These days in pop culture it’s Marvel Comics’ world and the rest of us are just possible LMD’s. Regarding one of their rare missteps my script doctoring of Marvel’s handling of Foolkiller continues with Part 22. Wonder what all this is about? FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE
Foolkiller (Greg Salinger) attempts to end the reign of terror of the Scavenger of Atlanta, at that time still on the loose following the hurried wrap-up to the 1970s run of the original Man-Thing series.
*** ADULT THEMES AND VIOLENCE ***
We’re up to issue number five of the Foolkiller solo series.
FOOLKILLER Volume 0 Number 5 (June, 1981) Scavenger Hunt
This issue would begin with Foolkiller in civilian clothes in a Tallahassee bar. He would be drinking this time, not playing guitar and singing his bizarre, death-oriented songs. Greg’s guilt over killing the would-be superhero Razorback in the previous issue will have been eating at him for several days.
For once he would find no comfort in his disordered mind’s usual mechanisms for rationalizing his death-dealing ways. Text would make it clear that Salinger is in Tallahassee because that was where he and his van ended up at the finale of the traveling battle that he and Razorback were waging against the Maggia-owned trucking firm which was really a front for drug dealing & human trafficking.
Not even the advances made to our hero by a sultry woman in the bar stir him from his binge of brooding and drinking. What finally does get a rise out of him is overhearing other bar patrons speculating on the grisly murders still being committed by the Scavenger of Atlanta. Those other patrons even speculate about whether the killer will eventually wander south to Florida.
When their talk of the Scavenger turns to the bizarre goop-and-bone condition of his victim’s corpses and to the murderer’s super-strength, power to fly and ability to heal from any wounds, Greg joins the conversation. This discussion provides the opportunity for a flashback/synopsis of the Scavenger’s activities from the final few issues of The Man-Thing.
(To clarify: the original Scavenger (Robert Nicolle) was a mutant incapable of feeling any tactile sensations. His body would heal from any injuries, even a knife to the heart, as Robert discovered when he tried killing himself in despair over his inability to feel anything, not even kisses (with “kisses” being the Comics Code compliant euphemism for sex, too).
Thog the Netherspawn freed Robert from the insane asylum he was confined in and endowed him with strength enough to lift a car and with the ability to fly. Marvel editors went back-and-forth on retcons regarding whether or not Thog also granted Robert his evil ability to “kiss” women to death by absorbing all of their own flesh, emotions and tactile feelings OR if that, too was part of his particular mutant nature.
After draining his female victims of their lives, skin, muscles, etc with his “kiss and embrace” the Scavenger would be filled with incredible pleasure instead of the usual nothingness he felt. To further the orgasm metaphor for more mature readers the Scavenger would smilingly drift off into slumber after consummating this act, often ghoulishly lying in the arms of the skeletons and clothing of his victims … “Basking in the afterglow” as it were.)
Back at the Tallahassee bar after the conversation – the first that Foolkiller has heard of the Scavenger – Greg decides that, come morning, he will drive his van to Atlanta to end the reign of terror of this obvious super-villain.
Our protagonist does so, and over the next several nights of hunting throughout the Atlanta area he uses the white energy beams from his Purification Gun to blast one or two rapists to death in the act. No sign of the Scavenger, though, so Greg breaks into police headquarters to go through their files on the serial killer/ supernatural rapist.
Foolkiller decides to scour areas where the unique and STRONG stench given off by the remains of the Scavenger’s victims could be hidden until he disposes of them. Eventually this leads Salinger to Robert’s lair from the Man-Thing stories. Spotting a costumed man the alarmed Scavenger assumes it’s another super-being out to get him.
The Scavenger attacks Foolkiller and they battle in the dim moonlight, with Robert’s super-strength, invulnerability and flying abilities against Greg’s white energy blasts and agility (think of Cyclops and the way he uses his optic beams and agility in a fight).
At one point a woman drives by on the road the fight has carried Foolkiller and the Scavenger to. She stops her car and gets out, prompting Salinger to grow desperate to save her before the Scavenger can grab her and fly off to prey on her. A high-power blast from Foolkiller’s Purification Gun destroys the Scavenger’s entire right arm.
While the villain calmly, painlessly ponders the loss of his limb Foolkiller positions himself facing the Scavenger but in between the murderer and the woman. He tells the woman to get back in her car and flee but from behind Foolkiller the woman blasts him with beams from her eyes and at last reveals herself to be Robert’s mutant sister Danielle.
She had come out to see Robert like she does every night and, given the situation she stumbled into, used her own Thog-given powers (as seen in Man-Thing stories) to attack Greg, who now lies there, helpless before the malevolent siblings. +++
I’LL HAVE THE NEXT INSTALLMENT UP SOON.
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