LELAND BAXTER

Real Name: Leland Baxter

Identity/Class: Human (active circa 1946-1949)

Occupation: Owner of the Leland Baxter Paper Company

Group membership: None

Affiliations: Jeff Mace (Captain America)

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: Noah Baxter (brother or descendant), Abigail "Abby" Baxter (sister-in-law or some other in-law), Alexandria Baxter (niece or descendant, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City, New York, U.S.A.

First Mentioned: (Leland Baxter as a person) All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (October, 2009)
   (Leland Baxter Paper Company) Fantastic Four: First Family#3 (July, 2006)
   (Baxter Paper Company) The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4 (April, 1983)

Powers/Abilities: None

Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

History: Nothing has been revealed about Leland Baxter's life before 1946.

(All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (fb) - BTS) <1946> - Leland Baxter owned the Leland Baxter Paper Company and had made millions of dollars by selling paper that was used to make newspapers and comic books.

(All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (fb) - BTS) - Leland Baxter and Jeff Mace knew each other "a little bit" through Mace's work as a reporter.

(All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (fb) - BTS/The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4: Fantastic Four Headquarters entry (text)) <late 1946> - Construction had begun (or was about to begin) on a new building meant to serve the Leland Baxter Paper Company's operations in the mid-Manhattan area – a skyscraper that was to be called the Baxter Building.

(All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1) <late 1946> - The All-Winners Squad's headquarters in Times Square was destroyed by Madame Death in retaliation for the part they had played in causing the death of her lover, Future Man.
   The next day, as the team was discussing rebuilding their headquarters elsewhere in New York City, Captain America (Jeff Mace) mentioned that he might know of a place. He described it as "new construction" and said that the owner, who he knew a little bit, was a civic-minded "good guy" who, in a weird way, owed the AWS because he had made his millions selling paper to newspapers and comic books. The Human Torch thought that was an excellent idea and asked Mace to look into it.

(All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (fb) - BTS) - Jeff Mace sent a note (or a letter) to Leland Baxter in which he explained about how the All-Winners Squad needed a new headquarters.

(All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (fb) - BTS) - Leland Baxter responded by sending Mace a blueprint of THE BAXTER BUILDING with the following message written on it:

Jeff -
Would LOVE to help AWS! Can
modify to their needs!
Have Cap call me!
Leland

(Captain America: Patriot#2) <April, 1948> - The upper floors of the Baxter Building were still under construction at this time. A newspaper article stated that it was at "the corner of Madison and 42nd" and also referred to it as the Leland Baxter Building.

(The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4: Fantastic Four Headquarters entry (text)) - "The original Baxter Building was erected in 1949, built by the Baxter Paper Company..."

Nothing has been revealed about Leland Baxter's life since the original Baxter Building was erected (completed) in 1949.

Comments: Leland Baxter created by Karl Kesel.
   The Baxter Paper Company created by the staff of the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (led by Head Writer Mark Gruenwald).
   Renamed the Leland Baxter Paper Company by Joe Casey.

   Although Joe Casey technically "created" Leland Baxter when he renamed the Baxter Paper Company, his story didn't treat the character as anything other than a name. In contrast, Karl Kesel's story, although not depicting him on-panel, did make Leland Baxter more of a character by providing some information about his life and making him, via that note, someone who had a BTS effect on the story, so that's why I listed Kesel as Leland's creator.

Baxter Building data
   Although I will definitely NOT be doing a profile on the Baxter Building itself, here are some interesting facts about its history, listed in the order in which they were revealed:

