Tag Archives: Baron Zemo

Captain America #100 Review

Printed in 1968, Captain America #100 was Cap’s first solo title in the modern Marvel Age. It concludes a story started back in Tales of Suspense #97 and features some of Cap’s soon-to-be iconic supporting characters, like the insidious Baron Zemo (well, sorta) and Agent 13, in addition to Avengers’ regular, the Black Panther and classic Marvel mainstay, the Sub-Mariner. Another solid book from the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby powerhouse that helped define Marvel in 60’s, Cap #100 gets it’s numbering from its predecessor, Tales of Suspense, which, ever since 1964’s ToS #59, had featured two stories in every issue- one for Iron Man and one for Cap. When the book hit issue #99, Marvel announced that starting the next month Iron Man would be moving to his own monthly title (The Invincible Iron Man #1) and Cap would be taking over Tales of Suspense, which changed it’s title but kept the original numbering.

While Cap’s life in the Marvel Universe started back in Avengers #4, this, in many ways, was a breakthrough book for the character and would go on to be one of Marvel’s longest running titles. So sit back and we’ll take a look at just how this classic book stands the test of time.


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Captain America #100

“This Monster Unmasked!”

Released: April 1968

Writer: Stan “The Man” Lee

Penciler: Jack “King” Kirby

Inker: Syd Shores

Letterer: Artie Simek

Editor: Stan Lee


The book opens up with a three page recap of Cap’s modern day “origin”. For those not in the know, Steve Rogers was frozen in ice at the end of World War II and remained a Cap-cicle for two decades (or more, depending on which timeline you’ve walked into). He spent that time being revered as a demigod by an Inuit tribe who discovered him, until one day an angry Namor, the Sub-Mariner, King of Atlantis, attacked the village and hurled the frozen figure into the ocean, where it was later discovered by the fledgling super-team, The Avengers!

Cap comes to in present day (with the help of Black Panther) and realizes that he has just had a flashback to when he was first found in ice (including remembering the parts he was frozen for) due to being knocked unconscious by Baron Zemo’s dastardly ray gun! It’s a ham-fisted way to shoehorn in the character’s intro, and the best part of the entire comic is the caption that follows:

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Stan Lee practically tells the reader “Yeah, we just threw this in here for recap purposes. It has no bearing on the story. Carry on.” Man, the things you could get away with in the Silver Age of comics. I guess, since the book was intended for kids, it was a necessary evil, but still, funny as anything I’ve ever seen. Especially the part about thanking himself for letting himself do the recap.

The action begins to unfold immediately following the intro scene and really doesn’t stop. We get caught up to speed pretty quickly on Cap’s current situation in which he and Panther are surrounded by Baron Zemo and his soldiers with no escape in sight! Zemo orders his newest recruit, a woman named Agent 13 Irma Kruhl, to shoot Cap and prove her loyalty to the evil empire. Agent 13 (she’s undercover, kids!) is hesitating, despite her orders to infiltrate Zemo’s organization and destroy his orbiting Death Ray at any cost. Seems that all her S.H.I.E.L.D. training is no match for her love for the Living Legend of World War II, who just can’t seem to recognize her even though she’s only disguised in a pair of glasses and a hat. Cap probably thinks she’s Kim Basinger portraying Vicki Vale- I know I sure did.

Suddenly Black Panther jumps into the frame, knocking Cap aside just as Agent 13 fires, causing her to “miss” (though Cap would point out that he notices she didn’t actually aim at him, but rather a few inches above his head). Instead of firing again, something that Cap thinks is odd, “Irma” turns to Zemo and says, “Meh, this isn’t important. Let’s go look at your satellite laser instead. We can always kill the super heroes later. What could possibly go wrong?” And you know what? Zemo agrees! Because why not?

So, as you would imagine, Zemo inexplicably escorts “Irma” over to his control station and after a brief explanation of how the machine works, including a “Without this control station my device would be useless.” part, the undercover agent blows the entire console to a fiery nothingness. Just as Zemo orders his men to kill the woman, Cap and Panther jump into action in classic astounding Kirby style.

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When I was younger I never really appreciated just how freaking amazing a panel like this was. Just glorious.

During the brawl, Agent 13’s glasses fall off and her hat is lost in the fray, allowing Cap to now recognize the woman who spared his life just moments ago. You know, the woman he loves. Who he has never seen before with a different hair style. I guess. Yeah, yeah. It’s for kids, I get it. Even still…really?!?

With all our heroes on the same side again, and the mission a success, our courageous trio starts to fight off the endless waves of purple-headed goons at Zemo’s disposal in an attempt to escape the villain’s sinister HQ. Agent 13, being a good S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, resigns herself to a satisfying death since she completed her goal, but Cap ins’t too keen on letting things end this way. He urges the group to move on in typical inspirational Cap fashion.

