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Le Scorpion (2000-) is a Franco-Belgian comics series written by Stephen Desberg, illustrated by Enrico Marini and published by Dargaud in French and Cinebook in English as The Scorpion.
The story takes place in Rome during the second half of the eighteenth century. Cardinal Trebaldi decides to reinstate the power of the nine families, based on papacy. Armando Catalano, also known as The Scorpion, is a holy relics dealer. He is the son of a heretic who was burnt alive for misdirecting a priest from the church and Christian beliefs. Armando, the bearer the “mark of the devil”, a birthmark in the shape of a scorpion, will challenge the cardinal’s authority. The cardinal, who seems to be filled with hatred for The Scorpion, sends a young gypsy specialized in poisons to kill him.
The adventures of the Scorpion lead him to the treasure of the Templars and to discover an interpretation of what might have happened to it.
Le Scorpion contains examples of:
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Armando is more of an adventurer tomb robber, but the science of archaeology hasn't been invented yet.
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Nine Families.
- Birthmark of Destiny: Armando has a scorpion-shaped mark on his back. It's actually a scar.
- Badass Grandpa: Armando's grandfather.
- Black Knight: Captain Rochnan
- Blind Idiot Translation: The title of the third French album, "La croix de Pierre" has been translated as "The Stone Cross", where it's pretty clear that the original title refers to the upside-down cross of St. Peter (Pierre meaning both "stone" or "rock" and Peter, which you know, make sense since Peter was given that name since he would be the Rock upon which the Church would be built...) and finding the original Cross of Saint Peter is what the whole album was about The Scorpion needs to find the original to prove that the upside-down cross Trebaldi is using to establish his claim to the Papacy is a forgery. Adding insult to injury, the word "Pierre" in the original title is capitalized, which given French title capitalization conventions means it's a proper name and a lot of the titles are explicitly religious, like "Au Nom du pere"... "In the name of the father."
- Burn the Witch: Armando's mother was burnt as a witch by the Inquisition for misdirecting a priest from the church and his Christian duties.
- Catapult Nightmare: Armando experiences one at the beginning of The Stone Cross.
- The Charmer: Armando. He could easily be the Casanova but sex is not his primary goal. It's just another weapon in his arsenal.
- Church Militant: The Warrior Monks
- Corrupt Church
- Dark Action Girl: Mejai, Ansea Latal
- Depraved Homosexual or possibly Depraved Bisexual: Trebaldi's brother.
- Distinguishing Mark: Why the Scorpion is called the Scorpion.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Like many hot gypsy women, Mejai goes barefoot frequently.
- Embarrassing First Name: Hussar's first name is Aristotle. His father thought it would help him become a great philosopher.
- The Faceless: Rochnan's face is not revealed until The Treasure of the Templars; his face being concealed by his armoured helmet before this. And he falls to death not long after the reveal.
- Fiery Redhead: Ansea Latal
- Grappling Hook Pistol: The Scorpion sometimes uses a grappling hook crossbow.
- The Hermit: Gottfried
- Hot Chick with a Sword: Ansea Latal
- Hot Gypsy Woman: Mejai
- Human Notepad: In The Treasure of the Templars, it is revealed that Rochnan was punished for pretending to convert to Islam by having the 99 names of Allah tattooed over his body.
- Knight Templar: Captain Rochnan
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The Scorpion eventually learns that Trebaldi is his father.
- Which in turn is subverted and becomes a case of Luke, I Might Be Your Father... at the end of the latest volume, it would appear that actually, Trebaldi is not his father, and the Scorpion is being led away to meet his true father. Maybe he is the Devil's son after all?
- Master Poisoner: Mejai
- Poison Is Corrosive: Several of Mejai's poisons are shown to be acidic. Armando uses one to burn through the ropes holding him at one point.
- Prisoner of Zenda Exit: The Scorpion does it to escape from Trebaldi's castle in The Stone Cross.
- Red Baron: Armando is universally known as 'the Scorpion'.
- Scars Are Forever: The scorpion mark is actually a scar from when the main character was a baby.
- Sinister Minister: Cardinal Trebaldi
- Slave Brand: All of the prostitutes in Armando's hometown were branded with a 'P' by order of the local bishop.