Writer J. Michael Strazynski (yes, he of Babylon 5 fame) brought up an interesting point in his recent run on Amazing Spider-Man: why do so many of Spidey's enemies adopt animal identities? Sure, you could chalk it up to Stan Lee's uncanny ability to beat a dead horse, but at least in one case, we know it was an intentional choice.
J. Jonah Jameson, the publisher of the Daily Bugle, created the super criminal known as the Scorpion when he paid a thug named Mac Gargan to undergo an experimental scientific procedure to give him the powers of a Scorpion. Jameson believed that Gargan would then be able to track down and defeat Spider-Man since scorpions are natural predators of spiders. The experiment was a success and Gargan set out to use his newfound powers and cybernetic tail to destroy the webbed wonder. However, the process drove Gargan mad and he turned on Jameson. After a hard fought battle in which he was seriously injured, the web-slinger defeated his more powerful foe and saved the life of Jameson, the man who had tried to destroy him. Today the Scorpion remains one of the wall-crawler's deadliest enemies.
Decades before Venom was crapping up the Marvel Universe, Spidey's opposite number was this big hulking green guy - created by science, given super strength, all that. The only way Spider-Man could beat the guy was to out-think him, which was no mean feat, considering that Gargan had been a private investigator. All the worse, then, that we've never really had a good figure of the guy.
Scorpion's a huge figure, just shy of 7" tall. In best ToyBiz style, he moves at 31 points: the toes, ankles, boots, knees, hips, waist, torso, fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. His enormous green tail is bendy, so you can pose it however you like. Scorpy's got a bit of a hunched pose (exacerbated by having to counterbalance the tail), but since he'd be looking down at Spider-Man, it works.
No surprise here, the sculpting is excellent. Not only are the black lines of his costume sculpted in, but they're textured, as well - sort of a zippered, beaded look that is quite nice. There are small rivets sculpted south of each line, really putting this figure far beyond the plain green body we saw at Toy Fair. Even Gargan's snarling face is distinct: he looks like a real person without copying anyone specific.
Scorpion comes with one accessory, a Daily Bugle newspaper box. A surprisingly pro-Spidey Daily Bugle newspaper box, considering J. Jonah Jameson's typical "Spider-Man: threat or menace?" editorial stance. The box collapses when the coin slot is hit, based on a feature created when ToyBiz was still making wrestling figures. The figure includes three soft-tipped missiles that can be fired from the end of his tail. As far as action features go, it's very unobtrusive - the way his torso joint is set up, they could have given him a twist-and-strike feature, which would have been much worse.
Allegedly, future waves of Spider-Man Classic figures will no longer have the villains shortpacked. That'll be a nice change, considering what a headache finding them now is. Scorpion's a great figure, and a character that's been far too overlooked in recent years.
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