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Off My Mind: Why Heroes For Hire is a Fundamentally Bad Idea

Heroes are needed to save the world but should they really be hired to do the job?

Heroes For Hire is a concept that Luke Cage started and soon he was joined by Iron Fist. They wanted to be there for those in their neighborhood that needed them. Superheroes often deal with the bigger issues and don't always see the little guys out there struggling until things escalate to dangerous levels. They might have charged a small fee but they could be there for those that needed them before it was too late.

The current Heroes For Hire is run by Misty Knight. With some questionable beginnings (being mind-controlled by Puppet Master), the business has been up and running for a little while now. Misty serves as Control and has a list of available heroes for each mission. She oversees it all and calls in the best suited heroes when they are needed.

While this loose idea of a team allows for some flexibility, it's questionable how efficient it truly can be. If a hero is out on a mission, they have no idea who might be available for back up. If a situation gets out of control or too dangerous, it's up to Misty to immediately locate someone willing and able to assist. Is this idea of a team an efficient way to run things or does it put too much of a risk on the individual heroes and innocent civilians?

== TEASER ==

The idea of not having a permanent roster is an appealing idea. Being able to call in the experts based on a mission could solve any problems right away. A team can't always predict what sort of enemies they might be facing. Even if they fight familiar enemies, there's always the chance that a new player could join them with powers the team is not familiar with or prepared for. Having other heroes to call in could be what's needed to push things in their favor.

The problem and danger with this is ensuring Control has full access to an enormous list of heroes at any moment. Misty always calls and asked if a hero is available for hire. It's possible her first choice might not be available. They might be in the middle of dinner, out on a date or simply going to the bathroom. If another hero is out on the field and needs immediate assistance, there might not be enough time to get someone to them before it's too late. All the heroes called in are experienced and used to working on their own but some of the missions Misty puts them on might be more than one person can handle.

We may not have seen it but there has to be a lot of planning before springing the heroes onto their jobs. Misty has to make extreme tactical decisions and try to plan for different eventualities. She needs to know who her heroes will be going up against and the area surrounding where a show down might occur. She has to have a long list of possible available heroes in that area that could arrive within moments.

Another concern would be how the heroes would interact. Heroes that usually operate on their own might not be used to a team dynamic. A good team knows how to work with each other. If two heroes are put together and don't know each other or what each other's powers are, it could mean a failure in the mission. It could also cost the heroes their lives. Some heroes might not get along and this is something Misty might not be aware of. Some heroes she has used are killers while others will do whatever it takes to save any and all lives. If heroes can't work together, lives could be put at risk.

There's also something about heroes doing a job for money. That makes them mercenaries like Silver Sable or Paladin. Misty has to be sure they have morals even if they are solely driven by money. The last thing she would want is for her hero to be bought out by someone meant to be taken down.

For the most part, Misty mainly employs those that don't work for money.

Most heroes work in exchange for a favor, a tip off, information...or just for the sheer reward of helping.

Having a mix of paid and non-paid heroes could make awkward team ups and cause other problems. How reliable will the team be? For the heroes that normally put their lives at risk on their own, being put into a situation with another hero they're not entirely familiar with or who might not be completely involved with the situation could result in a hero being harmed or possibly killed.

If Misty used the same group of heroes, they will get to know each other better, if they don't already. What she really needs to do is get all her potential employees together to meet. They need to know who Misty might call on to assist them and what abilities they have. If the heroes aren't all on the same page and aren't completely comfortable working with each other, the outcome of the mission could be jeopardized and innocents could end up paying for this with their lives.

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Edited by InnerVenom123

The first arc seemed to suggest that they're not really a true team, more like an organization with individual members that happen to cross paths if necessary. Which is actually refreshing compared to the ten dozen team books. I haven't read past that, though.

Posted by Namor1987

Russian Roulette with heroes sounds cool. I like the idea of the rotating random call ins

Posted by TheAntiVillain

it could showcase lesser known characters like deadpool team up

Edited by Osiris1428

It sounds like a great idea for Marvel's TV studios to showcase their lesser known characters so they could have the opportunity to become bigger surprise stars like Deadpool has become.

