SCRATCH

Real Name: Lee Franks

Identity/Class: Human (British) mutant

Occupation: Intelligence agent

Group Membership: Black Air

Affiliations: The Hellfire Club (London branch), Sebastian Shaw

Enemies: Douglock (Warlock), N'Garai demons, Lockheed, W.H.O. (Alistaire Stuart, others), Pete Wisdom, X-Men (Psylocke/Betsy Braddock, others)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The arrogant toerag," "that scab," "you useless git" (insults called by Pete Wisdom)

Base of Operations: England

First Appearance: Excalibur I#96 (April, 1996)

Powers/Abilities: Scratch could cast electrical volts from his hands, although the act of voltcasting took Scratch a few seconds to concentrate his power before using it. By generating a small electrical charge, Scratch could illuminate dark areas.

He could also fly via unrevealed means.

Height: 6'3" (by approximation)
Weight: 173 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown (glowing pink or white when using powers)
Hair: Black

History: (Excalibur I#99 (fb) - BTS) - Scratch was one of four or five mutants employed by the Black Air organization to run espionage missions. Meeting fellow mutant Pete Wisdom during this time, Scratch was willing to kill anything that moved while Wisdom focused only on killing those who killed others.

(Five Decades of the X-Men - "Up the Hill Backwards" story - BTS) - Scratch was made Pete Wisdom's superior officer. After a magical Scottish cairn that was under observation by Black Air was disturbed during a war game between the mutant hero X-Men team and the British W.H.O., Scratch accompanied Wisdom and other Black Air agents to investigate as N'Garai demons were released from the cairn. In order to stop the N'Garai, the X-Men were forced to team-up with Black Air and Psylocke took telepathic control over Scratch to drive the N'Garai back into the cairn. Once the N'Garai had been defeated and returned to the cairn, Scratch and Wisdom escaped as the only survivors of the Black Air squad that had been sent there.

(Excalibur I#99 (fb) - BTS) - During a later mission, Scratch was tasked with recovering an alien artifact that was buried in meteor rock outside a remote country school in Norfolk. Scratch retrieved the artifact and slaughtered the entire school.

(Excalibur I#99 (fb)) - The next day, Pete Wisdom was walking through Black Air's headquarters and witnessed Scratch smiling and bragging about the murder he had committed. Angry at Scratch's arrogance and knowing Scratch needed a few seconds to concentrate his voltcasting abilities, Wisdom kicked Scratch in the stomach and began beating on him. Wisdom managed to tear half of Scratch's face off and puncture one of Scratch's lungs without even using his mutant powers before Black Air agents dragged Wisdom away. Wisdom felt that on that day, he should have incinerated Scratch's brain.

(Excalibur I#96 (fb) - BTS) - Scratch once met the Hellfire Club's Sebastian Shaw and gave him information on the mutant-killing Legacy Virus, information Scratch saw Shaw put to good use.

(Excalibur I#97 (fb) - BTS) - Two years following Wisdom's attack on him, Scratch was made the designated liaison between Black Air and the London branch of the Hellfire Club.

(Excalibur I#96) - Now employed jointly by Black Air and the Hellfire Club, Scratch met the Sebastian Shaw in a barren English field to exchange Black Air files for an electronic box Shaw had brought. Upon seeing each other face-to-face, Scratch informed Shaw that he had brought the requested files and asked if Shaw had the box. Shaw responded by telling Scratch that both of his employers knew Shaw to be a man that respected a deal. Scratch then handed Shaw the files, commenting on how he saw Shaw had put the earlier Legacy Virus data to good use, but Shaw warned Scratch not to get too close, as his guards were somewhat nervous. Scratch agreed to keep his distance, asking Shaw to give him the box so he could stop upsetting Shaw's "little boys." Shaw's guards quickly warned Scratch not to touch Shaw and Shaw attempted to ease the guards' worries but Scratch angrily demanded the guards shut up, using his powers to kill all of the guards present. Shaw bemoaned the days in which he could find decent bodyguards and Scratch departed, telling Shaw he would be seeing him. Scratch then flew off into the air and as he left, Shaw commented to himself on how the more mutants he met, the less he wanted to be one.

