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CSBG Archive

Foundationed Deep – Spider-Man and Misty Knight

This is the first in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at particularly odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II). Here is an archive of all of the past pieces.

Today we look at an amusing retroactive connection between Spider-Man and Misty Knight!


In Marvel Team-Up #63 and 64 (by Chris Claremont and John Byrne), Misty Knight (and her partner, Colleen Wing) team-up with Spider-Man to help their friend, Danny Rand (AKA Iron Fist).

Spidey is curious about Misty Knight a few times in both #63 and #64…

And finally, at the end of #64, we learn where Spidey knew Misty from…

Yep, Claremont and Byrne decided that Misty Knight is the following woman from the classic Marvel Team-Up #1 (the Christmas issue with Spider-Man, Human Torch and Sandman)…

Pretty interesting decision by Claremont, huh? Byrne apparently was the one who initially noted that the woman from MTU #1 looked like Misty, so he mentioned it to Claremont who liked the idea and went with it.


Great idea for a series. I’m looking forward to more installments of these.

It makes perfect sense. After all, there can’t be TWO black women with that hairdo in 1970s New York…

Isn’t that the same story that you featured a while back where Sandman puts Spidey and Johnny into a water tower and then goes to visit his mother?

Pretty interesting decision by Claremont, huh? I wonder what made him think of it…

I forgot where I read it, may have been over on John Byrne’s message board, but I remember some professional saying that Claremont loved finding ways to tie new plots to old plots and going over old stories for plot elements to revisit in later issues. Like reusing the name Maddie Pryor. And we all know from his X-Men days he loves creating past relationships between established characters.


March 4, 2010 at 7:08 am

Awesome idea.

I wonder how long you could keep this going JUST using Claremont examples? I bet surprisingly far.

Nice feature.

I tend to like the goofy connections that old Marvel used to make. However, this new “first appearance” is an odd one.

Marvel’s old goofy connections were great, but I love DC’s goofy connections even better. Like how they retroactively had it in Superboy that a teen Clark met teen versions of Bruce Wayne, Olivr Queen, Lois Lane and many others. Or stories that revealed that on the way to earth, Kal-El’s rocket made a pit stop on Brainiac’s world, Superbaby came out and wrecked one of Brainiac’s evil plans, then Kal-El and the rocket were sent on their way to resume their trip to earth, where the rocket crash landed and the Kents found him.

This is a great idea for a series. Can’t wait for future installments.

HAH! that’s pretty funny. I never knew!!!

I guess they all look alike to Claremont.

Hey Brian, according to the letter’s page in Marvel Team Up 68, it was John Byrne who made the visual connection between Misty and the woman in MTU #1: “The resemblance between Misty Knight and the lady in MTU #1 was first noticed by jocular John Byrne, who then told Chris, who then figured it would be a nice touch to add to the story.”

John Byrne should do a miniseries called “The Hair Conspiracy” retroactively tying various characters together due to their similar hairstyles.

He’s already done Sandman and the Osborns as relatives thanks to their hair, now this.

Claremont also made Misty Jean Grey’s roomate for a while. I think he wanted to established connections between her and other characters because Iron Fist never sold well and he wanted to keep her from fading into obscurity.
So why couldn’t she handle those muggers herself? Wasn’t she a cop at this point?
I guess you can feature Bendis tying Jessica Jones to everybody. I know he recently identified her as a girl in the background of an old Ditko panel.

I was a little off about the details but here is a synopsis of the Superbaby and Brainiac story from Superman #106:

