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Samson Scythe was born into a wealthy family that provided everything he desired, but by the time he was a teenager, he felt as though he had done and experienced it all. Wanting new experiences, he joined the army, which was at first unfulfilling, until he was sent on a tour of duty to Southeast Asia. In combat, he found that he was truly alive by causing the deaths of others. Scythe enjoyed his time in action, but was then deprived of the only joy in his life when peace was declared.
Scythe drew further and further from life, finding even sleeping and eating to be too boring for him, requiring him to take on a wheelchair and IV bag. Finally, Kenneth Hanson, a friend of his from the army, came to serve as his butler. Hanson proposed a solution to Scythe's problem, and hired a mugger to shoot a man while he videotaped it for Scythe. Scythe was fascinated by the experience, and had Hanson begin to set up similar situations across the city.
When the Constrictor threatened to shell New York unless he was paid $10,000,000, Scythe had Hanson arrange to halt his plans by planting a mine on the Constrictor's ship and taping the results. Scythe did not find the results as fascinating as he hoped, as the infra-red camera they used was lacking in detail.
Next, Hanson arranged the death of crime boss Carlo Ferrini at the Hearth Club by placing a battery into a roast turkey that electrocuted him. Scythe was pleased. Their next target was Ferrini's rival Sean Gamble, and they arranged a false bottom in his elevator so that he would fall into spikes at the bottom of the elevator shaft, but Gamble was saved by Captain America.
Scythe was inspired by Captain America's intervention, and had Hanson stage a robbery at one of Scythe's own banks in the hopes of bringing Captain America to them. When Captain America intervened, Scythe had some of his men capture him, then confronted the Captain, telling him his background. Scythe then told Captain America that he was fascinated by the idea of watching a hero die, and that unless he came alone to his estate in Edgewood, several policemen would be killed.
Captain America came to the estate and was beset by mechanical dogs, a room that filled with gold dust in an attempt to suffocate him, and sonic tuning forks. Captain America survived all of these attempts on his life, and came after Scythe and Hanson. Hanson tried to kill him with a flame thrower, but instead set the room on fire. Scythe went to get a fire extinguisher, but became so fascinated by watching a video feed of himself dying that he simply lay on the floor to watch his own death.
Samson Scythe was created by David Michelinie
and Gene Colan
in 1981 and first appeared in Captain America Annual