Man-Thing #3-4 (1974): 1st Fool Killer

Fool Killer is probably my favorite Steve Gerber creation.  The FK miniseries that would come out about a year after his debut in these issues was absolutely brilliant.  Many people have tried to make the character work, but few have succeeded.  Still, as a concept, he’s wicked inventive.

He’s basically a Punisher of the ignorant, and often criminally ignorant.

Plus, he has a business card!

Foolkiller first appears before the biker gang from last issue, looking for Rory-the guy Man-Thing rescued last issue.  But why Rory?  Because Rory was a college DJ who played rock and roll, which FK considered blasphemous. Foolkiller instead kills the bikers with a strange blasting pistol that immediately turns people into dust.

And then he decides to go after Ted Sallis–the human who became Man-Thing.

Gerber gives a religious bent to Foolkiller’s mission. It’s the kind of thing Gerber does all the time, and most people don’t even notice it. It creates texture for the character.

And he finds himself rescued by his prey.

Nevertheless, Foolkiller attacks Man-Thing….

He seems to kill him.

He then goes and threatens F.A. Schist, the developer who has been trying to drain Man-Thing’s swamp, to atone for killing the creature who saved him.

Of course, Man-Thing isn’t dead.  He reassembles himself from muck in the next issue.

While he’s squishing around, Foolkiller returns to his base-an 18-wheeler truck, in which FK parks his boss red sportscar and keeps the body of a dead preacher in a vat of formaldehyde in the back of his truck. Foolkiller is some dark, macabre shit.

The preacher was an evangelical healer who healed FK as a kid, when he was a poor crippled boy, and then took FK on the road with him  Ultimately, people believed the preacher was a fraud and killed him, but of course Foolkiller knew better since he was personally healed by the man.  So, those people were fools.  And now he’s on a mission to kill fools.

It’s interesting that he’s a fundamentalist, ultra-right winger, and yet he also wants to kill FA Schist for trying to destroy the Everglades on the basis that God created the swamp and so destroying it is defying God.

Gerber loved poking at religious stuff.  Actually, he loved taking on any extreme philosophical position.

This story is the fifth best of his career.

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