As a toddler on Krypton, Superboy is kidnapped by the villain Brainiac, (prior to Brainiac’s theft of the city of Kandor) who plans to hold baby Kal-El for ransom in exchange for a new weapon that Jor-El has invented called the “21 Y-Ronatort.” However, Brainiac and his accomplices have unwittingly brought Kal-El to their hideout in a yellow star system (which causes all natives of Krypton’s red star system to gain special powers.) His newfound strength, combined with an awkward, uncontrolled flight ability, causes Superboy to utterly destroy the lair of Brainiac-crashing through buildings, throwing away expensive ships like toys, and crushing all of the jewels from Brainiac’s treasure vault to dust. Brainiac tries to shrink the baby and stop his rampage, but he accidentally picks up an enlarging ray instead, and the baby walks all over Brainiac’s weapons arsenal, destroying it. Unable to take any more humiliation, Brainiac releases Kal-El back to his parents and vows to return to avenge his humiliation. (SB No. 106, Jul 1963: “The Lair of Brainiac”)

While Brainiac does return later, he does not have time to make good his threats on the El family. Krypton begins to break down sooner than expected, so Jor-El immediately uses another small test rocket to send his son hurtling toward planet Earth, his only chance for survival. Seemingly the sole survivor of the planet Krypton, baby Kal-El is found in a crashed rocketship and later adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. (S No. 146, Jul 1961: “The Story of Superman’s Life”)


Man, there’s a ton of this stuff in comics, like deciding that the Skrulls were created by the Celestials and used to have their own Eternals too, when Jack Kirby’s original Eternals series had no overt connection to the mainstream Marvel Universe at all (aside from an easily explained-away Hulk robot). Robinson’s Starman series made these connections a lot, such as making Scalphunter, Matt O’Dare and Star Boy all the same guy reincarnated.

Thanks for another great column Brian!

Now get back to work on Meta-Messages! ;-]

Team-Up books! Good issues all, Misty Knight is one of my favorite Marvel characters, the boob window never registered before. Ugh.

Mary Warner, you ask why Misty didn’t handle those muggers herself? Well, the Letters’ Page from MTU #68 has an answer to that as well:”Actually, it’s a darned good thing Spidey and whatisname-in-the-flying-bathtub came along when they did; otherwise those would-be muggers would have learned the perils involved in attacking an ex-cop with a bionic arm.”

Incidentally, does anyone know who wrote the responses in the Marvel Letters’ pages in the 70s? Was it the writer? the editor?both?

John Trumbull

March 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I think it’s interesting that there’s no footnote to the original story on the Byrne/Claremont page.

John Trumbull

March 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm

…And it’s also interesting that Johnny isn’t piloting the “flying bathtub” Fantasicar in MTU #1 (just noticed that).

Nice idea for a column, Brian, though I don’t quite “get” the title.

I have this comic (the one with Iron Fist, I mean) and I always wondered what that was a reference to. I mean, they tease us all issue long and then it turns out it was a reference to some other comic (without the usual “as seen in issue # X of series Z!” info boxes that were common back then). They could’ve at LEAST mentioned that the Flying Bathtub guy was The Torch.

Btw, I’m not sure if things like connecting The Eternals to existing Marvel Universe concepts would count here; that was a major thing, an important retcon to both realities. The Misty thing was more like a continuity nod. On the other hand, you could mention that Misty’s partner, Collen Wing, was dating Cyclops for a while. More Claremont tying things up I guess.

Did Misty have a bionic arm at the time of Team-Up #1? I always assumed that came later.

In answer to Trajan’s question, Marvel letters in the 1970s were usually answered by a group of specially-trained armadillos that worked in the mailroom. (You think I’m making this up, don’t you?) But after Shooter took over, he fired all the armadillos and ordered that all letters had to be answered by the writer, although sometimes the editor ended up doing it, particularly if the writer had left by that point. Occasionally a letter might be answered by an artist or somebody else if that was who was most qualified to answer a specific question.

Apparently, Claremont must’ve hated answering letters himself, though, because for a couple of years in the mid-80s members of the X-Men had to take turns answering them themselves.

If you’re wondering about those poor armadillos who got fired, Gruenwald took pity on them and modeled a new Captain America villain after one of them, just to make up for how they’d been treated.

I swear I’m not making any of this up.

Btw, I’m not sure if things like connecting The Eternals to existing Marvel Universe concepts would count here; that was a major thing, an important retcon to both realities. The Misty thing was more like a continuity nod.

