Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Quality of Life... Harbinger of Death!


Name This Marvel Villain??

We may never know why writer Mark Gruenwald gave our featured villain, Victor Lillian, the name of Blistik, though we can make a couple of reasonable guesses: First, that it sounds a little like "ballistic," the term used for someone who flies into an irrational rage over something that doesn't merit such a harsh response, which would certainly fit our villain's profile; or, in making a truly wild guess, Mr. Gruenwald might have been using the product Blistex at the time he was conceiving the character's name. I can't honestly dismiss either theory (though I'd love to discount the latter!).

At any rate, we encounter Blistik when Steve Rogers interrupts his jog to respond to reports of sniper fire at the park behind Avengers Mansion (specifically his statue there) and races by a group of kids who are indulging in a little noise pollution. Yet Steve's way of handling the situation is definitely not the approach taken by our costumed, self-appointed citizen on patrol.

Gruenwald's handle for our enforcer, however--"the urban Avenger"--seems an excellent choice, since Lillian's notion that he is avenging others with these disproportionate responses to what he considers to be serious infractions says quite a bit about his state of mind. To say nothing of what he regards as the common denominator for a major offense--a disregard for "quality of life," a wide brush which he could use to paint practically anything that he finds violative.

Elsewhere, as our snipers make their move on their living red-white-and-blue target, Cap discovers that another has reached them first--one who uses his own code for dealing with offenders.

Cap arrives on the scene too late to give the police more than a cursory description of this apparent vigilante; but he would have a more personal stake in Blistik's activities when Fabian Stankowicz, hired by Cap as a support crewmember at Avengers Mansion, grows despondent of his usefulness to Cap and heads to the Brooklyn Bridge to consider a drastic solution to his problems. Yet Blistik arrives and couldn't be more supportive, though the term is subjective from his point of view.

We can at least give some credit to Fabian, who had reconsidered his decision but was too frightened to climb back down. As for Blistik, the Civil War: Battle Damage Report lists Lillian as "Potential Recruit" (those who had yet to step forward and may require persuasion)--while a backup feature in one of the World War Hulk spin-off titles describes a fate that might have befallen our urban Avenger.


lordjim6 said...

As a Blazing Skull fan, I am offended. As for Cadaver, well... I guess I can be offended in principle. Is the Secret Defenders series worth reading? I am a huge fan of the original Defenders run, and I have always been hesitant to take a look. I sense heart break...

Comicsfan said...

Gosh, lj6, I picked up a (very) few issues of Secret Defenders but, honestly, I never really took to it. What brought it to mind?

lordjim6 said...

I think Cadaver basically only appeared in that one series. Sorry, I should have detailed my train of thought on that one.