Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SCORPION "Devil Doll Commission" Conclusion

Art by Ernie Colon
...freelance "problem solver" Moro Frost aka The Scorpion, is engaged by the wife of missing financier Jules Reinhardt, who dabbles in the occult.
The Scorpion finds Reinhardt...murdered!
Frost learns that the dead millionare was once smuggler Max Cervantes, who "disappeared" after plastic surgery...becoming the respectable Reinhardt!
But who ordered the death of Cervantes/Reinhart..and why?
The answer to both those questions is Buddy Lyle, a crooked nightclub owner owed a fortune in gambling debts by the dead mllionare...who hadn't paid up!
Lyle used the powers of a voodoo mambo to kill Reinhardt, then killed her, but not before she cast a curse on him.
Though Lyle had the numbers for Reinhart's foreign bank accounts, only the dead man's wife could draw funds from them.
Lyle's men kidnap Bishop, The Scopion's aide, impersonating Mrs Reinhart, and are about to board a plane for Panama when the Scorpion strikes and kills Lyle's aides and pilot.
The criminal is about to force The Scorpion to pilot the airplane or he'll kill his far-from-helpless hostage...
The Scorpion was the creation of Howard Chaykin, a young writer-artist who was already a recognized talent in the comics industry.
Unfortunately, while he was (and is) good, he was also slow, and the deadline for this issue crept up on him.
To get the issue out on time, a group of friends including Mike Kaluta, Walt Simonson, Ed Davis, and Berni Wrightson jumped in doing whatever needed to be done, so the book is a fascinating amalgam of styles.
The next issue solved the deadline problem by replacing Chaykin and his version of The Scorpion with a present-day costumed super-hero who was more Spider-Man than anything else.
That Scorpion disappeared after his one issue.
Chaykin would revive the character at Marvel with modified garb and a new name; Dominic Fortune, who continues occasionally-appearing in both present-day and flashback tales.
The Scorpion (in any form) wasn't included in the recent short-lived revival of the Atlas/Seaboard characters.
BTW, here's another, never-used cover for #2 by Howard Chaykin...

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