Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Zodiac - Sons Of Gemini!
The beauty of the Zodiac when they emerged in their full form in Avengers #72 was that there were twelve members, only one of whom we had met with any detail and we learn soon enough that even Scorpio is new. That left a lot o space for Marvel's creators to play with the myriad members of the cartel.
Oddly the first place one shows up is in the extra-sized issue of Astonishing Tales (#8 to be precise). In addition to the regular Ka-Zar and Doc Doom features in this twenty-five cent comic was an offbeat tale titled "The Badge Bedeviled" by Len Wein and George Tuska.
It was a Twilight Zone like story about two brothers - Joshua and Damian Link.
The former becomes a cop and the latter a hood. Damian's crimes are small time but eventually he crosses paths with his upright brother during the commission of a robbery of some high-tech lab and the two fall victim to an experimental ray which somehow bonds them together, allowing Damian to access the mind and strength of his brother for periods of time.
Later in Astonishing Tales #17 Damian returns, and reveals that he has control and has used that ability to rise in the ranks of the crime cartel Zodiac under the alias of "Gemini". It was Damian we saw in Avengers #72. Gemini then gets involved with a plot to plunder the mostly secret resources of the Savage Land protected by Ka-Zar and the two clash. Later Ka-Zar's brother The Plunderer shows up with his enormous sidekick Gog and the battle rages. To read the first story go here. Sadly most of Ka-Zar's early adventures have not been collected.
And that's what Gemini was up to before rejoining his Zodiac confederates when they once again tackle the Avengers. More on that next time.