Real Name: Lieutenant James Patrick Scully
Identity/Class: Human mutate
former soldier, pilot, lifeguard, and paranormal investigator
Group Membership: None;
former member of the Shock Troop (Dr. Druid, N'Kantu the Living Mummy, Shadowoman);
former employee of Bailey and Belinda Mathius, who were affiliated with the Unity
formerly U.S. Air Force
Affiliations: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Dr. Raymond Cory, Aleytys "Lee" Forrester, Future Foundation (Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom), Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thing (Ben Grimm)), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), Ann Farrow Reynolds, Jeff Turner
Enemies: Antibody, Corporal Freddy Lancer, Jaguar Priest, Night Shift, Peppermint, Presence, Quagmire, the Scorpius, Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), Slitherogue, George Stanislaus, Viracocha
Known Relatives: Jeff (brother, deceased), parents (unnamed, deceased), Pamela (ex-wife)
Aliases: Blazing Skull, Skull the Slayer, Son of the Sun (name used by an Incan tribe)
Place of Birth: Wahoo,
Base of Operations: Weirdworld;
formerly Myrtle Beach, Florida;
formerly Los Angeles, California;
formerly the Bermuda Triangle Time Warp;
Education: U.S. Air Force Academy graduate
First Appearances: Skull the
(as Blazing Skull) Quasar I#45 (April, 1993)
Powers: James Scully is a
and is trained in armed and unarmed combat. In addition, he is
virtually fearless, willing to take on any battle, regardless of
the odds. His belt enhances his abilities, intermittently.
Apparently it reacts to determination and enhances his abilities
as needed. He has demonstrated anywhere from human athlete to
Class 10 strength, and may be able to achieve even higher levels.
He eventually gained a force field which apparently surrounds him
at all times and makes him virtually invulnerable. Its particular
characteristics and limits are unknown.
Scully's energies were temporarily altered, giving him transparent skin and a luminescent skeleton.
On one instance, Scully channeled the belt's energies into a dinosaur, causing its head to blow up.
Weight: 200 lbs.
(Skull the Slayer I#6 (fb)) - Jim Scully was drafted into the Viet Nam war, leaving behind his wife, Pamela. During one period of training, he became enemies with Corp. Freddy Lancer, who attempted to bait him into a fight, even going so far as to slit the back of his calf with a knife. Lancer was then bitten by a snake, and Scully helped draw the poison out and carried him to safety, although he was in no hurry to do so. The two remained bitter enemies.
(Skull the Slayer I#7(fb)1(fb)/2(fb)) - On Scully's first mission, he was captured by the North Viet Nam and held as a prisoner of war. The soldiers there tortured him for information, but being a new recruit himself, he knew nothing of value, and so had nothing to tell them. Lancer was also captured, but he gave the Viet Cong false information, naming Scully as the head of the mission. In return for this information, Lancer was granted freedom. Scully remained a PoW for five long years.
(Skull the Slayer I#1 (fb)) - After being freed, he returned to his hometown only to find that his wife had divorced him and remarried another. Scully soon learned that both of his parents had died while he was a PoW, and his brother, Jeff, had become a drug addict. His brother, in a drugged frenzy, attacked him with a knife. Scully, having been trained in combat, easily stopped his brother, who fell on his own knife and died. Scully, fearing imprisonment, fled to several different places, before finally being arrested by military police in Bermuda.
the Slayer I#1) - Scully was on a plane returning to the USA, guarded by his old
enemy, Freddy Lancer. Also on the plane were Dr. Raymond Corey,
Ann Reynolds, and Jeff Turner. Suddenly a time warp opened in the
"Bermuda Triangle," pulling the plane back to a world
of 250 million B.C. The plane was torn in half in the process,
throwing Lancer back through the warp to the modern world,
killing the pilot, and ruining their only hope of escape.
Shortly after arriving, Scully and the other three surviving passengers found that in addition to dinosaurs, there were remnants from numerous other time periods, apparently having been sucked back through the time warp as well.
