Double Dragon: The Animated Series

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Double Dragon Animated Series logo

DirectorChuck Patton
Original run1993 – 1994
Number of episodes26

So, who here remembers Double Dragon? You know, those arcade beat ’em up games that got adapted to a competent series of Nintendo video games?

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That’s right, the same Double Dragon where you’re some guy named Billy and you have to go beat up a bunch of thugs to rescue your girlfriend. It’s a classic series that helped define the beat ’em up genre, up there with the likes of Streets of Rage, Final Fight and Golden Axe. You might even consider it to be a lost genre since these types of games are atypical in today’s gaming market.

But did you know there was a cartoon produced by DiC under the direction of comic book artist Chuck Patton? Yep. And it’s a pretty weird creation.

Yeah, if you think this cartoon is simply going to be about a guy beating up thugs on the streets, then clearly you’re out of your mind. Try superheroes armed with magic-shooting swords beating up superpowered thugs on the streets.

Because that’s what Double Dragon should have been… right…?

Hehehehehe………………..

Ren and Stimpy nervous Ren
I think all of us know the answer to that.

And of course, it had to be animated by DiC, which was basically the Hanna-Barbera of the ’80s and ’90s; mass-producing cheap cartoons and hoping that some make a profit. This show is no exception. It’s meant to profit off of a video game series that had already gone past its prime at this point, by selling toys.

And it failed. Only a few action figures based on the TV show were ever sold and there was also a video game tie-in called Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, which is basically a mediocre Street Fighter II clone. Because of this, the show got cancelled even though it was considered for a third season.

Let me go over this again. We have an American cartoon series based on a Japanese video game series that pretty much got the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles treatment, meaning we have a really different product. And fans of the games were pissed.

So let’s see if this idea works or bombs completely (though I think you know where this is going). This is DiC’s interpretation of Double Dragon.

Episode 1: The Shadow Falls

You know, I’ll give the intro some credit. The song is pretty catchy and it definitely knows what its target audience wants to see: lots of action. I’m not so sure about the boom-boom bangy explosions and laser fights. Because the games are mostly about a guy beating the shit out of thugs with his fists… and sometimes with metal pipes, knives, and dynamite he finds on the ground.

The episode begins “18 years ago” in Metro City. Hmm. Metro City. I wonder how long that name took to think about.

We see a man running from a helicopter into what appears to be an ornate Chinese monastery right in the middle of an urban city, complete with its own automatic doors.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
Is it sad to say that I don’t find this too outlandish?

I guess when you live close to an urban environment, even old traditions start adapting to new technologies. As someone who lives close to Houston, I can vouch for this.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Oldest Dragon and John Lee

The man, known as John Lee, pleads to the elderly man, known as the Oldest Dragon, to take care of his son while he looks for his other son, who was apparently kidnapped by a group known as the Shadow Warriors. Through some quick exposition, the man reveals the baby’s name to be Billy Lee and that he was born with the Mark of the Double Dragon. The Oldest Dragon accepts his request and the man leaves.

Of course, the Oldest Dragon raises up the infant Billy like he’s Simba and proclaims his destiny for him.

Oldest Dragon: You shall be a great dragon, Billy! You shall live by the Code of the Dragon! You shall be a champion of the good! Protector of the weak and innocent. You shall become a Dragon Master!

…Well, what if he wants to be an artist?

Oldest Dragon: No! He’s going to be a Dragon Master and he will like it!

Okay! Jeez. Asshole…

Then, we cut to present day where we see yet another helicopter terrorizing the citizens of Metro City. One passerby kid referred to it as a Shadow Copter. Huh, so this is common knowledge?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
Then what the fuck are these twats doing? Shouldn’t they be doing some police work instead of stuffing their faces with food?

The Shadow Warriors piloting the helicopter are none other than Wild Willy and Abobo. For those familiar with the Double Dragon games, Willy is the cheap final boss with the machine gun and Abobo is that hard-to-kill deformed muscle man who looks like a ripped Gollum.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Wild Willy Double Dragon: The Animated Series Abobo

While I do expect them to pop up in a Double Dragon TV series, it seems rather early to bring them up. I mean, both are notoriously difficult bosses in the video game series. You’re not even going to show the lower-level grunts first?

The weird thing is that in the middle of the conversation, Abobo seems to be the one in charge here. Somehow, it seems more appropriate if it were the other way around. They bring up another character known as the Shadow Boss, who they mentioned to possess mystical powers.

Meanwhile we cut to a grown up Billy Lee who, through a maneuver I don’t understand, somehow cuts a giant steel beam in half during training. He just gives a little way cry, waves his hand down as if he was trying to do a karate chop, some weird radioactive energy covers his body, and then the steel beam suddenly breaks in half.

What, is Billy Lee actually Dr. Manhattan or something?

The Oldest Dragon congratulates Billy for becoming a Dragon Master, though he confesses that he may “leave” soon. Oo… kay…?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Michael Oldest Dragon

But the kid character from earlier, revealed to be named Michael, suddenly bursts in to their conversation and alerts them that the Shadow Warriors are invading Metro City.

Billy: Michael, remember the Code of the Dragon. The only sure way to win a fight is to avoid it.

Yeah, silly Michael! When a crazed western outlaw and the Incredible Hulk starts wrecking shit in your home city, the most sane thing to do is to avoid it!

…Hmm. Actually, that is the most sensible thing to do. I mean, how many times have you died against Abobo and Willy in the original Double Dragon? Seems like I failed to get my sarcasm across.

But seeing as how Billy Lee is a superpowered being who can karate chop steel beams in half without touching them, Michael reasons that the city will be fucked if Billy doesn’t do something about it. So the Oldest Dragon gives Billy his prized magical sword and his blessing to go kick some Shadow Warrior ass.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Warrior

Meanwhile, we see Willy attacking a park in Metro City. And remember those cops I pointed out earlier? Yeah, they got their shit wrecked by these weird Shredder-esque ninjas with Wolverine claws.

Without even bothering to pull out their pistols, the cops ran for it and the Shadow Warriors looted what appear to be bags of money from the cops’ van.

Sorry, but what? How incompetent and stupid do your cops have to be to do something like that?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Marian Martin

But a young red-haired policewoman arrives on the scene and tries to take on the Shadow Warriors armed with glowing claws by herself. I gotta admit, it takes balls to do that.

But apparently, she’s the only other cop in the area and she finds herself horribly outnumbered. Why? If she just so happens to arrive on the scene, wouldn’t that mean she was contacted and therefore the rest of the city’s police was contacted that a bunch of armored cyber-ninjas are terrorizing the city?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Marian Martin

But Billy Lee arrives just in time to run over the Shadow Warriors with his motorcycle. You know, for a Dragon Master who sticks to being a pacifist… that is pretty hardcore.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Marian Martin

So Billy curbstomps their candy asses and he introduces himself to the policewoman, who introduces herself as Marian Martin.

