DD II Shrine
One Dragon on the Ground
By Eddie MountainGoat
The comic starts with a quick recap of the
previous issue. It actually makes Stelth seem more like the central
villain than Nightfall. In just one issue she has:
Stolen the Dragon Statue;
Arranged for the attack on Billy and Jimmy at the cemetery; and
Used her illusion power to make the assailants look like the Lee brothers.
Double Dragon (as Billy and Jimmy are collectively known in the comic
series) defeated all of Stelth's doppelgangers and are the only two fighters
left standing. But each thinks that the other is an impostor.
And this is where we begin…
While Billy and Jimmy had begun to glow with the power of the Dragon Force
as the previous comic ended, their full Dragon Armor has now appeared.
Neither Stelth nor Nightfall (who was trying to absorb the Dragon Force,
from the statue) can account for how Double Dragon called on the power, and
it's never explained.
Billy and Jimmy fight. Their battle takes up 11 of the comic's 22
pages. The Marvel battle-prattle actually gives a little insight into
Double Dragon's weapons. The Vibe-Chucks (Dragon Force-powered
nunchaku) and Dazzle Stars (throwing stars that cause temporary blindness) -
both previously seen in Issue #1 - return. Making its debut here is
the Dragon Lance, a Dragon Force-powered, extending Bo staff-like weapon.
Meanwhile, a couple of thieves are breaking into Marian's car. T hey open
the trunk… and get kicked in the head and cuffed to a lamppost for their
efforts. Marian, now free, sets off to “Warn the Dragons that
Stelth'll be looking for them.” A little late.
Back at the cemetery, Billy emerges victorious, knocking Jimmy out.
Stelth then appears to him and reveals the truth - “You just beat your
brother to a bloody pulp.” She takes on her almost-invisible form
(which she used in the previous issue to defeat Sensei) and takes Billy down
with little effort. She then reveals her Wolverine-like retractable
claws (Seriously? How many powers does this chick have?) and is about to
carve Billy up when she gets shot in the hand. Marian has arrived to
save Billy and Jimmy (Hang on, isn't it supposed to be the other way
The next day, Billy, Jimmy and Marian work out that it was indeed the Dragon
Force that gave the brothers the ability to overcome so many attackers.
This means that Nightfall does not control the Dragon Force. But
neither do Billy and Jimmy, so the heroes are left pondering who does.
This is answered for the reader, almost immediately. In Nightfall's
headquarters, the arch-villain remains unsuccessful in draining the Dragon
Statue's power and realizes that he has lost control. The statue comes
to life and escapes, soaring over Oligopolis. The Dragon Force is now
incarnate controlled by nobody.
Eddie MountainGoat's review: The Billy vs. Jimmy fight has been teased since
the comic began (in Issue #1 it was halted by Sensei's telepathic warning;
in Issue #2 just as they were about to fight, the comic ended). It
finally happens here, so I guess this issue could feel like a worthy climax
for readers who've been wanting the battle, or gamers who feel it's a
crucial part of the Double Dragon experience.
For me, this comic just felt like a stretched-out conclusion to the previous
issue. I need plot with my action. The first two comics had at
least some storyline. This one is pretty much a fight scene. Not
enough happens to justify printing an entire issue.
On the plus side, I particularly liked the
image on page 16, panel 2 (Note: it's the 13th page if you're only counting
pages of comic material, but I'm going by the number on the bottom of the
page). Billy and Jimmy have rendered each other unconscious with their
Dragon Lances, and both lie on the ground in front of a gravestone. It
really symbolizes the mutually-destructive nature of the brother-vs.-brother