Justice is Served: The Scourge Files - Chapter Seven

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Justice is Served: The Scourge Files - Chapter Seven

Postby Capes (Optional) » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:57 pm

This is part seven of a series examining the original Scourge storyline in the 1980s to 1990s, in which an organization devoted to the assassination of super-villains, typically with a modified submachine gun with explosive shells went into action, usually uttering the catch-phrase "Justice is served!" after killing the villain. Adapted from material previously written in the 1990s on an older website, it was put together from memory, but in 2014 I purchased the Scourge of the Underworld trade. Along with the most recent Marvel Index volumes, I am therefore editing this series accordingly. This series covers Iron Man #194 (May 1985) to USAgent #4 (June 1993). 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 included. For successful hits, postmortem uses of victims are noted.

(Late September 1989 - Mid November 1989)
(backup tale) Mark Gruenwald (writer) Mark Bright & Don Hudson (artists)

Would-be victim: Power Broker (Curtiss Jackson) (each issue)

Actual victims: Kalousek (guard), Scanlon (either guard or maid), other guards, maid if not Scanlon (Captain America #358); Scourge (real name unknown; the one who killed the above) (Captain America #362)

Captain America #358:
Scourge II eliminates some of the Power Broker's guards and shoots the maid dead as he enters the mansion. He cuts the phone line. Curtiss Jackson and Priscilla Lyons hear the shooting and Jackson tries the phone, then a walkee-talkkee; in the latter case Scourge tells him he's coming for him. Jackson uses a special phone to alert others he's in trouble and a general contacts USAgent at Avengers Compound to rescue Jackson. USAgent takes off on a flying scooter.

Captain America #359: USAgent arrives at Jackson's place and finds the bodies. Jackson and Lyons get on a bed that's a secret elevator and decend. Scourge tries shooting through the floor after the elevator closes. Once the shooting stops Jackson and Lyons run through a tunnel. USAgent hears shots and runs upstairs and finds a hole in the floor, Scourge apparently having shot his way down. USAgent jumps into the hole and Scourge shoots at his shield.

Captain America #360: USAgent breaks Scourge's gun with his shield and chases after him. Jackson locks Lyons and himself into a secure room where the Power Brokjer augmentations take place. Scourge, now armed with a backup gun, shoots at the ceiling causing debris to fall down on USAgent. Scourge tells USAgent he hopes he hasn't killed him. He shoots at the door to the secure room and when that doesn't work, he plants a charge and blows up the door.

Captain America #361: Scourge learns there is still one more door to go. Jackson starts to use the machine on himself, USAgent starts to wake up. Scourge blows up the inner door. Jackson, powering up, tells Lyons to distract Scourge. She partly changes into Vagabond and confronts Scourge. Scourge, undecided about her decides to leave her alone for now, but Jackson has left. He finds Jackson and seems amused by what he sees. He says "Justice is served, Power Broker!"

Captain America #362: USAgent makes it out of the debris and runs after Scourge. Scourge finds that shooting the Power Broker doesn't seem to be working and doublesback, finding both USAgent and Vagabond. Scourge tries using Vagabond as a hostage but she kicks him in the groin, allowing USAgent to throw his shield at Scourge. USAgent beats Scourge but then is distracted by Power Broker, now horribly transformed. After calling an ambulance and escorting Lyons out, USAgent starts to fly the unconscious Scourge in his scooter, but Scourge is shot by an unseen assailant. USAgent opts to try to find the other killer, presumably another Scourge rather than taking the captured Scourge to the hospital, but is unsuccessful.

Is it all key part of the overall Scourge storyline? More or less: it's a full-length Scourge story involving a previously seen Scourge who dies in this story, and yet another Scourge is introduced (though not actually seen).

Is it a part of the main backup story in these issues? The entire backup story revolves around Scourge (Captain America is of course the lead in the main story these issues).

Postmortem use of victims: None of Power Broker's employees have returned from the dead, nor has anyone taken on the mantles of Kalousek or Scanlon.

Other comments: Vagabond's presence would have further implications in the USAgent series. There's a definite contrast between Captain America #362 and Captain America #320. When the first Scourge is fatally wounded, Captain America stays with him and tries to save him until he dies. When this Scourge is fatally wounded, USAgent lets him die and goes after the assailant. The unseen Scourge is likely Decker. Vagabond is not listed as a would-be victim as Scourge had not yet decided if she was a target; when he was shooting at the bed elevator, he was actually trying to kill Jackson, with Lyons just in the way.

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