In the conclusion to the story of Scorpio which took place in the Defenders' 50th issue, Scorpio met his end in a scene that played out off-panel but which left no doubt that Scorpio's threat was ended.
But... take another look at the scene.
There are two things here that aren't adding up. Can you spot them?
For whatever reason, I happened to be looking at this scene again--probably because it occurred to me how Nick Fury, in this story's follow-up, seemed to just drop his investigation after drawing the same quick conclusion that Jack Norriss did when Norriss and Moon Knight came upon the scene--that the Fury Life Model Decoy unit was responsible for Scorpio's death, despite the fact that the scene gives the impression of Scorpio taking his own life. Both Fury and writer David Kraft leave it at that, with the LMD neither confirming nor denying Fury's take on it.
But I suppose the scene can be interpreted in several ways, depending on how you think Kraft is wanting it to come across--and there are two things in particular that make the matter more complicated.
Here are my own observations:
1. The LMD is seen holding the smoking gun, of course--and it could have either (a) taken the gun afterward, or (b) taken the gun back from Scorpio before he pulled the trigger and actually done the deed. Fury assumes that Scorpio instructed the LMD to kill him--and perhaps that's the story Fury wanted to make certain went on record, out of some measure of respect he may have had for his brother. (He drops the matter awfully quickly, considering it's the difference between a murder investigation and a suicide.) There's no discernible reason for the LMD to retrieve the gun if it was Scorpio who fired--and at the pace Norriss and MK were running, it probably wouldn't have had the time to do so and step back. On the other hand, it could have happened that way.
Yet take a look at the panel where Norriss and MK are running--specifically, the fact that there appear to be three gunshots ringing out. Suicide victims using a gun on themselves get one... er, shot at it, not several. On the other hand, the way that letterer John Costanza is handling the sound effect, it could be just one shot echoing through the factory (take a close look at how the words recede in intensity). Neither of these men exclaims, "Gunshots!" (plural); instead, Kraft makes it clear that they're still not close enough to be absolutely sure it is a gunshot they hear, which makes the echo effect plausible.
2. In the panel where the gun is handed off, Costanza also mistakenly reverses the dialog balloons--but obviously by this point the lines have blurred so much for me that I'm no longer able to distinguish between mistake and intent. The Fury LMD's speech pattern makes it clear which dialog belongs with which character--while the motion lines of the handoff (as well as the LMD's words) definitely indicate the gun being handed to Scorpio, even though it's the LMD we hear from that direction. The other tip-off being that it's the LMD that has no free will--but so far, that's being called into question a lot.
In a perfect world, the panel would actually look like this:
There isn't a big enough No-Prize you could offer me to sort all of this out and attempt to make sense of it all. Smart money places the Fury LMD as the culprit, since Kraft seems to be placing special emphasis on its tendency to deviate from its programming where Scorpio is concerned; on the other hand, since all roads seem to lead to that conclusion, it could simply be misdirection at work, though you could argue that misdirection is all over the place here. Perhaps Mr. Kraft will stop by and put all of this into perspective. There's a cold can of Schlitz in it for him.