Addressing the ever-shrinking credibility of rock journalism since 2007. With a sasquatch.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Off The Shelf: Foolkiller

Foolkiller #5
In 2008 MAX, an imprint of Marvel, recruited a band of artists and writers including Gregg Hurwitz, Paul Azaceta and Tomm Coker. Together, they revamped a forgotten minor Marvel villain whose first appearance was in Man-Thing #3 way, way back in March of 1974 into a bad ass in 2008.

In Foolkiller's previous 70's incarnation, "Tricky Dick" Nixon was pretending to be President, Viet Nam was raging and Marvel had been generally "toned down" to appeal to the kiddies.

In 1974, Foolkiller was an early proto-type for the anti-hero - a figure closely resembling the Ballisk-snuffing Scourge(s) and the character that Frank Miller's Punisher eventually became - but with noticable differences. In his original incarnation, Foolkiller was a wide-brimmed hat sporting, Bible-banging annihilator of humanity who killed fools with his trusty "purification gun" - a laser powered by Jesus beams.

Foolkiller One's mash note, first seen in Man-Thing #3.This first Foolkiller, aka Ross Everbest, was inspired by a faith healer named Reverend Pike who had cured Everbest of his childhood paralysis. As a result, Everbest became an evangelist with the Reverend as his mentor. Both soon became very popular.

However, things took a bloody turn when, after catching Reverend Mike in a drunken orgy, Everbest killed his former hero and mentor then preserved the good Reverend's corpse in formaldehyde. Everbest then went about using the two-faced preacher's money to fund his own vigilante activities. First step, don a flamboyant Zorro-like costume. Second step, kill fools. Simple. Step two went pretty OK for awhile until Everbest was killed when his mentor's glass preservation container exploded, sending glass shards into many of his vital organs. Youch!

Now in 2008, Foolkiller is Mike Trace, a man who trudges through a series of rat's nests populated by brain-damaged narcotics addicts, white supremacy groups, and so-called modern "superheroes" who are in the city for lucrative Hollywood movie contracts. In the modern Foolkiller's world, deserving criminals are executed in ironic Saw-type ways with semi-clever notes left behind for the police to decipher. Not a bad read at just $3.99 American a pop.


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