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Marvel Universe 

Heroes for Hire


Marvel Universe

Base of Operations
Secret location; formerly Oracle, Inc. corporate headquarters, New York City, Heroes for Hire, Inc. offices, Park Avenue; and Gem Theatre, Times Square

First Appearance
Power Man and Iron Fist #54 (1978)

Heroes for Hire traces its roots back to the one-man "Hero for Hire" business founded by Luke Cage, which offered superhuman security and investigation services for a fee. Cage later went into business with the martial artist Iron Fist as Heroes for Hire,
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a profitable partnership that lasted for years until circumstances forced the duo to break up, though they remained good friends.

When most of New York's leading super heroes seemingly died during the Onslaught disaster, Iron Fist enacted a radical two-part plan: he secretly performed a ritual that would gradually merge the earthly plane with his other-dimensional childhood home K'un-Lun, the mystical monarchy of which could impose new order on a chaotic Earth; at the same time, he also began to rebuild Heroes for Hire, feeling that the world needed inspirational heroes more than ever, with or without K'un-Lun. By this time, Rand's family business, Rand-Meachum, had been bought out by Namor the Sub-Mariner's Oracle, Inc., including Rand-Meachum's inactive Heroes for Hire subsidiary. Under the direction of Oracle executive Jim Hammond, an expanded Heroes for Hire reopened as a partly charitable, partly profit-driven enterprise.

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The initial roster included Iron Fist, the Olympian demigod Hercules (who soon quit due to alcoholic excess) and the White Tiger, an actual tiger who had been evolved into a super-humanoid female form by the High Evolutionary. She was created to seek and destroy the Evolutionary's evil rogue creation, the Man-Beast, and felt the Heroes for Hire might be useful allies; however, she had difficulty functioning in human society, especially after she developed an unrequited love for Iron Fist. Luke Cage refused to rejoin the business at first, but signed on after the self-styled Master of the World secretly urged him to act as a double agent within the group. While Cage sympathized with the Master's plans for a better world, he objected to the Master's ruthless methods and ultimately helped the Heroes for Hire destroy the Master's operation. By this time, the group had taken on several more recruits, such as team scientist the Black Knight, Ant-Man, Eternal warrior-scholar Thena and corporate counsel She-Hulk, plus various temporary operatives and civilian staff.

Later, the Heroes for Hire and mutant speedster Quicksilver intervened in a three-way war between the forces of the High Evolutionary, mutant terrorist leader Exodus, and the Man-Beast; after that conflict, the Black Knight quit the team to mentor the victorious Evolutionary's Knights of Wundagore. Exodus and the Man-Beast were rendered harmless, and the White Tiger-no longer able to bear the burden of human emotion-had the Evolutionary de-evolve her back into an ordinary tiger. Shortly thereafter, Namor sold Oracle to the Stark-Fujikawa corporation, which fired Cage and Ant-Man because of their prison records and imposed tighter controls on the rest of the group, all of whom resigned in protest. In the meantime, most of the group's ex-members remain active as super heroes, and Iron Fist eventually thwarted the spell that would have brought K'un-Lun to Earth, having realized the folly of his one-time master plan.

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When the Superhuman Registration Act was passed, Misty Knight decided to re-establish Heroes for Hire once again and recruited Colleen Wing, Humbug, Shang-Chi, Tarantula, Black Cat, Paladin and Orka. The first sortie of this new Heroes for Hire was against the newly reformed Mandarin's Avatars who they managed to beat quite easily. In a few days time they also managed to subdue Shockwave, Grindhouse, Goldbug and Ghost Maker along with many others. Eventually an old foe, Ricadonna, escaped from prison to enact her revenge against Misty and Colleen, and Heroes for Hire had to use underworld contacts to find her - namely the Toddler. Ricadonna underwent surgery to become more powerful than before, but the team defeated her again. The group was hired for other jobs which led them into conflicts against the Headmen, Grim Reaper, the dangers of the Savage Land and more. In the end, the Heroes for Hire were destined to fail, mainly because members like Paladin and Humbug had their own agendas that didn't coincide with the others. The group disbanded, leaving everyone to go their separate ways.

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Misty restarted Heroes for Hire but attempted a more informal approach to it by not keeping a steady roster. She hired heroes for missions based on their specific skill set, with only Paladin remaining as a constant within the group. Sometime in the beginning, she was kidnapped by the Puppet Master who used new technology wired through Misty's bionic arm to manipulate others to do his bidding. Once Paladin noticed Misty's absence he enlisted Iron Fist to help get her back. As Puppet Master sent various mesmerized heroes, including Paladin, to deal with Iron Fist, he ordered Punisher to kill Misty who awakened from her artificially induced coma. Misty managed to evade Punisher long enough to break Puppet Master's control over all the heroes, and Punisher shot Puppet Master, placing him in a coma. Misty thought about shutting Heroes for Hire down, but Paladin convinced her to keep it going even if it only led them to who was pulling Puppet Master's strings. Misty agreed, but she knew it might take a long time to rebuild their reputation.

Contributors: Acotilletta2 and WSST