Scalphunter (Marvel Comics)
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Scalphunter from Uncanny X-Men #211
Art by John Romita, Jr.
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #210 (Oct 1986)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Alter ego||John Greycrow|
United States Army
|Notable aliases||John Riverwind|
Scalphunter (John Greycrow) is a fictional mutant villain character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. His first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #210. This character was created by Chris Claremont, John Romita, Jr. and Dan Green.
Fictional character biography
Scalphunter is a Native American (specifically Comanche) who originally fought in World War II for the United States, but is to be executed for murdering his fellow officers. He gets shot by a firing squad and is believed killed. However, he survives and is found and recruited by enigmatic mastermind Mister Sinister early on. Later, apparently not working under Sinister, he kills the employer of the savage mutant Sabretooth and offers Sabretooth money to join Scalphunter's boss as a mercenary, which Sabretooth accepts.[volume & issue needed]
Years later, he meets the thief Gambit; Uncanny X-Men #324 reveals that Greycrow and Gambit were once co-workers at an Arizona diner, where they and waitress Claire De Luc comprised a trio of close friends. Gambit would later recruit Scalphunter as a member of the Marauders,[volume & issue needed] a band of assassins operating under, by apparent coincidence, his one-time boss Sinister (and reuniting him with one-time ally Sabretooth, who was field leader for the loose team), who sends the Marauders to murder the entire underground mutant community known as the Morlocks. He shoots young Morlock Tommy after using her to lead the group to 'The Alley', the Morlock's home in the tunnels.[volume & issue needed] Gambit apparently follows the Marauders, having learned of their intentions, and manages to save one Morlock, who will grow to be Marrow.[volume & issue needed] As seen in flashback in Gambit (third series) #8, Gambit was appalled that Greycrow would be involved in such a massacre, suggesting that at the time Gambit knew little of Greycrow's violent past. In the course of the Mutant Massacre, the Marauders clash with the X-Men and the original X-Factor team, as well as Thor and Power Pack, leaving several Marauders dead.[volume & issue needed]
Subsequently, the X-Men thwart the Marauders' attempt to assassinate Sinister's former pawn, Madelyne Pryor, in San Francisco.[volume & issue needed] Failing, they try once more in New York City during the demonic invasion Inferno event.[volume & issue needed] During this time, it is revealed Sinister has cloned the entire band of Marauders, to replace any members of the team who are killed with exact replicas[volume & issue needed] (as was done in the case of the Marauder known as Riptide).[volume & issue needed] Scalphunter manages to live throughout his encounters with heroes,[volume & issue needed] but when the Marauders later fight dimensionally-displaced Nate Grey after trying to assassinate Sinister's former servant, Threnody,[volume & issue needed] he is killed and then cloned.[volume & issue needed] When Sinister poses as Dr. Robert Windsor a scientist in the Weapon X program, Scalphunter is still helping him obtain mutant DNA, as Sinister supposedly helps prisoners escape, only to take them to his own labs for experimentation.[volume & issue needed]
Scalphunter is one of the still-powered mutants living in tents on the Xavier Institute lawn after almost all mutants were depowered on M-Day. When immortal mutant Apocalypse comes, Scalphunter leaves and serves him. When Havok warns Scalphunter and fellow Apocalypse recruits Fever Pitch and Skids that they are in over their heads, Scalphunter replies that Apocalypse has explained that he is on the side of mutants in this case, as they are in danger of becoming extinct.[volume & issue needed]
X-Men: Messiah Complex
Following Apocalypse's defeat, Scalphunter returned to his master and rejoined the Marauders. Scalphunter is involved in the initial assault on Cooperstown, Alaska for the mutant child. During the X-Men's search for the mutant child he shoots and badly injures Nightcrawler. He later assists the team in their defense of Sinister's base from the X-Men on Muir Island. During the battle, he shoots Wolverine in the head, but subsequently is pinned to wall with one of Warpath's knives when he tries to kill Hepzibah.
X-Men: Divided We Stand
After Sinister's defeat and the death and disbanding of the rest of the Marauders, Scalphunter flees to a tiny town in the desert, where he is again working at a diner, as a cook. He fears the X-Men are going to kill him, and has fully gone into hiding. A preacher begins to eat at the diner, and constantly plagues Scalphunter with incessant chatter. One night, Nightcrawler attacks Scalphunter in his trailer, revealing that he was the preacher, in disguise. Scalphunter tries to kill him, but is easily defeated. Nightcrawler tells him that he sought him out to kill him, but changed his mind as he realized that Scalphunter had no soul - he was just a copy of a copy. He then forgives Scalphunter for all his sins, past and future, then leaves. The next day, Scalphunter is seen back in the diner cooking, now wearing a gold cross. He also has tried to mend fences with the X-Men, notifying them of a break-in at one of Sinister's old labs.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Scalphunter's mutant powers include superior regenerative abilities, which may slow his aging to a degree. He also has techno-morphing powers, allowing him to construct mechanical devices at a superhuman rate from the numerous components attached to his costume, but it is unclear if these abilities are also mutant powers or instead derived from his costume. Scalphunter is an extraordinary master of conventional firearms, and has been known to use a wide variety of weapons including pistols, rifles, shotguns, laser guns, and miniature cannons.
House of M
X-Men: The End
Scalphunter appears in X-Men: The End as a member of Sinister's team of Marauders sent to kill X-Force and Apocalypse while capturing Cable.[volume & issue needed] He fires the bullet which infects Irene Merriwether/Apocalypse and Shatterstar with the Technarx assimilation nannites. He then wounds a distracted Cable but is killed by Domino soon after.
- Uncanny X-Men #324
- Gambit Vol. 3 #8
- X-Men: Messiah Complex One Shot
- X-Men #205
- New X-Men #46
- X-Men: Divided We Stand #1
- Uncanny X-Men #516
- House of M (vol. 1) #6 (2005)
- X-Men: The End, Book One, volume 4 #516