Purple Dragons

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Purple Dragons
Publication information
First appearanceEastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
(May 1984)
Created byKevin Eastman
Peter Laird
In-story information
Type of organizationStreet gang
Base(s)New York City, New York, United States, Earth
Leader(s)Hun
Angel
Dragon Face
Roster
See: Purple Dragons#Membership

The Purple Dragons are a fictional street gang in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. In all continuities, they often face the Turtles early in the storyline.

History[edit]

The Purple Dragons are particularly known for their salient transition icon, the image of a purple dragon, which they wear as either a tattoo or on their clothes. They mostly commit robberies and extortion.

Mirage Comics[edit]

In the Mirage Studios comics, the Purple Dragons (also known as the Purple Dragon Gang) are the toughest gang from the Lower East Side in New York City. They often are led by Hun and have a connection to the Foot Clan, though not always. The leader of the "Black Dragons", apparently cut a deal with Officer Miller, which resulted in Hun being locked up and allowed him to gain control of the Purple Dragons. He then helped the Purple Dragons' one-time-rival, the Shredder, wipe out the group, turning them into the Black Dragons: a gang subservient to the Foot Clan. In their first fight against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Purple Dragons found that their guns and knives are useless against their martial arts. The turtles managed to kill most of the members before the police arrive.[1]

The Purple Dragons appear again 25 years later in 2009. Decades ago, the gang's leader Hunter Mason (the true identity of Hun) delivered a brutal beating to a teen-aged Casey Jones, one of the Purple Dragons' bitterest enemies, prior to being thrown in jail. After being released from jail Hun wiped out the Black Dragons, declaring his intentions to rebuild his criminal empire.[2]

1987 cartoon[edit]

In the 1987 cartoon, the Turtles defeat a non-named gang, reminding of the Purple Dragons, in the sewers when saving April O'Neil in the first episode ("Turtle Tracks").[3] Before mutation, Bebop and Rocksteady are members of the gang. The gang reappears in the episodes "The Gang's All Here"[4] and "Once Upon a Time Machine" albeit with different members.[5]

Archie TMNT Adventures comics[edit]

Because the first issues of Archie TMNT Adventures comics follow the 1987 cartoon, a similar (unnamed) gang with Bebop and Rocksteady also appear in the first issue.[6][7]

Films[edit]

In the original films, the Purple Dragon Gang doesn't appear. Instead, the Foot Clan works more as a gang.

Dreamwaves comics[edit]

Because the first issues of Dreamwave comics follow the 2003 cartoon, the Purple Dragons were in conflict with the Turtles, accidentally abducting Raphael and subsequently fighting him and his brothers.[8]

IDW Publishing[edit]

In the IDW Publishing comics, the Purple Dragons is from the Lower East Side.

This version of the Purple Dragons is led by Angel Bridge. Unlike the other incarnations, the Purple Dragons are a "community watch"[9] where they do not like mutants or ninjas from the Foot Clan causing trouble on their turf. Angel's father Brooklyn S. Bridge and Arnold Jones (who is the identity of Hun in this continuity) had formerly used the Purple Dragons where their activities made the streets of Brooklyn unsafe.

The leadership of the Purple Dragons was wrested from Angel by force by a resurrected Hun. As a result, the Purple Dragons reverted to their former existence as a violent street gang.

2003 cartoon[edit]

In the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series, the Purple Dragons are led by Hun and have connections with the Foot Clan.

From early during the first season, the Purple Dragons were enemies of the Turtles after they foiled the attempted theft with the use of an armored car and eventually became friends with Casey Jones. They were also the hated enemies of Casey Jones and the reason why Casey Jones finally reached for vigilantism. When Casey Jones was a kid, his father Arnold Jones Sr.'s shop was burned down by the Purple Dragons when Arnold refused to pay protection money. Despite being threatened not to, his father later went to the police over it. It is implied that he was killed for doing so.

Following the Utrom Shredder's (Ch'rell) exile from Earth by the Utroms and the discovery that Shredder was an Utrom, Hun began to strengthen the Purple Dragons, developing them from just a street gang to a country-wide organized crime syndicate. They began to steal illegal goods (particularly high tech Triceratons and Federation weaponry from the government), but accidentally brought a mutant called Finn. Hun also broke his previous connection with the Foot Clan to spread their influence in the city. The Purple Dragons were among those who helped the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fight the Tengu Shredder's forces.

A year later, there has been word that the Shredder is coming back, so Hun has the Purple Dragons locate the Ring of Yin to grant him the power to stand up against the Shredder. They get the wrong one and the right one gets on April O'Neil. Hun captured her to extract it but she turns into a monster and flies off.

A territorial war with the Foot broke out. Hun struck an alliance with Baxter Stockman to develop weapons and hack into the Foot database to find treasure troves to rob.

