Captain America #253-254
Issue(s): Captain America #253, Captain America #254
He also gets to meet his former partner in the Invaders, Spitfire. It's the first time he's seen her since World War II. She is now a frumpy middle aged woman; her powers have faded. It's said that Brian, the first Destroyer and second Union Jack, died in a car crash in 1953. Spitfire's husband, a Lord Crichton, died in 1956.
The Invaders series only ended a little over a year ago by publication date, so this is almost an immediate follow-up.
Falsworth summoned Cap to help with a vampire problem. It seems that Baron Blood has returned.
There's a funny scene where Blood has hypnotized Cap and tries to bite him, but Cap's chainmail armor saves the day.
We also meet Spitfire's son, Kenneth Falsworth, who will later take on the Baron Blood mantle himself. Right now he's just an ordinary college student though. He's with his 'best mate' Joey Chapman, who takes up the Union Jack costume this issue to help Cap trick Baron Blood.
There's a little bit of a murder mystery style plot, with people wandering who Baron Blood is disguising himself as, and Chapman is suspected for a while, but it turns out to be the local doctor.
Baron Blood is killed this issue, beheaded by Captain America's shield.
There's occasionally some debate about whether Captain America has killed or should kill, and this issue is sometimes cited, but i don't think it's really relevant to the debate since what he's killing her is an undead vampire.
Early in issue #253 there's a scene that reminds me of the famous Dirty Harry "Do you feel lucky" scene except unlike Clint Eastwood, Cap doesn't have to threaten to shoot anyone to get the bad guy to give up. So maybe that's an answer to the killing debate (i don't really have a dog in that race).
Back in the States, while showing the developing relationship between Steve Rogers and Bernie Rosenthal, Stern and Byrne are having fun playing up the "man out of time" element that's been neglected in Captain America's series for a while now.
And a little later, we stumble into a Mary Worth strip by accident.
Issue #254 is dedicated to Frank Robbins, "the man who first drew Union Jack". It's worth noting that Robbins was still alive at this point; he died in 1994. And for those who wanted to see John Byrne draw some Golden Age characters, here you go:
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (2): show
Anna Kappelbaum, Baron Blood, Bernie Rosenthal, Captain America, Jarvis, Kenneth Falsworth, Spitfire, Union Jack (James Falsworth), Union Jack (Joey Chapman)
The X-Men were supposed to appear in this title eventually, but that was dumped when Byrne quit that title in order to give him a clean break.
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