Tickle Black Scorpion
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Black Scorpion is a television series that premiered in 2001 and revolves around the character of Darcy Walker, a police detective in Angel City. 

 It was created by Roger Corman and developed by Kevin Burns and Stan Lee. The show starred Michelle Lintel as Darcy Walker, a police detective who also moonlights as a superheroine known as the Black Scorpion. Black Scorpion was known for its fun and campy tone, with over-the-top villains and action sequences. This made it an enjoyable and entertaining watch for viewers who were looking for something lighthearted.


Black Scorpion – The plot

As the Black Scorpion, Darcy fights to rid the city of its criminal element, often going up against powerful villains with supernatural abilities. She is aided by her father, who provides her with high-tech gadgets and weapons, as well as her loyal sidekick, a former convict named “Argyle” Sims.

Throughout the series, Darcy struggles to balance her dual identities and keep her superhero persona a secret from her colleagues at the police department. She also faces personal challenges, including a complicated love life and the discovery of secrets about her own family.

The show features a mix of action, adventure, and humor, with Darcy using her intellect and physical prowess to take down the bad guys and protect the citizens of Angel City.

The show also featured a number of guest stars, including Adam West, Joan Severance, and Robert Pine. While the series only lasted one season, it has developed a cult following among fans of superhero and action-adventure television. In addition to the original show, there have been several spin-off movies, including Black Scorpion II: Aftershock and Black Scorpion III: Night of the Scorpio. 

Michelle Lintel’s portrayal of Darcy Walker/Black Scorpion was praised for its strong, independent female character. The show was ahead of its time in portraying a female superhero who could hold her own against male villains. She was known for her fighting skills, agility, and intelligence. Lintel’s performance was praised for her ability to balance the character’s tough exterior with moments of vulnerability and compassion.

Additionally, I can think of another possible reason for its success. 

Some of the most famous villains of the show include:

  • Clockwise – A villain who could manipulate time and used his powers to commit robberies and other crimes.
  • Firearm – A gun-toting villain who was a former cop and had a grudge against the police department.
  • Flashpoint – A pyromaniac who had the power to control fire and used it to cause chaos in the city.
  • Gangster Prankster – A villain who dressed like a clown and had a variety of gadgets and gags at his disposal.
  • Medusa – A beautiful but deadly villain who could turn people to stone with her gaze.
  • Shox – A villain who had electrical powers and used them to rob banks and commit other crimes.
  • Slammer – A villain who was a former prison warden and used his knowledge of the penal system to commit crimes.
  • The Breathtaker – A villain who had the power to drain the life force from his victims with a touch.

Tickle torture in “Black Scorpion” (S1X17: He who laughs laust)

Everyone who grew up in the 90s knows the animated series Batman: The Animated Series, which gave us some of the most iconic portrayals of the Dark Knight’s villains. Interpretations of characters like Penguin, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Freeze have become classics. The Joker, in particular, with his malevolent plans carried out in absurd and over-the-top ways, has become a source of inspiration for a series of joke-themed characters. This is the case with Gangster Prankster.


Luther Simms a.k.a. Gangster Prankster (whose name may be a reference to Prankster, a Superman’s villain, I’m not sure if it’s a homage) is a small-time criminal who, tired of being the laughing stock of everyone, escapes from prison and forces Argyle to build a machine capable of killing anyone who laughs!

Now, I’m not quite sure what the connection is between wanting to punish those who have ridiculed you and those who laugh in general (which includes every human being), since, as we will see, Prankster himself is a person like everyone else who is capable of laughing. His own gang includes a girl, Giggle, who, as her name suggests, can’t stop giggling.

But that’s the beauty of this series. Comic book villains coming up with comic book evil plans. Everything in this series is wonderfully exaggerated. The plans are grotesque, with motivations reduced to the bone and little practical feasibility. But it’s exactly what we want and expect!

In essence, the machine that Argyle had to build for Prankster causes a massive contraction in the stomachs of those who laugh, literally making them explode from the inside out. It’s basically a cross between a Monty Python sketch of the funniest joke in the world and the obese man at the restaurant joke.

Anyway, the villain blackmails the city: either they pay him a lot of money, or those who laugh will swell up like balloons and explode. In fact, a lady who makes a joke (that only she finds funny) swells up and explodes with an embarrassing special effect.

Argyle, however, refuses to cooperate, and Jok… uh, Prankster, ties him to a table. As if this plan weren’t crazy enough, the criminal has an even more absurd one up his sleeve. To make it rain a myriad of feathers that, by tickling the citizens, will make them laugh and then explode.

I appreciate the idea that Prankster assumes that all the inhabitants of the city are ticklish, that the feathers will reach them in places where they can tickle them, that the wind will not sweep them away, that he has enough planes and feathers to cover the entire urban area, etc.

Tickle Black Scorpion

Poor Argyle will be the victim of his own machine. Prankster activates a device with a mechanical arm that rhythmically shakes a feather under the man’s bare feet. As soon as Argyle produces a giggle, he will die!

Tickle Black Scorpion

Judging by his face, Argyle:

  • Is ticklish
  • Is slightly trying to hold back a laugh
  • Is not in the mood for jokes

As I watched this scene, I couldn’t help but think of one thing. Okay, Prankster is a sadist, he wants Argyle to try to resist the tickle torture, only to give in and die. 

But that feather is as slow as a turtle, barely grazing his foot, and only for a second. Wouldn’t it be better…

Tickle Black Scorpion

Well, it turns out that Giggle is the brains of the group. While Prankster continues with his ramblings, the girl reaches out and starts tickling him with her nails under his feet.

Tickle Black Scorpion

And her plan seems valid. Argyle squirms and starts shaking his feet. The girl gives him a second of pause and, seeing that the nails are effective, goes back to tickling those soles.

Tickle Black Scorpion

And poor Argyle is left at the mercy of the recurring feather that grazes his feet. His expression communicates all the tragedy of the scene.

Tickle Black Scorpion

Anyway, to reaffirm that Giggle is the smartest, Prankster almost bursts out laughing, and she saves his life by covering his mouth. So the group leaves, not before the girl uses her nails on those poor feet once again.

Tickle Black Scorpion

Fortunately, the man manages to activate a signal device placed under his shoe (luckily they left it within reach!) and calls Black Scorpion, who arrives on the scene and destroys the diabolical mechanism.

I won’t go into the details of the rest, but suffice it to say that Prankster will be the one who laughs last… or rather, laughing will be the last thing he does.

In conclusion, a truly funny and over-the-top episode that focuses on the ability of tickling to make people laugh against their will, and how this concept can be used in superhero comic book stories.

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