2012 cartoon[edit]

In the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, the Purple Dragons are a Chinese American gang who have connections with the Foot Clan. They were threatening and extorting shop owners such as Mr. Murakami for protection money, only to be defeated by the Ninja Turtles.

In "A Chinatown Ghost Story," they tried to rob a museum to obtain specific artifacts, only to be thwarted by Donnie, April, and Casey. However, they did manage to get away with a dagger that contained Ho Chan's ghost as he temporarily made them his servants.

In "Casey Jones Vs the Underworld," the Purple Dragons are now led by Hun. Casey Jones had his first encounter with Hun when he and the Purple Dragons were robbing a bank following the aftermath of the Kraang Invasion. In a discussion between Shredder and Don Vizioso, it was mentioned that Hun and the Purple Dragons have the other Asian gangs on the Foot Clan's side. The Purple Dragons were able to obtain specific chemicals for Shredder that came from a factory on the Purple Dragons' turf.

Video games[edit]

The Purple Dragons appear as common enemies in the 2003 video game and the 2003 Game Boy Advance game with Hun and Dragon Face serving as bosses. In Mutant Melee, Hun is playable while Spike and another Dragon serve as NPC opponents. The Dragons also appear in TMNT and its GBA counterpart with Hun being a boss in the latter. They also appear in Out of the Shadows.

Membership[edit]

Mirage Comics[edit]

  • Hun/Hunter Mason - Leader, in this version he not only kill Casey Jones' father and burns down his auto shop, but he also badly beats Casey when he tried to fight him causing him emotional damage. When he was released from prison he went to rebuild his old gang.
  • Dragon Face - He is seen in a drawing during a speech Shadow Jones is giving.
  • Cristo - One of the original Purple Dragons who fought the Turtles. He was beaten years later by Leonardo

IDW Publishings[edit]

  • Hun/Arnold Jones - Leader and founder. When he was young he was a member of the Purple Dragons until a young woman turned him away from crime. They had a son named Casey. When she died he became an abusive alcoholic father to Casey. Also he frequented in criminal circles to raise money because he no longer pursued work and the scholarship of his son was able to cover only the bare necessities. The hockey mask Casey wears in his wanderings of the streets, was originally used by Arnold. As Arnold Jones one evening was again violently venting his frustrations on Casey, this time unexpected help came in the form of the mutant Raphael. He and Casey very quickly became close friends, and a short time later they found Raphael's father and brothers. Later in the series, it was revealed that in his teens Arnold Jones was a member of the Purple Dragons under the alias "Hun" (after Atilla the Hun). When in the course of his adventures with his new family Casey was seriously injured by the Shredder and Arnold found out about it, he came to a new found concern for his son and finally was brought back to his senses. Ironically, the Shredder - the man who had hurt Casey - offered Arnold the chance to pay for the medical bills of his son while Arnold himself (rejuvenated by a serving mutagen) would become Hun again and serve him... an offer that because of his son Arnold finally accepted. He snatched leadership of the Purple Dragons from Angel, and led them back to their former existence as a violent street gang - an act that led to the final break up with Casey instead for the reconciliation he had hoped.
  • Brooklyn S. Bridge - Former second-in-command and founder. In his wild youth he was a member of the Purple Dragons, along with his old friend Arnold Jones (then known under the alias "Hun"), before he finally retired, married and began an honest life. In today's times Brooklyn works as a bartender in the Scottish-born Pub Skara Brae in Brooklyn, New York and has a daughter named Angel who occasionally helps out in the pub, if they ever need money. Brooklyn had become basically a good-hearted man after his departure from the Purple Dragons, even if he lives a hard life in Brooklyn - especially in the Skara Brae bar. If an opportunity arises to make extra money (assuming this does not bring him directly afoul of the law), he will take it.
  • Angel Bridge - Former leader, and twenty something daughter of Brooklyn, she joined the Purple Dragons shortly after the accidental death of her mother. She was childhood friends with Casey Jones whose father along with her own were both members of the Purple Dragons. Under her leadership she reorganized the Purple Dragons from a violent street gang to vigilante group. One day because the Dragons already had unpleasant encounters with other mutants from the Foot Clan, there was a fight between the Turtles and the Dragons until Casey joined them and was able to clear up the misunderstanding. Despite some reservations Angel eventually helped the Turtles liberate their father Splinter from the clutches of the Shredder and also in other occasions against the Foot Clan. Finally, the leadership of the Purple Dragons was rested away from Angel by force by a resurrected Hun and the Dragons reverted to their old existence as a violent street gang. She later took paranoid inventor Harold Lilljas combat suit and spontaneously took the alias "Nobody" and started fighting against crime in the streets of the city. Finally, she met Alopex which she warned of an attack against the Turtles by Bebop and Rocksteady.
  • Chun - A member of Angel's gang.
  • Malo - A member of Angel's gang and later's Hun's.
  • Link - A member of Angel's gang.

