Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Justice is Served!: The Scourge of the Underworld Files 18: Handbook Entries

This is part eighteen 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 Mark Gruenwald or Peter Sanderson (writer #11), Peter Sanderson (writer #19), Glenn Herdling, Peter Sanderson, or Murray Ward (writer#33), John Byrne & Josef Rubinstein (artists #11), Tom Palmer & Josef Rubinstein (artists #19), Keith Pollard & Josef Rubinstein (artists #33) (credits only for new material)
General Comments: #11 is subtitled Deluxe Edition while #19 is subtitled Book of the Dead Deluxe Edition. #33 (Master Edition) is strictly speaking beyond the USAgent #4 cut-off point but was published not long after so is an exception to the rule. Handbooks after the 1990s are not covered. This Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition series concluded prior to Scourge's next hit, hence its placement after Captain America #320. The Master Edition came later but I've opted to let it piggy-back on the earlier Handbooks.
v2 #11 Comments: Only handbook entry Scourge noted. This is a rare instance in the Deluxe Edition where a deceased character appears in the main section and not the Book of the Dead. Scourge trenchoat/skull cowl/hat are all white, which wasn't the case for the Scourge discussed here (in Captain America #320 he wore a black variant of this) but was the costume most frequently used by his successors. This entry outlines why Scourge could not have been whom he claimed to be (in short, the director he mentioned was Coot Collier while the Enforcer was Charles Delazny). One note suggests that originally every Scourge victim was going to get an entry in the Book of the Dead, which did not prove to be the case. The retroactive Marvel Fanfare #29 story had not yet been published.
v2 #19 Comments: Only handbook entry Scourge's Victims noted. This entry summarizes Scourge's history more briefly than in #11, then gives headshots of Scourge's victims to date, including alter ego if known, First Appearance, Final Appearance (at the time). By this time Marvel Fanfare #29 had been published, and Hammer and Anvil are placed between Basilisk and Fly.
v4 #33 Comments: Only Scourge entry noted. Roman numerals given for many of various Scourges are now considered false for Known former members (e.g. Caprice is now considered to be the second or third Scourge due to her hit on Titania), not sixth and at least one hit in the Bibliography is considered to be wrongly attributed (Scourge I is listed as Titania's killer)

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