"Black Dragon: Volume One" is a four part story arc starring Black Dragon. It is chronologically Dragon's first appearance, though he debuted earlier in Red Sentinel: Bad Science #1 as a supporting character. Thus, this volume takes place before Bad Science, and tells the origins of Black Dragon.
The primary antagonist in this volume is Stefano Magario, head of the Magario crime family in Megopolis, who is ultimately responsible for the creation of Black Dragon, in the same respect that Doctor Valentin is responsible for Red Sentinel.
The Good CopEdit
Nathan Lonergan and his partner, Fred Lamisco, return to the Megopolis Police Department after apprehending mob lord Stefano Magario and several of his goons during a cocaine bust. Chief of Police Vincent Donavan congratulates Lonergan and Lamisco, and oversees Lonergan's interrogation of Magario.
At the court case, majority of Magario's goons testify against him in the hopes of getting off free, but Magario's persuasive and skilled lawyer Mitch Clarence pleads a good case, and much to the chagrin of the MPD, Magario is let off with a slap on the wrist. Before he is escorted away by security, Magario swears he will make Lonergan and Lamisco suffer his vengeance.
Lonergan returns home to his family; and confides in his wife Maria that Magario deserves to be in prison. The next day he arrives at the MPD to discover Magario's goons have resurfaced at the abandoned Walton Tower, where they are attempting to salvage equipment to sell on the black market. Chief Donavan dispatches Nathan and Lamisco to deal with the goons, but in the resulting gunfight Lamisco is critically injured by a gunman.
The Mob RulesEdit
Fred Lamisco lies dying in a hospital bed, as Chief Donavan, his partner Nathan Lonergan and his wife Emilia preside over him. Lonergan firmly believes that it was a hit called by Magario, but Donavan prevents him from going after Magario, and declares the case closed.
Later, at Fred's funeral, Nathan and the other attendants are targeted by several of Magario's goons wearing masks, and Emilia is killed along with several other attendants. Nathan is shot in the leg, but it regenerates during the car ride back to the MPD. Meanwhile, one of Magario's masked goons returns to him, stating that they did not manage to get Lonergan. Magario decides that if Lonergan is too hard to to target, his family will have to do. He then orders his goon to "gather up the boys" and find Lonergan's family.
Nathan Lonergan, exhausted by the loss of his partner and the anarchy caused by Stefano Magario, returns home, the only place he has solace, after a busy day at work. Upon entering his loungeroom, he sees the silhouettes of his children Jason and Katy watching television. After asking them what they are watching, to no reply, Nathan moves in front of the television to the horror sight of his children dead, riddled with gunshots. Falling to his knees in horror, he gathers himself and runs into his bedroom, where his wife lies dead in a pool of blood on their bed, with the words "Justice Pays" on the walls, sprawled in blood.
The MPD and Chief Donavan arrive on the scene, and a traumatised Nathan ignores Donavan's orders to not go after Magario, and throws in his badge and gun. Donavan calls this action bullshit, and states Nathan is the finest cop left alive in Megopolis. Relucant, Nathan returns to work the next day, but is driven into a violent rage when another cop taunts him, throwing hot coffee over the man's face. Donavan grimly lets Nathan off the force.
Over the next few months Nathan trains in martial arts and swordfighting, all while Magario and his goons run rampant. Becoming the masked vigilante Black Dragon, Nathan dons a mask and begins his hunt for revenge, starting with one of Magario's major associates, Richy Farago. Black Dragon captures, interrogates and subsequently kills Farago upon learning of Magario's location. He also kills Mitch Clarence, who accepted bribery from Magario to plead his innocence at the beginning of the story. A dying Clarence crawls after Black Dragon as he leaves, asking what he is, to which Dragon replies "vengeance".
Revenge of the DragonEdit
Stefano Magario berates his goons as they inform him of Clarence and Farago's deaths at the hand of a "masked man". Magario tells his men to patrol his mansion in case this killer emerges again.
Chief Donavan investigates the crime scene of Clarence's murder, noticing the blood from where Clarence stabbed Black Dragon in the leg, and his broken skull from where Dragon beat him with his shield. One of Magario's goons patrols the outer fence of his estate, and is swiftly taken out by Black Dragon as he swings from the darkness, knocking the guard down with his shield. He dispatches Magario's other guards before entering the main hall, where he is instantly beset by gunfire. Taking shelter behind his shield, Dragon recognized Magario's voice as he taunts him, revealing his knowledge of his true identity. Taking the bait, Dragon throws his shield at the balcony and knocks one of Magario's men down, but while retreating is shot through the shoulder.
Clutching his wound behind the wall, Dragon counts Magario's henchmen as they patrol the manor, taking them out one by one. Wounded, he barges into Magario's game room, and dives under the pool table as he beleaguered by gunfire. Using his strength, he lifts the pool table and throws it aside, using this distraction to take out Magario's men with his sword. Magario, defeated, back against the window as Black Dragon holds his sword to his throat. Demanding the know why he killed his family, Magario replies bluntly that it was merely business. Dragon then kicks him out of the window, and pursues him, both of them landing into the garden below. Grabbing Magario so he can't escape, Dragon is about to kill him when he realises he has become a monster. Magario, wounded from the fall, continues to taunt him, calling him by his name. The crime boss is left dumped outside the hospital, as Black Dragon fades into the night. Magario is apprehended by Chief Donavan and his men while wandering through the hospital.