2003 cartoon[edit]

  • Hun - Leader of the Purple Dragons and the Shredder's right-hand man. He was also responsible for killing Casey Jones' father. After the Shredder was thought to be dead he led the Purple Dragons in a war to control the city. When the Shredder returned he went back to the Foot Clan, although Hun fell out of favor with the Shredder and was replaced as the Shredder's lieutenant by his adopted daughter Karai. After learning that his master was an Utrom, following the Utrom Shredder's exile by his own people, Hun left the Foot for good. Since then he rebuilt the Purple Dragons into a Foot like organization, and went to war against the Tengu Shredder and Cyber Shredder. In the TV movie Turtles Forever he was exposed to mutagen from the 88 universe and was turned into a turtle mutant. He then want back to work for the returned Utrom Shredder. When the Utrom Shredder began to wipe out Turtle Prime the 2003 universe began to be erased. Hun gave Donatello the gear needed to track the Shredder. He was last seen being erased from the universe.
  • Dragon Face - Second-in-command of the Purple Dragons. He sports a dragon tattoo on the left side of his face. He served as the group's temporary leader when Hun was away serving the Shredder. During City at War he tried to lead the Purple Dragons in a war to control the city until Hun appeared and took back his command. When Hun was willing to give control of the Purple Dragons back to the Shredder (actually a disguised Karai), Dragon Face turned against Hun who labeled him a traitor, resulting in the two trying to kill each other. What became of him afterwards is unknown.
  • John - Temporary leader of the Purple Dragons. He was apparently killed by Shredder for the group's failed armored car robbery.
  • Angel - A female Purple Dragons initiate would be member who becomes an ally of the Turtles. She was a young girl from Casey Jones' neighborhood who lived with her brother and grandmother. Casey promised her grandmother he would keep an eye on her, but she went off to join the Purple Dragons. After Casey Jones went to rescue her from Purple Dragon HQ, he was captured by Hun. Realizing the mistake she made she tried to rescue Casey who told her to find Raphael. With the help of the Turtles she was able to rescue Casey. Since then she has been a close friend of the Turtles.
  • Bam-Bam - A heavyset member of the Purple Dragons.
  • Claw - A Purple Dragon member who has a claw on his hand.
  • Dagger - A Purple Dragon member who carries lots of daggers.
  • Max - A member of the Purple Dragons' Northampton branch.
  • Mohawk - A member of the Purple Dragons that sports a tall pink mohawk. In Turtles Forever, he is with some other Purple Dragons members who caught the Turtles from the 88 reality. When the 03 Turtles liberated their counterparts, he was splashed with Mutagen. Because he had been in contact with a fighting dog that belonged to the Purple Dragons, he was turned into a mutant dog. In his mutated form, he helped Hun attack the two groups of Turtles and the 03 Splinter. Splinter later fired missiles at Mohawk with the Battle Shell, which shredded him. Later at the Purple Dragon Headquarters, Mohawk was somehow still alive and returned to his normal state and fought alongside a mutated Hun against the Turtles and was last seen getting erased from reality due to the Utrom Shredder's plan.
  • Ruffington - A supplier and smuggler of weapons who is allied with the Purple Dragons. He was first seen targeted by Nobody.
  • Spike - A red-headed member of the Purple Dragons.
  • Spike #2 - A bald member of the Purple Dragons.
  • Spuds - Leader of the Purple Dragon's Northampton branch who came to the Jones farmhouse looking for Casey’s grandfather supposedly hidden treasure from a train robber.
  • Sunny - A member of the Purple Dragons with a long braid. He was in charge on a dragon run.
  • Two Ton - A heavyset member of the Purple Dragons.
  • Vang - Hun's right-hand man. He has the same hairstyle as John.
  • Waxer - A member of the Purple Dragons who wears his baseball hat backwards.

2012 cartoon[edit]

  • Hun - New leader of the Purple Dragons, who is of Chinese ancestry and modeled after Bruce Lee. He is an expert martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant. He debuted in the third season. Like past versions he has a rivalry with Casey Jones.
  • Fong - A skinny and young Purple Dragons member who is the unofficial leader and sometimes uses a butcher knife as weapon.
  • Sid - The biggest and strongest of the three Purple Dragons who sometimes uses an axe.
  • Tsoi - A member of the Purple Dragons with a mustache. He sometimes uses a sledgehammer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
  2. ^ Tales of the TMNT #56
  3. ^ "Turtle Tracks". TV.com. 28 December 1987. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  4. ^ "The Gang's All Here". TV.com. 13 December 1989. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Once Upon A Time Machine (Episode 107) Review". Original Cartoon Episode Reviews. 1991. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  6. ^ "TMNT Adventures Mini-Series #1". Miragelicensing. August 1988. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  7. ^ "TMNT Adventures (miniseries) #1". TMNT Entity. August 1988. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  8. ^ "TMNT (Dreamwave) #1". TMNT Entity. June 2003. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Purple Dragons". Comicvine. Retrieved 6 December 2015.