Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gang Ways


Name This Marvel Villain??

This wouldn't be the first time we'd see the name of the White Dragon used for a Marvel villain, though he certainly looks the part more than the White Dragon that Iron Man once faced. Here he appears to be a budding crime lord of Chinatown, seeking to unite the existing four Dragon gangs under his control. Spider-Man enters the picture when the Dragon seeks to conscript Peter Parker's new friend, Philip Chang, into one of the gangs:

Fortunately, Peter plans a spider-tracer on the Dragon, which leads Spidey to the meeting where the Dragon and the gang leaders are attempting to "persuade" Chang that it's in his best interests to cooperate. But Spider-Man will find that the Dragon is full of tricks--and the web-slinger is soon strung up in an elaborate death trap as a means to force Chang's agreement:

We have to assume that Spidey, being semi-conscious at best, didn't think to take a breath while he was being dropped into the oil. He's also effectively blind, since, being submerged in oil and not water, he can't open his eyes. So his escape from this bat-trap--er, trap, is rather miraculous:

Spidey manages to land in the drink--and the possibility of his return has the Dragon and his men making tracks. When he does make his way back to Chang, Spidey learns the full story of the threat that the Dragon holds over the head of Chang, who started out on the wrong side of the tracks but now seeks another path:

Spider-Man's final confrontation is a little rushed, given that the remaining part of that issue is reserved for Peter Parker's graduation from college. So if you get a sense that the White Dragon is a little overrated as a Spider-Man villain, you're probably more intuitive than Marvel's writing staff.

The White Dragon would go on to make several more appearances, most of which continued to center on his desire to keep Chinatown as his base of operations as well as his obsession with having Chang join his ranks.

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