DRAGON-KINGS

Membership: Five (see comments; none identified by name); in at least one instance, Yü-Ti (Son of Tuan) described himself as one of the Dragon-Kings

Purpose: Advisors to Yü-Ti, warriors

Aliases: Lung-Wang;
    they were once called the Yama-Kings but that seems to be in error (see comments)

Affiliations: Iron Fist (Daniel Rand'Kai), Yü-Ti (son of Tuan)

Enemies: The Hand, Hiromitsu, Junzo Muto;
    formerly Cage, Captain America, Sharon Carter, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Psylocke, SHIELD (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate), Sunfire, Wolverine (James Howlett), the Yakiba

Base of Operations: K'un-Lun

First Appearance: Marvel Premiere#15 (May, 1974)

Abilities: Powerful sorcerers, the Dragon-Kings can assume both humanoid and dragon form. In the latter, they are roughly 30' tall, superhumanly strong and durable, and can fly and breathe fire.

History:

(Master of Kung Fu Annual#1 (fb) - BTS) - Quan-St'ar, one of the favored of Yü-Ti, (Tuan or a predecessor) often stood by him alongside the Dragon-Kings while they were entertained by an exhibition of skill, staged by the Dragon Riders of K'un-Lun.

(Master of Kung Fu Annual#1 (fb)) - One day one of the Dragons went berserk and attacked Yü-Ti, and Quan-St'ar leaped forward to his defense. It was a long and vicious battle, but finally Quna-St'ar slew the beast--and when he had cut out its heart--he presented it to Yü-Ti, whose life he had just saved, as a token of his loyalty. The Dragon-Kings stood by Yü-Ti as he chastised, reviled, and banished Quan-St'ar forever from K'un-Lun. All that mattered was that a sacred dragon had been slain--and that Quan-St'ar had slain it.

(Marvel Premiere#21 (fb) - BTS / Marvel Premiere#22 (fb)) - Perhaps 2000 years ago, the Ninja traveled to K'un-Lun, intending to conquer it but was defeated by Lei Kung the Thunderer. Bound in rings of iron, the Ninja was brought before Yü-Ti (possibly Tuan or his predecessor) and the Dragon-Kings, who stripped away his physical form and imprisoned his spirit within the Book of Many Things where he remained trapped for centuries.

(Marvel Team-Up I#64 (fb)) - The Dragon Kings sat alongside Yü-Ti (Tuan) as Davos (the future Steel Serpent) battled Wendell Rand'Kai. Yü-Ti stopped the fight due to Davos receiving a heavy beating, announcing neither he nor the Yama-Kings (see comments) wished to see a warrior of K'un-Lun beaten to a pulp because pride would not let him admit defeat.

(Marvel Premiere#15) - Yü-Ti (son of Tuan) and the Dragon-Kings observed the young Iron Fist (Daniel Rand'Kai) overcoming the Challenge of the Many and then facing the Challenge of the One. As Iron Fist struggled against Shu-Hu, one of the Dragon-Kings expressed his doubts about whether Iron Fist should be welcomed into the company of immortals instead of just being cast back into the endless snows outside the city. Yü-Ti remained silent as Iron Fist eventually persevered and defeated Shu-Hu. Afterwards Yü-Ti congratulated Iron Fist, offering him the right to choose between immortality and death.

 

 

 

 

(Iron Fist II#2 (fb) - BTS) - Yü-Ti (son of Tuan) and the Dragon-Kings accepted the Steel Samurai as K'un-Lun's official protector.

(Iron Fist II#2) - Yü-Ti (son of Tuan) and the Dragon-Kings confronted Iron Fist as he arrived in K'un-Lun. They watched as Iron Fist challenged and defeated Steel Serpent but refused to kill him as Yü-Ti ordered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Heroes for Hire I#??? / Iron Fist: Wolverine#1 (fb) - BTS) - In an effort to save Earth following the vanishing of many heroes against Onslaught, Iron Fist made an arrangement for K'un-Lun to be transported to Earth.

(Iron Fist: Wolverine#1 - BTS) - Iron Fist's arrival in Japan initiated the transfer of K'un-Lun to Tokyo.

