1983: Scorpio Rose

Scorpio Rose (1983) #1-2 by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers et al.

Eclipse’s first three issue mini series. (Yes.)

Steve Englehart opens with a very upbeat text explaining how the options have opened up for freelancers (like him) who no longer have to be beholden to editors at Marvel. “They never broke faith with anyone” he says about the Mullaney brothers (who own Eclipse Comics).

Mullaney, on his side of the page, announces that this is Eclipse’s first Baxter paper publication.

As for Scorpio Rose itself…

It’s nicely drawn, I guess?

Is that a very early colour hold, or was it standard industry practice at the time? We’re talking 1983 here… I can’t quite remember.

The backup’s written by Frank Lauria and is a much livelier story. It’s not, like, good or anything, but it has a couple of entertaining scenes.

So much time passed between the first two issues that letters had time to arrive, and not everybody were impressed by Scorpio Rose’s rape origin.

On the other hand:

Additionally, unlike the rapefantasies enacted upon other heroines, this one serves a purpose, for the intercourse confers on Rosa a vampire-like immortality; the unending life of a “dead soul.” This, in part, is her motive for altruistically protecting the world from occult fill the black void where my light should be.

Quoth Gene Phillips from Comics Journal 82.

Reading this book I found my mind wandering to the odd binding Eclipse was using these years. It’s a normal 32-page floppy, so there are staples in the middle (between page 16 and 17). But what’s unusual is that there’s also glue involved: the inner one millimetre of page 14 and 15 (and 18 and 19) are glued together. This increases the durability, I guess, but it also means that those pages refuse to lie flat, which is such an incredible inconvenience when snapping pics of the pages!

The nerve!

Oh, right… as you may have noticed, there’s only two issues in this three issue mini series.

Blockquoth Steve Englehart:

Marshall was involved in some non-comics situations at the time, and after doing the first two issues, he got extremely delayed reaching the third, going months past the deadline. By the time he gave me something to work with, I’d decided that third issue was better off being the legendary “one-that-never-came out” than the “one-that-arrived-as-an-anticlimax.” Not putting out a book was unheard of then – but I still think it was the right thing to do.

So… er… that’s some reasoning.

But he included it in the first volume of the collected Coyote? Uhm… OK…

Englehart took his Coyote back to Marvel/Epic soon after this debacle, but without Michael Marshall on art.

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