Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

Looking Through the Longbox – Foolkiller

This week’s title is the ten issue Steve Gerber-penned Foolkiller, from 1990, illustrated by JJ Birch. Foolkiller is a character created by Gerber, and has had several identities throughout the course of his career. The Foolkiller this ten issue series focuses on is Kurt Gerhardt.

“Late, Great” is an often overused sentiment but there are handfuls that deserve the designation, and one of them is the late, great Steve Gerber. A unique, powerhouse voice with a quirky point of view and take on comics, Gerber ranks among the best. There’s the obvious, fantastic work on such titles as Howard the Duck and Defenders, and the possibly overlooked work on titles like Nevada and Omega the Unknown. Some writers lose their way, lose their spark, lose their creativity, but Gerber always pushed the envelope.

Kurt Gerhardt is the epitome of down on his luck loser. His father was mugged and killed for six bucks, money the punksdidn’t even bother to take after beating him to death. This puts him into a depression, which costs him his job,the loss of which costs him his wife as well. Hollowed out, he soon finds himself working at a fast food joint and struggling to make rent. Not where he wanted to be at all. Depressed, numb, angry.

And then at his new crappy job, he’s robbed. Final straw.

Through a high tech community message board (this was 1990, after all) Gerhardt and previous Foolkiller Greg Salinger take on a mentor/protege relationship. Enough is enough, and Gerhardt wants to do his part in eliminating the fools in his neighborhood.

With trademark social commentary laced over expert storytelling, Gerber shows us a loser taking control of his
life. With the Foolkiller’s purification gun and new costume, Gerhardt begins killing those who he believes are
fools. He reshapes his body and mind in a clinical series of training sessions designed to toughen and desensitize. He makes himself into something more and less than human in order to carry out his new mission.

Gerhardt’s definition of fool begins to swing wider and more and more are turned to ash at the end of his gun. His sanity slips ever closer to the edge. What constitutes a fool? Is he a fool? is everyone a fool?

Though clearly a killer, we see that he’s not totally unaffected or remorseless. The sheer number of bodies–or piles of ash–he leaves behind begin to weigh on him. Which leads to even bigger chances, and more self-destruction.

So overall, a very interesting story about an ordinary man trying to become something extraordinary and the depths that effort takes him. Very recommended. I don’t think it even has a trade, but the singles are easily available.