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Captain America: Scourge of the Underworld…
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Captain America: Scourge of the Underworld

by Mark Gruenwald

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821,551,650 (3.38)None
"Second-rate criminals are being targeted by a mysterious mass-murderer called the Scourge! Multiple villians have been gunned down in front of the Thing, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America and others -- and no one seems to know what's happening or why! Captain America and USAgent dig deep into the roots of the Scourge mystery, finding clues and secrets that tie back to one of Marvel's oldest and finest heroes from World War II! See the entire Scourge epic play out here!"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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Scourge was a fascinating character during the mid-80's. He made brief appearances all through the Marvel Universe and killed numerous villains, culminating with a massacre at the villain hang-out simply known as the bar with no name.
The original storyline ended in Captain America #320 but it lacked a real resolution. It might have been better had they ended it there, unexplained or not.
It just gets ludicrous after that. Basically, 5 stars for the first half and 1 star for the second. The ultimate ending is far too unsatisfying for something that started so great. ( )
  RottenArsenal | Jul 28, 2014 |
Back in the mid-80s, something very exciting began happening in the pages of my favourite Marvel comics. A duff old villain would suddenly spring up out of nowhere, often completely unconnected to the main plot, and start spouting about their latest nefarious scheme... and then, suddenly, from nowhere, they would be assassinated by a heavily disguised vigilante, firing a gun that always made the same sound effect ('Pum-Spak!'), followed by the catchphrase cry of "Justice is served!"

We never knew when this mysterious killer would strike again - or in which book. This was in the days before we all started being given every single detail of every single comic three months before they were actually published, so the deaths would usually come as a big surprise.

After a while, the plot behind these random murders began to take shape, and it did so in Mark Gruenwald's Captain America book. The killer had by this time been dubbed The Scourge of The Underworld and Cap, being the sort of do-gooder who cares as much for the welfare of his enemies as his friends, dedicated himself to tracking down the Scourge and putting an end to his reign of terror. Gruenwald bucked expectations in the showdown - both in the revelation of Scourge's mysterious identity... and in his fate. And that's really where the story should have ended, except that - as is often the case in comics - it'd proved quite a successful stunt, so Marvel decided to return to it later with unnecessary complications. I'd pretty much given up on the Captain America book by this time so I never read the rest of the story... but I was drawn to this collection both as an exercise in nostalgia for the early part of the storyline... and to finally see what happened next.

Read the full review ( )
  rolhirst | May 10, 2011 |
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