Friday, March 20, 2009

Daughters and dragons

My daughter KM celebrates her 20th birthday next Wednesday.

How appropriate, then, that we foreshadow her double-decade observance with a double-daughter Common Elements artwork?

I refer, of course, to the pair of heavily-armed young ladies dominating the uppermost corners here.

At left, rocking the katana, that's Colleen Wing. At right, packing a pistol and a bionic arm, that's Misty Knight. Together, they're variously known as the proprietors of Knightwing Restorations, one-third of the most recent incarnation of Heroes for Hire, and — most importantly for the present moment — the Daughters of the Dragon.

The Daughters' imposing, fin-domed companion? He's the Savage Dragon, eponymous star of the long-running Image Comics series. (Just to be clear: Misty and Colleen, although called the Daughters of the Dragon, are not the daughters of the Savage Dragon. As cool as that would be.)

And who better to illustrate this propulsive threesome of urban crimebusters than Ben Dunn, creator of the popular manga series, Ninja High School? Well, nobody better, actually, which is why I handed Ben this choice assignment. As you can see, Ben flat crushed it, in his unique, energetic style.

As both individuals and as a team, the Daughters of the Dragon enjoy a lengthy and storied history in the annals of Marvel Comics, going all the way back to the swinging 1970s.

Misty and Colleen appeared frequently in the early adventures of hero-for-hire Luke Cage (then known as Power Man) and his partner Danny Rand, a.k.a. the martial artist Iron Fist. Misty was involved in a long-term relationship with Danny, and later had a brief dalliance with Luke. At various times over the decades, the Daughters of the Dragon have joined Cage, Iron Fist, and others in the superhero private investigation firm (you guessed it) Heroes for Hire.

The Savage Dragon owns the distinction of being one of the longest-running characters in modern comics to have the majority of his adventures scripted and drawn by his creator — in the Dragon's case, Image Comics co-founder (and formerly publisher) Erik Larsen.

A humanoid being of indeterminate origin, the Dragon (so named because of his green skin and prominent cranial fin) found purpose in life as a Chicago police officer, while at the same time trying to discover his true identity. Nearly 20 years after his debut, the Dragon learned that he was really an alien from outer space. (Well, duh.)

Speaking of 20 years...

Did I mention that my daughter — who is not a dragon, an alien, or even a ninja — turns 20 next Wednesday?

And that's your Comic Art Friday.


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