The Misty thing is not a continuity nod, it is a retcon as well. A much smaller retcon to be sure but still a retcon.

Interesting idea for a series.

You could also talk of the opposite: when an interesting connection between two characters is forgotten or ignored or never revisited by later writers. Like, in the 1960s and early 1970s, Daredevil and Black Panther teamed-up often and both remarked about how they clicked and worked well together.

But since the late-1970s, not a single writer refered to that. Granted, there is a tendency to ignore large parts of Daredevil’s earlier chronology, particularly the parts that don’t match his realistic urban hero image, but the Panther fits fine, as another dark, low-powered hero.

I have the latter MTU issues, and — like Sijo above — I was used to the asterisk + editor’s note routine. Because Misty mentioned a few Christmases AND a flying bathtub, I have assumed for the last 32-1/2 years that she was referring to Santa Claus…maybe from one of those wacky Christmas stories Marvel and DC sometimes published, or maybe from an untold tale.

Thanks for smashing another piece of my childhood! ;-)

interesting article for thought that woman looked like Misty in that spider man and torch story. and then to find out Chris got the idea from John. proves how connected the mu. really is.

I like Rene’s idea about forgotten connections. It really bothered me when Ms Marvel hung around Avengers Tower in New Avengers #15 and Annual #1 and Mary Jane was there, and there was no sign of their old friendship. Wasn’t Mary Jane pretty much her best friend for awhile?
Has Wonder Man’s immunity to Rogue’s touch ever been mentioned since Avengers Annual #10? I thought for sure that once they met up again after she became a good guy that she would fall in love with him because of it. (It doesn’t matter that he’s not her type. The mere fact that he’s the only guy she could touch should have a profound emotional effect on her. And of course, he would be afraid to reject her knowing that he was her only chance, even though she’s not his type– unless maybe she was– she did have Carol Danver’s personality mixed with her own for several years, although that was long before Simon and Carol had anything together.) It could have made for a great screwed-up romantic soap opera.


March 4, 2010 at 10:58 pm

The mere fact that he’s the only guy she could touch should have a profound emotional effect on her.

Sod emotional, if I had her problem, and there was someone else it didn’t affect, I’d jump straight to the physical!

Great idea! I’m sure you’ll get a lot of mileage out of Claremont at Marvel and DCs neo-Golden Age continuity.

In reference to Tony Isabella’s link to his page above.

If you look at the Black Lightning Wikipedia page and go to the talk section, you will see a post that I put there in Feb 2007 about the amazing similarities between Richard Roundtree’s costume and Black Lightning. (Posted as Lucas)

No-one has ever acknowledged this to this day, so its pretty cool to have Tony mention it!!

Brian maybe a possible Legend??

Sorry Brian to flesh that out a bit, Richard Roundtree’s character in the 1974 Charlton Heston Disaster Flick “Earthquake!”

As much as I like THIS idea for a series (and I really do like it), I’ve gotta admit that Rene’s forgotten connections idea is even cooler!

@ T ….The only place I recall a teenage Clark Kent making connections to a teenage Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane was in John Byrne’s Generations story but I thought that was considered an Elseworlds because Byrne did the novel experiment to age the heroes in real time? He actually met them as teens in an in-continuity comic? wow…

Love this article idea…dunno if I like how weak that initial Team-Up scene makes Misty Knight looks however…

You could actually do a whole week on the different heroes AND villains meetings in college….

Wouldn’t Misty have ruined these guys shit before Spidey had a chance to help?

Old school Superboy (The adventures of Superman when he was a boy) did indeed meet SOME of his JLA peers during his pre-Crisis run. Great stuff.

Roquefort Raider

March 5, 2010 at 7:06 am

Despite looking just like Misty, the mugging victim couldn’t have been Leila Taylor, the Falcon’s old girlfriend…


Leila would have clawed the eyeballs of those thugs.

it will be cool if spidey hook up with misty knight

Stefan Wenger

March 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I love this column concept. Looking forward to more.

Why is there not more of this yet?!?!?!?!?!?!

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