Posted by Captain Danvers

Wait so...how is it fundamentally a bad idea?

Posted by GhostRider29

If I need help and Ghost Rider appeared... I'd probably S*** myself.
Posted by ThanosIsMad

@Captain Danvers said:

Wait so...how is it fundamentally a bad idea?

It isn't in the slighest. It's an article full of poorly made points.

Posted by weaponmaster

I think the writer simply has a problem with who is "In Control' more than anything else.

Posted by Knight Train

I think this is one of your best articles Tony. I haven't read the series, but is Misty not wasting her talents in just organizing this. Wouldn't she be better suited to the field rather than doing a job that a intelligent non-crime fighter could do?

Posted by Chaos Burn

moon knight, punisher, ghost rider, elektra.... it smells just like an excuse to write about characters that usually need their own book.

Posted by GBrutality

the idea of a hero is someone going leaps and bounds above all else to save and protect the lives of others. team dynamic is a key factor in successful missions for groups obviously. i think what the author is pointing out is the fact that some of these 'heroes' don't necessarily have a dog in a fight they're risking their lives for. if it's only about money, unless they are mercenaries they may pull out deciding that it just isn't worth it. and even if it is a mercenary they may go to the most extreme measures which whether you agree or not isn't what the typical hero is meant to do. they only do good because something drives them to be so. they understand a loss is bound to happen, but always do their best to not see that day come to fruition by doing all they can to prevent it. another thing that was made clear was two heroes working together where one in a ninja and the other is infused with the powers of a demon may not match up well if say the former were to need back-up. when in a dangerous situation they would probably like to know they're with people they can rely on rather than somebody who's there for all the reasons that they're not, eventually leading to some sort of friction. that would just make things worse.

Posted by jubilee042

maybe those points are the fun stuff about heroes for hire i mean such an awkward team can be interesting

Posted by Battlepig

Heroes for Hire is also a book that solely exists on the "Oooh, now they brought [CHARACTER] in. This is awesome!"-factor. And on that alone, a book can't survive. If every issue you get ends on the same thing - a variation of a surprise character kicking the door in, going "I'm here to help!" - or if that story element is recurring, it gets stale.

Edited by oakin

Are you sure the heroes do all what they do for money?? In one of the issues, Control says that this is not all about money. Heroes are hired in exchange of critical information that heroes need. So the payment is not made in cash. I read all the issues and there is only one mention of bank transfer and that was Silver Sable. None of them were paid.

EDIT: Even Paladin doesn't accept money.

An article built on wrong information.

Posted by brc2000

@Knight Train said:

I think this is one of your best articles Tony. I haven't read the series, but is Misty not wasting her talents in just organizing this. Wouldn't she be better suited to the field rather than doing a job that a intelligent non-crime fighter could do?

I think Misty was injured or pregnant. I forget which.

Posted by olcottr

My concern is the membership. Okay, Elektra and Paladin I get. They've usually worked for money. But Ghost Rider and Punisher? They're both in the revenge business. And revenge is not a profitable business.

Edited by oakin

@olcottr said:

My concern is the membership. Okay, Elektra and Paladin I get. They've usually worked for money. But Ghost Rider and Punisher? They're both in the revenge business. And revenge is not a profitable business.

Paladin is not paid. He has a crush on Misty. Punisher and GR is not paid also.

Posted by Decept-O

I don't know, I like the idea behind Heroes for Hire and don't see anything really wrong with the concept. Certainly, there will be some bumps but you can't fault the characters for wanting to earn a paycheck to put food in their stomachs.

This type of set-up isn't perfect and one can't really fault Misty Knight here. She has "employees" who know the drill, and I don't think a meeting to get everyone on board is necessary if they already know the agenda of the agency.

Posted by longbowhunter
@GhostRider29 said:
If I need help and Ghost Rider appeared... I'd probably S*** myself.

HA! No doubt.
Posted by fodigg

I don't see it as very different from the Birds of Prey setup.

Posted by Iron_Turtle

@fodigg: But doesn't the Birds of Prey team have a consistent roster, who are all familiar with each others abilities, strengths and weaknesses?

One of my main problems with this set up is that you may not be getting the best team for the job. Just the team that's available at the time.

