GREEN DRAGON

Classification: Terrestrial technology (1950s era)

Creator: Unrevealed (see comments)

User/Possessors: Unrevealed (see comments)

First Appearance: Captain America Comics#78/2 (September, 1954)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: Apparently a giant automated parade float, the Green Dragon could walk, produce a roaring sound, and blow streams of smoke and flame from its nostrils; although it had a pair of disproportionately small wings on its back, it did not demonstrate the ability to fly.  It was supposedly animated by the "God of the Green Dragon".

 

History: (Captain America Comics#78/2 (fb) - BTS) - Legend had it that many years ago, the "God of the Green Dragon" died to protect China from its enemies; the legend further went on to say that the dragon would come to life again when China was in danger.  At some point, a powerful and secret organization dedicated to worshiping the Green Dragon was established.  

(Captain America Comics#78/2) - In South Korea, a Communist spy (and member of the secret Green Dragon organization) had stolen a coded list of Chinese soldiers who had defected to the United States, and it was feared that the soldiers' families would be killed in retaliation if the list were decoded.  The only clue to the spy's whereabouts was an emblem that was ripped off his sleeve when he fled--an emblem with a green dragon insignia.

   Determined to get the list out of enemy hands, Captain America (William Burnside) and Bucky (Jack Monroe) spoke with an ex-Red Chinese soldier and learned of the legend of the Green Dragon; the former soldier gave them a lead to follow when he told them the "Feast of the Green Dragon" was being held in Shanghai.

   Cap and Bucky sneaked into Shanghai, where they found the streets of the city filled with people in strange and colorful costumes, in celebration of a parade for the event; they also saw the spy in the parade reviewing stand with members of the Chinese military.  But the heroes were in turn spotted by Chinese soldiers, who chased after Cap and Bucky as they ran to the end of the parade line, where the two heroes came upon the Green Dragon, which  was being pulled on a wheeled platform.  Cap and Bucky crawled into the mouth of the great effigy, and while Cap stayed up front in the mouth to act as a guide, he sent Bucky further down into the parade float to find the mechanism that controlled it.  From the depths of the Green Dragon, Bucky reported that he found the controls, and Cap told him to activate it ("Let 'er rip, li'l partner!").  The Green Dragon sprang to life, scattering crowds and smashing buildings.  As the animated parade float spread chaos as it strode through the streets, Cap spotted the spy and jumped out of the dragon's mouth.  Seizing the espionage agent, Cap ordered him to give up the stolen list, and the spy complied.  Seeing that fire was shooting from the Green Dragon's nostrils, Cap (assuming that Bucky had activated the flames) threw the list into the blaze and incinerated it.  Cap then jumped on the parade review stand and made a quick speech to the citizens of Shanghai, telling them that the Green Dragon had come to life to rid them of the the scourge of the Reds, the enemies and foes of all honest men.

   As the people began to turn against the Reds, Cap went back to the Green Dragon's mouth, where he found a dazed Bucky crawling out.  Cap congratulated his "li'l partner" for a job well done, and commended Bucky for leaving the mechanism running so the dragon would keep up the show.  But Bucky reported that he had never been running the Green Dragon, because he had been knocked out by a swinging part of the mechanism just as he got to the controls, and that he had had nothing to do with what had occurred!  As they watched the Green Dragon rampage onward, the heroes wondered if perhaps the legends were true.    

 

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and John Romita.

Of course, the Captain America and Bucky featured in this story are not the originals (Steve Rogers and James Barnes), but rather the "commie smasher" Cap of the 1950s and his "li'l partner".

The fate of the Green Dragon is unknown; I assume it eventually ran out of fuel or had a mechanical breakdown.

The book Captain America: Official Index to the Marvel Universe postulates that the "God of the Green Dragon" could have been connected to the Makluans/Kakaranatharnians, an extraterrestrial dragon-like race (which included Axon-Karr and Fin Fang Foom).  I'm going to carry that theory a step further....

   The Green Dragon seemed to be pretty elaborate and powerful to have just been a simple parade float.  Maybe it was built by Iron Man's (future) foe, the Mandarin.  The Marvel Handbook states that the Mandarin was born circa 1920; as an adult, he used his brilliance and family wealth to attain prominence in the Kuomintang Party's reign over China.  The Communist Revolution of 1949 cost him his position and power.  After years of seeking some means of regaining greatness, he ventured into the mysterious Valley of Spirits, where he discovered the centuries-old wreckage of a Makluan starship, and would spend years mastering its technology. 

   Since he was around at the time this story took place, and it's never been established exactly when he first discovered the starship, it's possible that the Mandarin could have learned some of the rudimentary aspects of the advanced alien technology and used it to build the Green Dragon, which he might have controlled remotely, and Captain America and Bucky were coincidentally present when he activated it.  The Mandarin was known for having a knowledge of robotics (as exemplified by Koto, a monstrous android, and his reactivation of Ultimo).  Because they originally cost him his position and power, the Mandarin certainly had no love of the Communists (although he wasn't above using them as needed), so maybe the Green Dragon was his first attempt to overthrow the Communists and establish his own empire.   

The Green Dragon could be the Dragon attacking the Dragon Float containing a communist general and machine gunners in Astonishing#58 (February, 1957) "The Dragon's Roar!"
--Gammatotem

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Green Dragon has no known connection to:


images: (without ads)
Captain America Comics#78/2  p5 pan3 (main image)
Captain America Comics#78/2  p1 pan1 (headshot)
Captain America Comics#78/2  p5 pan5 (Green Dragon rampaging in Shanghai; Captain America in dragon's mouth)


Appearances:
Captain America Comics#78/2 (September, 1954) - unidentified writer, John Romita (artist)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 09/22/15

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