The Hood Reverses The Entirety of the Scourge's Assassinations

In Death is not the End, we spotlight the outlandish explanations for comic book characters (mostly super-villains) surviving seeming certain death. Today, we see how the Hood reversed the Scourge's whole list of kills.

Mark Gruenwald was one of the top editors at Marvel for over a decade before his shocking untimely passing in 1996. Gruenwald was from the tail end of the second generation of comic book fans that came of age during the "Marvel Age" of comics, so they were comic book fans from the get go, unlike the first generation of comic book writers, who naturally did not grow up with comic books since they had not yet been invented (this is why Hal Foster, Alex Raymond and Milton Caniff were so iconic to that first generation of creators, since those comic STRIP artists were the Jack Kirbys of their generation).

Gruenwald was fascinated with Marvel's continuity and he also liked to put things in order. For instance, he was a big proponent when he got to Marvel of coming up with a cohesive set of "rules" for how time travel worked in the Marvel Universe. As you might imagine, Gruenwald was also the driving force behind Marvel's Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. Gruenwald liked coming up with explanation for things and putting stuff into its proper place.

These views of his sometimes (heck, OFTEN) drove storylines. None was more notable than when Gruenwald decided that the Marvel Universe had too many low-level supervillains in it. His theory was that since every superhero writer seemed to come up with X amount of new supervillains, most of which would not be used again, that meant that the superhero population was remaining mostly static (since each solo superhero would fight a lot more than one supervillain while there remained just the one superhero). Thus, if you looked at the Marvel Universe as a cohesive unit, this meant that there would be many more supervillains than there would be superheroes. So Gruenwald devised a story idea for a new character, the Scourge of the Underworld, who would travel the Marvel Universe and eliminate the lesser-used supervillains out there. I collected all of the villains killed in an old post here.

Things came to a head in Captain America #319 (by Mark Gruenwald, Paul Neary and John Beatty), where a group of villains got together to decide what to do with the problem and they were all killed at once...

After the villain Water Wizard (who only avoided the massacre by happenstance) turns Captain America on to the murders, Cap ultimately defeats Scourge, only to see that Scourge taken out by ANOTHER Scourge, suggesting that it was a whole organization dedicated to wiping out supervillains and not just one dude named Scourge.

Going to Gruenwald's point, then, since these were lesser-used supervillains, almost all of them remained dead. There were a few exceptions, but for the most part, if they were killed in that big ol' massacre, they stayed dead.

Until they were all very much brought back to life.

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