The Dragon Archives #1
Cover Date: June 1998
Cover Price: $2.95 (US) / $? (CAN)
Format: 28 Pages / Black & White
Cover: Erik Larsen and I.H.O.C.
LEAD STORY: “REVENGE!”
Story/Art/Creator: Erik Larsen
The Society of Superheroes
– Battle Tank
– Mighty Man II
– Poison Dart
– Sgt. Marvel
– Star II
The Bronze Man
Dragon considers how he has featured in the news a lot lately and even though he has retired from the S.O.S., his enemies do not seem to have gotten the message. He is disturbed in his kitchen when he is attacked by a villain bursting through the wall behind his fridge. Dragon attempts to convince his assailant to go elsewhere but when his words are ignored he simply falls back on instincts and defeats him with ease.
As he pops open a drink, another assailant is spotted moving in the shadows and another villain leaps out at Dragon. The villain is swiftly defeated too and Dragon considers just how many times he has been attacked in such a short time and that if he was still with the S.O.S. then at least he would be getting paid. He resigns himself to having to put up with this type of unwanted attention for awhile and goes to check up on a sleeping Angel. When it is obvious that his daughter is suffering from a nightmare, Dragon wakes up Angel and gets her ready to visit the zoo.
Dragon and Angel catch a taxi where Dragon’s mind starts to drift off to the past few months of events, detailing how his relationship with Susan developed until her murder at the hands of the Bronze Man. He vowed then and there that he would avenge this death but Bronze Man has remained hidden ever since, knowing full well that the moment he reveals his location that Dragon would be after him. Dragon returns from his thoughts and apologizes to Angel for drifting off.
The taxi driver points out that a sign on a bus alongside them is acting strangely as a sign lowers down and guns area revealed. These weapons fire a series of metal spikes at the vehicle that kills the driver and badly wounds Angel. She is rushed to hospital for treatment before Dragon speaks with the police and several other cops as they work the case, figuring that Bronze Man is the likely suspect for the attack.
Dragon takes to the streets in the hope of uncovering the location of his nemesis and assaults a large number of criminals during the course of his search. It is evident though that although he is foiling some criminal activity, none of those he confronts know anything about Bronze Man. On one raid, Dragon hears a noise behind him and turns around just in time for Mace to strike him with his ball and chain, rendering him unconscious.
As he passes out, Dragon’s life from the time of his discovery flashes back through his mind right up until the present day. As he catches up with his own experiences, Dragon awakens to find himself strapped into a contraption and surrounded by members of his rogues gallery. He is to be executed and Bronze Man has brought minions with him to serve as witnesses to Dragon’s death. Bronze Man claims that he does not need to prove himself against Dragon in a one-on-one confrontation as he has beaten him before and it would be redundant. Dragon simply suspects that his inability to harm him during their previous encounter has left Bronze Man scared of him.
Bronze Man activates his machinery which uses gas, lasers and electricity to hopefully kill Dragon but his captive summons up all of his strength and breaks loose. Dragon proceeds to take out Animal with a punch before confronting Mace. He is disappointed that the vigilante has begun working with those he formerly detested but ultimately just takes him down too. EXROE-5 is the next to fall before Dragon manages to strike Bloop which causes his water form to splash out into numerous puddles.
A final confrontation then takes place between Dragon and Bronze Man in which the villain is unable to stop his opponent. Dragon shrugs off the energy blasts before reaching his hated foe and punching him until he can pop off his helmet to reveal that he has killed his foe. With the threat of Bronze Man now ended, Dragon returns to check up on the recovery being made by his daughter. Angel soon regains consciousness and sometime later, she is able to go home with Dragon. The pair finally gets to visit the zoo where Dragon spoils his daughter with junk food, knowing that his late wife would not approve as they begin life without her.
This story is reprinted from Graphic Fantasy #1.
This story takes place outside of regular continuity.
The cover title of this miniseries is “Savage Dragon Archives”, but the indicia title is “The Dragon Archives”;
Editorial by Erik Larsen, 2-page spread & original cover from Graphic Fantasy #1
Entry at the Image Comics Database
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