Wait wait wait wait wait. THAT’S MARIAN?! The damsel-in-distress Marian?

Well, yes and no. This is an alternate portrayal of Marian, voiced by Cathy Weseluck, who had numerous roles in western cartoons and anime dubs even today.

Oddly enough, this version of Marian is neither a love interest nor Billy’s girlfriend.  This is very strange considering that the first two Double Dragon games had a focus on this love triangle between Billy, his brother Jimmy, and Marian.

So right in the first seven minutes of the show, you mean to tell us that the plot of the show is not even CLOSE to that of the games? Are you SURE your target audience is Double Dragon fans + kids?

But to be fair, I don’t mind this portrayal of Marian. She’s not stereotypically feminine and she’s a competent policewoman in her own right. Besides, the Double Dragon series is never consistent with her character. She was a martial arts instructor, a gang leader, and…

Double Dragon Neon Evil Marian
A sorceress with an eyeball thong…?

WHAT THE FUCKING FUUUUUUUCCCCCK.

Man, I have got to play Double Dragon Neon. I can’t just see something that ridiculous without making fun of it.

But Willy strikes again and manages to steal the money from earlier. I hate to reiterate the obvious but WHY WERE TWO POLICE OFFICERS CARRYING SACKS OF MONEY IN THEIR VAN READY TO BE LOOTED?! THOSE FUCKERS SHOULD BE FIRED!

Marian: They’re getting away!
Billy: It’s only money. The main thing is no one got hurt.
Marian: But they’re breaking the law! Why didn’t you try to stop them?
Billy: I may only use my power to protect innocent lives from harm. It is the Code of the Dragon.

Billy, I know your heart is in the right place but you’re certainly no Batman. If you’re going to play the role of vigilante anyway, then why not finish the job and bring the bad guys into justice? Otherwise, they’re just going to come back and start more shit.

I guess this Code of the Dragon doesn’t help with common sense.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Michael

Billy returns to the Dragon Dojo, lamenting his failure to stop the Shadow Warriors and mourning the loss of the Oldest Dragon.

WAIT, WHAT?!

Billy: He’s gone!
Michael: I’m sorry, Billy.
Billy: Oldest Dragon… why did you leave me now? You’ve given me amazing powers, but I’m lost without you. What will I do next?

…I don’t know, man. You’re probably the only guy with a magical sword and can utilize the power of dragons or some crap in the entire city. Maybe you should be using your powers to fight crime?

Also, this plot point confuses me. Did the Oldest Dragon just DIE or did he literally leave the dojo? Regardless, the Oldest Dragon didn’t appear to show any signs of illness before this and Billy even commented that he still had a few good years on him. Is it because DiC didn’t want to outwardly state that the Oldest Dragon passed away?

Seriously, even the most cherished children’s cartoons had death scenes in them. I doubt a low-budget Saturday morning cartoon is going to scar a bunch of kids for life.

But Marian appears out of nowhere and proposes to make Billy a temporary deputy for the police force. Despite his loyalty to the Code of the Dragon earlier, he accepts the proposal. Well, so much for that.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Wild Willy and Abobo

Meanwhile, Willy and Abobo enters a secret lair, which is this skyscraper with these strange walls that look like broken mirror shards. And for some reason, people can pass through those shards to enter the building. Wow. If the citizens of Metro City are unaware of this, then they must be idiots.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Boss

Finally, we get a look at the Shadow Boss, who is a man who literally looks like a walking shadow in a way. Either that or he is wearing a full-body jumpsuit.

And oddly enough, he is voiced by Scott McNeil. You know, the original voice for Piccolo in the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z.

I just sent you down a trip to Nostalgia Lane, didn’t I?

But anyways, the Shadow Boss is not pleased with the alliance between Billy Lee and Metro City’s police force as well as losing some of his men. He threatens to make mincemeat out of Willy and Abobo if they fail again, so the two Shadow Warriors set out to rob a nearby bank.

But once again, their plan ends in failure as Billy and Marian got the jump on them and arrested more of their henchmen. Wow. Remember when Willy and Abobo DIDN’T suck? That’s got to be the quickest failed bank robbery in history.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Boss and Billy Lee

So Willy and Abobo report their failure to the Shadow Boss once again. But upon seeing Billy Lee through some hidden camera footage, the Shadow Boss seems shocked and concocts a plan. I guess he’s more forgiving this time around.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee

Billy and Marian recuperate at the Dragon Dojo until they get an unexpected visitor. Apparently, this blonde musclebound man is running from this thing.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
A laser-shooting beetle mech.

Well played, Double Dragon. I wasn’t expecting to see THAT in a series about punching out thugs.

Everyone takes cover inside, but Billy has a trump card up his sleeve: the Dragon Dojo has its own laser defense system. Wait wait wait wait.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series dojo shoots lasers
HUH?!

…Saturday morning cartoons. Turning ridiculous ideas into stupidly awesome ones. I guess the Oldest Dragon was a cool enough dude to allow something like this .

After the beetle mech got chased off, Billy immediately recognized this blonde man as his long-lost brother, Jimmy Lee. Um. HOW?

I mean, think about it. Billy was a baby by the time his father delivered him to the Oldest Dragon and it was never outright stated that the Oldest Dragon told Billy that he had a fraternal twin brother. Hell, in this one scene, Billy even stated that he didn’t know he had a twin brother.

So how the flying fuck did he recognize Jimmy as his twin brother if there are quite a few differences in their appearances? Granted, Jimmy was just a red palette swap for Billy in the video games but this still needs clarification.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Jimmy Lee

So Jimmy told the group that he was held captive by the Shadow Warriors since he was little but managed to escape from them when he was old enough. Ever since, they’ve been on his trail.

But Billy assures Jimmy that they would handle things together if the Shadow Warriors attack again.

In a new scene, everyone seems to be getting along nicely. They seem so gung-ho in cleaning up a wrecked dojo, then they want to open up a martial arts school and call it the Double Dragon Dojo.

But then the scene pulls ANOTHER thing out of its ass.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee

Billy: Amazing! Now that we’re back together again, if one of us is hurt…
Jimmy: Both of us bruise!

…What the fuck? How is this a thing? This was never in the video games. Besides, why do they share injuries? Is it because that due to some specific bullshit about being a Dragon Warrior, twins born with the power of dragons are cursed to share each other’s injuries?

I guess this is a way for the writers to give the brothers a big weakness, but don’t you think this is taking too much liberty with the source material?

But suddenly, we cut to a martial arts tournament in a school. But it’s not between students. It’s an adult competition.

