Since the world remains crazed for super-heroes, Balladeer’s Blog’s “Script Doctoring” of Marvel’s handling of Foolkiller continues with Part Seven. FOR PART ONE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE
Out of storytelling necessity most of the attention was off of Foolkiller last time around. This time it’s back to further hints about his mysterious Purification Gun and the unusual material his costume is made of. Plus some evidence that having a more positive outlet for his violent tendencies has stabilized his mind in other areas.
Here are my alternate treatments of Defenders # 82 and 83.
DEFENDERS Vol 1: Number 82 (Apr 1980) – Wizard-Death
This issue dealt with the seemingly never-ending story about Dr Strange, Hulk and the Sub-Mariner in Tunnelworld to destroy the (yawn) Unnameable.
I would have included at least 2 pages featuring the other contingent of Defenders back on Earth – Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat and Foolkiller (Greg Salinger). Val and Hellcat would be out shopping at Patsy’s insistence. Despite herself, Valkyrie would be having a good time. Eventually they would discuss Nighthawk’s ongoing legal problems before the conversation shifted to their newest member, Foolkiller.
Hellcat would teasingly mention that Valkyrie is the teammate he seems closest to and whom he actually listened to about not always using the highest setting on his gun’s energy blasts every time he fires. (I will again say I am NOT trying to insert a romance between Greg and Val, it’s just that her very nature as a real Valkyrie would impress Salinger, what with his poetic aspirations.)
Valkyrie would reply to Patsy that she appreciates Foolkiller’s love of battle and sees his volatile nature as being no worse than that of other Defenders like Sub-Mariner or Son of Satan. Hellcat would comment on what a hunk she considers Greg to be, but only because her character finds every man she meets worth flirting with.
Speculation would turn to what Foolkiller is up to when he slips away from Nighthawk’s penthouse apartment every day. Hellcat would say she tried surreptitiously following him once but he detected her and then lost her.
That would provide a natural segueway to Foolkiller in civilian clothes in the office of a New York literary agent. It would become clear that Greg’s secret trips have been to try to get an agent willing to represent him (in his civilian identity) and hopefully get his poetry published.
The agent would turn him down like all the others but this one would offer some blunt advice: Salinger’s poetry is sophomoric for attempts at verse but it might make for memorable song lyrics. He asks if Greg has ever done any singing and it turns out he used to play guitar and sing in a garage band, like countless other males when he was younger.
Greg would leave the agent’s office intrigued by the idea of adapting his poems into songs and impressed with how well he’s been taking the repeated rejection at agents’ offices. He attributes it to being a Defender and having much more deserving targets to fight. He no longer forces himself to see punishable behavior everywhere.
Next I’d cut to a shadowy group of figures around a long table in a conference room. These would be the figures who mount the Inquest in a few issues but altered in my version to be worshippers of Thog. (That’s a spoiler since their nature would not be made clear in this issue. I figured Thog worshippers would be a nice way of returning the Foolkiller saga to its roots.)
The figures would be viewing news footage and mystic conjurations of scenes of recent battles of the Defenders. Their conversation would make it clear that their main area of interest in these scenes is what Foolkiller calls his Purification Gun. It would be clear they know more about its true nature than even Salinger does.
They would also mention the danger it poses to their plans and their undisclosed “master.” The scene would end with the shadowy figures dramatically stating that they need to get the weapon out of the hands of uncomprehending humans, and once they do, worlds upon worlds and universes upon universes will be at their mercy.
From there it would be back to Tunnelworld with Doc, Hulk and Subby for the rest of the issue. +++
DEFENDERS Vol 1: Number 83 (May 1980) – End of the Tunnel
At last the Big Three’s ongoing battle with the Unnameable would come to an end in this issue. There was a brief visit with the other Defenders back on Earth. In my version – since Val and Patsy were shopping last issue they would just be eating at a restaurant with Greg after having seen a movie.
They would spot a bank robbery in progress but unlike in the real version, where it was just regular robbers, in my alternate treatment it would be Daredevil’s old foes the Rocketeers just for extra color. Slipping into costume the Defenders would take on the bad guys, with Foolkiller employing his gun’s strongest blasts to total their Rocket Cars while using less lethal blasts against the Rocketeers themselves.
Valkyrie would have no trouble taking out several of the crooks while Patsy – in civvies since she didn’t bring her costume – would take out a few. Foolkiller would be his usual wild-eyed self in battle and would exuberantly show off his marksmanship by blasting the missile-bullets of the Rocketeers right out of the air before zapping the shooters.
Finally, in a Mexican Standoff with the last two Rocketeers standing, he would even do a Dirty Harry- style monologue to convince them to just drop their guns. They at first refuse and threaten to blow him away with their explosive projectiles while taunting him that as a “hero” he can’t kill them in return. Salinger would just laugh and dare them to try him and see. Noting Foolkiller’s crazy-eyed look the pair would drop their weapons and surrender.
( Since a huge part of the character’s appeal would be his mercurial Wolverine-style temperament I wanted to show it off again, since he’s been less active the two previous issues.)
Next time around I revise Defenders # 84 so that our whole current complement of Defenders (Dr Strange, Hulk, Sub-Mariner, Valkyrie, Clea, Hellcat and Foolkiller) will be together and in action. In fact, with Tunnelworld out of the way the next several issues will feature heavy Foolkiller involvement. +++
I’LL PICK UP FROM HERE WITH THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AS TIME ALLOWS.
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