doubts and also started a sexual relationship with him at the same time.
The first multi media appearance of Misty Knight was on the Cartoon Network series The Super Hero Squad Show in the episode “A Brat Walks Among Us”. Voiced by actress/ talk show host Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister, The Real), she is shown here as a member of the Heroes for Hire along with Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Misty Knight, as portrayed by actress Simone Missick, appeared in several TV series in the Marvel Netflix Universe.
Misty first appeared in the first season of Luke Cage. The show had Misty as a Detective at the 29th Precinct in Harlem. Not much is known about her backstory except her real name is ‘Mercedes‘ and she was a star basketball player at Temple University. The rape and murder of her cousin inspires Misty to become a police officer. She is partnered with corrupt cop Rafael Scarfe, who was secretly working for Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes.
Misty spends most of the season trying to uncover the crimes of Cottonmouth and councilwoman Mariah Dillard. Misty is also trying to figure out Luke Cage’s identity after the two have a one night stand. After Scarfe is killed, she expresses her dislike of the system near the end of the first season and goes undercover at the Harlem’s Paradise nightclub to spy on Mariah.
- Misty returns in The Defenders. She has been promoted to a citywide task force investigating crimes committed by The Hand. When Luke returns to Harlem after the charges against him are cleared, Misty seeks Luke’s help about someone recruiting and killing off young men in Harlem. This investigation leads to a super team-up between Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Danny Rand as the loose knit team known as The Defenders. While The Defenders are fighting Madame Gao, Elektra and Murakami below Midland Circle, Misty is left upstairs assisting Colleen Wing and Claire Temple in fighting Bakuto. During the fight, Misty’s right arm is sliced off above the elbow when she dives to stop Bakuto from killing Claire.
- After the events of The Defenders, Misty is still in therapy at the beginning of the second season of Luke Cage. When she returns to work, she finds herself mocked by her coworkers and criminals alike. After encouragement from Colleen Wing, Misty agrees to be outfitted with a new bionic arm made by Rand Enterprises. Misty resumes investigating Mariah Dillard. She also has to deal with Dontrell “Cockroach” Hamilton, a domestic abuser and murderer that she put away, who has just been released on account of his conviction being overturned. She decides to resign, handing in her badge to Captain Thomas Ridenhour, She is able to finally arrest Mariah but is denied the satisfaction of Mariah going to prison thanks to Mariah’s daughter Tilda poisoning her in jail.
- This version of Misty last appeared in the second season of Iron Fist which focused more on her growing friendship with Colleen Wing. The pair even get into a number of scrapes together. Due to the cancellation of the Marvel Netflix shows, it is highly unlikely we will see this portrayal of the character again.