"When the world begets too many fools, nature always provides a Foolkiller"
Real Name: Kurt Gerhardt
Identity/Class: Human, technology user
Occupation: Vigilante; formerly worked in a data services at TRX, former employee at Burger Clown, and Loan Officer at Silver Eagle bank
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Greg Salinger (Foolkiller, former mentor),
Merle Singer (ally and confidante);
Bobby (former manager at Burger Clown), and Linda (former co-worker and lover (briefly);
loose affiliation with
Electro and the other inmates at the Raft
Enemies: Fools everywhere;
Avengers (Cage, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman), Backhand and Warren, Emilio Mendosa, Runyan Moody, Darren Waite;
Electro and the other inmates at the Raft
Known Relatives: Wilhelm R. Gerhardt (father, deceased), Eleanor (ex-wife, divorced)
Aliases: Gregory Ross Curtis, Miles Fish, J.D. Pierre
Base of Operations: Currently unknown,
last seen in the Raft Prison sub-section of Ryker's Island;
formerly Albuquerque, New Mexico;
formerly Manhattan, New York; Riverdale, New York
First Appearance: Foolkiller I#1 (October, 1990)
Powers: Gerhardt is self-trained in combat. While not an exceptional combatant, he is in excellent condition and has developed a high tolerance for pain. As Foolkiller, he wore a bulletproof vest. His chief weapon was the Purification Gun, a potent laser able to disintegrate a person on contact, leaving only a pile of ashes. Complete disintegration was contingent on a central body hit. Striking a victim's extremity might only result in disintegration of that limb.
Weight: 180 lbs.
History: (Foolkiller#1) -
Kurt had a wife and a good job as a loan officer at
Silver Eagle bank.--and then things went awry for him. His father,
who had refused his advice to move out of a bad neighborhood, was
mugged and killed by some street punks when they found he only at
six dollars on him. Within three months, Silver Eagle bank was
declared insolvent and recovered by downsizing, leaving Kurt
without a job. After several months of failed job seeking, he
began to sink further into depression. His wife divorced him,
leaving him with his computer and his clothes--and nothing else. Kurt took a job at Burger Clown in order to pay the rent.
store was held up on his first day, and Kurt, feeling anger over
his father's death, attacked the thieves, who beat him up.
(Foolkiller#2-4) - Kurt had an epiphany after seeing Greg Salinger, the former Foolkiller, appear on the Runyan Moody talk show. Salinger, although still an inmate at the Central Indiana State Mental Institution, had managed to make an appearance in a public forum as part of his therapy. Gerhardt began writing to Salinger, who saw in him a kindred spirit. Salinger arranged discrete, private communications between the two of them by posting to a computer bulletin board under Ian Byrd (Salinger) and Miles Fish (Gerhardt). After several communications, Salinger instructed Gerhardt on how to find his associate, Merle Singer, who held a copy of Salinger's costume and Purification Gun. Using the alias J.D. Pierre, Gerhardt picked up the materials. Minutes later, Gerhardt encountered two skinheads beating a woman and tried the gun out on them. It worked just fine.
Gerhardt was physically ill after seeing the effects of the gun for the first time, but he soon got over that. That same night he put on the costume and traveled the city, executing drug-dealers, muggers, and rapists (oh, my!). However, when he went after larger prey, the criminal enforcer Backhand, he was overpowered, thrown out a window, and almost shot by Backhand's bodyguard, Warren. Gerhardt narrowly escaped, and after recovering, began a rigorous exercise program. He threw away the old costume, created his own, and made his own series of Foolkiller cards, to leave behind as a warning to others.
(Foolkiller#5-8) - While he began to get the hang of his new calling, Gerhardt's personal life took a turn for the better. He got a job at TRX, and a romantic interest began to develop with Linda, his former co-worker at Burger Clown. All the while, Gerhardt maintained communications with Salinger, refining his definition of Fools. He sent this message to a local newspaper: "The sane must inherit the Earth: From this moment forward, the penalty for senseless violence, for unthinking greed, for wanton ambition, for reckless destruction in the pursuit or momentary gratification or profit will be death."
