Captain America #251-252
Issue(s): Captain America #251, Captain America #252
It's a great story with awesome art. A nice contrast is established between Batroc's semi-noble nature and Hyde's truly monstrous behavior.
So big, so fast alert: Batroc fighting Mr. Hyde: "Mon dieu! His speed is nearly the equal of my own! I would not have believed a man of such size could react so fast!"
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
makes you wish Stern had stayed longer on Cap. damnit Shooter.
Posted by: kveto from prague | October 8, 2011 10:05 AM
Kurt Busiek has letters in both issues.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 25, 2013 6:35 PM
Booo! Batroc was already cool before this! But Stern made him cooler indeed.
Posted by: David Banes | January 13, 2014 2:01 AM
After Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when I wanted to show my wife what Batroc was like in the comics, this was the one I gave to her to read.
I love how Stern / Byrne demonstrate how strong the shield is - first Dragon Man, now Hyde. All those who chose to oppose his shield must yield!
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 23, 2015 4:53 PM
There were some neat details in these stories. Just noting two from #251:
Bernie flips thru Cap's LP collection, and it's all Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, the jazz of his WWII days.
Later, Cap gets onto a crowded elevator, and a random guy worries in a thought balloon, "Wh-what's HE doing here? Could he have found out about those kick-backs?" Ha.
Posted by: Instantiation | September 29, 2015 10:14 PM
In honor of Memorial Day 2016, I have a longstanding question about Cap's wartime comrade that I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks of this forum can answer:
When (in real time) was Bucky's real name revealed to be James Buchanan Barnes?
I assumed I'd find the full name in my Kirby-Simon volumes reprinting the first 10 issues of the 1940s Cap book; but he's only referred to as Bucky Barnes at that time. The same is true of the 1960s revival stories in the Cap Omnibus Volume 1--which reprints the Kirby-Lee and Steranko periods.
My access to the 1970s-era Cap is spotty; but the earliest mention of the name "James Buchanan Barnes" I've been able to find comes in 1980's Cap #252 (the issue reviewed here) in the back-up feature "The Life and Times of Capt. America." Authors Stern and Byrne repeat the name late in their great origin issue, #255. Both are inveterate explainers of heretofore "missing" super-hero lore, and I can imagine they coined the name in their masterful Cap run (which I consider definitive of the character).
But I can also imagine erstwhile historian Roy Thomas filling in that gap in his "Invaders" run, which was the only place Bucky appeared with any regularity in the 1970s. The real James Buchanan was the 15th U.S. President, immediate precursor to Lincoln, and widely considered the worst president for setting the stage for the Civil War. Perhaps it amused Roy to redeem this discredited name through Bucky, the way Steve Rogers' 4F status was redeemed through his transformation into Capt. America? However, if Roy did coin it, it wasn't in the first 21 issues of "Invaders," which I have in reprint.
FYI, the recent "Captain America: White" by Loeb and Sale has Rogers refer to his sidekick as James, but that's an anachronism going by the publication chronology.
I know there were other Golden Age books featuring Bucky, and roughly a decade of Cap stories in the 1970s where Bucky's full name may have appeared. Maybe I've overlooked something else. But I wonder whether readers of this excellent site have any thoughts of their own on full name of comicdom's most famous fallen soldier? It's a fitting puzzle for Memorial Day.
Posted by: Chris Z | May 30, 2016 2:12 PM
Chris, it's not something i've tracked but it seems that you're right that Stern and Byrne may have come up with Bucky's full name.
Going beyond where you already looked, I tried a few issues with fake Bucky appearances (TOS #89, Cap #131-132, Cap #153-156), and the Roy Thomas and Steve Gerber origin revisions circa Cap #220-225, and the Bucky-centric story circa Invaders #26, and whenever Bucky's full name was mentioned, it was "Bucky Barnes" as if that were his actual name. The first Marvel Handbook's Book of the Dead does list his real name as "James Buchanan" but that was published after these Stern/Byrne issues. So it seems like that information appeared here for the first time. Of course i didn't do a comprehensive check and may have missed something, but as you say Stern & Byrne are likely candidates for adding this kind of info.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 18, 2016 12:19 PM
Fnord, thank you so much for this kind reply, and for the research you devoted to the question. I guess the next step is to contact Stern or Byrne for their recollections.
It's so interesting to me how things we regard as "canon" (in comics and elsewhere) can sometimes be of relatively recent vintage. Tracing the pedigrees of these little details is one of the pleasures of exploring this extraordinary site. Thanks again.
Posted by: Chris Z | August 8, 2016 4:24 PM
In support of the idea that Stern and Byrne had more than a passing interest in Bucky, and may have been the ones responsible for expanding his name to "James Buchanan Barnes," here's a tangentially related John Byrne statement about his and Stern's collaboration on Captain America, from the Byrne Robotics FAQ:
Did JB [John Byrne] ever consider bringing Bucky back?
JB: When Roger Stern and I were doing CAPTAIN AMERICA we flirted -- too strong a word already! -- with the notion of doing a story in which Cap visits a VA hospital, and in one corner of a ward full of damaged survivors of WW2 comes across a legless, armless vegetable who, upon seeing Cap, stirs from his forty year coma and is revealed to be Bucky. We were thinking poignant, painful, pathos, lots of P words. And we realized, instantly, than in two and a half seconds someone else would have transplanted his brain, cloned him, or some other nonsense. Anyone who has any respect at all for the whole story of Cap and Bucky would, ultimately, know it was best to leave Bucky dead. (3/30/1998)
Posted by: Holt | April 14, 2018 11:25 AM
I never thought Cap would be a fan of Sinatra's 40s' work as, at that time, it was largely aimed at bobby-soxers and teenaged girls and Sinatra was often poked at by radio comedians of the time. But yes, Stern's Cap is fantastic- as was everything Roger Stern ever wrote!
Posted by: Wis | May 20, 2018 1:54 AM
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