The Jury (comics)
Jury. Art by Mark Bagley
|First appearance||Venom: Lethal Protector #2|
|Created by||David Michelinie
The Jury is a fictional group of armored vigilantes in the Marvel Comics universe. The team was first introduced in Venom: Lethal Protector #2.
The Jury was originally conceived and financed by General Orwell Taylor whose oldest son Hugh had been murdered by Venom. Hugh was a prison guard at the Vault, a prison for super powered criminals, when he was suffocated by Venom's living costume in Venom's attempt to escape.
Orwell gathered together Hugh's friends consisting of his fellow co-worker and friend Curtis Elkins (Sentry), Samuel Caulkin (Ramshot), an army buddy of Hugh's and Hugh's younger brother Maxwell Taylor (Screech). He also recruited two others worked with Hugh at the Vault (Firearm and Bomblast). Orwell gave the five of them costumes that were based on the Vault's Guardsman armors (a design stolen from Anthony Stark aka Iron Man). The suits were outfitted with sonics and fire, both of which are anathema to Venom.
The team's first mission was an attempt to destroy Venom but it failed. Later, they legally rented spots on multiple New York City rooftops and used sensory equipment to scan for Spider-Man. This did not meet with the expected success because there are multiple superheroes that operate high above the city streets. Spider-Man figured out their plan and manages to ambush one of the Jury's maintenance men. The man stands up to Spider-Man, encouraging the superhero to take him to the police, as the equipment is all legal.
Unsure what to do about the entire situation, Spider-Man intentionally baits one of the sensors, drawing the entire team out into a fight. Ramshot was unsure about kidnapping Spider-Man and was ordered back to base. Spider-Man was defeated by the remaining members. He was drugged and tried for his part in originally bringing the Venom symbiote to Earth.
Witnesses were present to testify about Venom's crimes. One was a woman whose child had been traumatized after witnessing Venom's monstrous form (Venom had been trying to protect the girl from what he thought was a dangerous stranger). This trial was part of a plan designed to guilt Spider-Man into helping them steal a government designed weapon capable of slaying Venom.
Orwell seemed to lose sight of his original goals and began making shady deals with the Life Foundation (of which he was a shareholder) thus relegating the Jury to bodyguards for the foundation's clientele in their bunkers. Orwell began to become paranoid that his team was against him. Orwell eventually abandoned his team to die at the hands of a mutated Carlton Drake. Orwell Taylor and Roland Treece were later arrested by federal agents after trying to flee the Life Foundation.
Eventually the Jury breaks from Orwell and reinvent themselves. Orwell's eldest son Maxwell gives up his Screech identity and chose to redesign the Jury and set himself up as the defense lawyer in the Jury's trials of criminals. A mysterious hooded man named Gavel is assigned to be the judge for all their trials. Gavel was not an actual member of the Jury. He only served to deliver the verdict and always via a transmission from a secret location. A lawyer named Olivia Lentz was recruited to serve as the prosecutor for their trials. Finally the Jury recruited Jennifer Stewart, a former Guardsman whose husband Ryan was killed during a riot at the Vault. Stewart took the codename Wysper and took Screech's place in the team. At this time the Jury operated out of a secret location outside of the United States. They also had a base in southern California located in the office of a shell company named Equity Inc. which supposedly made office furniture. The Jury used a flying ship called the Justifier. Their briefing room was called "The Box."
Shortly after recruiting Wysper, the Jury invaded the small country of Boca Del Dios and freed Luis Alvarez the second Tarantula from a prison guarded by robotic dreadnaughts. The Jury tried Tarantula and after presenting testimony he was convicted. Tarantula tried to escape and was told by Gavel that if he killed Wysper, he would be free to go. Tarantula and Wysper battled, Wysper was unsure she could kill Tarantula until she was informed by Gavel that Tarantula was the one who murdered her husband Ryan during the riot at the vault. Wysper snaps Tarantula's neck and was officially made a member of the Jury.
The Jury later tracked down Scott Washington aka Hybrid, a former Guardsman who was bonded to a symbiote that was in fact a gestalt of four of the five symbiotes who were once culled from the seed of Venom by the Life Foundation. The Jury fails to kill Hybrid due to the intervention of Hybrid's friends the New Warriors. After a fight that both sides confessed got out of hand, all present are convinced that Scott can control the symbiote; he had used pleasant memories of his times with his old Vault colleagues to calm the entity.
Later the Jury lost their funding and hit hard times. They were forced to be hired goons yet again but this time working for Edwin Cord, a business rival of Anthony Stark aka Iron Man. U.S. Agent was made their leader. The Jury was sent after the Thunderbolts who had recently been revealed to be the Masters of Evil. The Jury was defeated by the Thunderbolts and their new leader Hawkeye. Weeks later The Jury was ordered not to go into battle with Graviton and the Thunderbolts by Edwin Cord who had no desire to waste his resources in battles in which he had nothing to gain personally. The U.S. Agent and the Jury would sometime later go against Cord's mandate and help the Thunderbolts fight the new Secret Empire.
Recently the Jury fought the New Thunderbolts. They were defeated easily by Songbird.
- Bomblast (Parmenter, first name unknown)
- Firearm (real name unknown)
- Ramshot (Samuel Caulkin)
- Screech (Maxwell "Max" Taylor)
- Sentry (Curtis Elkins)
- U.S. Agent (assigned to lead the group)
- Wysper (Jennifer Stewart)
- Edwin Cord (financier)
- Gavel (the judge for their trials, real name unknown)
- Olivia Lentz (the prosecutor for their trials)
- General Orwell Taylor (founder and original financier)
- Ms. Santiago (monitored motion detectors for Orwell)
- Ms. Bronson (monitored motion detectors for Orwell)
- Venom: Lethal Protector #2-3
- Amazing Spider-Man #383-385
- Venom: Sinner Takes All (1995) #1-4
- Venom: The Hunted (1996) #1-3
- Thunderbolts #23, 28 & 32
- Thunderbolts: Breaking Point (2007)