Real Name: Ross G. Everbest
Identity/Class: Human technology user;
his true identity was secret during his lifetime but became public knowledge after his death;
American citizen with no criminal record
Group Membership: Formerly Reverend Mike's traveling show
Affiliations: Formerly Reverend Mike Pike
Enemies: Darby (Ernest Logan), French (Morton Small), Man-Thing (Ted Sallis), Richard Rory, Franklin Armstrong "F.A." Schist, Professor Slaughter (Todd/Wilbur/Hargood Wickham), many others
Known Relatives: Unidentified mother & father (deceased), unidentified grandmother (presumed deceased)
Aliases: "Heaven's Finest Warrior"
Base of Operations: Arena of Lost Souls within
Mephisto's branch of Hell;
formerly mobile via tractor trailer base
Education: High school dropout
First Appearance: Man-Thing I#3 (March, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: The Foolkiller was skilled in several forms of hand-to-hand combat and kept himself in top physical condition. He was of normal intelligence, but was fanatical in his mission, believing himself to be guided by the will of God. He has experience as a charismatic preacher.
His primary weapon was his "Ray of Purity" gun, capable of firing a beam of white light which could fire a laser-like beam of energy capable of totally incinerating a man within seconds or burning a man-sized hole in a reinforced brick wall in minutes. It was accurate up to thirty yards.
He employed a limited arsenal of surveillance devices and offensive weapons, stored in a specially equipped armored truck, which he used to locate and track his victims. He also drove a red sport car.
Weight: 185 lbs.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb) - BTS) - The father of the boy who would become Foolkiller was a soldier who died on the day his son was born, in the final days of a war (see comments). His mother also served in the military, as a Red Cross nurse, and she lost her life to a bomb in a subsequent war, when her son was nine years old.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb)) - Born paralyzed below the waist, Ross G. Everbest was frustrated to the point of depression that he could never become an active soldier or give his life the way his parents had. He worshipped his parents and turned his bedroom into a kind of memorial for them. He read book after book about the military, and his grandmother said he knew more about its history and traditions than most generals.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb)) - Everbest's grandmother eventually brought him to Reverend Mike's Revival Caravan in hopes that the evangelist could heal him. Everbest was originally afraid of Rev. Mike and his powerful presence, but he wanted to march, so he trembled and prayed as Mike lay his hands on him and called on the Lord's power. A moment later, Everbest was standing, and he realized then that he had found his true calling as a soldier in the service of the Almighty. He begged Mike to accept him as a disciple and vowed to become as great a preacher as him.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb) / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#13: Foolkiller) - Believing in Mike, he never faltered or strayed from the path. Before two years had passed (and as Everbest turned 18), people were falling at Everbest's feet, calling him more than human and the "new messiah," and he knew they were right. Nonetheless, Everbest was deeply troubled by criminals, protestors, dope pushers, etc. mocking the lord and the military, which he took as signs that civilization was coming to an end. For over a decade, he wondered why he couldn't save the world and what he had done wrong. He blamed social decay on unwitting agents of the devil and developed a fanatical religious philosophy under the terms of which these "fools," must be killed by a different breed of savior, an adventuring agent of God, the Foolkiller.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb)) - While the Revival Caravan was lodged in a Louisiana hotel, Everbest decided to adopt his new costumed identity and role. He went to Mike to show him his costume and tell him he was leaving the Revival, only to find Mike drinking and partying with a woman while playing with the money they had made. Mike told Everbest he took life seriously and needed to relax and stop fighting the world. Deciding that Mike, too, had become one of the fools, Everbest strangled him to death. Still, as it was Mike who had inspired him and "given the world its redeemer," Everbest made a shrine out of him, keeping his body preserved in a glass tank filled with formaldehyde as a symbol of the route to Heaven.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#13: Foolkiller) - This tank became the Foolkiller's central shrine when he remodeled the revival caravan's truck with computers and advanced weaponry with which to undertake his mission against fools.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb)) - With the money Mike had taken from the Caravan, Everbest bought a tractor trailer, computer, and the Ray of Purity weapon. Everbest decided that that, and his death, had atoned for Mike's sins.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe#17: Foolkiller) - Neither the precise nature of the Ray of Purity gun nor the identity of its manufacturer is known.
(Man-Thing I#4 (fb) - BTS / (Foolkiller I#2 (fb) - BTS ) - Seventy-two fools fell before the Foolkiller, from Satanists in California to the publisher of a socialist newspaper in Ohio.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#13: Foolkiller / Man-Thing I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Foolkiller's activity in the Midwestern United States brought the Foolkiller some media attention. An Ohio disk jockey named Richard Rory publicly ridiculed the Foolkiller on the air several times. The Foolkiller saw Rory as poisoning men's thoughts and turning them away from God. He responded by sending Rory death threats, after which Rory eventually relocated to Citrusville.
(Man-Thing I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Foolkiller came to Citrusville, Florida, seeking to execute three fools: Richard Rory (a radio personality who ), Ted Sallis (who had tried to play God by creating the means to make man a pollution-breathing creature and had been turned into the Man-Thing by his own process), and Franklin Armstrong "F.A." Schist (who had gained his wealth immorally, had contempt for the Lord, and who desecrated the Lord's works by desecrating the swamps of Citrusville).
