The first time I made the “Foolkiller, Stingray, and Nightwatch” joke, Watson assumed I was referencing his longstanding Foolkiller spec script that I am sure will make an excellent addition to some alternate universe’s version of the MCU.
Point is, he really likes Foolkiller. And it might not really be a spec script. He still likes Foolkiller. So, who’s Foolkiller, and is he Mr. T who classically doesn’t even pity a fool?
OK, he’s not Mr. T. He’s four different guys, and they all kill fools.
The biggest difference may be what they define as fools.
The first Foolkiller was one Ross Everbest. He had a thing for religion, in that he was really into it and he kinda lost it when his mentor/reverend turned out to be something of a hypocrite, and that led him to kill his first fool. Inspired by that, he opted to remove sinners from the world. Sometimes he’d even give out a card, warning said fool to repent within the next 24 hours. Oh, Ross still killed the target with his purification gun, something that could disintegrate any human being more or less instantly, No, the card was to allow the target a time to get good with God before meeting the big guy. That’s…considerate?
Anyway, Ross died battling the Man-Thing, so really, who’s the real fool?
It wasn’t long before a new Foolkiller, one Gregory Salinger, showed up. He was less religious and more inclined towards targeting organized crime. Or materialists. Or the lazy. Or just the mediocre.
Damn, that guy had problems. He still had the purification gun, but he had issues. What kind of issues? After losing a fight to Spider-Man, he overheard someone say only a fool would fight Spider-Man and almost killed himself. This Foolkiller bounced in and out of insane asylums, eventually ending on Deadpool’s “Mercs for Money” where he got a psychiatry degree and became (against his own judgment) Deadpool’s personal therapist. That led to his eventually becoming a psychiatrist for S.H.I.E.L.D. with the understanding that he could kill any of the supervillains he was treating if they didn’t show improvement.
Foolkiller #3 is one Kurt Gerhardt, and he may be the most anti of anti-heroes in the bunch. He first showed up in the 90s, which explains so much, and he wasn’t above targeting not just the usual bunch but also people he deemed too stupid or even rivals of his own. So, really, it isn’t too much of a surprise that he was last seen in a supervillain prison.
And then, finally, there was Mike Trace, but he didn’t use the purification gun since he was in Marvel’s MAX line for mature readers and tended towards more real world issues and problems that all ages comics tend to skip. Basically, he was more Punisher than the others.
Then again, since he’s in the MAX line, he might not exist in the same universe that keeps giving us Foolkillers who simply live to kill fools.
So, yes, there have been many Foolkillers, but the biggest difference seems to be who they consider a fool that deserves killing. Then again, at least some of them have been polite murderers.