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The odds are against our heroes, though, as the white and purple goon squad closes in on them, cornering them in a room with no way out. Well, unless you count the giant air duct they climb into. Cap snags 13’s pistol and fires backwards to keep the hordes of evil at bay (and hopefully stifling all the critics who say “Captain America doesn’t use guns!”) giving the three enough time to escape. However, their exit route takes them directly into a room containing what Zemo refers to as “The Ultimate Bodyguard”- the dreaded Destructon!

The massive mechanical menace gets the drop on the Panther, knocking him down in one brutal blow but Cap quickly steps in to turn the monster’s attention away from the downed Wakandan. The Detructon proves to be stronger than Captain America anticipated, however, swatting him aside with a powerful uppercut. Black Panther springs back into battle and he and Agent 13 take a turn at trying to down the robotic beast. Though unsuccessful, it does give Cap enough time to notice some small metal studs on the android’s torso. SOMEHOW he concludes that those nodes must be the controls, and hunch pays off. By destroying one of them, he manages to shut down the Destructon, which is great in moving the story forward, I’m just not sure how he thought it was going to work. I mean, Destructon is a giant robot of Kirby design, and those things are always covered in all sorts of useless yet elaborate embellishments. Hell, this guy has those very same studs on it’s back and it’s legs, but a single punch to one of the torso ones takes the bot out of commission. Lucky play, Cap.

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As the Destructon drops, Zemo and his militia burst into the room. The criminal leader is enraged that his prized (but flawed) weapon was defeated and orders his men to open fire to finish off the heroes, but he’s standing a bit too close to Cap, who acts fast to grab the villain and unmask him. Yes, unmask Zemo. See, Cap continues his astounding observations and notices that Zemo’s mask sits loosely on his face- something that couldn’t happen to the real Zemo since the mask should be glued in place due to his accidental exposure to the experimental Adhesive X. Given Cap’s track record of game-changing scrutiny this entire issue, it’s even more puzzling that he couldn’t recognize Agent 13 earlier.

Thanks to Cap’s clever eye, the man in charge is revealed to be Zemo’s former pilot, who was present the day the actual Zemo died and decided to disguise himself as his fallen employer to carry on the Nazi’s dark work. This actually might help to explain why Zemo was so freaking dumb earlier in the issue. Or at least that’s what I’m going to say.

Outraged that they were tricked into following a false-Zemo, his henchmen open fire, killing the pilot before anyone can react. Black Panther orders them to lay down their arms, revealing that he is King T’Challa of Wakanda, and with his army moving in on the compound, he announces that they’re all under arrest. He offers them all a fair trial if they surrender, and they agree, mainly because they have no reason to fight without someone to pay them, which makes it somewhat confusing since they just killed a guy while claiming they only serve Zemo, but then allude to only working for Zemo because he paid them. Fickle bunch.

With “Zemo’s” sinister plan unraveled and our heroes safely out of harm’s way, the story concludes as S.H.I.E.L.D. destroys the now useless Death Ray. Cap, Agent 13, and T’Challa fly off into the sunset as Cap offers T’Challa his old spot on The Avengers before making the statement, “So long as freedom may be threatened–Captain America must follow his destiny–wherever it may lead!”

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Obviously this book has some iffy parts- mostly surrounding Cap’s abnormal deductive abilities, but it’s still a great read. The Lee/Kirby freight train starts moving and keeps a speedy pace throughout the entire thing with plenty of twists and action, and, although it comes a different era of comics, it doesn’t feel all that different from something you would read today.

Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America, Red Skull, and Baron Zemo

I’m not much of a reviewer, or a photographer, or a blogger, but I love these new Cap figures so much I just needed to share my thoughts with you. these are popping up in stores nationwide and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them after seeing some pics snapped by various sites, but I can easily say that photos do not do these guys justice. With that having been said, here’s some photos to look at!

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Let’s start with the main man himself, Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. This figure is modeled after his current Marvel NOW! look, and the boys and girls over at Hasbro really went all  out giving us a brand new sculpt for him.

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You can clearly see all the detail in Steve’s new uniform, and I for one appreciate the effort on Hasbro’s part, especially in an age when tooling a new figure is so costly for a company. The scale seems good to me- not too big and not too small, though I suppose your tastes may vary. The only issue I have is when you pair him up with the other Cap offerings that Hasbro has given us as of recent.

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You can see here that while he stands about even with the Ultimate version, the “Super Soldier” figure just towers over him.  I found the Commander Rogers figure to be a bit lanky looking and I think the proportions on the NOW! figure are more accurate to the character, but again, to each his/her own.

