Sunday, February 8, 2015

Justice is Served!: The Scourge of the Underworld Files 10: Basilisk

This is part ten 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.

FANTASTIC FOUR#289 by John Byrne (writer and artist)
Victim: Basilisk (Basil Elks)
Disguise: Construction worker
Synopsis: Basilisk crawls up from the construction area of the then-future Four Freedoms Plaza after killing a construction worker. He brags about his return and starts declaring his plans. Another construction worker shoots him out of the building and declares, "Justice is Served!"
Is the story key to the overall Scourge storyline? No.
Does the scene tie into the main story in this issue? Not really, beyond tying into the subplot of the new headquarters being built.
Postmortem use of victim: There was a Basilisk before and after Elks, but none of them have any real connection to one another. Basil Elks was revived by the Hood.
Other comments: This was the first time Scourge was written and drawn by John Byrne, who came up with the name Scourge.

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