Colleen Wing (Lady Samurai)

colleenwingfilmThird and last character seen in the Iron Fist trailer is one of the good guys, even if she’ll apparently share some rivalry of sort with the protagonist: Colleen Wing, portrayed by Jessica Henwick. In the show, Colleen will be a martial arts teacher, and she’ll help Danny Rand into adapting to New York City after his return from the mystical city of K’un Lun. She’ll also run her own dojo, and if you pay attention you can see the advertising poster for it also in Luke Cage. We don’t know much else as for now, but some pictures from the set showed her fighting with Danny, so it’s likely there will be some incomprehension between the two at a certain point, to say the least. Anyway, waiting for more information, let’s take a look at the original Lady Samurai…who’s lost her trademark red hair in the live action adaptation.

Colleen Wing was the daughter of Professor Lee Wing and of his wife, Azumi Ozawa. Azumi was killed when Colleen was still a child, and Wing, a professor of Asian studies at Columbia University, decided to move for a while to Japan, to continue his research and in the meanwhile to protect his daughter from the same mysterious assailant who had killed his wife. Since her father worked a lot, Colleen was raised by her maternal grandfather, Kenji Ozawa, a retired member of Japanese secret service and the heir of a centuries-old samurai family. Since Kenji’s male children had been killed during World War II, and Azumi was dead as well, the old man decided to train his only grandchild in the arts of the samurai, so that the tradition wouldn’t have died with him; the girl was brought on the mountains, in Honshu, where she received a hard training that turned her into a lethal swordsman and martial artist, but that also transmitted to her the values of honor and loyalty of a true samurai. colleenwingcomics1When she became an adult, Colleen chose to follow her father back to New York City, leaving Japan. Wing’s studies put him in touch with a number of curious figures, among which there was a monk, who warned him of the arrival of a mystical warrior from K’un Lun, the human weapon Iron Fist, who was seeking vengeance for his family’s murder in New York. Knowing that the warrior would have needed guidance after spending nearly all of his life away from Earth, Professor Wing sent his daughter Colleen to greet him and to be his guidance. Iron Fist was different from what Colleen had expected: he was apparently a normal guy, and a nice one overall, and the two became fast friends. In his quest for revenge, Iron Fist faced evil forces hidden from most mortals, and Colleen used her sword and her skills to help him several times, the first against the Cult of Kara-Kai, but mostly against the minions of Master Khan. Mystical forces, however, were sometimes the least of the problems in New York, and Colleen learned it at her own expenses, as she almost got killed in a gunfight during a gang war in Manhattan.

The “almost” part was all thanks to a police officer, Misty Knight, who saved the girl from the gunmen: thankful, Colleen kept contacts with Misty, and the cop soon became her best friend. When some time after the shootout Misty lost her right arm during a bomb attack, Colleen always stood by her side, and encouraged her not to give up because of her mutilation; Misty quit with police, but when Tony Stark built for her a bionic arm to replace her missing one, she and Colleen decided to become business partners, and they opened an activity as private investigators, Nightwing Restorations, Ltd. (even if, after the assassin Steel Serpent called them “Daughters of the Dragon“, they liked the moniker more and started using it). Colleen Wing’s friendship with Iron Fist however put her in danger more than once: during one of his plans, Master Khan had her abducted, and ordered his minion Angar the Screamer to brainwash her with his powers; under Angar’s control, Colleen Wing was forced to fight Iron Fist, but when the hero managed to break her mind free she turned on Angar, nearly killing him with colleenwingcomics2her sword. Something similar happened soon after, when the Daughters of the Dragon were in Hong Kong to investigate a drug dealing operation: Colleen was kidnapped by drug lord Emil Vachon, who forcefully turned her into a heroin addict; Misty Knight came to her aid, she freed her from Vachon’s men and she helped her recover from her addiction. Once cleaned up, Colleen exacted her bloody revenge on Vachon, and the Daughters of the Dragon dismantled his criminal empire. Along with Misty, Colleen travelled the world for several missions, and she met and teamed up with a number of other heroes, among which Spider-Man, the Sons of the Tiger and the X-Men (she even had a short story with the X-Men’s leader, Cyclops), battling international super-criminals such as Warhawk, ChemistroConstrictor and Sabretooth. When Iron Fist teamed up with Luke Cage to form the Heroes for Hire, the Daughters of the dragon became their most usual allies, to the point that the two firms eventually became one, and also Misty and Colleen joined the HfH…but this created a brand new conflict within Lady Samurai’s spirit, as the ways she’d been taught weren’t exactly compatible with selling her acts of heroism for money…

Colleen Wing is a woman with two souls, who unites in herself the ancient traditions and discipline of medieval Japan and the lifestyle and tastes of modern Western world. Committed to the values of her grandfather’s school and strongly idealist, Colleen struggles to accept her friend Misty Knight’s view on their activity, as she mostly thinks they should help people for free instead of being paid for it. As Lady Samurai, she’s an incredibly skilled martial artist, and she’s one of the best swordsmen on the planet: her katana is built according to the rules of an ancient samurai school, being light and manageable, but also sharp and nearly indestructible; she’s also able to manipulate her chi to a certain extent, sufficient to gain superhuman strength for short periods of time and to accelerate her own healing, as well as to remove poison or disease from her organism. An ancient samurai living in modern times, Colleen Wing fights for justice in a world that seems to have forgotten what it is, always struggling to find her place within her two different cultures.

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9 Comments

  1. […] Colleen Wing (Lady Samurai) […]

  2. […] Colleen Wing (Lady Samurai) […]

  3. […] Colleen Wing (Lady Samurai) […]

  4. […] Colleen Wing (Lady Samurai) […]

  5. […] from K’un Lun. It was during the hunt for Khan that Iron Fist met the private investigator Colleen Wing and her partner, former cop Misty Knight, whom he fell in love with. The three worked together to […]

  6. […] already we have to jump to episode 4, Eight Diagram Dragon Palm, where we are introduced to Colleen Wing‘s hobby: cage fights. Not happy of her first adversary, Colleen asks for a two-on-one match, […]

  7. […] is a very different character, not related to Iron Fist (albeit she has some connections with Colleen Wing), and very close to one of the weirdest supervillains ever. Let’s see […]

  8. […] now Iron Fist episode 7, and meet one of the recurring antagonists. In Felling Tree with Roots, Colleen Wing is visited by an old friend who just came back to town: that’s Bakuto, portrayed by Ramon […]

  9. […] and go to episode 8. In The Blessing of Many Fractures, Danny travels to China along with Colleen and Claire to investigate Madame Gao‘s involvement in the murder of his parents. In the […]


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