Posted by fodigg

@Iron_Turtle said:

@fodigg: But doesn't the Birds of Prey team have a consistent roster, who are all familiar with each others abilities, strengths and weaknesses?

One of my main problems with this set up is that you may not be getting the best team for the job. Just the team that's available at the time.

For a while they were rotating quite a bit, especially after Canary took a hiatus.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

The Magnificent Seven and the Seven Samurai would like to have a word with you.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

The concept is a sound idea even if it does have its occasional flaws. Frankly this idea makes me think of DC's premiere mercenary pre-New 52 team, the Secret Six. Obviously there's a big difference between the two teams but there's still the major concern of its team-members to do the right thing that permeates both teams. Obviously the "Sixers" (love calling them that), work for money while not all of the ones that are on the fluctuating roster of Heroes for Hire fight the good fight for cash. Nevertheless, I see lots of efficiency out of both models in the never-ending fight with evil. In the end, does it really matter if they make the moolah or not? Long as the bad guys go down...

Posted by zombietag

i didnt even read the whole articel yet and i already agree

Posted by GreenFuse

Strange article. Everything that was complained about actually makes this sound interesting. I've never read HFH but now I'm curious.

Posted by Larkin1388

I don't particularly think it's a great idea for them to chrage but I guess if it's a decently low price and only used for crime fighting supplies and food it's not a bad idea.

Posted by The Impersonator

If the team is a bad idea, then the series should be called Heroes Not For Hire.

Posted by KainScion

how is this a bad idea? showcase lesser known characters and the money thing, if you've read ANY heroes for hire issue they dont really get paid a lot, most of the times they do it for free or very little. and from what i've seen in the recent volume most heroes are being called in for favors not money. so THIS IS A GOOD IDEA!!!

Posted by Nostradouglas

I liked the idea of the mix up of different team members the first time I saw it, when it was called Secret Defenders.

Posted by Kairan1979

@Xenozoic Shaman said:

The Magnificent Seven and the Seven Samurai would like to have a word with you.

Posted by Sammo21

My problem would be for characters like Punisher, Black Widow, or Ghost Rider doing this as it seems against what they stand for...well, at least for the Natasha Romanov Black Widow.

Posted by crowncoke

Bad Idea?  NO.  Flawed?  YES.  BUT flawed int that is shows some honesty in the world that Marvel uses.  Think of the Avengers.  You are telling me that Ben Grim and Peter Parker are constantly available to the whims of Steve Rogers?  I really do not buy that.  This allows for a rotating roster of characters.  Perhaps they should have a 'roster of heroes' and then the issues can revolve around those and 'reservist' that are brought in on occasion due to a 'need'.   
 
Another reason that the 'for hire' part works is people need things.  It may not be monetary, but there are needs.  Peter needs an alibi for work?  He has someone with in the network sets him up with a plausible alibi.  Elektra needs info concerning taking down a ring of human traffickers?  Someone within the network helps her out (by passing on the info thru control).  A hero is short on funds?  Then HfH sets them up with some sort of low profile work for pay (bodyguarding Paris Hilton or some such). 
 
The premise works, but perhaps the execution is flawed from the writers.
Posted by Baddamdog

Heroes for Hire series never last, I'm surprised this hasn't been cancelled yet.

Wait, actually, aren't they replacing it with Villains for Hire, which will basically be a rip off of Secret Six

Posted by Outside_85

Problem with hired heroes is the same as government controlled heroes; who the bad guys are is dictated by whos paying your bills.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I'm not familiar with Heroes For Hire, but the way you describe it with the rotating roster and everything; I would describe this more as an organization rather than an actual 'team.' A team is a group of people who work together on a more consistent basis, constantly being able to send different people solo or in small widely varied groups is something more like an organization. Although I don't know how big this group is, that could affect the definition.

Posted by Jordanstine

It's just a comic book to entertain.

The Avengers never worked with each other before teaming up to beat Loki.

Next up:

Why going out fighting crime in your swimsuit is still not a good idea; I'm lookin' at you Wonder Woman! Or why fighting crime in a dark alley at night while wearing your undies on the outside is a fundamentally bad idea; I'm lookin' at you pre-Final Crisis Batman! And don't get me started on Magneto!