Okay, when did this happen? Was it on the same day? If so, how did they manage to organize a tournament in such a ridiculously short time?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Jimmy Lee Michael Marian

So while Billy is fighting some generic opponent while Michael watches, Marian got called over by the police station and Jimmy offers to escort her to her car.

But it turns out to be a trap devised by Willy and Abobo, who are waiting outside in ambush. Apparently, Abobo can change his voice to make himself sound like a legitimate police officer and he even has a walkie that communicates with Marian’s. I guess he must have gotten that from those two idiot cops earlier in the episode.

After the end of the Who Cares Tournament (because seriously, it’s just filler to give an excuse for this lame kidnapping plot), Billy goes back to his moping stage upon realizing that Marian and Jimmy had disappeared.

Billy: I’ve lost the two people I loved most. I failed to protect them.
Michael: It’s all my fault! I didn’t even see them leave.
Billy: No, Michael. They left willingly. Why and where they are now are the real mysteries. Guard the dojo. I must meditate.

Oh yes, the two people you loved most. The Oldest Dragon, the closest thing you have to a father figure throughout your life. And… Jimmy? The brother you literally met recently and probably spent only one day getting to know him?

Man, Billy, you need a girlfriend. Bad. Staying in the dojo with one old man and a high school kid must have been a lonely life.

Also, what else did he say?

Billy: Guard the dojo. I must meditate.

Seriously, Billy? You’re going to send out a weaker high school kid outside of the dojo to guard against laser-shooting beetle mechs piloted by two madmen. You may be earnest, but you’re also kinda stupid.

So Billy meditates shortly and causes the dragon tattoo on his chest to literally leave his body, asking it to lead him to his brother.

…Wait. If he had this power and knew it would lead him to his brother, WHY DIDN’T HE USE IT SOONER?! WHY DIDN’T THE OLDEST DRAGON TELL HIM THAT HE HAD THIS POWER? WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Shadow Boss

So Billy approaches the evil lair but gets ambushed by the shadow of the Shadow Boss (which is very odd). Billy manages to repel him with his sword, but the Shadow Boss invites Billy to enter his lair.

Due to some BS about “what you see is what you get,” Billy manages to figure out how to pass through solid matter simply by closing his eyes. And that’s how he enters the shard-like walls of the skyscraper.

…………*sighs*

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Abobo

Billy fights Abobo inside and defeats him in a rather cartoonish way. Willy lures Billy deeper inside to where Marian is held hostage, though is also defeated rather easily by having the shots of his own gun getting deflected back.

Heh. I wish I could do that in the original Double Dragon.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Boss

Billy frees Marian and confronts the Shadow Boss, demanding to know where Jimmy is. The Shadow Boss gives a cryptic remark but Billy enters a battle with him.

You know, Billy, I thought the Code of the Dragon clearly stated that the only sure way to win a fight is to avoid it. So far, you haven’t been keeping to that little mandate too well, you hypocrite.

So in this over-the-top sword laser battle, which is actually pretty lamely paced, Billy loses his sword… only for Marian to just hand it back to him and defeat the Shadow Boss right then and there.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Shadow Boss
Wow. Way to keep us in suspense there…

Billy once again demands the Shadow Boss to reveal where his brother is, but he responds that he is “close, very close.” So Billy unmasks him to reveal his real face.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Jimmy Lee
*GASP*

Actually, I’ve seen that coming a mile away.

In the original Double Dragon (at least, the NES version), Jimmy is the true leader of the Black Warriors and he goes by the name of “Shadow Boss.” When you played through the game as two players, it’s actually a pretty trippy ending twist. Despite that the two of you were working together, you can’t deny a certain truth. To win the two-player game in Double Dragon, there can be only one.

Here, Jimmy Lee and the Shadow Boss share the same voice actor: Scott McNeil. They also have a similar build and Jimmy was kidnapped by the Shadow Warriors prior to present events. To even call this a “twist” would be embarrassing to plot twists everywhere. Even M. Night Shyamalan would be offended.

So Jimmy spews this destiny crap to justify his actions, but Billy wants to work things out with his one and only brother. But of course, Jimmy justifies the whole situation as being two sides of the same coin: Billy representing the light and Jimmy represent the shadow.

I’m guessing because of that whole ordeal about them sharing injuries, they can’t kill each other. If one dies, the other dies as well. Honestly, it sucks the tension out.

And because of the BS that is the Code of the Dragon, Billy just lets Jimmy take his mask back and escape through a portal without any further repercussion. You know, Billy, you could still capture him. You don’t HAVE to kill him, you know.

But Billy destroys the portal, causing it to turn into a tornado that causes the lair to implode.

So Billy and Marian escape while Billy finds his new purpose in life: to clash with the Shadow Boss by whatever means necessary. As they leave, we get an over-the-top villain laugh from Jimmy Lee… as a storm cloud…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Boss
BWA-HA-HA!

Come on, DiC. That is just silly.

So, there you go. The first episode of Double Dragon. And it barely has anything to do with the games. I am legitimately dreading how the rest of the series will turn out now. Someone save me.

[collapse]
Episode 2: The Legend Continues

So Episode 2 starts off having an intro different from the previous one, and it kinda ends up spoiling part of the series with Jimmy Lee fighting alongside Billy Lee. Come on, at least use the original intro until you get the “plot twists” out of the way.

So our establishing shot is that of Metro City, which strangely looks more Like Gotham City because of the permanent red sky thing. We see the city’s mayor at a rally, discussing the fusion power generator plant and how it will provide every solution to your global warming problems. Al Gore would’ve been so proud.

Billy and Marian are present in this rally, though they are curious to why the Shadow Warriors aren’t around yet. But as soon as the mayor flips the switch for his power plant, a giant building rises out of the city.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
Yeah, nothing wrong with this picture. Just your everyday occurrence at Metro City.

We see the Shadow Boss, Willy and Abobo enter the building, who meet the show’s real antagonist.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master
Shadow Boss 2.0

Actually, this is the Shadow Master, the leader of the Shadow Warriors. He’s voiced by Jim Byrnes, a blues musician who is also known to provide his voice to many of these cartoons from the ’90s.

And I got to give him some credit. The Shadow Master is one of the better aspects of this show, with his deep voice, occasional hissing, shapeshifting and his menacing and unforgiving disposition.

Willy: H-heh, w-well, that there is some trick you pulled, pardner. Rebuilding this here—
Shadow Master: Your voice makes a thousand fingernails on chalkboard seem like a gurgling scream.

“Blacker than a moonless night, hotter and more bitter than hell itself… That is my voice.”

