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Issue #1
Enter the Double Dragon

By Johnny Undaunted
Associate Editor

The first issue starts with a woman tied to a chair inside a sandglass.  We learn that the woman's name is Marian Steele (Steele? Martin? Delario? Make up your mind Tradewest!) who is fighting the fight of her life.  I thought this was some sort of metaphor, but it turns out to be an actual event in this issue.  Marian is an undercover agent in the fictional semi-futuristic city of Oligopolis, a city that was peaceful and quiet until Nightfall showed up.  Nightfall, who is a mysterious dark creature, is the boss of the most powerful crime syndicate in Oligopolis.  No one is able to stop him, except two siblings called the Double Dragons.  Marian Steele met the Dragons, who's real names are William and James Lee (aka Billy and Jimmy), while working undercover.  As time passed by, Marian became attached to the Dragons, causing a romantic conflict between Billy and Jimmy.  Marian used children to pass on info to the Dragons in order to foil Nightfall's plans.  Why is this important?  You'll see.

One day, Marian finds a ledger containing all corrupted officials accepting bribes from Nightfall. As soon as she gets the ledger, she comes face to face with Superluminal, one of Nightfall's men.  Who's Superluminal?  He's the evil Flash that I was talking about earlier.  You don't need to know anything else, because he will only show up again in the final issue.  Superluminal knocks Marian unconscious before she gets to shoot her gun.  He takes Marian and the ledger with him while a bunch of kids on a hover bike are watching.  While the kids are on a hover bike, one of them says, "We got 'wheels'. Use em", which doesn't make sense.  The kids decide to report this to the brothers.  Superluminal notices the kids, but he doesn't do anything.  Why?  Because it's part of his evil scheme, not to mention that the Comic Code of Authority doesn't allow killing kids.

The kids go to the Dragon House Headquarters, which is where our good guys are located.  Here we first learn about Sensei (that's not his title, that's actually his name), Billy and Jimmy's teacher and grandfather.  We also meet the Dragons themselves.  We learn that Jimmy is the serious half of the Dragons, while Billy is the Peter Parker-wannabe of the two.  As soon as the Dragons learn of the fact that Marian is in danger, the Dragons decide to call upon the Dragon Force and the Sensei tells them to do it in the Dragon's Lair, despite the fact that Marian's life is in danger.  The Dragon's Lair is where the Dragon Statue is located, the source of the Dragon Force.  The statue turns to life and gives some short speech about Billy and Jimmy being the first twins in a generation to hold the Dragon Force before turning back into a statue.  Then Billy and Jimmy hold hands and they turn from regular Billy and Jimmy to Double Dragon mode, complete with Dragon Armor and a bunch of gadgets.  The costumes are drawn okay and they aren't as bad as those featured in the movie or the cartoon, but Billy's costume for some reason is green instead of the more proper blue.

After turning to Double Dragon mode, Billy and Jimmy go to the scene of the crime with regular motorcycles instead of hover bikes, where a group of thugs are waiting for them.  Since this is an American comic book, heroes and villains converse while fighting with each other, but thankfully the conversation is short.  Billy and Jimmy come face to face with Legerdemain.  Who is Legerdemain?  He is a basically a poor plot device who tells the Dragons about Marian's whereabouts.  Legerdemain shows an image of Marian being tied inside a sandglass.  Legerdemain then gives the Dragons an hourglass in sync with that of Marian's and Marian's whereabouts.

On the way to Marian's whereabouts, Billy and Jimmy come across a bridge filled with hired mercenaries.  Once again it's time for bad jokes and conversation.  While beating up the bad guys, one of the mercenaries throws dynamite, which blows up the bridge.  Billy and Jimmy nearly fall to their deaths and they lose the hourglass too.  After climbing to the other side, Billy and Jimmy fight against Exoskeleton.  Like the previous villains, Exoskeleton is a forgettable bad guy who doesn't show up again until the final issue.  Exoskeleton's role could have easily been filled by Abobo or Burnov.  After beating Exoskeleton the first time, the Dragons get into an argument about the hourglass instead of advancing forward, which allows Exoskeleton to throw a giant rock.  The Dragons avoid it and once again Exoskeleton is down.

Billy and Jimmy finally find the dungeon where Marian is held.  After splitting up and finding their way through the dungeon and defeating a group of "Shadow Warriors", the Dragons release Marian from her sandglass prison, but no ledger.  While the Dragons are distracted, Marian shoots a Shadow Warrior who was behind Jimmy's back.  Because of this, the Dragons get into a silly argument, which is rather ridiculous now that Marian is safe.  Before, exchanging blows, Billy and Jimmy get a telepathic warning from Sensei through the Dragon Force.

Comments: While it has decent artwork, the first issue of this mini series is filled with forgettable villains, horrible dialogue and a cheesy storyline. And this is only a taste of what's to come.