The Scorpion

Real Name: Mac Gargan
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man 20
Died In: The Scorpion was presumed killed in Daredevil 82. The Black Widow even stood trial for his murder, and was nearly convicted! As it turned out, however, that was an android copy of the Scorpion under the control of Mr. Kline, the Assassin.
What's His Problem? Originally it was greed, pure and simple. Back when J. Jonah Jamison's main goal in life was to unmask that creepy Spider-Man character, he hired one Mac Gargan to follow Peter Parker around in hopes of figuring out the link between the wall-crawler and the young photographer. Gargan was an easy-going guy as long as he was paid lots of money. When JJJ offered him an extra $10,000 to drink down Dr. Farley Stillwell's untested scorpion extract, Gargan shrugged and agreed, saying he would do anything for that kind of dough. Unfortunately the potion increased more than his strength and reflexes; it also increased his evil leanings. By the time Stillwell discovered that particular side-effect, it was too late to reverse the procedure. Gargan refused to take the antidote. When the Doctor tried to insist, the new super-villian allowed Stillwell to plummet to his doom without lifting a pincher to help.
Powers: Gargan has the proportionate strength of a scorpion. He's stronger than the web-slinger, but lacks Spidey's agility. He has been known to use his fingers like pinchers. The tail is part of his costume, but after ingesting Stillwell's potion Gargan developed a near-instinctive feel for mentally manipulating it. The palms of his suit have suction cups in them, great for ripping off the face of any Star Spangled Avenger that happens by. After whacking Spidey and other super-heroes around with the tail didn't work, Gargan broke into Stillwell's abandoned lab and used the equipment there to add an electric "stinger" to his arsenal. He also started using various drugs called "hyponogens" that were applied using the barbed tip of his tail. When that didn't work, adamantium-clawed gloves and a Hammer-designed tail were his next upgrades. Physically he's tough enough to take a blow from a heavy hitter like Sasquatch without collapsing on the spot. Mentally, however, the Scorpion has never been all that stable. He alternates between being a really confident enforcer who enjoys his super-strength and a raving paranoid determined to off Jamison and/or Spidey for turning him into a monster.
Favorite Quote: "Aw, yuck! I thought I told you no anchovies!" (ASM 319, after making Spidey get him a pizza as part of a hostage deal gone wrong. Hey, anyone who speaks out against the abomination that is anchovies on pizza can't be all bad!)
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: For all that he's associated with That Other Arachnid, the Scorpion has spread himself around. In the early days he was as likely to be found battling Daredevil or Captain America as Spider-Man; later foes included the original Ms. Marvel and Alpha Flight. He had a particular mad-on for Cap's girlfriend Sharon Carter; failing to off her during one of her undercover SHIELD operations cost him a commission and soured his reputation as an assassin. His stint in Canada during the Acts of Vengeance storyline set him against most of Alpha Flight, especially Diamond Lil. He perhaps had his toughest tussle, however, when he took on Aunt May -- and got a severe talking to about his bad manners!
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: The Scorpion paired up with Mr. Hyde to get back at S.H.I.E.L.D., whom they mistakenly thought had kidnapped them to test new methods of containing super-villains. That partnership went so well Mac stayed solo for his next several outings, although he did allow the Jackal to persuade him to terrorize Peter's Aunt May. After Captain America and Spider-Man tore off his new stinger, the Scorpion developed a more group-friendly attitude. He teamed up with Tiger Shark, Moonstone and the Whirlwind in one of many incarnations of the Masters of Evil, where he made the mistake of not knowing a She-Hulk when he saw one. His gig working for Justin Hammer went horribly wrong when he let his hatred of JJJ stifle his instinct for self-preservation and double-crossed his powerful employer. He went to Canada to lay low, and unwittingly got caught up in a donnybrook against Alpha Flight that teamed him up with the likes of Nekra and the Owl. There was another donnybrook featuring a mess of super-villains against the Black Cat and a powerless Spider-Man; the hapless Scorpion got his stinger caught in a tree before getting clobbered by a re-powered super-hero. A guest-stint in Shroud's mini-series meant another run-in with Spidey and another drubbing. In the end, Gargan always ended up in the city sewers ranting to himself, until the day his one friend, eccentric millionaire Philip Cussler, gave him his very own personal sewer (complete with a well-stocked bar and fridge) to hang out in. Feeling human for the first time since donning the Scorpion costume, Gargan decided he just wanted to be left alone. Heck, he even stopped shaving his head and let his hair grow out!
Most Despicable Act: Gargan keeps trying to commit a despicable act, but somehow he can never quite pull it off. Whether it's dumping Spidey in a cement mixer, trying to slice 'n dice Jamison, or just attempting various murder-for-hire schemes, while the intent may be there he always stops just short of killing somebody. As he said to General Musgrave when that officer expressed surprise at still being alive, you should know better than to believe it when a guy wearing a costume with a tail says he's going to kill you!


Scorpion Mug Shots!


Amazing Spider-Man 20
1965


Amazing Spider-Man 146
1974


Amazing Spider-Man 318
1989


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