  1. The Fantastic Four's "secret headquarters" first appeared (without being named) in Fantastic Four I#3 (March, 1962). At that time, the FF stated that they "own(ed) the entire tower of this building."
  2. The name of the "great skyscraper" which housed the Fantastic Four's headquarters was first established as being the Baxter Building in Fantastic Four I#6 (September, 1962).
  3. In Fantastic Four I#9 (December, 1962), the FF were forced to "sell this skyscraper building of ours" in order to pay their bills. However, by the end of that issue they were back in the building (apparently as tenants).
  4. As of Fantastic Four I#111 (June, 1971), the Fantastic Four had a landlord (not identified as "Collins" until issue #114) who wanted to break their lease and evict them. Oddly, Mister Fantastic mentioned that it was this landlord who "first built this place."
  5. The "Fantastic Four Headquarters" entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4 (April, 1983) states that "The original Baxter Building was erected in 1949, built by the Baxter Paper Company and since owned by a number of other corporations, the last being Reed Richards." An image shows that the building was on "38th Street" (but I'm not aware of that address ever being used in any story).
  6. Fantastic Four I#244 (July, 1982) confirmed that the FF had been "forced by bankruptcy to sell (their) headquarters to (Walter) Collins" and that that had occurred "Way back in issue #9!"
  7. In Fantastic Four III#39 (March, 2001), a vacant lot in New York City at "42th [sic] Street and Madison Avenue" was suddenly filled when the new Baxter Building was lowered onto the site from space.
  8. In Fantastic Four III#43 (July, 2001), when talking about the first Baxter Building, Johnny Storm stated that Noah Baxter "and his brother originally owned this place."
  9. Fantastic Four: First Family#3 (July, 2006) established that the Baxter Building was at "42nd and Madison" and that it had been built in the Forties by the Leland Baxter Paper Company. A map clarified that "42nd" was "E. 42ND ST" but the map also placed the Baxter Building a block to the east of Grand Central Station even though Madison Avenue is actually to the west of that station. Ooops?
  10. All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (October, 2009) revealed that the All-Winners Squad headquarters in Times Square was destroyed in late 1946 by Madame Death. The next day, Captain America (Jeff Mace) mentioned that he might know a place that could be their headquarters in NYC. Mace stated that it was "new construction" and that he knew the owner who had "made his millions selling paper to newspapers and comic books." That owner was Leland Baxter, the project was THE BAXTER BUILDING and the client was The Leland Baxter Paper Company.
  11. Captain America: Patriot#2 (November, 2010) confirmed that in April of 1948 the Leland Baxter Building was in the process of being built on "the corner of Madison and 42nd" and that it was intended to be the "future home" for the All-Winners Squad.

   The Baxter Building's location is marked on the maps of Manhattan that were presented in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#7 and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#8. Unfortunately, there are a number of inconsistencies between the two maps, with various structures being depicted as being at different locations. Furthermore, the one map that includes streets shows the Baxter Building as being on Lexington Avenue, about 2/3 of the way up from 42nd Street to 57th Street, which would place it on or near 52nd Street, right?

   Maps that have been published more recently may have presented the Baxter Building's location more accurately.

Leland Baxter's relationship to Noah Baxter
   Noah Baxter appeared in Fantastic Four III#36-44 where he was revealed to be a long-time friend and former teacher of Reed Richards who Noah described as being his "first real star pupil." According to Johnny Storm, Noah "and his brother originally owned" the Baxter Building. Is this plausible?

   Noah Baxter first appeared in Fantastic Four III#36 (December, 2000). The fact that he was one of Reed's mentors back in college suggests that he was maybe 20 years older than Reed who had already celebrated his "40th" birthday in Fantastic Four I#271 (October, 1984). So, if one assumes that Noah was at least 60 years old in 2000, that would give him a birth year of 1940 at the latest. This would be consistent with Noah being the younger brother of the Leland Baxter who was an adult in 1946.

   However, the fact that the Prime Marvel Universe uses a Sliding Timescale while the construction of the original Baxter Building is firmly tied to the year 1949 could cause problems. So, perhaps Leland and Noah were actually separated by (at least) a generation? Maybe Noah's brother, with whom he "originally" co-owned the Baxter Building, was not Leland? And maybe Noah and his (unidentified) brother were the sons (or nephews) of Leland Baxter, or at least his heirs? In this context, Johnny's use of the term "originally" would simply mean that the Baxter brothers owned the Baxter Building before Reed bought it and not that they had owned it from the time it was first built.

   The Noah Baxter character has an Appendix entry in 2004 Marvel Encyclopedia Vol. 1 Fantastic Four. Presumably this entry might clarify how he and Leland Baxter were related. However, since I've never read or even seen a copy of this book, I can only hope that someone who is familiar with it can fill in the blanks.
    Sorry, not much info there: "Longtime MF friend, works on space station, designed second Baxter Building."...abbreviations were used to maximize the content in the limited space we had...MF obviously refers to Mr. Fantastic...at least in this case...
    --Snood

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Leland Baxter is (almost certainly) a relative of

However, Leland Baxter has no known connections to:


Leland Baxter Paper Company

   The company that authorized and financed the construction of the mid-Manhattan skyscraper known as the Baxter Building. Although first mentioned in official texts from 1983, little additional information has been revealed about the company since then so much of the data presented in this sub-profile will necessarily be things that have been inferred instead of explicitly stated.

   The Leland Baxter Paper Company is known to have been operating in 1946 at which time the owner was Leland Baxter. It has not been revealed if Leland Baxter had founded the company that bore his name or if he acquired the company and then changed its name. The fact that Leland Baxter was said to have "made his millions" by selling paper indicates that the company had been in business for at least several years, suggesting that Baxter had founded (or acquired) the company in the early 1940s or even earlier, possibly in the 1930s or 1920s.

   The Leland Baxter Paper Company is known to have sold paper that was used in newspapers and comic books, indicating that it primarily sold low-cost newsprint. If the company actually manufactured the paper that it sold, as it presumably did, then it should be more properly classified as a "pulp and paper company."

   At some point before 1946, the management of the Leland Baxter Paper Company (which may have just been Leland) decided that they needed a new pulp re-cycling facility to serve the mid-Manhattan area. Accordingly, the lot at the corner of Madison Avenue and 42nd Street was purchased and an architectural firm was hired to design a building that could accommodate the pulp re-cycling machinery. The design was notable because it was the first application of steel beam "K bracing" that was meant to provide unprecedented strength that would make the building one of the strongest structures of its kind. Once the plans had been completed and approved, whatever structure existed on the lot was demolished and a construction company was contracted to build the new facility.

   By late 1946, construction on the new building had either begun or was about to begin when Leland Baxter was contacted by reporter Jeff Mace on behalf of Captain America who was looking for a structure that could house a new headquarters for the All-Winners Squad team. The civic-minded Leland enthusiastically agreed to help the AWS, sent Mace the blueprints for the Baxter Building and offered to modify the plans to fit the needs of the team. However, what modifications were ultimately made, if any, have never been revealed.

   By April of 1948 the lower floors of the Baxter Building were apparently completed but the upper floors were still being built. A newspaper article's headline referred to the Baxter Building as the future home of the All-Winners Squad but the article itself referred to it as the Leland Baxter Building. The building was completed in 1949 and the All-Winners Squad were tenants until the team disbanded in February of 1950.

   At some point, the name of the company was changed to the Baxter Paper Company. This change was presumably prompted by the retirement (or death) of Leland Baxter but the cause has never been confirmed.

   At some point, the Baxter Paper Company ceased to be the owner of the Baxter Building (and presumably relocated their operations elsewhere) but details as to how this happened have not been revealed. Official texts state that "a number of other corporations" owned the building after the Baxter Paper Company ceased to do so but it is also known that Noah Baxter and his brother apparently owned the building at some point before Reed Richards acquired any portion of it. Whether the company sold the building, in whole or in part, to those other corporations or, if Leland Baxter had owned the building personally, Leland's heirs inherited it after his death, has not been established.

   The current status of the Baxter Paper Company is unknown. It may still be operating or it could have been acquired by another company or it could have just gone out of business.

--Data from: The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4: Fantastic Four Headquarters entry (text)/Fantastic Four: First Family#3 (fb) - BTS/All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 - BTS


images: (without ads)
All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1, page 24, panel 5 (blueprint)
Fantastic Four: First Family#3, page 22, panel 1 (map)


Mentions:
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4 (April, 1983)
Fantastic Four: First Family#3 (July, 2006) - Joe Casey (writer), Chris Weston (pencils), Gary Erskine (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special#1 (October, 2009) - Karl Kesel (writer), Steve Uy (artist), Jeanine Schaefer (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (executive editor)
Captain America: Patriot#2 (November, 2010) - Karl Kesel (writer), Mitch Breitweiser (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First Posted: 05/02/2020
Last updated: 05/02/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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