Foolkiller (Marvel)(03 - Kurt Gerhardt)
Real Name: Kurt Gerhardt
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The Foolkiller has a Purification Gun which can disintigrate a person with its laser beam on contact.
Extreme mental instability.
Kurt Gerhardt had reached a state of homicidal despair after the random murder of his father, a divorce, the loss of his bank job (part of the savings and loan crisis), and being brutally robbed at his new job in a fast-food restaurant.
The first issue shows much of Salinger's life in the mental hospital. He details nightmares and guilt to his doctor. He expresses a desire to write out his feelings, believing it will make him feel better. The doctor points out that the last time Salinger was given a pencil, he drove it into his own neck. Salinger promises it won't happen again. The therapist allows Salinger to use one of the institution's computers' word processors so that he can write letters. He decides to send his memoirs and thoughts to media and publication centers. No reply comes back.
Salinger is noted by popular talk show host, Runyan Moody, who browbeats his way into an interview with Salinger. Gerhardt sees this and via Salinger's secret use of the modem in his therapist's computer, they set up a correspondence via a computer bulletin board.
Salinger directs Gerhardt to an old confidant who provides him with the Foolkiller costume and "purification gun". He eventually abandoned the gaudy costume, substituting a bondage-style leather mask and outfit (or appearing in a variety of disguises), and created a simpler calling card: "Foolkiller / e pluribus unum / Actions have consequences."
Initially, Gerhardt directed his vigilante campaign at violent criminals, garnering some praise from the public, but his anger at abuse and neglect in general led him to kill drug-addicted negligent mothers and even their (albeit violent) children in a series of escalating massacres. His ever broader definition of "fools" who deserved death broadened to include those guilty of what Gerhardt believed to be rank hypocrisy or stupidity.
At Burger Clown, Gerhardt he develops a promising romantic relationship with a fellow coworker, Linda Klein. He becomes a popular man in his neighborhood. Acting heroically, even without the gun, Gerhardt saves an acquaintance from being run down by a drunk. Gerhardt, however, must be stopped from beating on the driver.
In a move celebrated by his friends at the restaurant, he gains a job at a credit agency. His work-neighbor is a crass, older man who enjoys using his power for thrills and cheap revenge. In a moment of weakness, Gerhardt even considers using his gun on this man, along with others who are guilty of only being annoying. This includes the new man in Linda Klein's life.
Gerhardt was especially frustrated at the public's thoughtless pursuit of instant or momentary gratification and this became the centralizing theme of his killing spree. Gerhardt abruptly broke off his relationship with Linda and sent a manifesto to the Daily Bugle newspaper. His ever-increasing kills become more violent, taking place in front of, and traumatizing, many innocent people. Once such incident is viewed by Linda who had recognized Kurt's voice though, for reasons unknown, she elected not to inform police. Gerhardt even goes after 'foolish' celebrities. His final major kill was an industrialist who was stripping Amazon rain forest land to raise cattle for beef and this turned the public hostile towards the Foolkiller. At the end of the series, after escaping the police (his online communications with Salinger discovered) and failing to kill his drug-lord nemesis, Gerhardt had his face altered with the assistance of his predecessor's friend. She carefully uses acid to mar his face. He leaves New York to assume a new identity in Arizona.
Gerhardt appeared in New Avengers as a Raft inmate, although the circumstances surrounding his capture have not been revealed. After Electro organizes a massive breakout, he was seen attacking Spider-Man with many other villains, after which he escaped.
The Hood has hired him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act.
First Appearance: Foolkiller (1990) #1
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
#40 Foolkiller (1990)
- 'Institutionalized, Part One'#41
- 'Institutionalized, Part Two of Three'#42
- 'Institutionalized, Conclusion'
#1 Marvel Age (1983)
- 'Mad...As in Angry'#2
- 'The Calling'#3
- 'Thrill For the Kill'#4
- 'Crisis In Confidence'#5
- 'Body Count'#6
- 'Fool's Paradise'#7
- 'Who the Fools Are'#8
- '42 Days'#9
- 'Feast of Fools'#10
- 'Fools Rush In'
New Avengers (2005)
#2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Breakout!, Part Two'#35
- 'The Trust, Part Four'
HC vol. 04 The New Avengers: Most Wanted Files (2006)
- 'Earthmover to Guardians of the Galaxy'
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