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
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
Fang Foom). I'm going to carry that theory a step
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!"
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
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)
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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