FW Presents: Mountain Comics #11 – Captain America Battles Baron Blood!

FW PRESENTS: MOUNTAIN COMICS #11 – CAPTAIN AMERICA BATTLES BARON BLOOD!

It’s the debut of Season 2 of Mountain Comics! Rob welcomes Derek William Crabbe (HISTORY OF COMICS ON FILM) to thumb through the Marvel Illustrated paperback CAPTAIN AMERICA BATTLE BARON BLOOD, featuring stories by Roger Stern, John Byrne, and Josef Rubinstein!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

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10 responses to “FW Presents: Mountain Comics #11 – Captain America Battles Baron Blood!

  1. My wife has had the illustrated paperback of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for twenty years, but I only just discovered this last year. I always thought it was the novelization of the movie, but I happened to flip through it and saw Al Williams’ art (in color) all chopped up and rearranged on the pages. Blew my mind because I’d heard Shag talk about the RETURN OF THE JEDI paperback and, naturally, assumed it was bull$#@%.

    Glad you guys got to talk about this story. I wish the Stern/Byrne run had gone on even longer, though that can be said about many of Byrne’s projects.

    Also, I cosign every compliment given to History of Comics on Film. Great stuff!

    1. Yeah, I’m dubious about anything Shag says too.

      These Marvel Illustrated books are a weird curio. DC tried them too, a few years earlier, and the cutting up of pages and all that dead space makes them an odd read. But Marvel made the extra effort by commissioning painted covers, which made them more distinctive and of course look like “real” books.

      I don’t remember what other Marvel paperbacks might have been on sale at that newsstand that day, I wonder if I had a few to pick from and went with Cap?

  2. It’s funny.
    I wasn’t a big Marvel guy as a kid but I always got Invaders when I saw it. I had a sort of “I love it but why do I love it, it’s ugly’ response to Frank Robbjns’ art. I knew Baron Blood from there. Never saw this story.

    But I did have Captain America #250 back in the day. This must have been one of this ‘guest comics’, a book brought to the house by someone visiting who knew I loved comics. I would never have bought this on my own. Reading it through my years, I have come to appreciate it more and more.

    Cool format. Never seen it before.

  3. Great episode! I didn’t know Marvel did a paperback of this story for the longest time. I still have my Spider-Man 2 Marvel Illustrated book, which reprints Marvel Team-Up stories by Claremont and Byrne. Hey, Marvel knew Byrne was their top guy back then!

    I LOVE the Baron Blood story. One of my all time favorite comic stories EVER. Derek hit the nail (or maybe stake?) on the head, it’s Captain America (also my favorite Marvel character) dropped into a Hammer film. Add in the WWII callbacks and you have all the things that make me squee like a little fanboy. Cindy and I covered this story on Super Mates during a House of Franklin-Stein season, and I pulled producer rank and requested to be able to read the synopsis when Cap de Cap-itates the ol’ Baron, because it’s one of the most awesome sequences in comic history. CHUK!!!

    As for Ken and his friend being more than that, I was kind of wondering that too after we covered it. I couldn’t find anything concrete on those two as I recall, but the 2nd Union Jack, Jackie’s brother (Brian, I think?) was retroactively revealed to be gay some time later. So there you go!

    Great, GREAT episode, and I’m very happy to have Mountain Comics back. And oh yes, go watch HOCOF!!! Love it!!!

    Chris

  4. Always love hearing a discussion of the Stern/Byrne/Rubinstein Captain America run, or parts thereof, and this show was no exception. (And Chris can testify to the fact that I even went back and listened an almost 3 year-old episode of Supermates on the same story.)
    Personally, I think this is the best run of Captain America ever, and the Baron Blood story is in turn the best part of it.
    I never saw the specific book covered here, but I did have the X-men illustrated b&w paperback that collected Giant-Size X-men #1 and Uncanny X-men #117. I also had one of the DC ones that Rob mentioned, which collected a few Batman stories by O’Neil and Adams, most notably the Two-Face story from Batman #234. I have to say, I preferred the DC digests and the Marvel pocketbooks, as they were in color and included more stories.

