Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human (German, World War II era)
Occupation: Secret agent, impostor
Group Membership: The Nazi Party
Affiliations: Fritz, Heinrich and other spies; Adolf Hitler
Enemies: Henry Baldwin, Bucky (James Buchanan Barnes), Captain America (Steve Rogers)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Impersonated Henry Baldwin
Base of Operations: Germany during World War II
First Appearance: Captain America Comics I#2 (April, 1941)
Powers/Abilities: 3-21 was a spy with some talent in the art of disguise, particularly in wearing masks and making himself appear older than his actual age. However, he was not perfect in his mimicry as he did not notice while impersonating Henry Baldwin that Baldwin was left-handed.
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'2")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 135 lbs.)
History: (Captain America Comics I#2/2) - Nazi agents including Fritz and Heinrich, who were operating in the United States, captured the wealthy American Henry Baldwin and brought him to Germany. 3-21 was tasked with assuming Baldwin's identity, which he did by wearing a realistic mask, wearing a duplicate of Baldwin's suit and carrying Baldwin's cane. Once he was convinced he had successfully copied his subject, 3-21 presented himself to Adolf Hitler, who gave 3-21 his orders: to carry on to London, England, where Baldwin was expected to sign a pact promising financial aid to them. Instead, Hitler ordered 3-21 to sign a pact with Italy, believing this action would harm the morale of his enemies. The real Baldwin was sent to a concentration camp in the Black Forest region of Germany.
"Baldwin" claimed that his disappearance from the United States was a trick to foil his enemies. Arriving in London, he announced his intent to sign papers at Buckingham Palace. Arriving outside Buckingham Palace, 3-21 was met by journalists and curious onlookers who wanted autographs and statements. However, among the onlookers were Captain America and Bucky, disguised as an old woman and her grandson. Bucky had seen the real Baldwin in the United States and noticed that he carried his cane in his left-hand while 3-21 was carrying his cane in his right hand. Bucky tackled 3-21 and turned him over to Captain America, who removed 3-21's mask.
Other Nazi agents who had been monitoring 3-21 from a sedan saw his unmasking. To silence him, they fired a machine gun at him, executing the spy. Examining 3-21's body, Bucky found a note on his person which read "The forest is black. The river is blue. Baldwin is held at Camp Twenty Two." With this information, Captain America and Bucky were able to rescue the real Henry Baldwin.
Comments: Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
There's no good reason for the note 3-21 was carrying to be written in English like a nursery rhyme - it's just fun. What, horrible human beings can't have fun? Pretty sloppy for a spy to be carrying such compromising material though.
This is the infamous Simon-Kirby story where Captain America and Bucky snuck into Europe disguised as a woman and her grandson. Bet the Winter Soldier doesn't put that one on his CV.
It's important to remember that (as all true Marvelites know) although Captain America is very much a World War II character, he predates US involvement in the war - hence the story being concerned with Baldwin supporting the UK's struggle against Hitler.
The plot - concerning a famous public figure who is kidnapped and replaced by a double who is then assassinated while standing by the steps of a building surrounded by journalists and onlookers - suggests that Simon and Kirby had Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 film Foreign Correspondent on their brains.
Profile by Prime Eternal.
3-21 should not be confused with:
Henry Baldwin was a very wealthy American who committed to donating money to England to support them in the ongoing World War II against Nazi Germany. Four Nazi spies were sent to capture him and although Captain America and Bucky stopped two of the spies, the other two captured Baldwin and transported him by airplane to Lisbon, Portugal. Captain America and Bucky happened to be on the same flight as Baldwin's captors and attempted to rescue him but the Nazi agents quickly hid Baldwin. Baldwin was transported from Lisbon to Germany, where he was brought to agent 3-21. 3-21 donned a mask to simulate Baldwin's appearance and planned to journey to England and sign a pact with Italy. The real Baldwin was sent to Camp 22 in the Black Forest of Germany.
After 3-21 was unmasked and killed, Captain America and Bucky found a paper on his person indicating where Baldwin was being held. The duo invaded the camp just as Hitler was going to execute Baldwin by firing a cannon at him point blank. Captain America and Bucky outfought Hitler and his men then attracted the attention of passing R.A.F. planes, who landed and gave the three Americans a lift to England. Finally arriving in England, Baldwin signed a pact with England to finance their war efforts.
Henry walked with a cane, which he carried in his left hand.
--Captain America Comics I#2/2
Fritz was sent to capture Henry Baldwin. However, Captain America and Bucky defeated them in battle. Heinrich and another Nazi agent were able to kidnap Baldwin while Fritz and his ally were defeated. The two captured spies were presumably imprisoned.
--Captain America Comics I#2/2
While Fritz and his accomplice were being beaten by Captain America and Bucky, Heinrich (right in picture) and another Nazi agent took Henry Baldwin prisoner. The two spies brought Baldwin to an airplane bound for Lisbon, Portugal. Although Captain America and Bucky joined in the flight and tried to rescue Baldwin, Heinrich and the other spy hid themselves and Baldwin aboard the plane. They brought Baldwin to Germany where Adolf Hitler charged his agent 3-21 to assume Baldwin's identity. However, Baldwin was ultimately rescued by Captain America and Bucky.
--Captain America Comics I#2/2
Captain America Comics I#2/2 (April, 1941) - Joe Simon (script, pencils, inks, edits), Jack Kirby (script, pencils)
First Posted: 03/21/2022
Last Updated: 03/21/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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