But the Shadow Master isn’t here to make idle banter. Instead, he assimilates both Willy and Abobo into his stone mural.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Wild Willy

Shadow Master: This mural is a testimony unto those who failed me. It fits him well, don’t you think?

Seriously, this guy has a mural that contains the horrified-looking drawings of his former henchmen. I have to admit, this Shadow Master is looking more like a badass villain every second.

By the way, we don’t see Wild Willy and Abobo again after this. They’re just gone. Two notorious characters from the video game series, gone in seconds. Well, everyone, this isn’t really Double Dragon anymore now, is it?

Jimmy Lee takes his costume off and prepares to face the consequences, but the Shadow Master decides to apply some nepotism and spares him.

Shadow Master: Words mean nothing, Jimmy Lee! Only action.

The Shadow Master tasks Jimmy with using the newly built fusion power generator to “reverse the polarity” and basically turn Metro City into a ruin.

Shadow Master: Reverse the polarity so that it sucks all the light from the sky. Day will be darker than night. Metro City will be in shadow forever. I shall rule unchallenged. But I want no interference from this Dragon Master brother of yours. Find him and bring him and his sword back to me.

Why is that these miracle machines always have the potential to make the world even shittier? It’s just funny to me how many of these cartoons make it so that these machines have “reversed polarities.”

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Warriors

Then the Shadow Master summons his own henchmen: Jawbreaker, the purple Hulk-like creature; Sickle, the pale green man who wields two sickles; Trigger Happy, the heavyset marine with an arm-mounted cannon; Icepick, a man made of ice who wields a katana; and Countdown, the cyborg armed with machine guns and missile launchers.

The Shadow Master decides to allow Sickle and Trigger Happy to accompany Jimmy to complete this challenge.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Michael Jason

Meanwhile, we cut back to the uninteresting part of the show. Billy is supervising his students and yadda-yadda-whatever.

Then after the training session, Jimmy busts into the dojo. Rather easily, I might say. Billy, haven’t you heard of a lock? I mean, you had a whole laser defense system installed into your dojo after all.

So Jimmy attempts to kick Billy’s ass and even pulls out a sword against him, but Billy ends up turning the tables on him and challenges Jimmy to good old-fashioned fisticuffs.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Trigger Happy and Sickle

Meanwhile, Sickle and Trigger Happy attempt to steal Billy’s prized sword. But even the sword has it own laser defense system! It can attack on its own and even create barriers to reflect incoming laser attacks.

Michael bursts into the dojo, which distracts Billy long enough for Jimmy to grab his sword and use it again! Man, talk about a dirty fighter.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee

Then Billy gets his own sword and clashes with Jimmy for a while, until Sickle holds Michael captive. To save Michael’s life, Billy promises to exchange his sword. Knowing that Billy is a stickler for rules, Jimmy takes advantage of this offer and Michael gets released. However, Billy throws the sword back to its resting place.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Jimmy Lee

Of course, Jimmy tries to grab it but fails because of the sword’s ability to deter intruders. Damn, Billy! That’s the smartest thing you’ve done in the show so far!

But Jimmy gets super pissed and orders his co-workers to raze the dojo to the ground. And Billy falls for the stupidest trap ever.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Trigger Happy Sickle

Sickle and Trigger Happy just approach him and lock his hands and head with a stock. Billy didn’t even put up a fight. Damn it, Billy! How do you end up being captured in the most anti-climactic way possible?!

So the Dragon Dojo burns to the ground and Billy gets taken away. Michael witnesses this and tries to contact Marian. But apparently, she’s having her own problems.Double Dragon: The Animated Series Jawbreaker and Countdown

Just as with the Shadow Master’s plan, Jawbreaker, Countdown and Icepick are singlehandedly taking the fusion plant.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Shadow Master

Billy meets the Shadow Master for the first time, gazing in horror. The Shadow Master asks for Billy’s sword, but Jimmy said it’s buried in rubble. Of course, the Shadow Master is not pleased with the results but allows Jimmy to escort Billy to the dungeon anyway.

While the Lee brothers are away, the Shadow Master orders Sickle and Trigger Happy to assassinate the both of them.

Well now, I can’t see this biting you back in the ass at aaaaaaaallllll!

So Trigger Happy enters the dungeon and attempts to fry the Lee brothers, but Billy fights back with just his legs. Heh, for being the Shadow Master’s elite warriors, they’re not much better than Wild Willy and Abobo just as the Shadow Master claimed.

Jimmy: I can’t believe it! The Shadow Master betrayed me!

You can’t believe it, huh? You do realize that the Shadow Master would’ve probably turned you into a decoration on his mural if you were to completely fail your mission, right? And you already he’s crueler than you.

So in a millisecond, Jimmy changes his allegiance and decides to release Billy from his stock. The two attempt to escape, but Sickle and Trigger Happy beat them to the punch and try to murder them once again. Billy finds himself in a rough spot, but Jimmy kicks Trigger Happy which causes him to shoot the ceiling. Then Trigger Happy and Sickle get buried in the rubble of their own collateral damage.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Trigger Happy and Sickle
Yeah, seriously, are these really the elite warriors of the Shadow Master? They’re not really good at their jobs.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee

But because Jimmy is actually helping out his brother instead of saving his own skin, the Mark of the Double Dragon on his chest glows which reacts with Billy’s.

Billy: Maybe you’re meant to be a good guy after all.
Jimmy: Heh. We’ll see about that.

Billy goes back to the ruins of his dojo and reclaims his sword. But this time, Jimmy can now touch the sword since he is now recognized as a Dragon Warrior.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Oldest Dragon

But the sword summons the ghost of the Oldest Dragon, who tells that there is a prophecy that twins bearing the Mark of the Double Dragon will one day save the world from the darkness of the Shadow Master.

Fuck you, show. Fuck you for the “chosen one” and “prophecy” clichés.

So the Oldest Dragon teaches them their catchphrases, which is “the power of might” for Jimmy and “the power of right” for Billy. Then, both say in unison “we are Double Dragons.” This turns them into…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee
Sword-wielding luchadores!

Apparently, this transformation gives them a boost of power and allows them to have better control over their swords’ magic.

By the way, in case you’re confused about this little color coding, Billy is the guy in blue suit with the red mask and Jimmy is the guy in the red suit with the blue mask. I guess they’re just going for a little yin-yang design choice.

Meanwhile, the Shadow Master is at the fusion plant with Icepick, trying to take control of the whole thing. Of course, the Double Dragons decide to spoil the surprise and get the drop on the Shadow Warriors with their newfound powers. By utilizing a motorcycle armed with rocket launchers.

Man, ’90s cartoons certainly know that young boys at the time like toys that shoot shit and go boom.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Shadow Master

The Dragons confront the Shadow Master, but it’s too late already. Icepick manages to begin “reversing the polarity” of the fusion generator, which causes the city to go dark and amplify the Shadow Master’s power.