(Skull the Slayer I#2) - Scully impressed a group of cavemen by averting their trampling at the hands of a herd of Styracosauri. Impressed, the cavemen led him and his allies to a cave containing the corpse of an alien and some of his advanced technology. Scully took the belt from the corpse and found it granted him superhuman strength (along with a strange glow) when he needed it.
(Skull the Slayer I#3) - Continuing to wander their new world Scully and his allies encountered the Tower of Time, which contained replicas of numerous eras of life on Earth at each level.
(Skull the Slayer I#4) - They were soon captured by what appeared to be a group of Egyptian soldiers, and were brought before the creator of the Tower, an extra-terrestrial named Slitherogue. Slitherogue claimed that his race, the Scorpians had created the time warp in the Bermuda Triangle to learn about Earth and eventually conquer it. They had what appeared to be several jumps in time, including a meeting with Merlin and the Black Knight.
(Skull the Slayer I#5) - Scully and his allies soon learned that Slitherogue was the only other living thing in the Tower: Everything else was a robot. When the Black Knight robot rebelled and killed Slitherogue, the entire Tower crumbled.
(Skull the Slayer I#6-8) - After escaping the Tower, Scully and friends ran across a tribe of Incan (also called Aztecs in the story) warriors and got caught between a power struggle between Viracocha II, a man from an earlier period in the 20th Century, impersonating an Incan God), and the Jaguar Priest, a sorcerer of the tribe whose rule had been usurped by Viracocha II. The Jaguar Priest eventually won the struggle and then tried to force Scully to surrender his belt, threatening to slay his friends if he refused.
(Marvel Two-In-One I#35,36) - About this time (modern era), Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, was hired to fly an experimental plane to search for a missing Cobalt Bomb. Grimm flew over Bermuda, and also got sucked through the warp. His ship was damaged in the process, but he rescued Scully and friends. The group cannibalized parts from the first ship to repair Grimm's and escaped back through the warp to the modern era. The group was followed by the Jaguar Priest and his pteradons, but Scully, Grimm, and a severely weakened Mr. Fantastic overpowered them. The pteradons were sent to the Savage Land, and Scully went off to face his trial.
([Captain America I#420(fb)]) - Scully was not seen for a length of time. However, it is known that he found that the belt he obtained from the Bermuda Triangle Time Warp could not be removed. At some point, Scully contacted Dr. Druid in hopes that he could remove the belt. It was either Dr. Druid's or Scully's own attempts to remove the belt that resulted in the change of his appearance into "a walking x-ray." It was at this point he changed his name to Blazing Skull.
(Quasar I#45, 46) - Scully joined together with Druid as a part of the Shock Troop, a paranormal investigation team. He participated in an effort to return the Antibodies of the alternate Earth of the New Universe.
(Quasar I#50) - The Shock Troop were also seen along with a boatload of others who had gathered as a result of the disturbance around the Nexus of Realities caused by Ereshkigal.
(Captain America I#420) - The Red Skull, as a diversionary tactic, had information leaked which linked the Blazing Skull to himself. Captain America investigated this tip and ran into a battle between Scully and the Night Shift. After the brief, obligatory scuffle, Cap and Scully joined forces and defeated the Night Shift. Scully continued as an adventurer on the West Coast for some time.
(Hawkeye III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Scully's appearance eventually returned to normal, but his metabolism faded as well. Though he maintained his powers, he began to gain weight. It is uncertain whether he left the Shock Troop before or after these developments.
(Hawkeye III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Scully was hired by Bailey Mathius to serve as his enforcer in preparing for the Unity, which involved a temple along the Nam Theum river, outside Laos. Within the temple was a pillar that contained evidence that Jesus Christ had planned to spread his word to the rest of the world. The temple had been discovered by US soldiers led by Mathius in 1967; however, the temple closed suddenly and the troops learned that the temple would only every forty years. Mathius had ordered his troops to slaughter the nearby villagers so that only his troop knew of the existence of the temple. Those present had formed the Unity, a group vowing to keep the secret of the temple and to reap the rewards when it later opened.
