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Drawing Crazy Patterns – S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Become Super-Villains!

by  in Comic News Comment

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

This time around, we’ll take a look at how S.H.I.E.L.D. just can’t seem to keep their various agents from becoming super-villains!

First up, from 1965’s Strange Tales #141, we have Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia introduce us to Mentallo…



The same story introduces Mentallo’s longtime partner in crime, the Fixer, in a stunning sequence demonstrating his skills…




I think you’re overselling Mentallo’s skills a little bit there, Nick.

A few years back, I featured a story in the first issue of Strange Tales that depicts a scientist devolving to a gorilla. I noted at the time that I didn’t know who the writer of the story was, but the odds seem more likely that it was Stan Lee after reading 1970’s Captain America #135 by Lee, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer, which introduces a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist by the name of Erik Gordo, who ends up transforming himself into a gorilla…





He then robs banks (he apparently can also control the minds of other animals)…


He nearly kills Captain America during a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation to dig down into the Earth’s crust. They both fall into the hole that S.H.I.E.L.D. was digging and while there he almost tricks the Mole Man into declaring war on the surface world by claiming that Cap is there as a spy (in the end, Gordo sacrifices himself to stop Mole Man’s invasion when he realizes that the girl he was hung up on would be injured in Mole Man’s attack).

Next up we have Gargantua, who debuted in 1983’s The New Defenders #126 by J.M. DeMatteis and Alan Kuppeberg. In the issue, an area where some S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists had gone sort of nuts with a project has suddenly gone from being secure to being, well, less than secure…



As it turns out, it was signaling the release of a former S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist who had gone nuts and turned into a giant beast known as the Leviathan…



A few years later, in Avengers Spotlight #28, he got his current codename, Gargantua…


In 1985’s Spectacular Spider-Man #110, the conclusion of The Death of Jean DeWolff, by Peter David, Rick Buckler and Joe Rubinstein, we finally see the Sin-Eater (DeWolff’s killer) unmasked (we learned who he was the previous issue)…




He’s a cop who was working the case earlier in the storyline.

We learn later in the issue, though, that Stan was a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who was experimented on, and that might have been what drove him to become the Sin-Eater…



Finally, let’s turn to Captain America’s ongoing series that began when the Heroes Returned (after the short-lived Heroes Reborn reboot). In 1999’s Captain America #20, Mark Waid, Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang first mentioned David Ferrari as the dead older brother of Steve Rogers’ latest love interest, the lawyer Connie Ferrari…


Over twenty issues later, the next writer, Dan Jurgens, reveals that David actually faked his death (in an issue drawn by Jurgens and Bob Layton)…


A couple of issue later, Ferrari, now going by the name The Answer, brainwashes Nick Fury and captures Captain America (in an issue guest-penciled by Dave Ross)…






That’s it for this week! Note that there are plenty of other examples of this. These are just the five that I chose. There are others I could have chosen.

If you have a suggestion for Drawing Crazy Patterns, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!