Jimmy fights the Shadow Master in a one-on-one match, and Billy…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Icepick
Pulls Icepick’s ponytail and flips him over.

Damn. That’s got to be the most painful hair-pulling ever.

With just the press of a switch, Billy sabotages the fusion generator and the Shadow Master is defeated. Icepick and the Shadow Master take the opportunity to flee while the Dragons celebrate their victory.

So there you go. We just found out how the Shadow Master made the biggest mistake in his career of villainy.

You know, I just realized something. I’m going to go on a little rant.


If both of these brothers share the same injuries (if that is still canon from the first episode), then all the Shadow Master has to do is kill one of them and the other will die. Then he can just go conquer Metro City unopposed like he wanted.

You can make the excuse that the Shadow Master wanted to use Jimmy’s abilities as a grown-up, but just look at how quickly he decided to turn back on his “son”. If the Shadow Master killed Jimmy as a baby, then he pretty much already has Metro City under his control.

Which goes to another point: whatever happened to John Lee? Why didn’t the Shadow Warriors conquer Metro City earlier if its police force is so incompetent? They had around a good 20 years to do this before the brothers mature into adults. Who else would be holding them back in bay?

Now you see why this premise doesn’t work? Not only has it very little to do with the Double Dragon video games, but its rushed pacing and idiotically simple resolutions end up opening plot holes the size of Russia. Commercialism may be important for businesses to make a living, but basing TV shows on toy lines alone don’t always work out.

This is especially true if you want to make a lasting impression on your fanbase, which is how shows like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ends up having such a strong fanbase today. And keep in mind that My Little Pony was another franchise based on a toy line and it wasn’t as popular back then as it is today, partially because of its stronger writing in general.

You can’t just launch a TV show and hope that it will be as successful as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, or Transformers. You need to think outside the box more, especially when you had so many big name competitors at the time.

Ehhh. But I digress. We all know this show is yet another American cash-in of a popular video game series, similar to how both Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog got the same treatment at the time. And once again, they had cartoons produced by DiC.

If you’re a ’90s kid and watch cartoons, you can’t avoid the DiC machine. It’s literally everywhere.


So the whole city just so happens to appear and congratulate them. Marian appears before the two brothers, not even recognizing that they’re the Lee brothers all along. Anyone with eye vision can tell they’re the same people. Who else in this entire city has a glowing, energy-shooting scimitar?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Marian Martin

So Marian hesitantly makes Jimmy a new deputy and the episode ends… with a PSA. Oh, no…

Here, let me give the entire script of it.

Michael: Ha ha ha! What are you doing, Billy? You look like a slo-mo flamingo.
Jimmy: Only brainless dweebs make fun of people in things that they don’t understand.
Michael: But it looks so… different.
Billy: The real challenge is to figure out why someone seems different. By the power of the Dragon!

………..What?

Okay, so the context of that PSA is that Billy Lee is doing some weird tai chi poses and Michael thought he looked stupid from doing so.

But… what does it even teach? That you need to figure out why something is different? Okay, and then? Is that all your little message has?

“By the power of the Dragon, I wrote this PSA in 5 seconds! COOL, HUH?!?!?!

Man, it’s no wonder I learn so little from these ’80s-’90s PSAs. If Captain Planet and the Planeteers has better written PSAs than you, then you’ve really been sitting at the bottom of the barrel.

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Episode 3: The Mistress of Chi

Double Dragon: The Animated Series

So we get a shot of Metro City’s park, where Billy Lee is practicing his tai chi. Suddenly, a large Japanese man named “Tsunami” walks in to train in tai chi as well. The two engage in conversation that I have to admit is mildly interesting.

Billy: I know you! You’re grand champion Tsunami, aren’t you?
Tsunami: Hai.
Billy: I’m Billy Lee of the Dragon Dojo. I saw you wrestle in the all-styles tournament. You were terrific. Overwhelming.
Tsunami: Arigatou, Billy-san.
Billy: They call you the Gentle Giant. But you fought like a tiger! I would not have thought…
Tsunami: That I practice chi? Yes. Serenity does not come without effort. Chi helps me to curb my violent impulses. Sumo wrestling calls for the application of mass and force, not anger.
Billy: Like chi.
Tsunami: Yes. I owe all my success to my teacher, Su Lien. You must come down to the Midtown Dojo tomorrow night and meet her.

I feel it is a pretty genuine and believable conversation. It’s just two different martial arts masters sharing a common interest and having a nice talk.

Tsunami goes into some depth about his instructor, Su Lien, and how she is the greatest tai chi instructor. Billy agrees to meet up with her.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Sickle

However, plot rears its ugly head and peeks on the conversation through a sewer grate. Sickle takes interest in Su Lien’s expertise and plans to relay the message to the Shadow Master.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Su Lien

Later that night, Tsunami is at the Midtown Dojo and he introduces Su Lien to his students. Her lecture gets interrupted briefly as the Lee brothers walk in and respectfully join in—well, at least Billy did. Jimmy, on the other hand, is not exactly a man of manners.

But it doesn’t take long before another interruption comes crashing in, by the Shadow Warriors no less. The Lee brothers engage in battle with them, though Tsunami pleads them to stop. Though we get an entertaining battle sequence, it abruptly ends as Su Lien literally curbstomps everyone by shooting green energy rings from her hands.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
Really…? Tai chi lets her do this?

Su Lien doesn’t appreciate the disruptions, though Sickle tries to pin the blame on the Lee brothers. Unfortunately, Su Lien doesn’t really have common sense and can’t see the obvious bad guys before her, so she blames the Lee brothers for ruining her lecture and leaves, which has Tsunami furious.

Jimmy is bitter about the whole ordeal, but Billy is more worried about her safety.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master

But then we cut to the Shadow Master waving a fan at himself, which I never thought I would see. I guess even the all-powerful lord of shadows gets hot in his lair sometimes.

The Shadow Warriors report to the Shadow Master, and he seems interested in Su Lien. So… he actually pulls up a computer with a dictation program installed on it to write her a letter with his voice alone.

Wow. Metro City’s technology must be ahead of its time.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Sickle Su Lien Kona Tsunami

So Sickle delivers the Shadow Master’s message, and Su Lien seems intrigued by the message’s sincerity. However, Tsunami doesn’t trust Sickle and tries to intimidate him. So to ensure his instructor’s safety, Tsunami decides to accompany Su Lien on her way to meet the Shadow Master.

