Earth's Mightiest Annotations
by Sean McQuaid
Supplemental: ZODIAC

ZODIAC was originally a nationwide criminal organization founded by
corrupt business tycoon Cornelius Van Lunt (alias Taurus). The group had
twelve leaders based in twelve different cities, with each leader
representing a different sign of the Zodiac (such as Van Lunt being the
group's Taurus). The leaders of Zodiac believed that astrological forces
ruled the universe, and they plotted their activities using astrological
plans and predictions. Their ultimate goal was global economic and political
domination, which they sometimes pursued through high-profile acts of
terrorism, mass murder and extortion. This brought them into repeated
conflict with heroes such as the Avengers, but the greatest threat to Zodiac
proved to be one of their own members, Jake Fury (alias Scorpio). Fury came
into the possession of a powerful otherdimensional talisman known as the
Zodiac Key, a sentient object that goaded Fury on into continual conflict
and saved his life each time he was defeated, eventually reincarnating him
in an android body. By that time, Scorpio had already used the Key to create
his own android Zodiac group, and he eventually had the androids murder
their human counterparts, seizing control of the Zodiac criminal
organization. Their triumph proved short-lived, though, since Scorpio and
his fellow Zodiac androids were soon rendered inert during a conflict with
the Avengers. Since then, new Zodiac subversive organzations have appeared
to menace society, but the original leaders of the Zodiac and their android
counterparts are all long since dead or inactive.

     A member of the Zodiac (Scorpio) first appeared in Nick Fury, Agent
of SHIELD (v1) # 1. Zodiac first appeared as a group in Avengers (v1) # 72.
The android Zodiac was created in Defenders # 49-50. They killed the
original Zodiac leaders (except for Scorpio and Taurus) in WCA (v2) # 26 .
The android Zodiac was rendered inert in WCA (v2) # 28. The original Taurus
died in battle with Moon Knight in WCA (v2) # 29. A third Zodiac group of
unknown origin battled the Avengers in Avengers (v1) # 396. Avengers
appearances of the original Zodiac include Avengers (v1) # 72, 82 & 120-123;
and WCA (v2) # 26 & 29. Avengers appearances of the android Zodiac include
WCA Annual # 1 and WCA (v2) # 26-28.