Marvel Database



The Triads originated in China as secret societies in ancient imperial China and over time evolved into criminal organizations.[9] The Triads being an organized crime group were involved in a wide variety of criminal activities, including narcotics,[10][11][12] prostitution,[3][13] money laundering,[14][15] gambling,[16][13] human trafficking,[17][15] contraband smuggling,[18] people smuggling,[17] arms trafficking,[19][15] counterfeit goods,[20] and protection rackets.[21] In the Far East, the leaders of the individual Triads were considered "Lords" of the underworld and whomever united and ruled the Chinese underworld was considered the "Overlord".[22]

Triads were either led by a single individual (e.g. Inner Demons) or by a ruling council (e.g. Sydney Triad).[23][24] The most powerful Triad of them all, was one that had an invisible worldwide empire and a globe-spanning army. It was a Triad with ambitions of global conquest. Which was the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan led by Fu Manchu.[4][25] Several other individuals became "Overlords" or its equivalent, though none among the Triad leaders reached the level of power that Fu Manchu possessed. They became the Overlord (or the equivalent boss of bosses) of the Triads in a region (the Far East), a city (Mandarin City), or a Chinatown.

Asia's Triads came under the rule of the Mandarin and later the Cursed Lotus.[22][26] After the fall of the Mandarin, Lord Remaker brought the Triads of Mandarin City under his control.[27][28] In San Francisco, there were several Overlord-like bosses with the title of "Black Dragon"; most recently Wolverine and Fat Cobra.[1][1][29] On the American eastern coast, Mister Negative ruled the mobs of New York City's Chinatown.[30] Recently the resurrected Leiko Wu inherited London's Chinatown.[2]

Technologically, the most advanced Triad were the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan. It was an organization which had established massive secret fortresses, ranging from subterranean complexes to fortified skyscrapers to orbital space stations.[31][32][4][33][34][35] The organization developed and/or used such technologies as cybernetics and mind-control devices, spacecraft and submersible vessels, jetpacks and airships, beam and lightning weapons, genetically-engineered giant monsters and human-animal hybrids, and both nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).[36][37][35][38][39][40][32][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48] Among the Triads it possessed the most lethal army, one that was made up of assassins who were fanatically loyal to Fu Manchu. Assassins whose mastery of the art of death made professional killers of the criminal underworld seem like novices.[49][25]

Within the United States, the most technologically advanced and dangerous Chinese mob were the Inner Demons. They were a Tong led by Mister Negative, a powerful mutate. Which developed and/or used such technologies as nanotechnology and cybernetics, beam and sonic weapons, and adamantium and poison gas.[50][51][52][53][51][54] Mister Negative bestowed on his men the ability to regenerate, which gave him a small army of nearly unkillable soldiers. Inner Demons were trained in the martial arts and were armed to the teeth with electrified martial arts weapons, as well as with firearms.[23][55][8]

In addition to Fu Manchu, a number of other Chinese crime lords ran empires that crossed oceans or encompassed whole continents, including; Yi Yang, Marcus Tsung, and Mister Negative. The mutant Marcus Tsung ruled a criminal empire that stretched across three large nations (China, India, and Russia).[19] The immortal Yi Yang controlled an empire with operations in both the United States and Russia.[56][57][58] Mister Negative's empire was present in both the United States and China.[30][59][30] Two non-Chinese became Triad leaders, the Kingpin who for a period led the Si-Fan (or a faction of the organization) and the mutant Wolverine in San Francisco who became its Black Dragon (till he willingly abdicated the position).[36][60]

During different periods, various Triads came under the spheres of influence of the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan, the Great Wall Society, or the Atlas Foundation.[26][61][62] Triads have formed alliances with the ninjas of the Hand, the mutant Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, and the Russian Mafia.[63][64][58] New York City's Kingpin had a long prosperous business relationship with the Triads (both Hong Kong's Triads and the Tongs of New York City's Chinatown).[33][65] Triads have also formed alliances with inter-dimensional groups (the Silent Ones and the Crimson Pirates), and they've worked with the dragons of Subterranea.[60][66][62] One Triad, the Inner Demons formed an alliance with an interdimensional Lovecraftian god, the Devourer, and in the process threatened all of Earth.[67]

