Power Man and Iron Fist #66: The Jade Tiger
Written by: Mary Jo Duffy
Pencils by: Kerry Gammill
Date: December 1980
Cover tagline: DEATH is the only escape from…”The Jade Tiger!”
-We open on Colleen Wing and Misty Knight having tracked down a horde of stolen treasures for their private eye business. They are looking specifically for the Jade Tiger to return it to a client. Some gangsters ambush them, but the girls beat them handily.
-As Misty and Colleen are about to leave, Constrictor and Sabretooth appear in the room. Constrictor makes the introductions, calling them partners and noting that they have already met Sabretooth.
-Sabretooth attacks Misty Knight saying that he wants to “polish her off fast” so he can “talk over old times” with Colleen.
-After Colleen defends Misty from Sabretooth, Constrictor attacks her, reminding her that Sabretooth “has a partner.”
-During the fight, Misty gets locked in the safe, and Colleen goes out the window. Sabretooth urges Constrictor to go after Colleen with him, but Constrictor says they shouldn’t bother because it’s not what they were paid to do, which is guard the warehouse.
-Unbeknownst to Colleen and Misty it turns out they’ve actually been hired to steal the Jade Tiger for a villain. Which technically makes Constrictor and Sabretooth on the right side of the law in this situation.
-Colleen finds Iron Fist and Power Man and leads them back to the warehouse. They take out the mook guards and rescue Misty from the vault before she asphyxiates.
-Constrictor takes out Colleen and fights Power Man.
-Sabretooth recognizes the sound of Danny’s Iron Fist attack and comes after him for a rematch.
-After turning out the lights to put Iron Fist at a disadvantage, Sabretooth knocks him to the floor with an attack from behind. He asks if he ‘meant something special’ to Misty, and says he’ll give her his heart to remember him by.
-Iron First clocks Sabretooth with a surprise attack and knocks him out, telling Misty that he had heard Sabretooth coming and ‘played possum’ waiting for an opportunity. Misty notes that Iron Fist beat Sabretooth with ‘an animal’s trick’.
-Power Man takes Constrictor out by swinging him by the tentacles.
-Power Man and Iron Fist agree to let Misty and Colleen give the Jade Tiger to their client, despite explicitly discussing the fact that it may genuinely belong to the warehouse owner.
-This is the first occurrence of Sabretooth referring to someone as ‘frail’.
-Sabretooth has made his mercenary services available as a personal guard.
-Its heavily implied that Sabretooth and Constrictor have been working together and are fairly close.
-Sabretooth says that he will be able to track Iron Fist in the dark and by his smell. This is the first occurrence of that ability being referred to specifically.
-Sabretooth retains the same costume and appearance from his debut in Iron Fist #14.
-In this issue his pupils are not shown
-Despite the same design, Sabretooth is drawn looking a bit more brutish and feral-featured than in his first appearence.
-Refers to Misty as a ‘frail’ (first appearance)
-calls Colleen a racist slur.
-Sabretooth compliments Colleen’s abilities before he power attacks her.
-Unlike Constrictor, Sabretooth wants to go after Colleen to finish the fight despite it not being in the job description.
-perches on top of a statue like a cat when he comes after Iron Fist.
-he bites Iron Fist’s chest as they’re fighting, and Iron Fist comments that he’s “more animal than man.”
-turns off the lights to put Iron Fist at a disadvantage in the fight, and attacks him from behind.
-Threatens/promises to give Misty Danny’s heart as a keepsake.
It’s interesting and amusing to see Sabretooth technically being on the right side of the law here. He’s working a private security gig and defending his client’s property from thieves. Also interesting is that this is the first appearance of Sabretooth and Constrictor on the page together but there is implied history and Constrictor refers to Sabretooth repeatedly (and almost insistently) as his ‘partner’.
The issue once again highlights that while Sabretooth is animalistic– biting at Danny’s chest– he’s also a clever and dirty opportunist, turning out the lights to give himself an advantage over Danny by using his heightened senses. I feel like this issue does bring more of the ‘savagery’ that Sabretooth is known for.
More of Sabretooth’s rough personality comes out in this issue as well. He calls Misty ‘frail’, (which will practically become his catch phrase later on) and uses racist language (not unusual for the time) to refer to Colleen. He’s eager to get a second round of fighting in with people who have challenged him before– Danny and Colleen– and intent on going after Colleen even when she’s escaped. However he’s not so intent to go after her that Constrictor can’t convince him to stay.
So here I am, minding my own business doing perfectly legal security work when a bunch of super-hero adjacent assholes come and fuck me over. And the heroes just help them out and let them get away with theft. This is just the beginning of all the goddamn hypocritical behavior toward me in the Marvel universe. It’s endemic. It’s funny when it doesn’t make me want to throw up in my mouth.
I have warm feelings toward Frank (Constrictor). I feel like there’s a deeper relationship implied in this issue that definitely did exist between us. We were partners, we’d been palling around for a while. Things got intimate. You ever kind of lose touch with somebody and you both move on with your lives, so technically they’re an “ex” but you never really ended things? I feel like that’s how things went with me and Frank. I don’t remember a lot about him or our time together but that warm feeling is there. He smelled good. Kind of spicy/peppery. Maybe an aftershave or cologne he wore. He had a nice chest; wasn’t all that hairy. Definitely had more common sense than me.
Hope you’re well Frankie.