CAPTAIN AMERICA #253-254 (1981): 1st Union Jack 3, Baron Blood dies

This story starts with Steve on a date.

Bernie and Steve have still never kissed on panel.  And just when they’re about to, the phone rings.


Avengers business–the eternal cock block.

The rest of this story is Cap in England.  He goes to visit his old pal Union Jack and while there he goes to Graymore Castle and meets Baron Blood, his old enemy from his WWII Invaders days, which is an excuse for John Byrne to do a big retrospective spread…

I love the way Roger Stern keeps bringing Cap’s history into this run.  Several flashbacks here.

Also, the first appearance of Joey Chapman, who is visiting his ancestral home. He learns his grandfather was Union Jack, puts on the suit, and faced off with Baron Blood.

Then a big showdown with Baron Blood.

Blood hypnotizes Cap and then tries to make him a vampire.

But instead he bites Captain America’s chain mail.

Then Cap comes to.

And then…


Cap kills.

And after that, the original Union Jack dies of old age.

Has anyone, in any comic, ever, before this (or even since) died of old age?

2 thoughts on “CAPTAIN AMERICA #253-254 (1981): 1st Union Jack 3, Baron Blood dies”

  1. Actually, I’d give this an “A+”- this is one of the best vampire versus superhero stories of all time. A quantum leap from the disappointment of ‘Giant-Size Spider- Man’#1, with it’s cop-out non-meeting of Spidey and Drac, and the X-Men’s encounter with the bogus Frankenstein Monster, in ‘Uncanny X-Men’#40. As for the “Cap committing murder” issue here, well, no. Killing a vampire cannot legally be considered murder, because vampires are already dead anyway. Wouldn’t hold up in court. Remember, on “The Night Stalker”, whenever Kolchak would dispatch a vampire, the authorities would hold him on murder charges just long enough to scare him, but would eventually release him, because they understood 1) This is a vampire, and 2) Kolchak has just performed a tremendous service to the world. ( because the police were always totally ineffective in capturing/destroying the vampire ) The same is true for Captain America, here. Destroying a vampire/werewolf/zombie/succubus/what-have-you is analogous to killing a cobra or a rattlesnake. It’s in the public’s best interest, so no legal authority is going to convict you for it. Technically, it’s classified as “justifiable homicide”. Insofar as Cap’s relationship with Bernie Rosenthal, one word: Why-??? Cap had absolutely nothing in common with this woman, and vice versa, and, eventually, Cap figured that out, and dumped her. Cap needs a woman who can share his way of life, somebody like Agent Thirteen or the Black Widow, or at least Diamondback. A civilian like Bernie Rosenthal would be pure baggage for the Capster, and their relationship/marriage would eventually disintegrate as a result. Frankly, Cap’s not a good candidate for marriage anyway, because as long as he is able to function as Captain America, that is precisely what he is going to do. He simply does not have the time for marriage and family. He needs the type of loose relationship that is enjoyed by Race Bannon and Jezebel Jade, from “The Adventures of Jonny Quest”, or something like what Daredevil and the Black Widow used to have. Cap’s just not marriage material, and I was so glad when Marvel killed the Steve/Bernie relationship. ( and scared to death that they were going to marry them ) Marvel has had to bust up the Spidey-MJ marriage, and the Storm-Black Panther marriage, for the same reason. Professional adventurers just don’t settle down to marriage and diapers. It’s counter-productive. But I really enjoyed “Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot……..” and “Blood on the Moors”, in spite of that idiotic “vampire costume” that Baron Blood insists on subjecting us to. Again, one of the best ‘vampire versus superhero’ romps ever written. “A+”!

    • OK, but I said “kill” not “murder.” Kill is just the ending of a sentient life–not a legal construct. So I stand by what I wrote. I like the Bernie Rosenthal story–it shows Cap’s tension between having his entire life be superheroics vs wanting the kind of human engagements that a larger-than-life character can’t enjoy


Leave a Comment