(Hawkeye III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Bailey's wife, Belinda, sent Scully to rough up Peppermint, with whom Bailey had been having an affair.
(Hawkeye III#1) - Scully accosted Peppermint at a bar, but Hawkeye (Clint Barton) broke up the fight. Scully attacked Hawkeye and was defeated. Scully was present when Hawkeye confronted Bailey Mathius, who denied sending Scully after Peppermint; Hawkeye bent a golf club on Scully's arm in the process.
(Hawkeye III#2) - Hawkeye confronted Scully and other men working for Mathius, identifying him. Hawkeye coerced Scully into giving information on Mathius by threatening to put an arrow through his heart.
(Hawkeye III#3) - Scully waited at the Mathius manor alongside Belinda, who ordered him to take out either Peppermint or Hawkeye before she could share her knowledge with him.
(Hawkeye III#4) - Scully confronted Hawkeye and Peppermint, who had been driven to paranoia by Bailey Mathius. Scully grabbed her gun, but she fired, and the ricochet hit her in the head, killing her. He and Hawkeye were taken in by the cops, and he was bailed out by Belinda. Later, he confronted Hawkeye, intending to accompany him to Vietnam to investigate the Unity.
(Hawkeye III#5) - Scully was with Hawkeye and Mathius when they arrived at the temple. After Hawkeye used a trick of light to open the temple, the trio were attacked by a legion of warriors.
(Hawkeye III#6) - After Bailey was killed by the warriors, Hawkeye finished off the last of the warriors, but he was struck by a poison arrow, which knocked him out. Scully ripped out the pillar from the temple and took it to Hong Kong where Belinda Mathius and her ally Shing Fu Xue transported it to the Mathias manor. However, Hawkeye had tracked Scully to Hong Kong and convinced him to lead him to the column. Hawkeye dissolved the column with a special chemical, which left intact the tiles depicting the image of Christ.
Comments: Skull the Slayer
Marv Wolfman and Steve Gan.
Blazing Skull created by Mark Gruenwald and Grant Miehm
And kudos to Fabian Nicieza for bringing him back yet again!
Jim Scully received an entry in the OHotMU
and an update in the Secret Wars Official Guide to the Marvel
This is an
excellent example of how to bring a
character back from Limbo.
Still, there are lots of unresolved issues...
The Skull the Slayer series was original and interesting enough, but it was plagued by changing writers. Marv Wolfman started out, doing the first three issues, then Steve Englehart wrote the fourth, and Bill Mantlo did the last four. It never quite caught its stride, but it's one of my favorite reads from the seventies.
In MTIO#35, it was stated that the group had spent two years in the time warp. This can only refer to real time, as this story was written in 1977, two years after the original series. In reading the original, it could have taken place in just a couple days, but certainly not more than a few weeks.
The reference to
Nam war may or may not be topical in this case. Scully recognized
the Thing, meaning he had to have lived in the modern marvel era
(meaning the last ten or so years, with a sliding timeline). If
you really wanted to stretch things, you could say that Scully
and his allies went into the warp in 1975. While there, in the
Tower of Time, Scully either glimpsed or encountered the Thing,
via some local warp. Then when the Thing came back from the
modern era into the warp, he brought the group forward to the
modern era as well. It's also possible, that given Scully's
current appearance, that when his Blazing Skull appearance faded,
his true age caught up to him...or he's just been downing lots of
There's no reason to assume that this is the case. You could just as easily change the Viet Nam war references to some more modern covert mission in Asia.
Nicieza supports Scully as having been in the actual Vietnam "War" in his Hawkeye story...
For further discussion, see the Vietnam War in the Marvel Universe.
Other sources report Scully as being a Captain. I think Scully was not actually a Captain, but a Lieutenant. I think that's the reason he was not willing to strike back at Lancer in the swamp. Lancer called him "Captain" when he framed him, giving him a higher rank to frame him as the leader of the mission. This would fit with it being his first mission, following his "special training". I can't find where his rank is initially given to confirm this, though.
