Characters Appearing: Contessa Valentina Allegro De La Fontaine, Nick Fury, Scorpio III (Mikel Fury), Wolverine
Wolverine & Nick Fury: Scorpio Rising
Issue(s): Wolverine & Nick Fury: Scorpio Rising
It began with Jacob Fury, a man who took a very different path in life than his older brother, Nick. As boys growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jake envied and resented his stronger, more capable sibling. But matters turned far worse after Nick enlisted in the army and became leader of the famous Howling Commandos, a combat team that dealt repeated defeats to the forces of Nazi Germany. Perhaps in an effort to compete, Jake joined the army himself, only to lead an utterly undistinguished military career. And his anger towards his brother grew. [Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #68-69, sort of]
Despite all that backstory, the story here really just pivots lightly off of the Scorpio Connection and doesn't really delve into the Scorpio history any further. I think it's interesting that this story is written by Howard Chaykin, who drew the Scorpio Connection but didn't get any writing credits for it. I guess Chaykin still felt some ownership or connection with the characters, or else he just wanted to do a general spy adventure story and used the characters that he'd used previously.
The actual plot of this issue is about a country called Carpasia which has a new democratic government after the fall of the Soviet Union. But the government ministers are all assassinated by what turn out to be Hydra agents working in conjunction with someone who comes from the line of monarchs that ruled Carpasia prior to the Soviets.
Nick Fury is trying to raise his son Mikel (by beating the shit out of him), but Mikel is distracted because he is a Carpasian on his mother's side, and he wants to get involved.
So Mikel gets into his Scorpio costume, brutally injures a SHIELD guard...
...and retrieves his imitation Scorpio Key.
Nick Fury follows, and Wolverine is already in Carpasia because it's the 90s, and they team up to look for Mikel. Meanwhile, Hydra is taking advantage of Mikel's "immaturity", first by having him seduced by two women...
...and then really messing with him by sending in an LMD of his mother.
Then Wolverine and Fury come in and "rescue" Mikel.
I'm sorry, but getting sexed up by two women and then having your mom walk in on you and then having your dad walk in on you while you've probably still got a boner while your mom's in the room, and then watching a hairy man with claws kill your mom for the second time? Forget anything else that's happened in Jake's life. That alone should make him a permanent basket case. I think Fury needs to give up on trying to deprogram him; he should just pre-emptively lock him up in a rubber room right now. Oedipus had nothing on this guy.
But instead the three team up to stop Hydra's takeover...
...which is supplemented by LMDs that are more like Terminators.
It's actually Wolvie who destroys the LMD factory with the Scorpio Key.
But somehow Jake is made president of Carpasia.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is one of several Wolverine stories that needs to fit in before he loses his adamantium in Fatal Attractions. Per the indicia, this was published in Oct 94; i've tagged it as a Continuity Insert although it really seems more like parts of Marvel were oblivious to the fact that Wolverine was going to be without his adamantium for so long. I'm placing this in a period where Nick Fury was back to being director of SHIELD but wasn't appearing anywhere regularly.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
One thing that should be mentioned is that five years ago, in the pages of Secret Warriors #25-26, it was revealed that Jake and Nick had still been friendly in 1961 when they were both involved in the Zodiac Event. During that adventure, Nick, Jake and a third man had encountered an ancient LMD that had been buried in Leonardo Da Vinci's tomb. Once released, that LMD had recreated itself as two of the three people who had found it, one of whom was Jake. Nick and Jake had used the Jake LMD to replace him while the real Jake went undercover to infiltrate the other factions involved in the Zodiac Event. However, these early LMDs were flawed and very mentally unstable so "Jake" was schizophrenic and that led to him becoming Scorpio while the real Jake remained sane.
I have no idea how this retcon is meant to be integrated into the events depicted in Fury #1 and Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection GN. Was it the Jake LMD that was involved with Amber D'Alexis? Or was it the real Jacob Fury?
Posted by: Don Campbell | November 4, 2016 2:07 PM
This Scorpio stuff sounds as insanely terrible as it is overly complex. I didn't even really care for the Scorpio Connection graphic novel, and that was written by the great Archie Goodwin and drawn by Chaykin near the height of his talent.
I hate it when the big companies get a breakout star like Alan Moore or, in Marvel's case, Jim Steranko and then strip mine plots from a couple of issues they did for decades.
DC should have been embarrassed to base their massive crossover Blackest Night on a Green Lantern backup story that Alan Moore probably doesn't even remember writing. Trying to use Steranko's ideas from a couple issues of Nick Fury is equally embarrassing, but also kind of fittingly soulless for the 1993 comics industry.
Posted by: Red Comet | November 4, 2016 3:28 PM
A slight correction tot he annotations in the essay above: It was Defenders #49 that claimed Jake was the "second" Scorpio; WCA #26-28 retconned things so that Jake was always Scorpio and the Key wiped away his memories of his "deaths" so he'd keep taking it up again, thus explaining why he thought someone else was the first Scorpio. (After he shot himself in Defenders #50,t he Key resurrected Jake and gave him the whole truth: he was *always* Scorpio.).
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 4, 2016 3:30 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | November 4, 2016 3:55 PM
There's good continuity mining and bad continuity mining, and I'd say about 90% of what was done after the fact with Steranko's original Scorpio stories falls into the "bad" category. The Scorpio Connection was perfectly good for what it was, but once they started following up on it, as here, things turned into a mess pretty quickly.
In theory, there's a good story in having Nick try to reconnect with his son, and in his son's upbringing making him utterly unsuited for the sorts of spy games Nick envisions for him. But making Mikel the secret heir to the throne of yet another tiny Marvel addition tot he map of Europe rather pointlessly complicates that conflict. The stylistic clash between the art and the script really doesn't help, and despite a few efforts by Chaykin and John Ostrander to get some mileage out of MIkel Fury down the line, he fades into obscurity pretty quickly.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 4, 2016 6:22 PM
"i've tagged it as a Continuity Insert although it really seems more like parts of Marvel were oblivious to the fact that Wolverine was going to be without his adamantium for so long"
Posted by: Michael | November 4, 2016 7:46 PM
It's unusual that this book was edited by someone who wasn't an X-editor nor the most recent Fury/SHEILD editor. That probably explains some of the continuity lapses.
Posted by: Tenzil | November 4, 2016 8:16 PM
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