(Iron Fist: Wolverine#2 (fb)) - Yü-Ti (son of Tuan) sought the Dragon-Kings' council, but as they began discussing the situation, its instigator, Junzo Muto (who had usurped Iron Fist's power) arrived alongside his mentor, Hiromitsu, and his agents in the Hand. Muto announced his intent to rule K'un-Lun, and the Dragon-Kings assumed their dragon forms to attack him, but Junzo dodged their attacks and Hiromitsu blasted the Dragon-Kings, trapping them in dragon form and placing them under Junzo's control.

(Iron Fist: Wolverine#2) - The red dragon attacked Iron Fist as he entered Tokyo/K'un-Lun (the city was gradually transforming from the former into the latter). The surprise caught him off guard and, powerless at the time, he was easily captured. The dragons rampaged through the city.

(Iron Fist: Wolverine#3) - Alongside Hand agents, the dragons attacked the super-heroes who had entered the transforming city: Cage, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Psylocke, and Wolverine. The green dragon spoke to Cage, commenting at how he'd always thought Cage beneath him and then stomping on him, but Cage tossed the dragon to the ground. Wolverine broke Iron Fist out of his prison, but they emerged from a manhole right into the middle of the battle, which had since been joined by Junzo Muto.

(Iron Fist: Wolverine#4) - The dragons battled the heroes, preventing them from ganging up on Junzo; Iron Fist encouraged the heroes not to hurt the mind-controlled dragons. Captain America, Sharon Carter, and agents of SHIELD soon arrived alongside Sunfire and the Yakiba to assist the other heroes. As the spell that was replacing Tokyo with K'un-Lun neared completion, Iron Fist allowed Yü-Ti to stab him in the chest. Since Iron Fist's heartbeat was essential to the spell, his death neutralized the spell, and Tokyo reverted to normal; Iron Fist revived via encouragement from his deceased parents.
    Portions of K'un-Lun, including the dragons (trapped in that form), remained present, and Iron Fist decided to stay and help keep things under control.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (artist), Dick Giordano (inker).

    Throughout all of their early appearances, there is no evidence that the Dragon-Kings were actually dragons. They just seemed more like advisors to Yü-Ti. 25 years later, in the Iron Fist/Wolverine series, they turn into dragons. That arc described them as sorcerers, and they may or may not be actual dragons but could just take that form. It might make sense that a peaceful arrangement was made between the king of the dragons and the August Personage in Jade (Yü-Ti, ruler of K'un-Lun), involving four dragons serving as advisors to Yü-Ti.
    Also, all past appearances had four or less Dragon-Kings. In the Iron Fist/Wolverine series, five dragons are seen simultaneously.

    In Marvel Team-Up I#64, Yü-Ti named the Dragon-Kings as Yama-Kings. The term Yama-Kings was previously (in terms of publication) / later (in terms of chronology) used by that same Yü-Ti (Lord Tuan) in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#21, and it refers to the Lords of the Dead dwelling in Feng Tu. Claremont wrote both stories, but I think he just got confused in this case.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Dragon-Kings have no known connection to:

 


images: (without ads)
Marvel Premiere#15, p1, floating heads


Appearances:
Marvel Premiere#15 (May, 1974) - by Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (artist), Dick Giordano (inker)
Marvel Premiere#22 (June, 1975) - by Tony Isabella (writer), Arvell Jones (pencils), Aubrey Bradford (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Master of Kung Fu Annual#1 (1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Keith Pollard (artist), Tartag-Vohland (inkers)
Marvel Team-Up I#64 (December, 1977) - Chris Claremont (author), John Byrne (artist), Dave Hunt (inker)
Iron Fist II#2 (October, 1996) - James Felder (writer), Robert Brown (penciler), Rey Garcia (inker)
Iron Fist: Wolverine#2 (December, 2000) - Jae Ferber & Jamal Igle (storytellers), Rich Perrotta
Iron Fist: Wolverine#3-4 (January-February, 2001) - Jae Ferber & Jamal Igle (storytellers), Rich Perrotta


Last updated: 03/24/07.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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