Scourge's origin is unknown, he is aided by a man known only as Domino (formerly an agent of the Conspiracy), who provides him with information on his targets. With every successful assassination, Scourge exclaims "Justice is served". Scourge has recounted several false pasts for himself that usually involve him being a costumed criminal's relative.
Scourge was created by Mark Gruenwald as a means to clean out some of the underused supervillains floating around the Marvel Universe. He first appeared in Iron Man #196, written by Denny O'Neill.
Major Story Arcs
The Year of the Scourge
Scourge began his killing spree by murdering criminal mercenary gunman the Enforcer while disguised as a homeless woman. The Scourge next targeted the hypnotic Miracle Man, but found himself aboard a bus with not only his target but the Thing as well. The Miracle Man's plan to free the Rhino (who was being transported by Guardsmen in another vehicle) was interrupted by the Thing, but while the Thing and the Rhino fought, Scourge slew the Miracle Man. When the Fantastic Four defeated the Psycho Man's emotion-manipulating Hate Monger construct after he caused mass chaos in Manhattan, Scourge hiding in a nearby alleyway shot the artificial being, causing it to lose its form. While still in New York, Scourge murdered video game-inspired villain Megatak and later killed the would-be super-hero Phone Ranger during a chaotic battle between various heroes and the Lethal Legion.
Scourge first encountered Captain America during an unsuccessful attempt on hospitalized super-criminal Constrictor. Posing as a nurse, Scourge failed due to Captain America's intervention, but managed to escape. He traveled to Los Angeles, where he failed to kill Kraven the Hunter when he couldn't get close enough to the villain to avoid hurting Tigra, whom Kraven was battling. Shortly thereafter, Scourge murdered Keegan, the super-criminal Melter's assistant. Disguised as Keegan, Scourge shot the Melter before destroying the criminal's melting device.
Soon after, Scourge joined the Grapplers wrestling team, posing as a woman called Golddigger. When the opportunity presented itself, he murdered Titania, one of several Grapplers who moonlighted as costumed criminals. The Scourge then disguised himself as a construction worker at the new Four Freedoms Plaza. Having escaped his underground prison, the gem-empowered super-menace Basilisk entered the Plaza intent on attacking the Fantastic Four, but Scourge shot him dead.
Next eliminating Hammer and Anvil while they fought the Hulk. He shot Hammer in the face, causing Anvil's death due to the symbiotic chain that linked the duo. Scourge then successfully killed three more super-criminals: the insect-powered Fly, Serpent Society founder Death Adder and ex-SHIELD speedster Blue Streak. The numerous deaths began to be attributed to a lone killer, and many super-villains feared for their lives. Criminal entrepreneur Gary Gilbert, formerly Firebrand, tried to organize a meeting of like-minded criminals at the Bar with no Name in Ohio, to discuss how to deal with the Scourge threat. Unbeknownst to him, Scourge had already targeted Gilbert and, posing as Bart the bartender, bided his time for the meeting.
Elsewhere, Captain America began to investigate the killings after encountering a frightened Blacklash. He found few leads, as his main suspect was Foolkiller, who was institutionalized at the time. Gilbert, meanwhile, had gathered 17 other criminals for this meeting, during which Scourge revealed himself, shooting and killing them all. Those murdered included Gilbert, the winged Bird-Man, nostalgia Turner D. Century, the catlike Cheetah, modern-day pirate Commander Kraken, wind-manipulating Cyclone, wealthy criminal athlete Grappler, blade-firing energy parasite Hellrazor, high-tech highwayman Hijacker, Latin American HYDRA agent Jaguar, Grapplers founder Letha, high-tech telepath Mind-Wave, holographic illusionist Mirage, the swordsman Rapier, the hoop-tossing Ringer, high-tech gunman Shellshock, corrupt construction businessman Steeplejack and martial artist Vamp. The liquid-manipulating Water Wizard, running late found the dead bodies and called in Captain America.
While the Avengers and local authorities investigated, Scourge made a failed attempt on the life of Flash Thompson, who was jailed and believed to be the criminal Hobgoblin. When Spider-Man intervened, Scourge escaped - but on his way out, he killed the psychic vigilante Wraith who had gone mad and was seeking vengeance on the police.
Scourge then unsuccessfully tried to murder a hospitalized Diamondback, but she escaped with the help of her Serpent Society teammate Cobra. Captain America planned to draw him out by posing as a survivor of the bar massacre. Disguised as Mirage, Captain America was placed in protective custody and reports of Mirage's survival were circulated in the media. The ruse worked, as Scourge learned of his apparent failure and his informant Domino trailed the fake Mirage to a cabin in the wilderness. Trying to kill "Mirage," Scourge was ambushed and captured by Captain America.
The Return of Scourge
Months later, Scourge killed Albert Malik, the communist criminal mastermind who called himself the Red Skull. Scourge also attempted to kill John Walker, who had then taken over the identity of Captain America. Walker injured his attackers before confronting the original Captain America.
After Walker gave the Captain America identity back to Rogers, a press conference for the event was set up. A government employee was hired to pose as a member of the Watchdogs extremist organization and "assassinate" Walker at the conference, with Rogers unaware of the plan to fake Walker's death. After seemingly shooting Walker, the "Watchdog" was shot by Scourge himself who was planning to assassinate Walker himself.
Scourge targeted Curtiss Jackson, recently revealed to be the criminal Power Broker. He invaded Jackson's compound, killing numerous employees. At the time, Jackson was inside his home with adventurer Priscilla Lyons, who had previously worked with Nomad and Captain America as Vagabond. As the two discussed the possibility of Lyons receiving Jackson's power-enhancing treatment, Scourge assaulted the building. Jackson contacted General Lewis Haywerth, who sent Walker (now in the costumed identity of U.S. Agent) to investigate. Walker captured Scourge, but not before a frightened Jackson accidentally turned himself into a deformed monstrosity using his own machinery.
Later Lyons required the U.S. Agent to save her from Scourge. In the process, World War II hero, the Angel (Thomas Halloway) was revealed as Scourge's financial backer, and Scourge was killed. Halloway was released due to lack of evidence.
Powers and Abilties
Scourge most often utilized a .50 cal Thompson machine gun with a sawed-off barrel and stock using special purpose 5-round clips. The rounds are equipped with acceleration activated, delay-triggered explosive shells. Scourge also utilizes a mobile van that serves as a sort of base of operations, complete with weapons, disguises, computer system and sleeping quarters.