(Foolkiller#9, 10) - Gerhardt
set his sites on Darren Waite, a millionaire involved with
stripping the Rain Forest and building high society apartments,
while evicting many paying renters from their former homes. Waite
also had employed Emilio Mendosa, through whom he had directed
Backhand and other drug-pushing criminals. Also through Backhand and
others, he sold the drugs that had been harvested from the fields
in which he had destroyed Rain Forests. Gerhardt
successfully executed Waite, despite giving him 24 hours and a
warning card. Taking out such a public figure drew the attention
of the media and the police, some of whom had previously
supported his actions. At the same time, Salinger's line of
communication with Gerhardt was discovered, and the police
tracked it to Gerhardt's apartment, discovering his identity.
Gerhardt decided to go out in style. Having already taken out Backhand and Warren, he went after Mendosa, who had been intending to continue Waite's previous plans. Gerhardt managed to infiltrate the building where Emilio Mendosa worked. He beat Mendosa unconscious, notified the police of his whereabouts, and then dressed Mendosa up in his Foolkiller costume. Gerhardt, incognito, slipped out the back as the police burst in and blew away the "Foolkiller."
Realizing the authorities would find him, he had Merle douse his face in acid, severely scarring it. He had another of his contacts establish a false identity and financial history, and relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There he went to a reconstructive specialist, and gave him his new id, with a new face to use as a goal.
(New Avengers#2 (fb)) - Gerhardt was apparently discovered, arrested, and sent to the Raft prison.
([New Avengers#1 - BTS], 2, [3 - BTS]/New Avengers: Most Wanted Files) - Gerhardt was freed from his cell and took part in a breakout attempt, battling the as yet unformed New Avengers when they arrived to quell the breakout. Gerhardt escaped from the Raft. Found in Gerhardt's cell written on the wall, hundreds of times, were the two phrases "When the world begets too many fools, nature always provides a Foolkiller" and "Actions Have Consequences".
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber and J.
J. Birch (a pseudonym for Joe Brozowski--as pointed out by Grant Rybicki, the
Capsule summaries do not do this character justice. This was an excellent story involving the actions of a real world-type person. Gerber wrote a masterpiece. Go buy it. You can find it in the $0.50 rack. It's kind of like the Watchmen to me. It's so great that you'd love to see follow up on it, and yet the entire story has been told, and there's really nothing more to say.
I'm guessing not a whole lot of people read
this series (which is a shame). I'm guessing even fewer people
got the little Gerber in-joke at the end of the series. Take a
look at that ID, with his new target face. That's Richard Rory!
Not only that, but it's a Las Vegas, Nevada driver's license--where Gerber lives.--Kyle
Gregory Curtis Ross--on the off chance you don't get it, it's an amalgam of the names of all three Foolkillers.
"J.D.Pierre" is an homage to Pierre Salinger (dipolomat) and J.D. Salinger
(the father of the Menahem Golan produced Captain America star Matt Salinger and
the author of Catcher in the Rye).
Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims
CLARIFICATIONS: Kurt is the successor the other known Foolkillers of the modern era:
Merle Singer's face was scarred by a former "lover" who threw acid in her face. Greg Salinger executed the man and gave her, as she had requested, the acid to keep as a reminder. She was eternally grateful, and she remained his sole confidante throughout his career. She kept his secret, and kept a spare costume and Purification Gun. When Salinger sent Gerhardt to her, she trusted Salinger's judgment implicitly and was instantly willing to assist Gerhardt in any way she could. In addition to listening to the thoughts he could tell no one else, she also acted as his assistant when there became too much heat for him to be out in public. His final request to her was to scar his face with her acid, so that he could no longer be recognized as Gerhardt, which she did for him.
--Foolkiller#2 (4, 10)
Foolkiller#1-10 (October, 1990 - October, 1991) - Steve Gerber (writer), J.J. Birch (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (#2-5) & Vince Giarrano (#6-10) (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
New Avengers#2 (February, 2005) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), David Finch (pencils), Danny Miki & Mark Morales (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last updated: 01/25/08
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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