(Excalibur I#97) - As the only one with enough clearance, Scratch traveled into the sewers beneath London to an ancient doorway beneath the Hellfire Club, becoming the first person to see the doorway since its creation. Knowing that both Black Air and the Hellfire Club wanted what was on the other side of the doorway, Scratch wondered if what was inside truly wished to be freed.

(Excalibur I#98 - BTS) - After the techno-organic Douglock was captured by Black Air, Excalibur learned that Douglock was being held by Scratch, whom Shadowcat asked former Black Air agent Pete Wisdom about. Recognizing the name, Wisdom remarked that he should have killed "that scab" when he had the chance.

(Excalibur I#99 - BTS) - Pete Wisdom informed Excalibur of his suspicions that Douglock might already be dead if he were in Scratch's hands and revealed the past he shared with Scratch during their time together in Black Air.

(Excalibur I#100) - Following the Hellfire Club's using magic to summon a giant demon into the heart of London, the investigating Excalibur, who had come to rescue Douglock, witnessed Scratch running outside Black Air's headquarters. Pete Wisdom demanded Excalibur drop him off to take care of Scratch on his own, explaining himself by telling Excalibur that Scratch would have information on Douglock's whereabouts. Assuming Wisdom would bring Scratch back alive, Excalibur dropped him off on ground level and Wisdom took off after Scratch. Catching up to him, Wisdom attacked Scratch, who easily dodged Wisdom's hot knives and taunted Wisdom for not killing him earlier. Asking Wisdom if he even remembered how to kill and remarking on how much pickier Wisdom had been targets than himself, Scratch fired an electrical blast at Wisdom, missing him. Wisdom taunted Scratch, asking how Scratch could have missed without any hair to get in his eyes, prompting Scratch to leap at Wisdom, who dodged into a nearby store. Following, Scratch remarked that killing Wisdom would be like killing children: too easy. Before Scratch could kill Wisdom, however, Wisdom managed to grab Scratch and Scratch was burned by flames generated by Excalibur's alien Lockheed.

Comments: Created by Warren Ellis, Carlos Pacheco and Bob Wiacek.

Scratch's real name was first revealed in Pete Wisdom's entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z HC Vol. 13 (2010).

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Scratch has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Excalibur I#96, p12, pan2 (Scratch, main image)
Excalibur I#96, p13, pan2 (Scratch, headshot using powers)
Excalibur I#99, p2, pan3 (Scratch in his younger days)
Excalibur I#97, p12, pan2 (Scratch with glowing hand)
Excalibur I#100, p6, pan1 (Scratch running)
Excalibur I#100, p19, pan8 (Scratch leaping)


Appearances:
Excalibur I#96 (April, 1996) - Warren Ellis (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Suzanne Gaffney (editor)
Excalibur I#97 (May, 1996) - Warren Ellis (writer), Casey Jones (pencils), Tom Simmons (inks), Suzanne Gaffney (editor)
Excalibur I#98 (June, 1996) - Warren Ellis (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Suzanne Gaffney (editor)
Excalibur I#99 (July, 1996) - Warren Ellis (writer), Casey Jones (pencils), Tom Simmons (inks), Suzanne Gaffney (editor)
Excalibur I#100 (August, 1996) - Warren Ellis (writer), Casey Jones, Randy Green (pencils), Rob Haynes (pencils, inks), Tom Simmons, Jason Martin, Rick Ketcham (inks), Suzanne Gaffney (editor)
Five Decades of the X-Men (February, 2002) - "Up the Hill Backwards" story - Thomas Deja (writer), Stan Lee (editor)


First Posted: 04/04/2019
Last updated: 04/04/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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