(Man-Thing I#3) - Foolkiller stood in the middle of the road and blocked the paths of a pair of bikers, Darby & French, plus their girlfriends. Knowing the men had just parted company with their new friend Rory, Foolkiller told them to tell him where Rory was, and when they refused to reveal his location Foolkiller killed them both. Foolkiller next drove to Schist's construction camp, confronted Schist, and gave him a card telling him to use his last 24 hours on Earth to repent and die a fool. Schist didn't take the threat seriously and sent his workers to get rid of him, but Foolkiller demonstrated his weapon's power by incinerating a large metal shed, then departed. Foolkiller next entered the swamps, intending to execute the Man-Thing, but when a helicopter flew overhead, Foolkiller incorrectly assumed that Schist was trying to escape, and he used his purification gun to blast it out of the sky; only after it crashed did he realize that it had held flood victims from a nearby town en route to shelter. Alligators then rushed to attack the people from the helicopter, but the Man-Thing rushed to their rescue. Foolkiller briefly questioned whether he had misjudged Sallis but then re-convinced himself that he was guided by God and thus could not err. Still, he decided to spare the Man-Thing for now, but Foolkiller's psychic torment pained the Man-Thing, causing him to lumber towards the source of his anguish. Changing his mind about Sallis' fool status again, Foolkiller blasted the Man-Thing repeatedly until he finally dehydrated the creature and it collapsed into the swamp.
(Man-Thing I#4) -
Foolkiller half-heartedly apologized to the people he had shot out of the sky
while proclaiming his fulfillment of the Lord's ordainment that the Man-Thing
perish by his hand that day. When the pilot became irate and told him the
Man-Thing had saved them and then denied Heaven's involvement in his fate, the
Foolkiller killed the pilot as well, then left with the parting message to the
others, "Do not mourn for him. Like any fool, he deserves only righteous
contempt! He suffered the fate of all who do not know me for His messenger. He
suffered the wrath of the Foolkiller!" Soon afterwards, however, the Man-Thing,
revived by the swamp's fluids, rose and departed.
En route to his tractor trailer base, the Foolkiller, lost in his thoughts, nearly ran into Richard Rory who was traveling by Volkswagon microbus. Though he recognized Rory, the Foolkiller continued back to his tractor trailer base, where he reported the day's events to Reverend Mike (within his tank), acknowledging the shooting of the innocents in the helicopter to be a mistake, the first he'd ever made in his life. Kneeling before Mike, Foolkiller looked upon his face and saw that he need not doubt his role.
Soon after, Schist car passed by, seeking to flee his fate at the Foolkiller's hands, but Foolkiller saw him and smashed into Schist's jeep with his truck. Foolkiller then smashed his truck through a restaurant where Rory was having a drink (knocking him out) and abducted Rory. As he drove past Schist's jeep, Foolkiller was surprised to see he had survived, so he stopped his truck, dropped Schist with a single blow, and abducted him as well, silencing Wickham's ally Professor Slaughter with a threat. Foolkiller drove his prisoners into the swamp then led them into the back of his truck, intending to kill them where Mike could see, ignoring Rory's reminder about the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill." As the Foolkiller prepared to kill them, however, the Man-Thing entered the truck and grabbed his shoulder. Believing the Man-Thing had come back from the dead, which would make him the messiah (and Everbest NOT the messiah), Foolkiller succumbed to fear, and the Man-Thing grabbed his gun (left) hand, searing it. Foolkiller then flipped out, switched hands, and prepared to fire on the Man-Thing, but Rory tackled him, and his stray blast struck Mike's tank, shattering it. Everbest only had seconds to be devastated by what he had done before a large piece of glass from the tank pierced his heart, killing him. Mike's body fell atop Everbest's.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#4: Foolkiller) - Foolkiller's paraphernalia was taken into custody by the Florida authorities.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#225 (fb)) - Having learned of Everbest from Richard Rory while the two were cellmates together, Greg Salinger escaped, then liberated the Foolkiller's equipment and emulated his identity.
(Thunderbolts 2000 Annual) - Foolkiller's spirit was seen within the Arena of Lost Souls within Mephisto's branch of Hell.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik, and Jack Abel.
With Man-Thing I#4 published in 1974, Foolkiller was originally to have been born in the last days of World War II. And his mother died in the Korean war, cut down by a commie bomb! That's all topical.
Rory mistook an unidentified character, presumably intended to be Gerber himself, for the Foolkiller (because they drove the same kind of car), and assaulted him just seconds before the real Foolkiller showed up and abducted him.
As best as I can tell, Ross G. Everbest's
identity was revealed in Amazing Spider-Man#225. Reverend Mike's last name was
revealed in Foolkiller#2. Thanks to sszl111 for noting the latter tidbit!
The Master Edition also identified Everbest's hair as blond, but it was clearly brown each time it was shown.
The original OHotMU said the Foolkiller's gun could incinerate up to several hundred cubic feet of matter, whereas the Deluxe handbook it said he could incinerate a human or a human-sized portion of brick. "Spidermike" Fichera speculates that perhaps the original amount given refers to the total amount it can disintegrate before recharging. So if the average person is like 12 cubic feet, then the gun could maybe be used on 25 people? Sounds reasonable to me!
Profile by Snood.
Ross G. Everbest should be distinguished from:
FOOL - Brethren, aided Sersi and Thane Ector in forming Uni-Mind to defeat the Collector, but was slain in the process—Avengers I#334
images: (without ads)
Man-Thing I#3, p8, panel 1 & 4-5 (full body, two masked close-ups w/ gun)
p9, panel 1 & 2 (two shots firing gun)
p11, panel 5 (card)
#4, p19, panel 5 (unmasked, impaled by glass)
Man-Thing I#3-4 (March-April, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Val Mayerik (penciler), Jack Abel (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Foolkiller#2 (November, 1990) - Steve Gerber (writer), J.J Birch (penciler), Tony DeZuniga (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
Thunderbolts 2000 Annual (2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Norm Breyfogle (artist), Kurt Busiek (inspiration?), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 01/15/2008
Last updated: 02/16/2008
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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