However, the Lee brothers witness the event, transform into the Double Dragons and ambush the Shadow Warriors. Billy takes Su Lien out of there while Jimmy damages the Shadow Warriors’ vehicle, completely mucking up their escape attempt and…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
Crashing into the buildings and instantly destroying them…

Wow, Jimmy. That certainly didn’t work out, did it? Still, points for the hilarious banter between Icepick and Trigger Happy.

At the end of this, Su Lien still doesn’t appreciate the help of the Double Dragons. She is still rather… ignorant about the fact that she was getting kidnapped.

Billy: You’re safe now, teacher.
Su Lien: Your interference is once again misplaced, Billy Lee.
Billy: How… How’d you know?
Su Lien: Never underestimate the power of chi, Dragon Master.

No offense, lady, but I really don’t think you need chi to know that the Double Dragons are the Lee brothers all along. All it takes is a pair of eyes and some common sense.

Su Lien: Whatever you think of this man called the Shadow Master, he has asked me for help. True Dragons always help others, or have you forgotten?
Billy: You don’t understand! The Shadow Master is lying in order to learn the secret of your power!
Su Lien: This may be so, but the power of chi is strong within me. I will be able to change him. I shall go to the Shadow Dojo. And you shall not stop me!

Wow, Su Lien. You’d think your years of being a chi master would teach you how to be humble, but nope! You think you’re the holiest of the holy and your arrogance is going to get you killed. Sorry, but I would have to call your brain into question here.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Tsunami and Su Lien

Jimmy tries to convince Tsunami that the whole thing is just a trap. Tsunami feels the same but he convinces himself that this decision is beyond his grasp. Despite that, he tries to notify Su Lien that the Shadow Master is a crime lord who had thrown Metro City into turmoil. But once again, Su Lien believes her power is enough to transform the Shadow Master so the two leave for the Shadow Dojo.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee

Jimmy seems ready to give up on them, but Billy convinces him otherwise.

At the Shadow Dojo, Su Lien meets the Shadow Master. The Shadow Master makes his intentions very clear: learn the secrets behind her tai chi and leave her with a mind of a vegetable. No really, he’s going to basically bleach out her brain.

Tsunami threatens to attack the Shadow Warriors, but Su Lien calms him down.

Su Lien: I see plainly now that you have a malicious heart and an evil mind.

NOOOO! YOU DON’T SAY?! DID YOUR MYSTICAL CHI POWERS TELL YOU THAT?

You know, Su Lien, for the ultimate tai chi master, you have a serious lack of foresight. You know EXACTLY what you’re getting yourself into and you still went in anyway. You do know people in your position get killed off more easily that way, right?

So the Shadow Master zaps her and has his minions take her away, while Su Lien claims that the power of chi will prevail anyway. Uh, hello? You do realize he’s pretty much shanghaiing you and threatening to kill you, right?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Tsunami and Shadow Warriors

But Tsunami isn’t having this shit and attacks the Shadow Warriors, demonstrating that he is much faster than he looks and can easily dodge and shrug off attacks like they’re nothing.

But the Shadow Warriors end up binding him, which doesn’t seem to do jackshit as he can singlehandedly pull them all AND smash into a stone wall. Seriously, he just bashes through the lair’s wall and escapes like that.

That. Is stupidly awesome.

Shadow Master: Let him go. I shall deal with him later.

Uh, no? I really think you should go after him. If he recruits the help of the Double Dragons, then you’re pretty much fucked. What is with people in this episode with their lack of foresight?

So Icepick and Countdown places Su Lien into a virtual reality machine, which slowly drains her memories. And as the Shadow Master promises, it’s going to leave her with a mind of a vegetable.

So the Shadow Master sits down and uses another virtual reality machine, which will magically give him Su Lien’s chi powers. I have to admit, the Shadow Master knows his technology for something like that to happen.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Kona Tsunami

Meanwhile, Tsunami reports his situation to the Lee brothers and even offers himself to become a student of the Dragon Dojo. The Lee brothers take up on his offer and officially make him into a Dragon Warrior, complete with his own luchador costume and a new name: Kona.

Yeah, this is starting to look more like lucha libre rather than Chinese swordfighting and tai chi.

So we cut to…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
PBT! What a convenient little TV you got there.

Trigger Happy: Does this thing get cable, Snow Cone?
Icepick: Why, you insufferable!

Okay, that’s a little funny.

But then the Dragon Warriors bust in and pretty much wreck the Shadow Warriors’ shit. Again. That’s THREE TIMES in this episode.

Man, just how incompetent are these guys?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Kona Tsunami vs Sickle

And we find that Kona is armed with a gravity gun on his gauntlets. Damn, that is actually pretty boss the more I think about it!

The Dragon Warriors scare off their opponents by breaking the pillars of the lair’s ceiling. Wow, they’re not even safe in their own hideout.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Kona Tsunami

But we’re not even in the bizarre part yet. So, Jimmy wants to destroy the machine but Billy makes the hypothesis that destroying it would only end up destroying Su Lien’s mind. So, what’s the catch here? They all have to enter virtual reality.

No seriously, the Shadow Master actually has spare headsets sitting around. So they enter virtual reality and THEN we get to the bizarre part.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Su Lien dove and Shadow Master crow dragon

So, get this. Su Lien and the Shadow Master take a different form in this virtual reality. For some reason, the Shadow Master is a crow-like wyvern and Su Lien is a chicken-like dove.

I never thought I’d be seeing this in this episode. Is this show secretly a drug and I sat through too much of it to the point where I’m seeing trippy shit happening?

But for some odd reason, the Dragon Warriors first appear in this gobbledygook virtual world at their original forms. So Jimmy proposes that they can shapeshift to anything they want, so they change into…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series virtual reality technicolor doves
Technicolor origami doves…

U…U…Uhhh…

Words alone cannot describe the surrealism of this one scene. They could’ve literally turned into anything else, but their plan is turning into doves and constantly tackling the Shadow Master.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master dragon and Su Lien dove

And then the scene just changes, where Su Lien is now a unicorn with a black wig and the Shadow Master is a fully-fledged dragon. And the Dragon Warriors are these smaller dragons that look like papier-mâché projects.

But here’s the bullshit.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Su Lien dragon and Shadow Master dragon

While the Dragon Warriors keep on attacking the Shadow Master, Su Lien transforms herself into a much bigger dragon and immediately reverts him to his original form before causing him to implode.

Um, wow. That is an incredibly disappointing way to resolve this conflict.

So the Dragon Warriors and Su Lien return to the real world, but the Shadow Master has mysteriously disappeared.

Jimmy: He’s gone! Did you—?
Su Lien: Kill him? Of course not. Like dragons, the masters of chi may not take life.
Billy: Why did you change your mind and fight against him as the white dragon?

Yes, I agree. That is a perfectly valid question.

