With superhero movies dominating pop culture these days Balladeer’s Blog’s “Script Doctoring” of Marvel’s handling of Foolkiller continues with Part Twelve.
FOR PART ONE OF THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE
In this installment I rewrite The Defenders # 87. After many teasers regarding the secrets behind Foolkiller’s Purification Gun and the unusual fabric of his costume I start revealing the answers.
I also revise the whole premise behind the Tribunal running the Inquest since, ultimately, even the apocalyptic revelations of the Elf With A Handgun were dismissed as a “hoax” by Dr Strange. And some of you have commented on how awkward you find the nom de guerre “Foolkiller” but since the name was based on the figure from 19th Century American folklore, it won’t be altered.
DEFENDERS Vol 1: Number 87 (Sept 1980) – Inquest
I am again rewriting the entire story. For starters the “real” story from this issue was yet another variation on the played-out “The Defenders try to subdue the Hulk and/or keep him out of trouble” storyline.
Furthermore in the original tale the Tribunal running the Inquest about the Defenders was eventually dismissed as just a hoax even after their tie-in with the Elf With A Handgun. They’ve been ignored for decades since.
SPOILERS: I had established a few issues back that my alternate version of the Tribunal are Thog worshippers who know even more about Foolkiller’s mysterious Purification Gun than he does. Their supernatural powers come from Thog, like with his many other disciples. The tie-in with Thog lets me return the Foolkiller saga to its roots, given Thog’s significance as the archenemy of the Man-Thing.
In their previous appearances in my alternate treatment the Tribunal members had made enigmatic references to the threat that Foolkiller’s (Greg Salinger) weapon posed to their unnamed “master.” (This issue would still keep a secret of their master’s identity.) The Tribunal members stated they need to get the gun out of the hands of “uncomprehending humans” so that nothing could stop them and the one they served from having worlds upon worlds and universes upon universes at their mercy.
The story would open with Valkyrie, Hellcat and Foolkiller – plus Kyle Richmond in civvies because of the court order barring him from going into action as Nighthawk – flying along in the portable jet-like aircraft given to them by a grateful Prince T’Challa of Wakanda. The craft would land at the ruins of the former headquarters of the Defenders – the Richmond Riding Academy on Long Island.
The foursome would poke around the ruins, looking around as Kyle and the others discuss the possiblity of rebuilding the HQ or possibly constructing a new, subterranean HQ underneath the ruins. They decide on the second option, since having their HQ’s location exposed by Dollar Bill’s documentary made them sitting ducks for foes old and new.
Kyle would joke with Foolkiller about his role in the building’s destruction and he, Val and Hellcat would be impressed with how calmly Greg takes the ribbing and simply jokes back. They would reflect again on how having a positive outlet for his violent tendencies has made Salinger more stable overall.
Agents of the Tribunal would have been watching them this whole time and as the Defenders realize they are there a battle would break out, with the Tribunal agents all seeming to have greater than normal strength and limited Black Magick powers. The Defenders would be winning the fight – and for Foolkiller’s part the rays from his Purification Gun would also blast through the magical shields and weapons conjured up by the Tribunal agents. To avoid capture the agents would teleport away.
After a fruitless search for their attackers the Defenders would return to Kyle Richmond’s penthouse apartment where Kyle’s lawyer would give his client the good news that the court order has been lifted, freeing him to become Nighthawk again when needed. (I moved the lifting of the court order up by one issue)
Bruce Banner has been hiding out at Kyle’s apartment with Kyle, Val, Patsy and Greg. He joins in the celebration and Salinger, in the general feelings of good will, invites them all to come see him perform at a New York night club that evening. Once again the other Defenders will mention how they’ve always wondered where Greg disappears to so frequently during slow periods for the team.
Greg will explain about what we’ve seen in past issues – in his civilian identity he has adapted his poems into rock songs and has been performing at clubs around New York. He plays guitar and sings with house bands at underground clubs decorated in skulls and other death imagery (think Heavy Metal meets Goth before Goth was a thing).
They all agree it’s too dangerous for Bruce to accompany them so he is sent to Kyle’s yacht off the coast of Manhattan Island. Kyle, Val and Patsy then show up at the club where Greg is performing that night. They are struck by the macabre surroundings AND the dark, nihilistic songs Salinger sings.
Tribunal agents observing Kyle’s yacht would state that they need an excuse for their military and super-powered allies to strike at the Defenders in a population center, so they torment Bruce, causing him to transform into the Hulk. Not liking water he begins rampaging through the city itself. Back at the night club news reports of Hulk’s antics alert Kyle through his radio ear-piece.
Greg is having a drink at their table between sets so the four of them slip into costume (Kyle’s is stashed in his limo) and head for the area of the Hulk sightings. Once there they are ambushed by Mutant Force and the special weapons detachment of the military man ally/ disciple of the Tribunal. (Their cross-conversations about all the action while they watch the battle would constitute their ongoing “Inquest” as they try to gauge how much the Defenders do or don’t know about the Purification Gun.)
Mutant Force (Slither, Burner, Shocker and Lifter) would be especially furious with Foolkiller for slaying two or three (depending on how you count Mister One and Mister Two) of their comrades during their previous clash with the Defenders.
As Hulk, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat and Foolkiller continue fighting the mutants and the special military unit the Mutant Force members AND the military man foolishly make it clear that Foolkiller’s weapon is their main objective. With Mutant Force and the soldier’s defeated the Defenders surround the military leader as he tries to escape.
He cries aloud about how he sacrificed his career by disobeying orders and clandestinely leading his men in this mission. He further cries out to an unknown “Master” asking “Why hast thou forsaken me?” then detonates a vest of explosives he has on him to avoid capture.
Cut to a little later in the evening. Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat and Foolkiller have hidden out on Kyle’s yacht with Bruce Banner (who transformed back into human form during the fight like in the “real” comic book). The group discuss how the Purification Gun was so important to their mysterious foes.
Val and Kyle make it clear to Foolkiller that they won’t tolerate any more evasions or enigmatic answers from him about his weapon and costume. Reluctantly, Foolkiller agrees, promising to tell all as the issue ends on that cliffhanger. +++
I WILL ADD THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AS TIME ALLOWS.
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.