Thursday, November 10, 2016

One For The Road

Following the Defenders' battle with Scorpio and the new but artificially created Zodiac, there were some things for S.H.I.E.L.D. to iron out at Scorpio's factory/headquarters in New Jersey. So as promised last time, let's tie up a few loose ends from that classic story.

For one thing, Director Nick Fury--that is, the real Nick Fury, the brother of the man who had once again taken on the identity of Scorpio, Jake Fury--had the dubious privilege of meeting his counterpart, the Life Model Decoy which had been created in his image and which had become Scorpio's sympathetic ear, aide, and, for all intents and purposes, surrogate brother. Jake Fury had nothing but resentment and hatred toward his real sibling--but ironically, the Fury LMD felt exactly the opposite toward Scorpio, a man the LMD appears to be mourning if you read between the lines.

The fact that the LMD seems to feel anything at all is shocking in and of itself; but let's assume for the moment that its "feelings" of loyalty to Jake Fury were simulated and simply part of its programming. With Scorpio dead, that programming would have run its course--so it's surprising to find the LMD not only being affected by Jake's loss, but downright astounding to see it remaining mum on the true details of the circumstances of Scorpio's death. Not even the real Fury seems to suspect the truth (or so it seems). All the parties involved, including Fury, assume the Fury LMD is the one who ended Scorpio's life with a gunshot, when actually it was Scorpio who took his own life--partly because of the failure of his Zodiac project, and partly due to his feelings of despair and hopelessness regarding a life that he felt amounted to nothing.

Whatever (the real) Nick Fury's thoughts are regarding the loss of his brother, he's not saying--perhaps because, in his dealings with Scorpio as part of his brother's criminal past, he feels it's all been said already.

As for the Defenders, they're also picking up the pieces, though for the most part they've come out of this encounter unscathed--except perhaps for Hellcat, whose battle with the savage Leo has left her injured and perhaps a little shell-shocked at her foe's merciless, near-fatal assault on her. While Moon Knight--a lone agent who allied himself with the Defenders to help Jack Norriss, the man who's married to the Valkyrie's human host--prepares to bid them farewell, his experience alongside them proving to have been both rewarding and beneficial.

And speaking of Moon Knight, there's one loose end to this affair that hasn't been covered: How did Moon Knight escape from Scorpio's death trap--locked in a water tank and left to drown as it filled to capacity? Thanks to the last bit of product placement by writer David Kraft and artist Keith Giffen, we have our answer.

Or, to paraphrase the old Schlitz slogan: "When you're out of Schlitz, you're not out of air."


Anonymous said...

I know Libra and Sagittarius turned up later, briefly, but what the heck happened to Gemini? Being an L.M.D. (I assume), did Shield just decommission him?
For that matter, what did happen to the other two? We last saw Sagittarius being led away in cuffs by the N.Y.P.D., but then what?
That doggone Kraft, he left a lotta loose strings.

(And what would have Aquarius done if he had decided to join the battle? Squirt water on the Hulk? The Hulk was already in a bad mood.)

Comicsfan said...

M.P., you can catch more of the Zodiac LMDs when they're recruited by Quicksilver in West Coast Avengers Annual #1; they also later appear in the WCA main title, where the original Zodiac cartel meets a rather grisly fate at the artificial hands of their successors.

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