A Town Called Dragon is a five issue mini-series by Judd Winick and Geoff Shaw and published by Legendary Comics.
The premise is the egg from the last surviving dragon was smuggled over to North America centuries ago by the vikings. By the modern day, a small town is built around the egg and establishing as a tourist destination eponymously called Dragon. Ultimately the dragon is accidentally awakened from its egg by a science team, forcing the regular town folks to battle for their lives.
A Town Called Dragon contains the following tropes.
- Accidental Truth: It is part of Wilson's profession of selling dragon merchandise to tourists. But once an actual dragon appears...Wilson: So, all my viking dragon junk is actually real?
Garvey: Yes, that line of horsecrap you've been selling tourists for thirty years was actually true.
- Analogy Backfire: Mickey compares Cooper to Ahab from Moby-Dick but added that he had killed the Animal Nemesis and he is not insane.
- Apocalyptic Log: The viking ordered to take the dragon egg to present day Colorado kept a journal and ensured it as a warning to others, and doubles as an instruction manual on how to kill dragons.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The German science team that were looking for the dragon egg unintentionally hatched it.
- Bilingual Bonus: The dialogues spoken by the German science team.
- Bittersweet Ending: The dragon(s) is dead but at the cost of Garvey and Mickey. However, the town recovers and becoming a prospering Boom Town thanks to viral videos showing the dragon attack becoming an instant hit on the internet.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Viking dragon bone-made weapons and armors are the dragons' vulnerable weakness, and are conveniently displayed at Wilson's souvenir store.
- Career-Ending Injury: Cooper Runyon was a starred football quarterback and had signed up for University of Florida and becoming a Gator. Tragically, Cooper became the victim of a drunk driving accident which killed all three of his friends, and suffering a messed up knee, losing most of his vision in one eye, and permanently deaf in his right ear, making him unable to play football again. Though this didn't stop him from trying javelin throwing in which he was able to tie the university's record.
- Cassandra Truth: Mickey earlier tried to warn everyone about what he discovered to be a terrorist cell up in Devil's Peak, but turns out to be a team of German scientists looking for the dragon egg. When he tried to warn the police about the dragon, he gets disbelieving looks until one of the officers found a huge pile of dragon dung with a severed human hand in it and then seeing the dragon's molted husk.
- The Chosen Many: Mickey strongly sees the self-made dragon hunters being gathered by fate rather than a mere coincidence that they are stuck to save the town from the dragon, as, in his Rousing Speech, each of them have the specialties: Malcolm translating the viking scrolls which provide the information on how to kill the dragon, Sam and Eric making bombs, Kelly repairing the dragon bone weapons, Mickey is a mountain climber who can climb to the dragon's lair, Garvey can lead, and Cooper is responsible for killing the dragon.
- Most especially Cooper as he is a quarterback/javelin thrower, right-handed, and is deaf in his right ear much like viking dragon hunters, as the vikings made helmets to protect their right ears from a dragon's screech and allowing to using their right hand to throw their spears while using their left to cover their bare ear.
- Closed Circle: The town is snowed in by the worst blizzard in seventy years and all communications such as cellphones are cut off. The latter happened because the local cell tower was down four months ago due to being faulty and in need of repairs which was slated to complete within six months. The mayor didn't even bother to fix it much earlier because he saw this as another tourism opportunity to have people coming for a "tech-holiday," and didn't think that something very bad would happen in Dragon.
- Although the townspeople have other working communication devices like CB radios to call for help, but this becomes moot as one person points out that no one from the outside would believe that there is an actual dragon.
- Comically Missing the Point: Purposely done by Garvey when Mayor Foreman sees sending a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits to fight the dragon to be insane.Mayor Foreman: This is insane!Garvey: I know. An actual dragon. I would have put money on Bigfoot before a dragon.Mayor Foreman: That's not what I mean!
- The Dragonslayer: "Cooper "Rocket" Runyon! The dragon @#$% killer!"
- Dying Town: The town of Dragon hasn't been seeing any revenues and growth in which the mayor is so desperately trying to turn the town into a tourist trap.
- Foreshadowing: Malcolm examined the shell of the dragon egg and noticed that it is bigger than he thought it to be. Turns out the egg hatched twins.
- From Bad to Worse: Aside from the town being snowed in the worst blizzard in seventy years and got attacked by a dragon, Garvey and Malcolm informed the bad news that according to the viking scrolls, the dragon will get very hungry as its species are notorious for devouring entire villages after reaching their adolescence. In other words, as Garvey bluntly puts it, "this %*$# is going to wake up and eat the entire town."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Mickey.
- The Hermit: Garvey is the local town hermit who rarely spoke to anyone and usually hangs to the background until revealing that he is more than just that when he start spraying lead at the dragon with an M-16 assault rifle.
- Horny Vikings
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Devil's Peak, where the dragon egg is hidden and later hatched.
- Instant Web Hit: The kid who recorded the dragon attacking the town later posted it on YouTube and causing people flocking over to the town that killed the dragons.
- Last of His Kind: A less benign example.
