Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #236

Issue Date: 
August 1977
Story Title: 
… the Wrath of the Black Baron!

Larry Lieber & Jim Lawrence (plot), Jim Lawrence (script) Ron Wilson (penciler), Fred Kida (inks), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

Captain Britain is brought to the Black Baron by the gargoyles. They fight and Captain Britain finds he cannot withstand his foe’s sorcery. He falls in a trance and reveals to the Baron that he learned of him from a book in the university library. The Baron orders his retainer to bring Captain Britain into the dungeon, while he will destroy the book.
In the dungeon, Cap tricks Hugo, by using his scepter to almost choke the retainer until he releases him. In the meantime, Kemp has found the book but, when he sees the full moon, he one again changes into a werewolf and crashes a nearby rock concert.

Full Summary: 

The Black Baron is about to bite the slumbering Courtney, while his animated gargoyles defeat Captain Britain. Suddenly, the Baron turns towards the balcony, as his stony slaves fling down the unconscious figure they have seized. The Baron orders his pets to return to their stations, while he ties up the hero.

No sooner is the rope knotted, as a sense of evil shocks the superhero from his daze. Glimpsing the Baron’s ring, he flexes his muscles and bursts his bonds. He recalls that the devil’s face is the same he saw on Lord Kemp’s ring and on the werewolf. Seeing the hero free himself, the Baron changes into a bat and flies out the doorway, down into the great hall of the castle. Cap follows.

The Baron silently mutters an enchantment and the suit of armor comes to life, throwing a battle ace at Captain Britain, which he barely manages to parry with his star sceptre. Now it’s his turn, he announces. As the Red Queen said to Alice. “Off with his head!” and he decapitates the enchanted armor. To his surprise, he finds the suit of armor empty. Yet ready to strike again at his command, the Baron boasts and orders the suit to take another pace and smash his face with the mall.

Cap falls back, then grabs a chained weapon from the wall and uses it to destroy the suit’s legs. The Baron is next, he threatens. The villain again turns into a bat and flutters up the chimney. The andirons- wolf figures in front of the fireplace come to life and grow larger before Cap’s disbelieving eyes. An instant later, the swollen beasts attack. Disoriented by the attack, as well as the smoke and flame, Cap cannot concentrate enough to create a forcefield. Overcome by the hellborn vapor, Captain Britain falls before beast and fume.

The Baron gloats. No hero can withstand his mystic power derived from Satan himself. Soon, he will awake under his spell and answer every question. Later, a helpless hero rises with unseeing eyes. The Baron asks which clued led him to the castle. A devil’s head ring and a history of the Baron’s Darkmoor preserved in the Thames University library, Cap replies. The Baron orders Hugo to take Captain Britain to the dungeon and put him in irons while he leaves for London.

As a bat, he swoops to Thames University and, moments later, the elegant figure of Lord Kemp enters the deserted room, looking for the antiquarian section and finally finding his prize. Suddenly, he notices loud music aside, with a pulsing beat savage enough for a satanic orgy. He draws aside the curtain to see where it’s coming from. As the light of the full moon shines down on Kemp, a shiver passes through his body and the werewolf within is unleashed. Ripping the books to shreds, the grisly monster leaps out of the window.

Meanwhile, Captain Britain awakes fettered in the dungeon of Darkmoor castle. He hears footsteps and finds his sceptre lies nearby. The Baron’s retainer, Hugo, watches him through the window in the door, mocking that he isn’t mighty enough to burst those irons.

In an attempt to divert him, Cap asks if he has brought the horde. Darkmoor’s horde of monsters. Aren’t they behind him? As the retainer turns around, Cap mentally focuses all his will, causing the sceptre to rise and strike Hugo in the throat, then pinning him tightly against the cell bars. Cap threatens that he will be choked within seconds, unless he unlocks the door. Hugo gropes for the keyhole, inserts and turns the key. The sceptre returns into Cap’s hands and, drawing strength from it, he bursts loose from the manacles.

Meanwhile, at Thames University a rock concert is in progress. She! She! No one but she always brings out the beast in me! the band sings. As if on cue, the werebeast breaks in through the window, to the delight of the audience, who believes this to be part of the show… at lest until the wolf strikes the guitarist. The audience panics, realizing the full-moon killer is in their midst.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Courtney Ross

‘Roddy’ Kemp / The Black Baron

Hugo (the Kemp retainer)


Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The second part of Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #165, the first part of Fantastic Four (1st series) #129 and the third part of Avengers (1st series) #118.

second story

Somebody doesn’t know their Lewis Carroll. It wasn’t the Red Queen (from Behind the Looking-Glass) who had the beheading fetish, but the Queen of Hearts (from Alice in Wonderland)

Issue Information: 
Written By: