Comics : Spider-Man Family (Vol. 2) #3

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

In his crusade against Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson hired Mac Gargan to undergo an experiment to genetically enhance him with the attributes of the natural enemy of a spider, turning him with a suit of armor equipped with a tail into the Scorpion. However, free of that identity and working for Norman Osborn to ruin Peter Parker's life, Gargan came across the host-less Venom symbiote which promised him unlimited power. Gargan accepted and became the new Venom.

Carmilla Black was a normal teenaged girl until one day she manifested powers that accidentally killed her boyfriend during the prom. On the run, she eventually learned when they were killed that her parents were actually AIM agents, and she was the result of AIM genetic experimentation with immunity to toxins and her "stinger" that releases toxins at any level dose she chooses. Eventually, she joined up with SHIELD with the intent of learning more about herself and her true past, adopting the codename Scorpion.

Two Scorpions. There can only be room for one.

In Detail...

"Namesake"
Spider-Man Family (Vol. 2) #3 (Story 2)
Summary: Scorpion vs. Scorpion
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Fred Van Lente
Pencils:  Leonard Kirk
Inker:  Terry Pallot
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Gargan spies a copy of the Bugle with a cover story about the new Scorpion playing hero. As he's discussing a movie deal for his life story, he decides he needs to protect his trademark and eliminate this copycat. What he doesn't know is Scorpion's working for SHIELD in trying to work her way into the unregistered vigilante underground. Her ops division gets an E-Mail for someone requesting a meeting with her, and of course, she goes thinking it's her change to get inside.

However, what she finds is Gargan waiting for her at Fort Tryon Park. He attacks, but she escapes using her stinger long enough to try and get some intel on her foe. However, the similar names causes some confusion in the communication. They tell her about Venom's weaknesses, including sonics from something like a church bell. Scorpion spots the nearby Cloisters and gets an idea. Her support debates if they should blow cover and intervene, but it's stated that Scorpion can handle herself.

Until she ends up caught in his web.

While he tells her why she's about to be killed, her ability to absorb toxins allows her to take in the webbing made from the toxic symbiote and become temporarily infused with one of her own. Gargan is surprised enough for Scorpion to land a few good shots before her symbiote shell dies and falls off. Knowing she can hurt them, Gargan takes off and she's ordered to let him go. Scorpion asks just who the heck he was, and she's informed that while most try to live up to their namesakes, she just kicked the tail of hers.

In General...

A pretty good story long overdue. It was a question of time when Scorpion would learn of the new Scorpion and decide to do something about it. Also, the new Scorpion, who has been a nicely developed character, has been surprisingly absent from all the Civil War stuff, so it was good to see her back in action before she returns in World War Hulk. The artwork was superb, with the exception of a couple of panels, and the story was creatively done. However, a major flub was the footnote stating the book this issue takes place before, labeling it as Changing Sides rather than Choosing Sides. Oops!

Overall Rating...

4 Webs. A good story that was long overdue. Also nice to see Scorpion back in action again.

Footnote...

This story takes place before Civil War: Choosing Sides.