Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Justice is Served! The Scourge of the Underworld Files 1: Enforcer

This is part one of a series of posts examining the original Scourge storyline in the 1980s to 1990s, in which an organization devoted to the assassination of super-villains, usually with a modified submachine gun with explosive shells went into action, usually uttering the catch-phrase "Justice is served!" just after killing the villain.  Adapted from material I previously wrote in the 1990s on an older website. Previously I was going from memory but in 2014 I purchased the Scourge of the Underworld. I also have the most recent Marvel Index volumes. I am therefore editing this series accordingly. This series covers Iron Man#194 to USAgent#4.  It does not cover subsequent appearances of characters called Scourge as all subsequent appearances deviated in key ways from the original concept.  On the other hand, hits that were considered unsuccessful even at the time are covered. For successful hits, postmortem uses of victims are now noted.

IRON MAN #194 May 1985 by Denny O'Neill (writer) and Luke McDonnell & Steve Mitchell (artists)
Victim: The Enforcer (Charles Delazny Jr.)
Disguise: Homeless woman
Synopsis: The Enforcer is hired by Madame Masque's bio-duplicate on behalf of Obadiah Stane to kill the Termite. En route, a homeless "woman" stops him, asking for change, and "she" and the Enforcer have a brief heated exchange. The Enforcer brushes her off. "She" shoots him (through her bag) in the chest with a sawed off shotgun containing explosive bullets and says "Justice is Served!"
Is it key to the Scourge story? Yes, the Enforcer was the first hit by a Scourge. Also, apparently the same Scourge, when captured by Captain America would tie the Enforcer into his bogus origin, claiming to be the Enforcer’s brother. This claim was bogus however, as he claimed to be the brother of Coot Collier Jr. and not the Enforcer’s actual real name of Charles Delazny Jr.
Is is key to the rest of the story in this issue? Marginally. Madame Masque's bio-duplicate was a recurring character in Iron Man at the time, and Stane the main villain of that era.
Postmortem use of victim: Charles Delazny, Jr. has not been brought back from the dead as of February, 2005. However, Mike Nero has taken on the identity of the Enforcer.
Other comments: Evidently Scourge didn't know where the Enforcer was headed. Otherwise it would have made sense for him to let the Enforcer kill the Termite first, since the whole reason behind the Scourge operation is to eliminate super-villains.

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