Saturday, February 14, 2015

Justice is Served!: The Scourge of the Underworld Files 13: Death Adder

This is part thirteen 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.

CAPTAIN AMERICA#318 by Mark Gruenwald (writer) and Paul Neary & Dennis Janke (artists)
Victim: Death Adder (Roland Burroughs)
Disguise: Cab driver
Synopsis: After something hits the Serpent Society saucer, Death Adder, en route to transport Princess Python back to the Circus of Crime, crash-lands the aircraft. He hides away Princess Python, keep her safe due to her random value. He blocks the path of a cab and tosses out a passenger, getting in himself. After the cab driver drives Death Adder a ways, talking all the while, he shoots Death Adder through the right front seat. The driver removes a face mask and declares, "Justice is Served, Death Adder."
Does this tie into the Scourge storyline? More or less. This story begins the hunt for Scourge story, but this hit occurs before we see any of the organized attempts to stop Scourge in action.
Is this part of the main story? Pretty much since it's the opening scene of a storyline about Scourge
Postmortem use of victim: Roland Burroughs was revived by the Hood, albeit in mutated state, but was subsequently killed by Venom. Between his first death and his revival, Ted Scott took on the identity of Death Adder.
Other comments: Oddly, Scourge says, "Justice is Served, Death Adder" instead of just 'Justice is Served." It is likely that Scourge was somehow responsible for the saucer crashing. Given that, it is unclear why he would accept a passenger after a hit had begun; possibly another Scourge shot the saucer and the Scourge depicted had no chance to ditch his fare once the hit commenced. Death Adder hiding Princes Python away likely saved her life. Another hit occurs in the same issue. See next post. 

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