“The Coming of the Scorpion!” or: “Spidey Battles Scorpey!”
Illustrated by: Steve Ditko
Written by: Stan Lee
Lettered by: S. Rosen
Originally published: January 1965
The character design on the Scorpion is super weird. His tail is coming out from the middle of his back and it looks pretty stupid. His costume’s also kinda lame, but in the book we find out it was designed by J. Jonah Jameson, which is actually really funny.
Besides the look of the Scorpion, though, I thought the art in this issue was better than Ditko’s average. All the night scenes, especially, had really cool lighting and were kind of film noirish. I guess having a Brother Seamus following Pete around really inspired Ditko.
The bombshell in this issue is that Jameson was having Peter tailed by this Private Dick, Mac Gargan. Man, what a douchebag. JJJ becomes an even bigger douchebag when he hires some crazy scientist to turn Gargan into the Scorpion, with the explicit desire “to give a man powers which are greater than Spider-Man’s”. This guy’s a nut! There aren’t enough supervillains running around, JJJ now feels the need to create new ones? Now who’s the menace?
This issue’s actually really cool and intense. Spider-Man gets the shit beat out of him, the scientist falls to his death off a building and Jameson at least has the good sense to be wracked with guilt (for a short time).