Su Lien: When there is truly a struggle between good and evil, there can be no neutrality. If I did not act, all of us would’ve been doomed. It was the power of chi that tipped the scales in our favor.

Oh, you are so full of shit, lady. The Dragon Warriors wouldn’t have been in this situation if you hadn’t intentionally gotten kidnapped. And what is this black-and-white way of thinking?

Okay, so you disregarded the warnings of the Lee brothers to pursue your own self-righteous cause, but now you are saying that you saved the day and that you would’ve saved the day anyway, even if you weren’t kidnapped. And you didn’t act at all until the Dragon Warriors showed up.

Also, what did you say earlier in this episode?

Su Lien: This may be so, but the power of chi is strong within me. I will be able to change him. I shall go to the Shadow Dojo. And you shall not stop me!

I will be able to change him. Those were your exact words! I don’t think the Shadow Master changed, lady!

How does it feel, not just riding up on your own high horse but literally becoming that high horse? While you’re at it, why not shapeshift in that virtual world so you can plant your head so far up your ass that you can see the inside of your mouth?

Jimmy: I still don’t get it. Where is the Shadow Master?
Su Lien: I used the last of my power of chi to transport him to a place where he could cool off. It should take him a while to return. By that time, all of us should have our strength back. We’ll need it.

And in the meantime, fuck you and your pretentious bullshit.

By the way, that part about the Shadow Master cooling off? She literally means it.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master in blizzard
He is in a very, very cold place now.

I guess he won’t be needing that fan for a while.

Ha… ha… ha ha…

By the way, there is another crappy PSA at the end. The Lee brothers and Michael are running into a park, though it’s not explained why. And they’re talking about saying no to drugs.

Lovely. Thanks for that. I think you could’ve conveyed that message better if you actually bothered showing the effects of drugs, something in which even Hanna-Barbera did better at.

Uh, holy shit. Wow.

You know, here’s something that surprises me about this episode. I didn’t make fun of it that much, especially when compared to the previous episodes. But those episodes are riddled in clichés and sloppy pacing.

But in this episode, the pacing is decent, we learn who Tsunami is in a short time without it being too forced or contrived, the action is decent, and even the dialogue is better. I wasn’t really expecting this.

But of course, it’s ruined by the half-assed ending and the stupidity of character-of-the-day Su Lien. I personally think Kona should be the one saving the day instead, as it would give him something of a miniature character arc and have it come full circle. It would make his debut more meaningful.

Still, maybe this show is salvageable after all.

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Episode 4: The Price of Oblivion

Hmm. Interesting episode title.

So we begin with some random guy out on a nice highway drive, when suddenly an orange car speeds up and starts thrashing his car. And the orange car was driven by…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Oblivion drivers
Err. Left 4 Dead zombies, I guess.

Though the orange car got away, our established character drives off the highway and gets into a wreck. Then we cut to the Lee brothers, who are also out on a nice little drive.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee
Uhh… nice fisherman’s hat, Jimmy.

I guess even the Double Dragons need a vacation every once in a while, but don’t you think that gives the opportunity for the Shadow Warriors to start shit while you’re away? Who’s left watching the Dragon Dojo? Tsunami from the previous episode?

But they just so happen to find the driver from earlier along the highway. The stupid thing is that this driver didn’t call his insurance company or even a tow truck. He just took his own fishing gear and left his car behind while it continues smoking from the damage.

I know this cartoon was made in the ’90s but Metro City had computer dictation programs and virtual reality. How the fuck aren’t there mobile phones and insurance companies?

So during their drive, the Lee brothers learn that the man’s name is Colonel Neil McReady, a recently retired U.S. Special Forces officer. He recounted his odd encounter with the orange car from earlier, and they all just so happen to pass the wreck of said car. Apparently, the police were already there and the orange car was empty.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Icepick

We cut to Icepick and the Shadow Master, working on a green chemical known as Oblivion. Apparently, it’s a drug that you can splash over your skin and it grants you instant euphoria and a strong addiction to the drug.

Wow. So basically, the Shadow Warriors invented a type of heroin that can be splashed over your skin. If Walt White were to get a recipe of that stuff, he’d be the richest man in the world.

The Shadow Master wanted to use the Oblivion drug in order to brainwash the entire population of Metro City, to use their addiction against them in order to get them to commit crimes as he pleases. So he dispatches his Shadow Warriors to the nicest neighborhood of Metro City.

And it just so happens to be the one where Neil McReady lives at.

Speaking of which, the Lee brothers drop off Colonel McReady at his house and warn him about the Shadow Master. But just as the Lee brothers leave, they see the vehicle of the Shadow Warriors. Right on schedule too.

So the Lee brothers turn into the Double Dragons and even demonstrate that they can cause their own vehicle to change form too. By equipping it with weapons. Hmm. Convenience?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Charles

Meanwhile, we cut to Colonel McReady and this new random kid named Charles (how many kids do you know has that name and isn’t called “Charlie”?)

And somehow, little Charles here is part of the neighborhood watch and he lectures a full-grown adult retired military officer about the dangers of the neighborhood…

Um, thanks?

Well, let’s face it. This part of the episode is actually better than those terrible PSAs we’ve seen thus far. Mainly because it’s kinda relevant to the situation at hand.

We cut to the Shadow Warriors delivering a batch of Oblivion to a couple of common street thugs, but their plan gets interrupted by the Double Dragons. Trigger Happy makes a direct hit at the Double Dragons’ vehicle, forcing them to exit. And then he gets all batshit crazy and starts blasting away the neighborhood, then escapes.

Wow. The Shadow Warriors are actually competent this time around.

Unfortunately, a small shipment of Oblivion accidentally drops from their vehicle and a random thug grabs it.

Then they pass by Colonel McReady’s house. And for some reason, Trigger Happy decides to snatch Charles off the streets. Spur of the moment, I guess. But it actually ends up being a smart move, because he has a hostage.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee

And this prevents the Double Dragons from shooting at the Shadow Warriors during their pursuit. Damn, what is this? A decently paced action sequence with high stakes? I don’t believe this.

Hell, the Double Dragons even got shot during the chase and fail to catch them. That actually makes things more interesting.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Trigger Happy and Charles

Meanwhile, the Shadow Master basks in his victory as he watches a group of thugs in the city (through a conveniently placed surveillance camera somewhere) getting addicted off of his super-drug. Trigger Happy and Sickle enter the room with Charles at hand, explaining that the boy that can be used as a hostage.

Shadow Master: Mmmm. This is getting better and better. A hostage here, and my new drug Oblivion on the streets.

Actually, I agree here. Just from how this episode is paced and how its action is built up, this is looking to be the best episode of the series so far.

