- You must'a been born under the sign of the band-aid!
- -- Nick Fury
Appearing in "Who Is Scorpio?"
- Scorpio (Count Julio Scarlotti) (First full appearance)
- The Syndicate
- Mitch Hackett
- Unnamed Woman
- Unnamed Thugs
- San Francisco nightclub staff
- Flip Mason
- Go-Go girls
Races and Species:
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Espionage Testing Location, probably in the Atlantic Ocean
- United States of America
- Monza Autodrome
Synopsis for "Who Is Scorpio?"
Nick Fury climbs up the side of a mysterious building while waves crash against the rocks below. Upon reaching the top he gains access to the building and drops inside. He burns his way through a door, and takes out a hapless guard with high-tech armor and weapons. As he pauses to figure out how to get through a sophisticated door, a mysterious figure rises out of the floor behind him, armed with a pistol. Before Nick Fury even knows his assailant is there, shots ring out and Fury collapses! The figure removes its mask ...
... only to reveal Nick Fury! Speaking through a walkie-talkie, Fury tells Dugan that the Life-Model Decoy they were testing will never replace real agents in the field. Dugan makes an offhand comment about how Fury got the LMD four times, but Fury objects that he only shot three bullets! Putting 2 and 2 together, Nick realizes someone just tried to assassinate him! He also finds a mysterious poker-chip sized disk with the symbol of the astrological sign Scorpio on it, and wonders if the mysterious assailant is connected to it.
The scene switches to a nightclub in San Francisco, where lackluster comedian Flip Mason finishes up his show. He asks the manager for another advance, but gets turned down. Turns out the comedian has a gambling habit, and he needs the money to pay off a man named Hackett, a man whose thugs are waiting for him.
In Kansas City, Mitch Hackett, a woman, and another man are in an executive suite. They're getting ready to head to Vegas on a job. Mitch brags he's going right to the top with the Syndicate!
In New York City, Nick Fury and Val take a stroll, and he tells her about the Scorpio token he found. He begs off further walking as it starts to pour, claiming he has to get back to HQ.
Elsewhere yet again, race cars are zooming around the track in the Monza Autodrome. A car with a Lamborghini engine wins, driven by one Count Julio Scarlotti. While he holds up the trophy triumphantly, a Scorpio tattoo can be seen on his arm.
Several days later, S.H.I.E.L.D. is testing weapons in the Nevada Desert using Nick Fury as the dummy! The first test of the EPB G-System goes off without a hitch, and they prepare to hit it with something bigger. However, as Dugan gives the command we see the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has a Scorpio tattoo!
Out on the testing range, Fury is kicking back and thinking while he waits for the missile to impact. All of the intelligence agencies have completely different rumors about Scorpio, and no idea who he is! Suddenly, Nick Fury notices a breeze—which can only mean the EPB has been turned off! He tries to radio Dugan, but the line is now dead on their end. Knowing he has to get outside the blast radius, some quick thinking leads to him radio S.H.I.E.L.D. unit 2 for a rocket-sled that runs on a track near him, and tells them to get it started in exactly ten minutes. Then he starts running towards the tracks, having a little over 2 miles to cover, and jumps on as it starts taking off, praying that it'll get him outside the blast radius.
Back in the Las Vegas S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker which Dugan and the others occupy, a mysterious figure mentally congratulates himself on the efficacy of his "sleep fumes." Suddenly, Fury crashes the rocket-sled through the wall to find the mysterious figure is none other than ... Scorpio! Fury is ready to rumble, but then Scorpio pulls out the Zodiac Key! Fury grabs Val and starts to make a run for it.
At that moment in a Las Vegas casino, Flip Mason has exhausted the last of his money gambling. Almost shaking, he resolves that he has no choice now but to hold up the casino! Suddenly, a man calls him over, thinking he's Hackett! The man hands Flip a briefcase that he claims has $200,000, and Flip leaves just as Mitch Hackett enters. Mitch asks the guy about the money, and he tells him he gave it to him two minutes ago. He's also trying to figure out if Mitch realized he was set up and figured out the briefcase was a bomb! However, Mitch, suspecting a double-cross, draws and fires at the guy as the guy also goes for his weapon.
Back in the S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker, Fury returns to battle Scorpio after making sure Val is safe. He's unprepared for the power of the Zodiac Key however, and Scorpio stuns him with a blast from it. Scorpio triumphantly announces his intention to kill Nick, but Nick isn't nearly as out of it as he seems, and a hand-to-hand battle ensues.
Nearby, the two mobsters are having a running gunfight which has gotten dangerously close to the S.H.I.E.L.D. research labs. Inside, Fury is about to unmask Scorpio when a stray bullet catches him. Scorpio seizes the upper hand and knocks Nick unconscious before escaping to his ship, promising to destroy the building and all inside. Outside, Hackett is fatally shot by his assailant, but he manages to squeeze off one more shot as he collapses. It goes horribly wide, however, and hits the flying ship above him in a critical spot! Spiraling out of control, the ship plunges nose-first into the desert. Val and Fury look on helplessly, sure that Scorpio must have perished in the crash—and still they don't know who he is.
Nearby, Flip Mason is placing a call to San Francisco to tell his wife about the money and thinking happy thoughts about how the conversation will go, when suddenly the suitcase bomb detonates and utterly destroys the phone booth and the man inside.
- This issue contains a letters page, "Don't Yield, Write S.H.I.E.L.D.!". Letters are published from Ken Kahre, Paul Dushkind, Wayne Chimento, Mike Hudak, Donald McGregor, Carle Germelman, Jo Anne Baldwin, and Steve Esperes.
- Previous Nick Fury stories were chronologically presented in Strange Tales. The last issue of that series was Strange Tales #168.
- This issue's silent opening sequence was inspired by the 1955 French thriller Rififi. The film's centerpiece is a half-hour heist scene depicting the crime in detail, shot in near silence, without dialogue or music.
- Entrope Phase Barrier Guard-System. Aren't you sorry you asked?
- Pasquill, Vincent (3 September 2018). A Thousand Words: Silent Superhero Comics, From Steranko to Aja. CBR.com. Retrieved on 3 September 2018.
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