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Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet

Archrivals: Spider-Man vs The Scorpion

It's web-slinging Spider versus tail-thrashing Scorpion in savage skirmishes of rage and revenge!

By Jim Beard

March 24's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #626 brings another chapter of "The Gauntlet" as well as another brutal blast from Spidey's past--The Scorpion. Though more than one person's adopted the name and weaponry--this new Scorpion's decidedly female--it's malicious Mac Gargan who's best known behind the armor and the tail.

But wait! You say Mac Gargan's the host of Venom? True! But once upon a time he founded and forwarded the evil mission of the Scorpion, seeking revenge against Spider-Man for perceived injustices. With deadly tech and the trademark tail, Mac Gargan made a name for himself as Scorpion long before a certain symbiote came a'callin'.

Don't believe us? Settle in and we'll tell you a few tails--err, tales--of the Spider and the Scorpion...


Financed, outfitted and mutated by way of J. Jonah Jameson's wallet, the Scorpion set his sights on Spider-Man at JJJ's bidding! Gargan soon went wild from the power rush and turned on the publisher, but Spidey saved the day, though battered, beaten and bruised for his troubles. The Scorpion has since nursed a mad-on for Jameson and the web-slinger that began that very day...


The Scorpion teamed with the Jackal to make Spidey's life even more miserable by targeting poor Aunt May-in the hospital no less! An enraged wall-crawler swiftly kicked some Scorpion tail but also pondered how his foes knew to seek out his beloved aunt. After a brutal battle on the side of the Chrysler Building, Spider-Man forced Gargan to apologize to May for attacking her.


Not only did a hell-bent-for-revenge Scorpion target his former benefactor J. Jonah Jameson's son John, he also planned to kidnap JJJ's newly-intended bride, the lovely Marla Madison. After warming up on some bank robbers, Spider-Man swung in for the rescue and once again engaged his armored enemy in a savage scuffle.


It had to happen: the Scorpion upgraded to an even deadlier and dynamic tail with a new scheme to smash Spider-Man once and for all. He snatched up J. Jonah Jameson to hold for ransom until the web-slinger handed himself over, but Spidey and his partner the Black Cat double-teamed the baddie and gave that new tail the old heave-ho-along with the Scorpion.


Gargan, now supposedly suffering from depression, bemoaned his lot in life of being Spider-Man's punching-bag. After living in the sewers for a stretch, he finally arrived upon the momentous decision that the Scorpion should retire from a life of crime. Unfortunately, Gargan encountered someone in an even worse state than himself: Spider-Man. The wall-crawler then proceeded to beat his old sparring partner within an inch of his life.


Spider-Man: bad guy? The Scorpion: good guy? That's what it looked like at a "Rehabilitation Therapy" press conference sponsored by the Roxxon Corp., complete with a supposed-psycho for a pumped-up Gargan to dispatch. Spider-Man saw through the subterfuge and after convincing the Scorpion he'd been had, our hero watched as Gargan turned on his newest benefactors and then thrashed him for good measure.


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