Foolkiller statue - gun raised from side

Unpainted collectible bust of Foolkiller with his Purification Gun drawn.

It’s Marvel Comics’ world these days s0 Balladeer’s Blog’s “Script Doctoring” of Marvel’s handling of Foolkiller continues with Part Fifteen. 


This time around in my alternate universe the controversial Foolkiller did for sales of The Defenders what the controversial Wolverine did for sales of The X-Men. That being the case The Defenders at long last got a second edition of Defenders Annual. Fans of the dynamic non-team will remember that Defenders Annual # 1 featured World Gone Sane, the conclusion of the epic length Nebulon/Headmen storyline.

Defenders Annual # 2, here in my treatment, would feature the Defenders (Hulk, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat and Foolkiller (Greg Salinger) getting reunited with the Red Guardian to help her thwart the latest world-conquering scheme of the Defenders’ foe known as the Presence.


The Presence

DEFENDERS ANNUAL Number 2 (December 1980) Presence of Mind

An indeterminate amount of time after saving the Multiverse from Thog the Netherspawn the Defenders are relaxing on Nighthawk’s yacht. Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond) is fishing from his seat in the grand tradition of tycoons while Foolkiller (Greg Salinger) is in the seat next to him, not fishing but composing more lyrics for songs to be performed. 

While Kyle has been spending a lot of time recently conferring with his legal team about his various troubles Greg has been taking advantage of the yacht’s nearness to Miami to spend most evenings playing guitar and/or singing at night spots whenever he can scrape up a gig.  

Hulk is not there, being off in the American Southwest again, and Hellcat (Patsy Walker) is regaling Valkyrie with tales about her troubled relationship with her mother. Patsy is feeling guilty about not visiting her mother, who is in the hospital back up north. 

Red Guardian

Red Guardian

The Red Guardian (Dr Tanya Belinskaya) suddenly drops in from the sky above. She found neither Dr Strange nor Clea at Doc’s Sanctum Sanctorum in New York, then checked out Kyle’s place where she was informed about the Defenders testing out his yacht as a new headquarters. (Again, purely my own doing, since I think the yacht would have made a better HQ than the Richmond Riding Academy ever did.)

Tanya would inform the Defenders she has at last managed to contain the radiation she gives off constantly thanks to working with the Presence (Sergei Krylov) in Russia’s Forbidden Zone (the pre-Chernobyl area made into an irradiated wasteland of ghost towns and mutated nature in the Defenders’ first battle with the Presence). She and Sergei had – several issues back – made a tense peace and have been cohabiting since saving the world from an enormous irradiated amoeba. 

After a few days relishing her restored ability to interact with other human beings the Red Guardian caught Sergei conducting inhuman genetic experiments on kidnapped human guinea pigs. This would have been an early version of the Presence’s later attempt to have control of a zombified version of the entire human race. In this version his aim was to achieve control of a human hive mind by projecting his consciousness into every living man, woman and child on Earth. 

Tanya fought her way free and sought out her former teammates the Defenders for help. They naturally agree to help and head cross-country with the Red Guardian, as she and Nighthawk fly under their own power and Valkyrie flies astride Aragorn. Hellcat and Foolkiller fly alongside in the Wakandan aircraft gifted to the Defenders by the Black Panther. (Hellcat is, as usual, piloting the craft.)

They pick up the Hulk as they pass through the western states and he comes along as well. Once arrived at the Forbidden Zone the team would fight various mutated life-forms from previous experiments by the Presence. (The Red Guardian would use her powers to absorb deadly radiation in a hundred-square yard perimeter around herself and her teammates, thus keeping them safe from the Zone’s contamination.)   

Naturally they would defeat the Presence again, ending his plan for world conquest. The emphasis would have been on comic book art in this issue, with creepy ghost-towns and factories and distorted wilderness and life-forms. These would make for great mis en scene for all the fight scenes.

The massive, drawn-out battle would end with the Presence’s presumed destruction (but of course he’d turn up alive in the near future). Tanya would stay in the Soviet Union to continue tinkering with her nuclear powers.

(Consider this my version of Chris Claremont’s way of setting straight the Ms Marvel nonsense with Marcus. When I researched these back issues for my Foolkiller posts I got pretty annoyed at how the writers kept Tanya with the Presence despite his questionable hypnotism of her.) 

Once arrived back on Kyle’s yacht, Patsy would get a telegram telling her her mother was dead as the other Defenders gather around to console her. +++   



© 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.  


Filed under Superheroes

12 responses to “FOOLKILLER 15: PRESENCE OF MIND

  1. Yes! This is very much like Claremont rewriting Ms Marvel’s fate when they screwed it up in the Avengers and Marcus. The Red Guardian deserved the dignity you gave her in this version.

  2. Great website. I never really liked Fool Killer though.

  3. I think you should script animated superhero stories.

  4. What do guys see in figures like Foolkiller?

  5. The Presence would make a good villain for a Defenders movie.

  6. Gene

    You write the Foolkiller’s adventures more like superhero stories and I like that!

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