In case anyone at all cares, Scully would be more appropriately described as a walking radiograph. X-rays are invisible radiation which are passed through the body onto a screen. A radiograph is the film on which the image appears, which is what we see.
All three of Scully's supporting characters (Corey, Reynolds, Turner) are deep, deep in the pits of limbo.
Jim Scully, aka Skull the Slayer, aka the Blazing Skull, has no connection (other than name, and some slight physical similarities) to:
Dr. Raymond Corey
A United States Government physicist.
Scully was guilty of the crimes of which he was accused, and was
against him right from the start. He questioned his every move
and derided him at every turn. He was very cynical and felt that
most people held his race against him and sought to put him down.
He developed a defense mechanism of putting others down before
they could do it to him. He disliked working for the government,
but his attitude prevented him from getting a job in a private
He played the role of antagonist, as well as the broad-blanket, scientist. He could decipher hieroglyphics, analyze alien circuitry, and anything else that was required of him.
--Skull the Slayer I#1 (2-8, Marvel Two-In-One I#35,36
Ann Farrow Reynolds
She was frustrated
chauvinism in the workplace. She graduated top in her class, but
couldn't get a job because she was told that they didn't hire
young girls because they'd leave within the year once they were
married and ready to have babies. She was not a big fan of babies.
She was employed by Corey, as his assistant. She had a romantic
interest in Scully, and quickly accepted him as leader of their
group. She forgave him pretty readily even after he left the
group to an apparent death at the hands of Slitherogue's robots
in the Tower of Time.
When Scully reported to the authorities for his trial after their escape, she told him she would wait for him.
She started out as Ann Farrow in the first issue, was later referred to as Ann Reynolds, and finaly described as Robert Bruce Banner, whoops, I mean Ann Farrow Reynolds.
--Skull the Slayer I#1 (2-8, Marvel Two-In-One I#35,36
Geoffrey "Jeff" Turner
The son of senator
Turner (no connection to the harlem gangster Stoneface).
His father was a domineering figure, and Jeff felt like his
father thought he owned him. Rebelling, Jeff ran away, causing
his father to send the military to bring him back. Jeff was the
youngest of the group, and he enthusiastically supported Scully.
His father hired Scully'd old nemesis, Corp. Freddy Lancer to head back into the Bermuda Triangle to bring Jeff back. This never happened (or was never shown).
--Skull the Slayer I#1 (2-8, Marvel Two-In-One I#35,36
Skull the Slayer I#1-3 (August, 1975 - January, 1976) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Steve Gan (pencils), Steve Gan & Pablo Marcos (#3) (inks)
Skull the Slayer I#4 (March, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Skull the Slayer I#5-8 (May-November, 1975) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Sonny Trinidad (#5, 7-8) & Steve Gan (#6) (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One I#35-36 (January-February, 1978) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Ernie Chan (artist)
Quasar I#45 (April, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Grant Miehm (pencils), David & Dan Day (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Quasar I#46 (May, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Andy Smith (pencils), Ralph Cabrera (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Quasar I#50 (September, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Andy Smith (pencils), Ralph Cabrera (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Captain America I#420 (October, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Hawkeye III#1-4 (December, 2003 - March, 2004) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Stefano Raffaele (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Hawkeye III#5 (April, 2004) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Stefano Raffaele (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Hawkeye III#6 (May, 2004) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Stefano Raffaele (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
X-Men III#16-17 (October-November, 2011) - Victor Gischler (writer), Jorge Molina (pencils), Jorge Molina & Norman Lee (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Men III#18 (November, 2011) - Victor Gischler (writer), Mirco Pierfederici (pencils & inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Men III#19 (December, 2011) - Victor Gischler (writer), Jorge Molina (pencils), Norman Lee, Terry Pallott & Jorge Molina (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Last updated: 06/12/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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