Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Justice is Served!: The Scourge of the Underworld Files 6: Constrictor (Failed Hit)

This is part six 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.

CAPTAIN AMERICA#311 byMark Gruenwald (writer) and Paul Neary & Dennis Janke (artists)
Would-Be Victim: Constrictor (Frank Schlichting/Frank Payne)
Disguise: Nurse
Synopsis: The Constrictor is in the hospital recovering from injuries in the previous issue. A nurse asks Captain America to leave and then pulls out a gun. Before "she" can kill the Constrictor, Captain America returns to the room to say one more thing to the Constrictor. Realizing what's happening, he stops the hit, though Scourge gets away, abandoning the padded suit and latex mask.
Is it a key part of the Scourge storyline? Somewhat. It’s his first failed hit and it’s where Captain America first becomes aware of Scourge. It's also the first time that Scourge uses a version of his codename, in this instance "the Scourge of All Criminals!"
Is it part of the main story in this issue? Partly since Constrictor is in the hospital for crossing the Serpent Society, whom Captain America started investigating as a result.
Other comments: This is the first Scourge appearance to be written by Mark Gruenwald, who came up with the original concept for the character.

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