Story: CAPTAIN AMERICA#319 by Mark Gruenwald (writer) and Paul Neary (artist)
Victims: Bird-Man, Turner D. Century, Cheetah, Commander Kraken, Cyclone, Firebrand, Grapper, Hellrazor, Hijacker, Jaguar, Letha, Mind-Wave, Mirage, Rapier, Ringer (?), Shellshock, Steeplejack II, Vamp (?)
Synopsis: While Captain America continues to hunt for Scourge, Greg Gilbert continues to plan for the meeting. Finally the meeting arrives. Weaponry is checked at the door to prevent Scourge from posing as one of the villains (possibly if Jake was involved in this plan there was a second motive as well). The villains start to argue with one another as to the plan. Greg tries to maintain order and hear the plans one at a time. Jake says, "May I make a suggestion? You can all *eat lead and die!*" Jake is firing with two semi-automatic guns with explosive bullets at the same time at the same time, so there's no chance to veto that particular particular suggestion. After the shooting stops, Jake, removing his mask says, "Dead. All eighteen of them! Justice is served!"
Is this a key part of the overall Scourge storyline? Oh yes. Aside from being a key part of the Hunt for Scourge story, it's his greatest success, though it also plays into his downfall in the next issue.
Does this tie into the main story in this issue? It *is* the main story this time.
Comments: From what I heard Vamp returned from the dead in Deadpool. Apparently there are multiple Vamp's.
The Ringer returned from the dead in Lethal Foes of Spider-man. His return seems more unlikely. The Ringer took three gunshot woulds. One of which, the one that leaves the largest hole in the drawing from Marvel Universe Deluxe#19 (the new illo); judging from the panel reprinted in Captain America#320 the biggest hole was very close to the heart and probably should have taken out at least part of it. The Ringer is strill there in #321 because Captain America and Water Wizard seem to get an accurate body count. So the only time a swipe could have occured would be when Captain america and Water Wizard left the building, if they did before the police arrived, since AIM recovered the body on site. If the return isn't some hoax, the most plausible scenario is the police were called elsewhere either because Scourge cut the lines at the bar (if indeed the bar had a phone) or because Cap or Water Wizard wanted to make the call away from the bodies. Even so it's strange that no one noticed that the body count Cap gave to the press was lower than it should be (the press knew how many bodies there were from Cap because it figures into a plan next issue).