LEE BAKER

Real Name: Private First Class Lee Baker

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: Marine, former schoolteacher

Group Membership: Leatherneck Raiders

Affiliations: Ben Grimm, Howling Commandos (Isadore "Izzy" Cohen, Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan, Nick Fury, Gabe Jones, Eric Koenig, Dino Manelli, Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton, Robert "Reb" Ralston), Morton, Samurai Squad

Enemies: Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Herbert Cholmondeley, HYDRA, Japanese soldiers, Jake Malloy, Colonel Sakata

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile aboard the U.S.S. Sea Wolf, usually in the Pacific Ocean; barracks at an American base in Australia
Formerly, Los Angeles, California

First Appearance: Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#1 (January, 1968)

Powers/Abilities: Lee Baker was a schoolteacher before the war, but also learned street-fighting techniques on the streets of L.A. He carried a rifle in combat, and was the Leathernecks' explosives expert.

History: (Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#1 (fb) - BTS) - Lee Baker was a schoolteacher in Los Angeles' ghettos, and was utterly devoted to his students, determined to bring them a good education. However, he gave up his career when America joined World War II, and was eventually assigned to Captain Simon Savage's Leatherneck Raiders.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#1) - Lee Baker joined the Leathernecks as they assaulted a Japanese base on Tarawa. The Leathernecks destroyed the munitions the Japanese had on Tarawa, and were then picked up by the Sea Wolf alongside the Howling Commandos.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#2) - The Leathernecks invaded a Japanese building and stole documents about the "phantom submarine" which had been sinking American and Japanese vessels, and the information led them to Hydra Island, where they encountered the Japanese Samurai Squad. The two teams fought each other, only to be ambushed and captured by HYDRA, with only Captain Savage and the Samurai Squad's Sgt. Morita remaining free.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#3) - While Savage and Morita fought their way through Hydra Island, the Lethernecks and Samurai Squad escaped their cells and confronted HYDRA's leader, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, but he showed them that the forces of HYDRA were so great that they had no hope of escape, and showed them Savage and Morita about to be attacked by HYDRA agents.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#4) - When the Leathernecks and Samurai Squad were distracted, Strucker dropped a cage from the ceiling on top of them, then arranged to have them all killed by firing squad. As he faced the firing squad, Baker's only regret was that he wouldn't be able to return to the ghetto. However, Savage and Morita came to their rescue. Strucker set the island to self-destruct, but the Leathernecks and Samurai Squad escaped together in one of HYDRA's submarines. When they had escaped from the exploding island, they met up with the Samurai Squad's rendezvous ship, and allowed their counterparts to depart on friendly terms.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#5) - The Leathernecks helped manipulate Rolfe Harrison into an arm-wrestling match with Little Bear, which led to a barfight between the American and Australian troops who had been watching. Harrison was forced to assist the Leathernecks in capturing Herbert Cholmondeley, who was making fake money for the Japanese. After the completion of their mission, Baker and the other Leathernecks were given three-day passes by Savage.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#6) - The Leathernecks went on an obstacle course run underwater, during which Little Bear's bow caught on one of the phony mines, setting it off. They failed the practice, and Sgt. Yates was furious with Little Bear for making him look bad. On their next mission, the Leathernecks teamed with a hundred marines in an assault on Burma, where they liberated a P.O.W. camp that had been holding Isadore "Izzy" Cohen of the Howling Commandos. They succeeeded in their mission, and saw Private Cohen off as he went to rejoin the Howlers.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#7) - The Leathernecks were on leave at Hawaii when they were ordered to rescue Lt. Ben Grimm, who was a prisoner of Colonel Sakata. They invaded Sakata's island on surfboards, and escaped the island aboard a plane flown by Savage under directions by Grimm, while Baker operated one of the plane's guns. They finally met up with a squad of American planes, who escorted them home.

(Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#8) - The Leathernecks held a wrestling match between Little Bear and Moose Barclay, but were discovered by Captain Savage, who was not amused. On their mission, they were sent to an island where two important Japanese generals were holding a conference, and told to capture them both without causing any casulties. The Leathernecks failed in their mission, but were then informed by Commander Morton that the entire mission was a training exercise, and that all of the Japanese soldiers they had fought were members of Nisei Squadrons. Morton revealed that this was in preparation for an upcoming mission alongside the Howling Commandos.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#9) - After Savage shaved his beard off because he looked too much like Jake Malloy, a gunrunner in Burma, he took the Leathernecks on a training exercise before their next mission, which was to capture Malloy himself. The Leathernecks journeyed to Burma and met Malloy and his men, who welcomed them heartily into their camp. Even though Malloy was supplying arms to pro-Japanese guerillas, he considered himself a patriot, and had the utmost respect for the marines. When the Japanese invaded Malloy's camp, he led his men alongside the Leathernecks against them. However, the Leathernecks still had to complete their mission, and took Malloy into their custody. As they returned to Australia with Malloy, he began to file through his bonds.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#10) - The Leathernecks were present on an island where an American base was when it was attacked by the Japanese. Little Bear was struck down by a falling tree during the bombardment, and Yates stayed with him while the others returned to their base. The Leathernecks fought back against overwhelming Japanese forces, and Stone saved Baker's life from an immense Japanese soldier. Baker returned the favour by saving Stone from an armed soldier. They were finally reinforced by Yates, Little Bear and newly-arriving American marines, and the Japanese were pushed back.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#11) - The Leathernecks were teamed with the Howling Commandos for a mission to a Pacific island where the Japanese had employed the American scientist Terry Reiker, exploiting her anti-war beliefs. The Howlers and Leathernecks fought their way past scores of Japanese soldiers in the jungle of the island. When the Leathernecks finally reached the castle where Reiker was, a sniper shot Lee Baker. Baker was in a state of shock, and did not realize he was hit. Although he seemed fine, he collapsed only seconds after announcing he was all right and died.

(Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#64) - As the Leathernecks mourned for Lee Baker, Sgt. Fury reminded the Leathernecks that they had a mission to complete, and that Baker had given his life for the sake of millions of Americans, and that they would have to complete the mission for his sacrifice to mean anything.

(Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#12) - The coffin containing Baker's body was loaded into a plane to be sent to Los Angeles for burial, as Savage, Yates, LaRocque, Little Bear and Stone saw their comrade's body off.

Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers and Syd Shores.

Baker was very much the "Junior" Juniper of the Leathernecks. Even the Howlers compared his death to Junior's.

Ben Grimm's presence in Captain Savage#7 is one of those Marvel-time problems for which there is no explanation as of yet. Given Grimm's references to his ever-lovin' Aunt Petunia, it's hard to rationalize this as an appearance by one of his ancestors. Perhaps Grimm was traveling through time?

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Lee Baker should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Captain Savage#11, page 19, panel 6
Captain Savage#1, page 11, panel 1


Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#2-6 (March-September, 1968) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#7 (October, 1968) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders#8 (November, 1968) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#9-10 (December, 1968-January, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders#11 (February, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#64 (March, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), John Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 06/21/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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