- Mayor Pain: Mayor Foreman fits in somewhere around the Incompetent Mayor Pain. He spends most of the story trying to bring prosperity to Dragon by promoting the town's dragon legend such as trying to turn the local diner into a dragon-theme restaurant and even bringing the idea of dressing up some cows and a dog in dragon and viking costumes much to the chagrin of their respective owners.
- My Greatest Failure: Mickey was too enthusiastic about mountain climbing that he neglected his family. When on a mountain climbing trip, his wife had enough and decided to stay behind with their five-year-old daughter. While Mickey went climbing, his wife and daughter died in a car accident. He believed that if he had stayed home and if they were with him then their deaths could have been avoided. Since then, Mickey quit his accounting job and moved to Dragon so he can kept climbing the mountains, which becomes more riskier as Cooper sadly thinks that Mickey is trying to kill himself out of guilt.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Dragon was declining in its dragon hype and tourist revenue, until the actual dragon appears.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The titular dragon is much like the dragons depicted in Reign of Fire and it is suggested that they are another breed of dinosaurs. It is also mentioned that dragons are related to sea serpents as dragons that are hatched in the seas will develop aquatic properties. Dragons are very hard to kill due to their hide being incredibly invulnerable to anything such as bullets and explosives, and have a very long lifespan. Infant dragons are especially dangerous as they are most invulnerable when first hatched, they can grow ten times their birth size within two or three days, and they will get more invulnerable as they grow bigger. Dragon eggs are also insanely but practically indestructible and making it impossible to prevent future dragon attacks, as the vikings went to extraordinary lengths to destroy the last egg such as bringing down an entire fortified wall on it which barely even scratch it. However, dragons can be wounded by weapons and armors made from dragon bone.
- Phony Veteran: For years, local souvenir businessman Wilson boasts to everyone about his service in the Vietnam War. When the dragon attacked the town, Wilson claimed that he was a coward as this is how he survived the war. Later, he was approached by the self-made dragon slayers who want to recruit him into their team, in which Wilson declines and finally confesses that he lied about his service and his so-called war stories was to boost his business.
- Police are Useless: The police are mostly composed of reserved deputies and that nothing serious above a citation for public urination happened in the town. Although they did tried their best to fight the dragon (such as shooting at its eyes and mouth) until they get instantly incinerated by dragonbreath.
- Post-Climax Confrontation / Hope Spot: The heroes have finally killed the dragon until its twin swoops in.
- Precious Photo: Mickey always carries a photograph of his dead wife and daughter.
- Ragnarök Proofing: The vikings kept the cave airtight in order to keep the dragon egg cold and allowing the scrolls to preserve.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Summed up by Mayor Foreman.Mayor Foreman: You're going to take our diner owner, a half-ass blacksmith-waitress-sculptor, the local lunatic, some bookworm, and a couple teenage fire-bugs up a mountain to kill a monster.Garvey: That's an oversimplification, but accurate.
- Rasputinian Death: The vikings tried anything to destroy the dragon egg by chopping it with war axes (which breaks and leave a large pile of broken hafts nearby), crushing it with a stone block, and bringing an entire stone wall on it. They think of other ways to dispose it. One suggest casting it into the ocean, but this would only allow the dragon to hatch into a sea serpent which are bad as dragons. One consider boiling the egg and thereby roasting the dragon hatchling, but dragons thrive on heat. They run down to having the egg submerge in freezing oil and keeping it dormant, and then burying it. However, the vikings decide not to bury it in their homeland as they had done this before and the people who were suppose to guard the egg grew careless and allowed it to hatch, and the best solution was to sending it far, far away.
- Retired Badass: Garvey is a retired C.I.A. field agent who had worked for thirty years and outright stated that he had made a lot of bad people "missing" and helped a few dictators to "retire," and hence it is why he decides to take charge to help the more inexperienced townspeople.
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: Malcolm came to Dragon because, in his words, it is "incredibly boring" until his knowledge in translating the viking scrolls proves very useful. He is initially reluctant to join in killing the dragon because he is "a bookish, intellectual, coward" but get called out by Garvey that even if he refuse to help, the dragon will still come and devour everyone including Malcolm.
- The Sheriff: Castro.
- Shout-Out: In-universe, Mickey compares Garvey to Captain Quint from Jaws much to Cooper's annoyance. Like Quint, Garvey is a retired badass and gets killed by the dragon.
- Also, like how Sheriff Brody killed the shark, this is how Cooper killed the dragon's twin.
- The Team
- There Are No Coincidences: The story's central theme for the main characters, most particularly about Cooper.
- You Have to Believe Me!: Invoked and lampshaded by one of the townspeople at the emergency town meeting as no one from the outside world would believe their pleas that they are being threatened by a dragon.
- You Watch Too Much X: The conversation between Wilson and Garvey after the latter revealed to be a retired C.I.A. field agent.Wilson: You some kind of black ops, ninja, assassin?Garvey: You watch too much television. But, yeah. I was some kind of black ops, ninja, assassin.