Sunday, February 8, 2015

Justice is Served!: The Scourge of the Underworld Files 8: Melter (and Keegan)

This is part eight 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 trade. 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.

by Roger Stern (writer) with John Buscema & Tom Palmer (artists)
Victim: Melter (Bruno Horgan); also Keegan
Disguise: Keegan (Melter's assistant)
Synopsis: Melter is observing an Avengers Quinjet through a view finder. He gloats to his assistant Keegan that he has a ray that will wipe out Avengers Mansion and everyone in it. He finds the real Keegan dead in a locker, at which point the imposter guns him down, declaring, "Justice is Served!"
Is it a key part of the overall Scourge storyline? No
Does it tie into the main story? No, beyond the fact that the Avengers are present in the mansion as a result of the main story. I don't believe the Avengers ever found out they were in danger.
Postmortem use of victim: Neither Bruno Horgan nor Keegan have been revived. There have been two subsequent Melters (Christopher Colchiss and an unidentified patron of Roderick Kingsley) but no one has taken up the mantle of Keegan as of February 2015.
Other comments: This was probably Scourge's most significant hit. We never find out if the ray actually worked. In the case of Keegan, this is the first time a kill occurred off panel; Keegan has never appeared alive anywhere.

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