Classification: Item of great apparent monetary and cultural value
User/Possessors: Kwai, Cho Lee, Jenny Quinn, Shadow Thief, Shang-Chi, Shareen, Lionel Stern, Black Jack Tarr
First Appearance: Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#12 (May, 1975)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: It is a statue in the graven image of a dragon. It is rumored to have been sculpted from solid gold, with the exception of the dragon's heart, which was said to be a perfect ruby equally the size of a man's fist. Its true nature is unclear. see below
History: (DHoK#12)-Shang-Chi interrupted a show by the magician Cho Lee to reveal and stop kidnappers from abducting Cho Lee's assistant and sister, Shareen. These men were apparently agents of the Shadow Thief, were seeking the Golden Dragon, knew Shareen had it in a locker in the Port Authority. Fearing the Shadow Thief would obtain statue, Cho Lee convinced Shang to accompany Shareen to relocate it. En route, they were attacked by others seeking the statue. They escaped, but were confronted by the Shadow Thief himself after retrieving the statue from the locker. In the course of the battle, the Golden Dragon was dropped, and it shattered, revealing it to be a glass fake. The Shadow Thief's mask was removed, and he was exposed as Cho Lee, who accused Shareen of deceiving him, and revealed himself as Shareen's lover, not brother, and then escaped.
Shareen then told Shang that the Dragon was actually a precious artifact of the government of the People's Republic of China, which she wished to return, necessitating the deception of Cho Lee. She claimed that she had used Cho Lee to obtain the Dragon from those who had smuggled it out of China, but knew that he wanted to keep it for himself. As the two headed for Shareen's apartment to retrieve the "real" Dragon, they were ambushed by Kwai his gang, seeking the Dragon.
(DHoK#13) The Shadow Thief arrived to assist Shang and Shareen and fight off Kwai and his gang. He claimed not to be Cho Lee, and Shang and Shareen then found the corpse of Cho Lee, in the Shadow Thief's costume, hanging from a lamp post. When they made it to Shareen's apartment, they arrived too late to stop the Shadow Thief from making off with the statue. They followed his helicopter to a mansion, and Shang broke in to track down the statue. Shang found the Shadow Thief, but also walked into a trap in which Shareen was chained to a spiked drop ceiling, with poisonous snakes on the floor.
(DHoK#14) Shang freed himself and Shareen from the trap, but then discovered the mansion belonged to criminal Lionel Stern. Stern hired the Shadow Thief to obtain the statue for himself, but had no idea that the Shadow Theif had built an elaborate trap within his mansion, nor that the Thief had betrayed him and stolen the statue. Shang easily took out Stern when he confronted them, but failed to stop the Thief from escaping in a helicopter. Shareen showed Stern that the Thief had left him with a fake. Black Jack Tarr then arrived, sent by Sir Denis Nayland Smith to obtain the Dragon.
(DHoK#16) Under duress, Stern revealed that he had dealt with the Shadow Thief at a curio shop known as the Crimson Pagoda in Chinatown, Manhattan, and that they might find the Thief and the Dragon there. Suddenly Shareen grabbed a gun, fired at the others, and jumped out the window to get a head start to the curio shop. The others followed, and then Stern called ahead to the Crimson Pagoda to let *** know the others were coming, as planned. Upon returning to his bedroom, he found his lover, Melissa (actually Jenny Quinn), had been beaten by Shareen. After Jenny found where the others were headed, she beat up Stern and headed out as well.
Shang and Tarr traveled together to the curio shop, where they found Cho Lee, somehow alive again. Things got really weird when "Tarr" revealed itself as some sort of demon creature, which joined with Cho Lee's other demon servants. As he defeated the demon servants, he found that each one wore a mask, and underneath it, all of them were Kwai, Cho Lee's ally/assistant. Shang overcame all of the servants, and Cho Lee fled. Shang met the real Tarr outside of the Crimson Pagoda, who was working with Jenny Quinn. The three were then confronted by an immense, animated version of the statue, which apparently had grown tired of being hunted, and sought revenge...in dementia. (?)
(DHoK#17) The Shadow Thief attacked Shang, Tarr, and Quinn as the giant Dragon loomed overhead. The Shadow Thief declined his own identity as the Dragon suddenly swooped down and devoured them both. Inside the Dragon, Shang was confronted by visions of the others involved in the Golden Dragon plot, as well as some of his other personal associates, culminating with a duplicate of himself.
(DHoK#18) After defeating the version of himself, he confronted an inner version of the Dragon, and shattered it, returning to reality with the true version of the Golden Dragon in his hands. He headed back to the Crimson Pagoda, where all of the others had gathered. Stern attempted to grab the statue from Shang, and it fell to the ground shattering. Amidst its remants was a large ruby, which Tarr found was also a fake. Shattering the fake ruby he found a piece of paper containing the message: "Without a pursuit, life is meaningless and hollow"
After learning the secret of the Golden Dragon, its former seekers all went their separate ways.
Comments: Created by Doug Moench and Rudy Nebres.
The Golden Dragon was a mystery wrapped in an enigma rolled in a doobie. What's on this page is the best I can figure things. If you get the issues and read them yourself, maybe you can explain it to me. (I get the take home message, but that's about it)...It's still a very good read.
Actually, I'm surprised the whole thing wasn't revealed as a plot of Fu Manchu to teach Shang a lesson about life.
The Golden Dragon has no known connection to:
He was a stage magician. He appeared at different times to be the twin brother of the Shadow Thief, and at others, the Shadow Thief himself. He appeared to have been killed at one point, but he got better. He may have actually had limited mystical abilities, such as teleportation and mesmerization.--DHoKF#12 (13, 16, 18
He was apparently an agent of the government of the People's Republic of China, but he also served as an actor at the Temple of Jade theatre where Cho Lee had performed. He was sometimes allied with Cho Lee and appeared to want the Dragon for its monetary value. --DHoKF#12 (13, 16, 18
She was apparently a member of the British government. She posed as a woman named Melissa, and maintained a close, romantic relationship with Stern to locate the Dragon. Once his use ended, she beat him up and took off. She was trained in hand-to-hand combat and espionage. --DHoKF#14 (16-18
He is rumored to have been born in a time beyond time, and is a great master of the oriental arts. He is allegedly the first pupil of Boddhidharma, and the tutor of the master samurai and ninja from ages past. The greatest ninja in the past possessed only 1/10 of the Shadow Thief's skill. He would teach them no more, fearing the day their spirits would return to haunt and do battle with him. He was also claimed to be Cho Lee's twin brother. He was a master warrior, and could vanish into thin air in full view of others.--DHoKF#12 (13, 14, 17, 18
She appeared to be at sometimes the sister, and at other times the lover, of Cho Lee. She claimed to be an agent of the government of the People's Republic of China, who sought to return the Dragon to her country --DHoKF#12 (13, 14, 16, 18
was a criminal art collector who hired the Shadow Thief to steal the Dragon for him, but was betrayed when the Dragon left him with a fake, and took the real one himself. His lover, Melissa, was actually Jenny Quinn, a british spy who was also involved in the plot of the Golden Dragon.--DHoKF#14 (16, 18
Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#13-14 (June-July, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Rudy Nebres (artist), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#16-18 (September-November, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Rudy Nebres (artist), Don McGregor (#16-17) & Archie Goodwin (#18) (editors)
Last Updated: 08/02/02
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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