Super Mates Episode 41: Return of the Vampire / Captain America Battles Baron Blood!


Giant-Sized Finale! In their last, harrowing trip into the House of Franklin-Stein (for this year anyway), Chris and Cindy discuss 1943’s The Return of the Vampire starring Bela Lugosi as a vampire that is NOT Dracula. Seriously, he’s not. We mean it! In war-torn London, vampire Armand Tesla rises from his tomb to exact his revenge on those who vanquished him. Along the way we meet his werewolf minion, and even more unbelievable for a 1940s horror film, a strong female protagonist! How does this Columbia release stack up to the fabled Universal Monster series? The answer may surprise you!


Then, the Super Mates end the comic portions of the series in style, by taking a fond look at Captain America # 253 and 254 by Roger Stern, John Byrne, and Joe Rubenstein! The Star-Spangled Avenger answers the call of a friend and need…his old Invaders teammate, Union Jack! The aged hero is convinced a series of grisly murders are the work of his vampiric brother, Baron Blood! What follows is a timeless classic, with one of the most shocking endings of the Bronze Age of comics!


Listen on!


Rob Kelly and Chris discuss Spidey vs. the Man-Wolf and Dracula over at the Power Records Podcast!


Rob and Chris attend the Mad Monster Party over at the Film and Water Podcast:



Let us know what you think! We’d love to read it aloud in an upcoming episode. Drop us a line in our comments section, or email us at If you're listening on iTunes, please consider leaving a review of our show! We’re also on Facebook!



Next time: Back to Opal City for the next installment of The Starman Chronicles! Plus your feedback!


2 responses to “Super Mates Episode 41: Return of the Vampire / Captain America Battles Baron Blood!

  1. Well, here I am again, commenting years after the fact; this time I was led here by the comment Chris left for the recent FW Team-up episode; since the Stern/Byrne run on Cap is my absolute favorite run of Cap stories ever, I had to give this one a listen. I’m glad to see your thoughts pretty much echo my own feelings about the excellent Brother Blood story, which was sort of a fitting end to this spectacular run of comics (with the retelling of the origin in #255 as a sort of epilog).
    And yes, that panel where Cap lops off the Baron’s head is quite effective, but both of you neglected the mention the fact that it has Joey saying “Bloody—!” as it happens, which I thought was a nice added touch.
    The only criticism of this story that I would have is that last panel, with the really sappy text about the empire “upon which the sun never set”; didn’t bother me as a kid, but when I re-read that as an adult I found it really questionable, in that it really glosses over what the UK did to acquire and maintain that empire.

    One other thing I have to note: it seems like every time this run of Cap comics is discussed in the comics blogosphere or, for that matter, podcastverse, Shooter’s alleged edict on single-issue stories comes up. It seems like Byrne is the only one who insists on this version of events. Shooter (obviously) denied it when he was still blogging, and if you look at the majority of Marvel’s output at the time, you can see that there was no sudden switch to only single issue stories in any of its titles.
    Roger Stern, in an interview posted at the Marvel Masterworks site, provides a far more plausible explanation for why he and Byrne stepped away from the title (at that link, go down about half-way through the page, it’s the response to the question “Can you explain why John and you left Cap after #255?”).

    1. Wow, glad my comment sent you back to listen to this episode. I guess I forgot Joey’s “bloody” in my enthusiasm for describing Cap de-cap-itating.

      As for the Stern/Byrne departure, I haven’t listened to the episode in a long time, but I was probably too quick to put the blame on Shooter. I try to be a bit more fair when bring up such things nowadays, qualifying such things as ONE side of the story. But hey, you live and learn.

      Thanks as always for the time-travelling comments!


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