The paint apps are okay, most of the lines are clean and neat, and the colors themselves are really vibrant, but I did have some minor issues with the eyes not being even and some smudging on the top of the helmet. These weren’t enough to dissuade me from getting him, but I did see another in the store that looked ghastly, so buyer beware. Also something to note is the lack of shading throughout the figure- likely a cost-saving choice on Hasbro’s part. I don’t think it really hurts the figure all that much as most of Hasbro’s offerings have been light on the paint apps, but it does stand out when placed with the Toy Biz Legends.

Next up we have the great and often-elusive Baron Helmut Zemo.

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Not much to say about Zemo Jr. here, outside of the fact that he’s a great looking piece of plastic. Based on one of the evil Baron’s more modern appearances, this figure is a fantastic addition to the Cap shelf. Nice clean paint throughout the figure, and a great re-use of parts. The accessories are what make this guy stand out, in my opinion. The gun handle has an awesome spotted pattern on it harkening back to the fur collar on Barry Z’s old outfit, and that sword is straight out of the comics. I especially love the little “z” on his gun holsters.

Now on to my personal favorite of the bunch- the Red Skull. It’s so rare that we get an action figure of this guy that I can’t help but make a big deal when one finally pops up, and Hasbro knocked this one out of the park!

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His body is almost entirely reused parts from the 6″ Nick Fury figure from the Cap/Avengers movie line (or the old Ultimate Fury that came in the 2-pack with WW2 Steve) and it’s a good fit here. What really makes this figure a win is that AMAZING head sculpt! In my opinion this is the BEST sculpt Herr Shmidt has ever had and I love Kirby-esque design.

His guns are a little bizarre- one being a red pistol and the other being a…uh…ray gun…thing? I would have preferred a Kirby-esque blaster to go along with the head sculpt, but I’m not gonna be too picky here. Oh, and he comes with that pesky Cosmic Cube he loves so much. Great figure.

Overall I’m excited to finally get some new Cap villains in Hasbro’s line, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future. I plan on heading out next weekend and picking up the Hydra and AIM army builders if I can find them, but until then, here’s some more pictures!

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Marvel Legends Infinite Series CAPTAIN AMERICA found at Target!

Just yesterday I was saying how I wasn’t sure whether or not to spend money on the new Marvel Mashers figures I had been seeing at Toys R Us stores, and today I can safely say that I’m glad I opted not to blow this month’s toy budget on them. Why?
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Yup, that’s why. Hasbro’s rebranded Marvel Legends figures are creeping their way into Target stores across the country, and my store just got a case in!

These guys look AMAZING in-hand and I can’t wait to pop ’em open and play with them! I only got these 3 today, I’ll probably pick up the 2 army builders on my next outing (Hydra Agent and AIM Soldier), but I’ll snap some pics as soon as I rest up from a long night at work.

For those interested, the figures won’t “officially” hit stores until January 5th when Target resets their aisles, but there’s no block at the register if you find them out on the shelf earlier.

Most stores will likely have the cases in the backroom, but if you ask a team member to look it up they should be able to go grab it out of the back if they have it.

The DCPI number is 037 06 2560 for the assortment and they retail for $14.99 each. That should be all the info you need to get yourself these beautiful toys from the stockroom.

Happy hunting!

DST’s SDCC’13 Cap Minimate Reveals

Diamond Select Toys is showing Cap some serious love this upcoming year with a slew of new Captain America-themed minimates! Here’s a list of what we can expect to see (sorry, no pics)

Marvel Series 50 (Fan’s Choice)

  • Baron Zemo II (Helmut) and Nova Corps Army Builder
  • Baron Zemo I (Heinrich) and Nova Corps Army Builder (Variant)

Marvel Series 51 (Marvel NOW!)

  • Nick Fury Jr. and Heavy SHIELD Agent (With additional Steve Rogers pieces)
  • Maria Hill and Heavy SHIELD Agent (Variant)

Marvel Toys R Us Series 16 (Marvel NOW!)

  • Marvel NOW! Captain America and Scarlet Witch

Marvel Toys R Us Series 17

  • Black Widow and Modern Hawkeye

Marvel Series 54 (Captain America Comics)

  • Captain America (Fighting Chance) and Red Skull (Arnim Zola body)
  • Winter Soldier (Villain) and Falcon
  • Baron Von Strucker and Hydra Elite
  • Madam Hydra and Hyrda Elite (Variant)

Marvel Toys R Us Series 18

  • Captain America (Fighting Chance) and Falcon
  • Winter Soldier (Hero) and Hydra Elite

So for those keeping track, that’s 16 new Captain America figures that we’re getting, including 2 Army Builders (SHIELD and Hydra)! But wait! If you consider that there’s a basic SHIELD or Hydra agent under all that extra gear, each of those “Suped-up” versions can then each become yet another figure! And the fact that Fury comes with the additional parts to make Commander Rogers, that makes a total of 19 new figures to grace your minimate collections! My mind is exploding!