So the Shadow Master basks in his victory and makes a weird groaning sound that might as well be an orgasm. Hammy villainy at its finest.

At Metro City, the thugs (under the influence of Oblivion) begin mugging people and we actually see Michael in the strongest PSA-like moment so far.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Michael

Thug: Hey, kid. Check out what I’ve got here. First one is free.
Michael: No! Go away!

And there you have it! What just happened in this moment is “showing,” not “telling.” Instead of the character coming out to tell you, the audience, why drugs are bad (mmkay?), he recognized the danger he’s facing, straight up said no, and reported to the nearest police officer that a drug dealer is trying to sell drugs to a high school kid.

U… U… Uh… I’m speechless. That is… actually not shoved down our throats. It pertains to the story at hand. It isn’t even forced.

Ahem… well then… so Michael reports to Marian, who just so happens to be in the area. However, more of those Oblivion-addicted zombies show up and just wander all over the place.

Where the flying fuck is the rest of the Metro police force? Why do Marian and the Double Dragons always have to clean up this troubled city’s messes?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Marian

So Marian meets up with the Lee brothers, who are repairing their damaged vehicle. They discuss the city’s sudden surge of crime and drug addicts. But of course, the Shadow Warriors have a hostage so the Lee brothers are contemplating on how they can save him and free the city from this new threat. They assure Marian that this plan requires some careful thought and patience, though this frustrates her to no end.

Somewhere out in the neighborhood, Colonel McReady watches as the drug addicts overtake his childhood home. He has it to here with this shit, so he knows he must take the fate of his neighborhood into his own hands. Not just that, but he also feels personally responsible for Charles getting kidnapped right before his eyes.

We’re halfway done with this episode, and so far… I’m actually kinda liking it. I’m shocked.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master and Super Oblivion

In fact, this episode keeps getting better. The Shadow Master is now producing an even more potent version of Oblivion, calling it Super Oblivion. Not only does it have the same effects as the original drug, but it also permanently damages the user’s brain and causes memory loss. And he is going to test it on his hostage, Charles.

This is a kid’s cartoon. Not really a good one, but it actually has a episode making a pretty strong statement about drugs. I actually want to see what happens next.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Colonel Neil McReady

Meanwhile, Colonel McReady is interrogating a drug dealer out in the streets, demanding where Charles is held hostage. Of course, he got his information and is headed towards the hideout of the Shadow Warriors.

The Lee brothers have finally finished repairs on their vehicle, once again becoming the Double Dragons and searching for the Shadow Master’s drug factory.

And while using his Mark of the Dragon to locate the factory, Jimmy delivers one of the funnier lines of the show.

Jimmy: I call upon the power of the Dragon. Lead us to the butt we wish to kick.

It worked too.

Billy: You call THAT a mystic incantation?
Jimmy: Hey, it worked, didn’t it?

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee drug factory

So they manage to locate the factory, which looks oddly familiar.

Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls Billy Lee vs. Sickle
Oh yeah. This show had a video game adaptation.

Yes, a video game loosely based on a show loosely based on a video game series. I fail to see the point of it.

The Double Dragons are wondering if Charles is either held hostage here or at the Shadow Dojo, but then they see Colonel McReady in his battle uniform and mistake him for a new Shadow Warrior. And of course, the Colonel mistakes them for Shadow Warriors too.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Blaster
The Code of the Dragon says, “Attack first, ask questions later.”

However, this bit of action distracts the Shadow Master from testing the Super Oblivion on Charles as he checks the factory’s surveillance footage and found the scuffle outside. So, he sent out his Shadow Warriors.

You know, Shadow Master, you could have just let them duke it out and eliminate each other. Then you can send out your lackeys when they’re weakened. Just sayin’.

So the whole situation gets frantic until the Double Dragons call a truce with Colonel McReady and explain that the whole thing is just a misunderstanding. So they team up against the Shadow Warriors and wreck their shit. Jimmy uses the war vehicle to gain an advantage and tells Billy and the colonel to find the hostage in the factory.

And boy, is Jimmy having fun curbstomping the Shadow Warriors.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee and Blaster

Billy and the colonel infiltrate the factory, but they come across the Shadow Master who currently has Charles in his possession. Billy and the colonel are ready to offer their surrender in exchange for the kid’s life, but the Shadow Master turns out to be a scumbag and refuses to release him.

However, Jimmy literally crashes into the party, distracting the Shadow Master and giving Colonel McReady an opportunity to shoot and destroy the Oblivion drug. The sudden shock allows Billy to attack the Shadow Master and free Charles. The Shadow Master is ready to fight but Jimmy launches one more missile and causes some debris to fall, crushing him.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master crushed
Damn, you just got your ass handed to you, son.

Kudos, Jimmy Lee. You’re seriously rocking it in this episode.

Our heroes escape the facility as it blows up and destroys whatever is left of the Oblivion drug. The Double Dragons drop Charles off at his house, and Colonel McReady decided to adopt the nickname “Blaster” for his new persona.

Really, just Blaster? Hmm. Well, there could’ve been worse names I suppose.

And Charles manages to figure out the identities of the Double Dragons, just because of the war vehicle’s backseat looking familiar to him.

Come on, people. Seriously? It really doesn’t take a whole lot to figure out who they are just from their appearances and voices alone.

So Blaster offers his services to the Double Dragons. At the Dragon Dojo, he is officially made a Dragon Warrior.

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Billy Lee Jimmy Lee Blaster
Meh. I like his original costume better.

At the ruins of the drug factory, the Shadow Master swears vengeance…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series Shadow Master as smoke
As a pillar of smoke…

…Still looks silly, guys.

By the way, another PSA! And it’s the same exact one from last episode. Well, at least this is the more relevant episode to show the PSA since it’s about drugs.

Okay, so… this episode wasn’t actually too bad. I would dare say it’s decent, even as a drug PSA. There isn’t really any bullshit, the action is alright, and the underlying message is well-meaning and isn’t super-preachy. Not to mention Jimmy Lee is pretty badass in this episode and Blaster is a neat addition to the team.

So apparently, this episode was written by Bob Forward and it is the only episode in this show he had written. He was involved in other old cartoons such as the Masters of the Universe series, G.I. Joe, and a few other DiC cartoons like The Legend of Zelda and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Mind you, the DiC stuff is not exactly gold.

But his biggest contribution as a TV writer is towards Beast Wars: Transformers, which he wrote a large chunk of episodes for and is considered to be one of the best written incarnations of Transformers out there.

While I can’t really speak for the rest of his work, he did a good job here. Thus far, this is the best written episode in the Double Dragon TV series. So, who knows. Maybe there are more gems yet…

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More episode reviews will come, in due time…

Double Dragon: The Animated Series

Double Dragon: The Animated Series
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