SPLIT-SECOND SQUAD

Membership: Kronus (leader), Cap'n Skragg, Joe the Gorilla, Onionhead, Pecos, Pinstripe, Sweet William

Purpose: To frame Cornelius Van Lunt and make some quick cash on the way

Affiliations: (Joe and Pecos only) agents of Libra and Sagittarius of the android Zodiac

Enemies: the Avengers, Cornelius Van Lunt, the Defenders, and the "Defenders for a Day"

Base of Operations: New York City

First Appearance: Avengers I#77 (June, 1970)

History:
After Cornelius Van Lunt destroyed his business career, the man known only as Wilkins organized the Split-Second Squad to destroy Van Lunt in turn.

(Avengers I#77(fb)) - The Split-Second Squad, so named for their exact timing during robberies, were thwarted in a waterfront heist by the Avengers. A week later, their bank robbery was derailed by the Black Panther but they escaped thanks to a gas gun attack from Onionhead.

 

 

(Avengers I#77) - Learning that the Avengers had been hired by Van Lunt to do menial labor, Kronus set a trap for them at a tunnel beneath the East River. the Squad set off a bomb to kill the team, but the Avengers (suspecting that Kronus was Van Lunt) anticipated the trap and mopped up the Squad in, well, seconds. All, including Van Lunt, were surprised to learn Kronus was Wilkins.

(Defenders I#63-64) - Joe the Gorilla and Pecos (and possible Cap'n Skragg; see comments) were part of an army of supervillains assembled by Libra and Sagittarius of the android Zodiac in a ploy to cash in on the "Defenders" documentary aired by Dollar Bill. However, the villains were assaulted by an equal army of heroes also attracted by the documentary. Joe the Gorilla caught Valkyrie in a choke hold in the course of a battle on the Staten Island Ferry, and was killing her when she hallucinated that she was being attacked by Asgardian trolls and hurled nearly all the villains and heroes away from herself, including Joe and Pecos.

COMMENTS: Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

There's something distinctly reminiscent of the 60s Batman TV show (with Adam West) about the Split-Second Squad.

Ironically, Van Lunt was crooked; Avengers I#80 revealed he was a criminal, #82 revealed he was involved with Zodiac, and finally Steve Englehart revealed him as Taurus of the original Zodiac in Avengers I#120

Cap'n Skragg is on the cover of Defenders I #64, but he appears in only a single panel, on page 15, panel 5. Defenders I#63 was the only cover to feature members of the original Squad, by the by.

Also, I'd swear this is Sweet William in Daredevil I#250, page 15, panel 4. Even the dialogue fits.  I really think it's him, the same way that Olshevsky knew Hidalgo from DD I#75-6 was also the Tarantula's aide in ASM I#134-5.

Pinstripe was not named in the original issue, but instead was first identified in The Official Marvel Index to the Avengers#4 (December, 1987-the graphic album style version)--Snood.

Profile by Omar Karindu

CLARIFICATIONS: The original Split-Second Squad to be confused with:

Cap'n Skragg is not to be confused with:

Joe the Gorilla is not to be confused with:

Kronus is not to be confused with:

  • Kronus, Professor Kerwin Kronus, who sent the Hulk back in time, @ Incredible Hulk II#204
  • Kronos, Titanian Eternal turned abstract being, @ Iron Man I#55
  • Kronos 8162, one of the Evil Dead, @ Dragon's Claws#2
  • Cronus, aka Saturn, father of the Greek gods, not yet seen in the MU

Pecos presumably takes his name from, but is otherwise unconnected to:

  • Pecos Bill, the wild west legend, who exists in the Land of Legends, @ Captain America I#383

 

Kronus

 

Real name Wilkins, he was a businessman ruined by Cornelius Van Lunt. Van Lunt hired him as a menial secretary-type, prompting him to seek vengeance. As Kronus, he wore a padded outfit designed to make him look like Van Lunt, leading to a Scooby-Do style unmasking.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Cap'n Skragg

 

 

He was a generic sea captain type, and did very little of note otherwise. He appeared against the Defenders, but only in two panels.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77, Defenders I#64

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Joe the Gorilla

 

He was, like the Ox from the original Enforcers, one of those almost-but-not-quite superstrong types. He preferred choke holds, and was one of the Squadders who later showed up to battle the Defenders. He nearly killed Valkyrie with a hammerlock, but only succeeded in triggering her warrior madness, leading to a painful finish to their battle.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77, Defenders I#64

 

 

 

 

 


 

Onionhead

 

 

He presumably derived his name from his cap, and seemed to be a sort of sidekick to Cap'n Skragg. He was fairly adept with his chosen weapon, a gas gun.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pecos

 

He had the cowboy role, and wielded six-guns. He seemed fairly accurate with them, and was also one of the memebrs who aided the android Zodiac. A partnership with Live Wire from the Circus of Crime seems natural to me; perhaps they could clash with the time-travelling Two-Gun Kid.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77, Defenders I#64

 

 

 

 


Pinstripe

 

 

 

He dressed in 1890s style attire, and may have been the group's second-in-command. He was a nervous sort, and wielded a tommygun in battle to little effect.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77

 

 

 

 

 


Sweet William

 

 

He continually expressed regret over the "violence" of the group's activites, and was a wild gunman who seemed to enjoy shooting at people. He takes him name from a type of flower.
--Avengers I#77 (77(fb), 77, possibly Daredevil I#251 (see comments)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Appearances:
Defenders I#63 (September, 1978) - David Kraft (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Bob Hall (editor)
Defenders I#64 (October, 1978) - David Kraft (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Don Perlin (inker), Bob Hall (editor)


Last updated: 09/05/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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