Keep an eye out this month as wave 50 is slated to see release in August, and let me know if you guys and gals find anything!

Captain America: The Bloodstone Hunt

This past week I decided to do some light reading, Captain America style.  Off I went to my local comic store (4th World Comics- if you’re ever on Long Island, check them out. You won’t be sorry) and started to thumb through the library of trade paperbacks they sell when I stumbled upon 2 interesting looking reads- Captain America and The Falcon: Madbomb and Captain America: The Bloodstone Hunt. After several minutes of wandering around deciding which to get, I eventually just ended up snagging both (I knew this was going to happen, but I needed to let myself “decide”) and away I went with my afternoon’s entertainment (though watching my fiancé try to assemble a bookshelf was plenty entertaining too).

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I had such fond memories of The Bloodstone Hunt, having been one of the earliest Cap stories I remember reading from my childhood, so I started with that one. Collecting Captain America Vol. 1 #357-364, the book was a much welcomed trip down memory lane. Suddenly I was there in 1989, 7 years old, following Cap on a ridiculous Indiana Jones-style adventure that only the 80’s could have produced. Ritualistic Incas, helpful mummies, a culturally diverse team of villains, and a globe trotting race to collect all seven Dragonbal…er, I mean all 5 Bloodstone fragments- man, the 80’s were great.

Let’s get this out of the way right now- by today’s standards, this book is pretty cheesy. Heck, by 1980’s comic standards it was probably a little cheesy. But hey, sometimes you need a little cheese.

The book begins with the introduction of the story’s main antagonists- Baron Zemo and his hired thugs, Batroc’s Brigade! In fact, Cap doesn’t even appear in the entire first issue (chapter) of the book! Instead we are treated to a plethora or entertaining accents from the wonderfully honorable Batroc the Leaper, the British mercenary Zaran, and the South American revolutionary known as Machete while they carry out their task of retrieving the remains of Ulysses Bloodstone for the ever-villainous Baron Helmut Zemo. Unbeknownst to the rogues, the on-again-off-again criminal Diamondback has followed them on their heist and enlists Cap’s help in an attempt to win over her Star-Spangled object of affection.

That hunt for the crimson fragments takes our heroes (and villains) all over the world and makes for some fun reading, including  plenty of corny dialogue and some out-there plot points (nice Mr. Mummy never did get his shiny rocks back), but writer Mark Gruenwald never steps too far off the path and keeps the characters very true to the way we love them. What’s really fun is that you could see this story being redone with modern story-telling techniques while only having to change very little, and for that I give Gruenwald a lot of credit. Not every comic from the CCA-era could boast that.

The six-part story is definitely the main focus of this book, but as I already stated this trade collects 8 issues of Cap, 357 through 364, so what gives? Well, this story arc has a special place in my heart for another reason. Towards the end of the Bloodstone adventure, we meet a soon-to-be arch-enemy of Cap for the very first time, and I’m a sucker for first appearance stories. The last two issues of this book continue the cliffhanger left at the end of the main story and to me are the real gems in this collection. I mean, what Cap fan doesn’t love Crossbones???

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…And don’t you forget it! Brock’s 1st appearance would definitely not be his last.

That’s right, Crossbones. Good ol’ Brock Rumlow makes his first appearance in the pages of The Bloodstone Hunt, and both Gruenwald and artist Kieron Dwyer make sure he’s gonna stick around for a while. Gruenwald must have been testing how far the CCA (Comic Code Authority) would let him go when he thought up this sadist, and Dwyer built a simple-yet-memorable design that would remain a fan-favorite to this day. These two might not be the first (or even fifth) creative team Cap fans think of, but their contribution to the mythos was a big one.

I think my only real complaint was with the trade paperback itself, and not the story it collected. For some reason, this collection doesn’t include the side-story teased on the cover to issue 357- “Teen Cap Battles the Sisters of Sin”. Marvel, why wouldn’t you include that in this volume? It sounds ridiculous! Oh well, I did get to relive my childhood when I read this book, so I can let it slide. Just don’t let it happen again, Marvel.

So maybe it’s just my personal preference for Rumlow and first appearances, or my never-ending love of nostalgia, but Captain America: The Bloodstone Hunt was definitely a fun read. Was it the greatest Cap story ever? Not by a long shot, but it sure was a wild ride and one I’d recommend again and again.