Posted by archangelsr_uk

I think its a great idea and a great book. As pointed out it brings lesser know characters into the spot light or characters that can do the job no one else can do or wants to do (punisher). It also creates a bridge from the superhero community to the civillian population. When a neighbour hood is under attack and the police cant control it there not going to call in the avengers. Having the heroes for hire gives like a samaritans line the locals can call and get the problems that effect them more directly handled.

Posted by leokearon

The new version sounds like M.A.S.K

Posted by Fantasgasmic

I haven't read Heroes for Hire since a couple random issues around 1997, maybe 98. I think it might work if the "for hire" part isn't necessarily for hire heroics, but things like security, surveillance, or private investigation work where a superhero's powers and/or reputation would be an added benefit.

Villains for HIre is a much more plausible scenario.

Posted by AfternoonWalker

There was an Exiles issue that dealt with this where ALL heroes were a part of heroes for hire and if you needed help you had to pay. Funniest line was when Japan was getting attacked by Moses Magnum (oh late 90s Avengers restart) and they wanted "the avengers package" (hehe)

Posted by Multiverse

I haven't read the Heroes for Hire series so my comments are based entirely on the article. The setup seems to me like what they should do for the Avengers, JLA etc. Police, firefighters, and soldiers are all paid by the government to do what they do so why not superheroes. In terms of the idea of control sending out heroes to deal with a situation, that fits with the specialization of roles you get for jobs in the real world. Imagine if the JLA or Avengers always had alien, magical, oceanic, technological, and medical threat specialists from the superhero community on call that would be able to respond depending on the situation.

Posted by Teerack

Risk exist.

Posted by mikex20

Heroes For Hire seems like the best way to rum a Superhero team. Get the right heroes for the case, Thor just seems a tad much dealing with low level street criminals, and Daredevil is out of his element when Galactus comes to Earth. Plus there's really no reason why a superhero shouldn't get paid for what they do, and in no way makes them mercenaries. I wouldn't call a firefighter or a cop a merc.

Posted by TheBlackHood

I really enjoyed the concept of the book but felt like it was doomed when it was forced to only use characters that weren't being otherwise currently used. I was very excited to see Punisher featured, since at the time his new book hadn't started. Then at the end of the arc when he says "Don't call me again." I know the title was going to have problems. I'm very sad to see it go as I think it had a great deal of potential. I'm a big fan of non-team team books like the old Defenders or even the route the new Stormwatch is taking.

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Posted by Icon

@oakin said:

Are you sure the heroes do all what they do for money?? In one of the issues, Control says that this is not all about money. Heroes are hired in exchange of critical information that heroes need. So the payment is not made in cash. I read all the issues and there is only one mention of bank transfer and that was Silver Sable. None of them were paid.

EDIT: Even Paladin doesn't accept money.

An article built on wrong information.

Agreed

Posted by Ulyverse

Nah, they're saving people and such. I think making some money is a clever idea! Reminds me of a webcomic I use to read about a company dedicated to helping Heroes and paying them arranging death/resurrection plan and stuff.

Posted by JBBuc

@olcottr said:

My concern is the membership. Okay, Elektra and Paladin I get. They've usually worked for money. But Ghost Rider and Punisher? They're both in the revenge business. And revenge is not a profitable business.

Yeah but revenge has to be expensive. How does the punisher pay for all those bullets? He was a cop so it's not like he's independently wealthy. Dude has to have a job.

Posted by ImperiousRix

I actually didn't really KNOW what the idea of Heroes for Hire (the new series at least) was about until this article. Now that I know, although I don't know if the idea is really the most EFFICIENT superhero team, I like the concept.

The idea that just about anybody in a given vicinity could be called upon to be part of the "team" means you never know who could pop up in the next issue. I also like the idea of heroes taking time out of their busy schedules to help on random jobs, even if they ARE getting something out of the deal.

Again, I don't read the book, but actually knowing what the concept is makes me think it may be fun, stupid idea or not.

Posted by GothamBat

This is actually one of my favorite Marvel books right now.

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