    By the way, it’s worth recalling that the Captain America #250 came out in the summer of 1980 (and cover-dated October 1980), so the story was quite topical, as there was a presidential election campaign in full swing at the time.
    Also, the question of Ken and Joey possibly being lovers is negated in the story itself, as we see that Ken and the pub waitress, Jenny (who was being “treated” by the disguised Baron), are in a relationship.

  5. I was a teenage bloodhound when it came to hints of gays characters and yes, I’m with Derek, dots were a probable signifier of Don’t Mention the Gays. Good spot from Edo re Kenneth dating Jenny but he wouldn’t be the first gay to try girls on for size, maybe to see if he could be straight, maybe to just keep Mum quiet. And he knows that Joey is ‘a sound sleeper’. Suspicious!

    Then again, as the awful dialogue tells us, he’s an ‘art school tough’ (like Steve!) who ‘got the better part of me education in the streets’ (like Steve!). Maybe he’s just, so far as Lady Falsworth is concerned, common. Cor blimey, Jenny certainly reckons she’s a snob

    Berenice Rosenthal rhymes with Annie Hall, hmmm.

    I really love the way Byrne and Rubinstein blend, some lovely textural tricks. To my mind, the collection cover doesn’t compare to either of the covers on the Baron Blood issue, the way Cap is lit on the first is especially good. And inside, so much good stuff, like the panel with BB doing a gesture, his eyes blazing. And Asbestos Woman!

    I’m so glad you’re back, these Mountain Comics coincide with my first peak reading period. Great memories for me, great insights from you.

  6. I don’t recall ever seeing these editions. These original comics I recall clearly! What a great run of comics! These particular stories remind me that I was so impressed/satisfied/delighted/inspired with Cap #250 that I wished I could send copies to the American hostages who were being held in Iran at that time. The other story gave me a great appreciation for Invaders stories that I had never read! I really loved how Stern utilized those aspects of Cap’s adventures. Listening to your podcast, I started doing the math; I am now almost as old as Jackie is in the story. 35+ years ago, I was a teen-ager. How would I react if I met a friend from high school or college who looked exactly the same? (Frankly, when I see photos on facebook of folks like that, my initial thought is “when did you get so fat?” I do not express these thoughts.)
    The art is beautiful. Rubenstein brings a lushness to Byrne’s pencils that even Austin could not. Especially Cap and his costume. There is a weight and depth to the fabrics. There is a strong nobility to Cap. The backgrounds are enhancing and not distracting, something I don’t find in Byrne’s art after this time. In the panels you reproduced on the site, there is a little detail of Cap being reflected in a mirror an Baron Blood, standing next to him, is not. Great attention is paid to the all-important windows, but they are not necessary in the climatic panels, and so they are not drawn. Magnificent.
    I love Mountain Comics when it triggers my own comics nostalgia!

  7. So glad this is back! Like I’ve mentioned before, this podcast holds a special place for me, since my family had a cabin in the Pocono Mountains(near Big Boulder / Jack Frost) and I also spent my summers in the Poconos during the late 70’s and early 80’s. We would always stop and buy groceries near our cabin and I would always get a few comics to help pass the time. Since we are about the same age, I am sure we were buying a lot of the same books. Listening to this podcast always brings back such great memories and puts a smile on my face. Can’t wait for the next episode!

  8. Yes! the return of “Mountain Comics!” Rejoice! This may very well have been how I first encountered this story as well, if dim memory can be said to do anything like “serve.” I do recall my group of friends being appropriately stunned by Cap’s dispatching of the Baron, and I remember Union Jack making his way into our outdoor live-action games of “superheroes” for several months afterward. Great issue, great show!

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