Appearing in "Danny and the Pirates"
Synopsis for "Danny and the Pirates"
Nighttime in the South China Seas, a freighter cruises through the night. Three small ships sneak up and an elite cadre board and take over the ship. One of the leaders, Sai threatens the captain, ordering him to give them the Stone Warrior Woman. The crew is captured and killed except for the cook. However, when the cook shoots at Lionmane, the bullets bounce off and the pirates move on to Madripoor.
In Oracle Inc's NY headquarters, the captain finishes relaying his story. The captain explains that each harbour has its own price, and they have to carry cash or even jewelry to cover their fees. The pirates also knew about the Stone Warrior Woman; a large statue of Mulan which was being returned to Mulan after being in England since 1900. An insurance agent, representing the various agencies who've been losing money to Lionmane. It's possible the pirates have a connection to one of the militaries of the local governments. From what Lionmane said, it's believed the statue will be auctioned off in Madripoor. China believes Madripoor is behind the pirates and may be mounting an expedition into Madripoor to retrieve the statue and take the country out.
Iron Fist explains that they have gone about assembling a special team for this mission; Colleen Wing, Shen Kuei (aka the Cat, a mercenary); who offers to take the mission alone, but Fist points out his mercenary background make him unreliable. The fourth member of the mission is Shang-Chi, a master of Kung-Fu who has recently been in Madripoor. Shang-Chi has discovered the statue will be auctioned off in 36 hours.
Thirty-five hours later, the team is undercover as a potential buyer. Colleen is suspicious; she's been to a lot of illegal art auctions, and they're not done this old-fashioned way anymore. She's convinced it's a set-up. Shang-Chi meets up with Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman who is now a private investigator. She's been hired by those who owned it to retrieve the statue or watch where it goes. Shang-Chi is concerned that he can't see Shen Kuei, Cat.
The auctioneer unveils the statue and states the bidding begins at 3 million when Chinese military officers burst in and attack. General Lo Chien, the leader, shoots the auctioneer and orders all in attendance to surrender. Colleen, Shang-Chi and Danny, along with Jessica Drew are caught in the middle. No sign of Cat. Suddenly, Wolverine dives into the battle, claws beared. The statue explodes. Lo Chien orders his forces to fall back, threatening to return in full force to exact revenge. Wolverine leads the team (including Cat) out of the warehouse to a safe house of his. The Heroes are now wanted by the authorities which Jessica Drew takes to be especially bad since Wolverine is married to Viper, the leader of the government. He claims he's here on his own, worried about his friends in Madripoor, convinced the country's being set up. Jessica shares what she knows of Lo Chien; he's a powerful man, inspiring fanatical devotion and a man of great intelligence and vision. If he says he's coming back with bigger guns, he is. Danny offers Jessica a place on the team, which she accepts since her mission went "boom" along with the statue. Logan refuses Danny's offer, calling them amateurs, but offering them the use of his safe house until dawn. Jessica no longer trusts Wolverine, suggests they leave much sooner. Danny suggests they go Plan B.
The next evening, in a small ship in the South China seas the team has hired. The team has spread the rumour that the ship is trying to get valuables out of Madripoor before the Chinese move in. They've crewed it with some mercs and set sail to see if the pirates take the bait. Shang-Chi reassures Danny who feels insecure after Wolverine's criticism of his being an amateur in the spy game, who will get everyone killed.
Colleen brings the news that China is set to invade Madripoor. The team then ponders the events that have transpired. How did the statue explode? There were no rockets or grenades. The auctioneer had recognized Lo Chien. Lionmane's pirates had military precision and Lo Chien commands a precision military unit. So, if Lo Chien is Lionmane, what is his real goal? Jessica Drew puts forward the idea Lo Chien has been looking for an excuse to wipe out Madripoor. Shen Kuei thinks their ruse is pointless. If Lionmane is Lo Chien, he will have no interest in their ship, going directly to Madripoor. Danny orders the ship to come around and return to Madripoor.
Later that night, Danny confronts Cat about his location during the fight. An explosion rips through the ship, and the team dives into the water. None of the team sees a ship, and Shen Kuei has disappeared. Danny and Shang-Chi hit the water as Danny sees several sharks swimming towards them.
- Iron Fist debuts a new outfit in the form of climbing gear.
- The freighter attacked at the beginning of the story is called Corto Maltese. Corto Maltese is a series of comic books about a sailor adventurer from Malta, created by Hugo Pratt in 1967 and published until 1992. The movie Batman (1989, Tim Burton) also introduced the name Corto Maltese in their canon - but as a country, not as a person. Pratt had died in 1995, not long before this comic was published; the reference may be intended as a posthumous homage to Pratt.
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