Black Dragon (2003)
Black Dragon was a spy warlord, the leader of a new faction introduced in the 2003 con set. Though it was the second set after the legendary Crimson Strike Team, this one seemed to set the standard for the future. Featuring a small squad of Joes battling a Cobra leader and his forces, it introduced not only con exclusive Joe team members, but also new Cobra troops. The origins of the Black Dragon organization go back to the time of the original Joe team, according to the file card. It’s a small detail, but a nice little attempt at bridging the 60’s and 80’s GI Joe mythos. It’s also something the collectors club continues to do.
The figure is made up mostly of Ninja Force parts. I’ve been a fan of the Mortal Kombat ninja molds, and was also happy to see the Scorpion/Sub-Zero/Every Other Ninja head incorporated into the GI Joe line. Getting a new adversary faction and leader is one of my favorite aspects of the con sets. I hope the club can get back to that idea someday.
The colors are striking, without being overwhelming, with yellow and gold accenting the primarily black outfit. I like the angle they took on the file card, stating that he doesn’t particularly care for any assumptions that he’s a ninja. Funny, considering the same name was later used twice for actual ninjas. So whatever happened to Black Dragon himself? Don’t know, but in this economy, I hope he’s not out on the street selling velvet paintings out of the back of a van.