Various costumed superheroes, mutants, and vigilantes had encounters with the Triads and their affiliates. Which included the martial arts masters Shang-Chi and Iron Fist, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the X-Men, the mutant Wolverine, Spider-Man, Punisher the vigilante, the Avengers Iron Man and Scarlet Witch, and the British spies of MI6. Among the heroes, Shang-Chi has been the Si-Fan's greatest enemy, as well as that of Fu Manchu. In New York, among its costumes, it has been Spider-Man who has been Mister Negative's greatest foe, and therefore that of the Inner Demons.[26][68][58][64][60][23][69][21][70][9][60]

Wild Tiger Mob from Journey into Mystery Vol 1 516.png

Triad Groups





high-tech battlesuits,[64] mind control devices,[37] cybernetics,[36] nanobacteria,[50] orbiting satellite,[39] Mimosa (mind-control drug),[71] Elixir of Life (magical drug),[4] Chao-Siwang Shu (black magic book),[2] Tablet of Death and Entropy (magical),[72]


Nuclear weapons,[46][47] chemical warfare agent,[48] Mandarin-tech beam weapons,[75] sonic cannon,[10] beam cannon,[52] lightning weapon,[76] Sonic Pulse Generator,[53] Mandarin-tech multi-legged gun platforms,[77] Remaker Bombs,[28] Mandarin-tech bipedal robots,[70] giant mutated arthropods (e.g. spiders, praying mantis, scorpions),[43][44] mutated human-animal hybrids,[45] state-of-the art firearms (comparable to Hydra or SHIELD),[36][64] Devil's Breath,[23] Fistigons,[78], electrified martial arts weapons (dao swords, katana swords, nunchuks, and gun staff),[23][55][79][80][68] and undead vampires.[81]


space station,[46] Boeing 747, space shuttle,[46] dragon airship,[32] submarine,[38] cargo ship,[73] stealth aircraft,[74] "UFOs" (submersible aerial vehicles),[39] jetpacks,[40]


  • The meaning of Tong (which is "hall" or "gathering place") is known in the West as "Lodge", and the title of Shan Chu (aka, "Mountain Master" or more infamously as "Dragonhead") has been translated in the West as "Lodgemaster". Which is what is used by the British MI-6 agents to describe the Celestial Order of the Si-Fan's Tongs and Shan Chu.[4][82]


  • In the real world, the Triads are just one form of organized crime in both China and within the Chinese Diaspora. Other types of Chinese crime groups are the "Black Societies" (mainland China),[83] the "Jhao Po" (Thailand),[84] and the Tongs. Chinese organized crime groups range from corporate-like syndicates (China) to quasi-street gangs (e.g. the Wah Ching). These groups number in the 1000s, and in China there may be over 4,000 criminal groups with up to 30 million members, making the "Chinese Mafia" the world's largest ethnic "mafia" with a membership outnumbering all the other mobs combined.[85] Based in Hong Kong is perhaps the biggest, richest, best organized, and most powerful Chinese Triad and criminal organization, the Sun Yee On.[86][87][88][89][90]
  • Chinese organized crime is estimated to earn $100s of billions every year and maybe over a trillion dollars annually, making the "Chinese Mafia" the wealthiest in the world, likely earning several times as much as the second wealthiest ethnic "mafia". They dominate the manufacturing and trade in counterfeit goods, a business valued at hundreds of billions a year.[91] Another illicit market they dominate is the illegal sports betting underground, also valued in the hundreds of billions.[92] Then there is the tens of billions they earn in other illicit markets; illegal drugs (heroin, crystal meth, ketamine), environmental crime (ivory, timber, animal parts, coal, etc), arms trafficking, people smuggling, credit card fraud, etc.[93]

See Also

Links and References


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Vol 2 #4
  3. 3.0 3.1 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Vol 2 #2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Special Marvel Edition #15
  5. Punisher Vol 2 #104
  6. Marvel Atlas #1
  7. Moon Knight #197
  8. 8.0 8.1 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu Vol 2 #1-2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2-2" defined multiple times with different content
  9. 9.0 9.1 Scarlet Witch Vol 2 #7
  10. 10.0 10.1 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #3
  11. Secret Avengers Vol 3 #4
  12. Journey Into Mystery #516
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  14. Punisher Vol 2 #17
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  16. Master of Kung Fu #38
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  18. Master of Kung Fu #62
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  20. 2020 iWolverine #1
  21. 21.0 21.1 Punisher Vol 2 #51
  22. 22.0 22.1 Uncanny X-Men #257
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  24. X-Treme X-Men #9
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  34. Master of Kung Fu #22
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  56. Hulk Comic (UK) #15-20
  57. Daredevils #7-11
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