Marvel Team-Up #106
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #106
He starts off this issue in a mental institution and acts crazy until a doctor (who is depicted as wildly out of touch with reality himself) gives him his costume to wear as a form of therapy. Then he demonstrates that he's really sane and escapes.
However, he repeats that fact that he was faking his craziness several times in this story and it starts to be a "protests too much" situation and Spider-Man even says that he's probably really crazy after all.
Instead of going directly after Jonah, the Scorpion develops a more complex scheme of hiring a group of thugs to trash stores selling the Daily Bugle and the Bugle's distribution network.
Captain America, under the guise of Steve Rogers looking for a gig for his commercial art, shows up at the Bugle and is there when Scorpion begins his direct attack.
The Scorpion has gone back to Farley Stillwell's lab (his second time there recently) to upgrade his costume to include an electro-magnetic blast in his tail. When Spidey first encounters Scorpion, he deliberately ignores his spider-sense and gets blasted by the Scorpion's sting.
But much later, Cap and Spider-Man are able to defeat Scorpion quite easily, much more so than i'd like.
One thing i was really surprised about was JJ's reaction when Cap shows up to save him.
Obviously JJ doesn't like Spider-Man and that often extends to other costumed heroes generally. I'd have to think that officially sanctioned heroes like the FF and the Avengers were generally ok; he may turn on them on a dime if something went wrong, but normally he'd have no problem with them. And Captain America should certainly be an exception. I really don't think he'd call Cap a jerk. You'd think he'd be thrilled to see Cap show up to save him, but if you wanted him to be a curmudgeon about it, you could write him as seeming entitled, like "Of course they'd send Captain America to save me.". He does go somewhere along those lines later.
DeFalco does better with the public's perception of heroes later on, showing a clear (if maybe too overt) distinction between how they react to Cap and Spider-man.
Team-Up has a real fill-in quality feel at this time due to the lack of a consistent creative team.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Following the MCP and the Index and placing this in a gap that occurs during Amazing Spider-Man #218. The MCP has Cap here between Captain America #259-260.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCaptain America, Debra Whitman, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Scorpion, Spider-Man
The scene at the mental institution is a good example of the problem with the Scorpion- writers seem to forget that even without his tail, he's supposed to be a little stronger than Spider-Man. I can't imagine Peter having trouble escaping from a mental institution, unless he was drugged or something.
Posted by: Michael | July 9, 2013 7:53 AM
Posted by: clyde | February 23, 2015 7:19 PM
David Michelinie will later turn the idea of the Scorpion upgrading his tail into a sort of minor subplot for him, much as this era had Doctor Octopus constantly trying to upgrade his arms with Adamantium.
And yeah, the Scorpion definitely got downgraded in power over the years, probably the same way Mister Hyde did: once Captain America takes you out, people write you as below Spider-Man's weight class. That, plus his lost gimmick of being the "anti-Spider-Man," seems to be what inspired his stint as Venom (the more popular "anti-Spider-Man" concept).lengthy
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 9:10 AM
Is the doctor here Karl Malus? He looks a bit like Karl and the scorpion is something he'd be involved in.
Posted by: kveto | January 4, 2017 7:01 AM
He's identified as Dr. Noseblum.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 13, 2017 9:19 AM
This cover was terrific!
Posted by: Cinque | February 28, 2018 10:36 AM
Scorpy used the exact same trick of pretending to be crazy so they'd give him back his scorpion suit when he broke out of prison in Amazing Spider-Man #29. Dare I suggest that DeFalco may have just blatantly swiped the idea as another indiscriminate and uncredited Silver-Age "homage." This was already a weak idea as it stood, but suggesting that the same trick would work twice for Gargan really strains credibility beyond the breaking point. Scorpy isn't crazy, it's the prison guards and mental asylum attendants who are.
Posted by: Holt | April 27, 2018 7:48 PM
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