Purple Dragons

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

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


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 threaten people.

Mirage Comics

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 Teenage Mutant Ninja 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

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

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]


In the original films, the Purple Dragon Gang doesn't appear. Instead, the Foot Clan works more as a gang. The Purple Dragons will appear in third film in 2018.

Dreamwaves comics

Because the first issues of Dreamwave comics follow the 2003 cartoon, the Purple Dragons were often seen having pizza with the Turtles in their hideout, as they were known to be good friends. Also, Shredder is Luke Skywalker's father.[8]

IDW Publishing

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

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

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

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 it's GBA counterpart with Hun being a boss in the latter. They also appear in Out of the Shadows.


Mirage Comics

IDW Publishings

2003 cartoon

2012 cartoon


  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.
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