Nathan Lonergan served the Megopolis Police Department for nearly fifteen years, nicknamed Sergeant Justice for his endearing loyalty and valour, and his skill as a cop. He also receieved the nickname Nine Lives, due to his essential immortality, surviving a gunshot wound to his chest during the line of fire.
Lonergan tried to keep his family life out of his work life, but making many enemies as a police man brought the wrath of the crime lords down. Crime boss Stefano Magario ordered the deaths of Lonergan's wife Maria, and his children Jason and Katy. Upon returning from the MPD one night, Nathan found his family murdered, with the message "Justice Pays" sprawled along the walls in his family's blood.
Driven into a deep depression, Nathan became obsessed with avenging his family, even willing to go beyond the constraints of the judiciary system. The MPD was forced to let him go due to his increasingly erratic and violent mood swings. During his exodus he designed a suit, complete with a red dragon emblem, and a shield, and trained himself in swordfighting.
Magario's right-hand man Richy "The Goon" Farago would prove to be the first victim of "Black Dragon"'s justice. Farago was apprehended by Dragon at a night club, beaten repeatedly and finally killed by Dragon after revealing Magario's location. A violent firefight ensued at Magario's mansion between his goons and Black Dragon, but Magario maintained his justification for killing Lonergan's family, and Lonergan, realising he was turning into a killer, dumped Magario outside the MPD building.