5703 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Captain Nazi (1980s Captain Marvel enemy) (DC Comics)

Captain Nazi

(1980s version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Captain Nazi is traditionally an enemy of Captain Marvel (Billy Batson). The version seen during the 1980s was relatively stand-alone. Yet it’s probably better to read about the versions in order, starting with the 1940s version of Captain Nazi.

This profile includes a special section about out-of-universe continuity aspects, so readers can understand why the different versions of Captain Nazi and Captain Marvel exist.


Background

  • Real Name: Lester Abernathy.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Agent of the Sons of Valhalla.
  • Base Of Operations: Sons of Valhalla compound, near San Francisco.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Captain Nazi’s powers are very much like those of Superman. He has super-strength, super-durability, flight, super-reflexes, heat vision. The power level of these abilities is difficult to estimate from the stories, though.

Our game stats assume that he would have been able to hurt Captain Marvel, as the 1980s stories were harder-edged than before. But they also assume that he wouldn’t have been able to win. Previous versions of Captain Nazi never did, and the 1980s version was a small-time thug who had stumbled upon power.

Abernathy noted that his costume was able to withstand a raging fire and other forms of damage. But that’s nothing exceptional by super-hero standards.


Who moved my big red cheese ?

After Fawcett licensed the rights of Captain Marvel to DC Comics, there were several attempts to relaunch the character. But they never found their legs. One such attempt was done right after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The idea was to have Captain Marvel be a major character again, and a legend on DC’s “New Earth”.

This rebooted version, although interesting and handled by leading writers, also failed to bottle the magic lightning. After a limited series and a number of appearances in other books, the projected Shazam! series never was launched.

The 1980s version of Captain Nazi appeared during one of the few Captain Marvel stories during that relaunch. As such it has a dubious status, continuity-wise. In particular, this version of Captain Nazi never returned – in fact it was never mentioned again. That those events probably were not in continuity isn’t an uncommon view.

However, Jerry Ordway later clarified in an interview the status of the appearances of Cap in the late 1980s. Mr. Ordway is the writer who in the 1990s wrote the Captain Marvel relaunch that finally stuck.

His stance is that with the exception of Shazam : The New Beginnings (now overwritten by the Power of Shazam graphic novel), these events happened early in Captain Marvel’s career — between the Power of Shazam GN and the launch of the series.

Thus, the 1980s Captain Nazi presumably existed in the main DC continuity. Why has he never be seen again ? Now that’s an *interesting* question.


History

Lester Abernathy was a member of a paranoid, violent, rabidly racist neo-Nazi militia. This movement was called the “Sons of Valhalla ”. Based outside of San Francisco, the militia was obsessed with the supposed influence of Jewish Americans and African-Americans over the US government and society. It made heavy use of pseudo-Norse and Nazi imagery.

The Sons operated a combat training camp and a church of their own. Howbeit, the latter was more akin to a peculiar approach of Christianity than any Old Norse beliefs.

The head of the militia was addressed as Leader Davis. He had been running asecret project for years in collaboration with one Dr. Patterson. Patterson had discovered a “Formula X” in Bavaria after the war. Presumably, he was a G.I. who stumbled upon Nazi research about a wartime Captain Nazi. The scientist laboured for decades to make the formula workable.

When the tests on rats proved conclusive, militiaman Lester Abernathy volunteered to be a human Guinea pig and receive an injection. He trained for a while with Patterson to handle the projected effects of Formula X.

Lester Abernathy is transformed into Captain Nazi

Leader Davis made a show of the injection in front of his militiamen. On his end, Patterson was nervous and worried that it might not work. However, though it was painful, the injection was a complete success.

Abernathy developed a suite of powers not unlike those of Superman. He even physically mutated – gaining height and weight, acquiring a powerful physique within minutes, and even having his face change to become much more square-jawed and heroic.

Enthusiastic, Leader Davis launched his plan. His troops would poison a reservoir to create a panic in San Francisco. As to Abernathy (whom Patterson declared was now “Captain Nazi”), he was given a sensor to detect Captain Marvel.

Marvel had recently started being active in San Francisco. Davis had already taken measures to prepare for a fight, sacrificing one of his men to scan Marvel and have Patterson build the sensor.

The longest day

But Abernathy, drunk with power, proclaimed that he was no longer Lester but Captain Nazi – and that Captain Nazi was a leader and not a follower. The clash with his fellow Fascists took place near the explosives compound in Patterson’s lab. Thus, when a militiaman foolishly opened fire everything exploded. This likely killed Patterson and Davis.

Looking for the militiamen headed for the reservoir, Captain Nazi stumbled on young Billy Batson, who had been infiltrating the militia under a false name. Captain Nazi didn’t know that Batson had been found out by the militiamen. Thus, he was surprised to find the youth bound and gagged in a burning gas station.

Nazi ripped off the gag around Batson’s mouth, unwittingly saving his live. Billy yelled “Shazam” seconds before the station exploded.

Nazi stood unfazed in the blaze, grumbling about having lost his informer, but was suddenly faced by Captain Marvel. Albeit caught flat-footed, Nazi had time to get his hands around Marvel’s neck. But he was then punched extremely hard.

Rushing off to stop the militiamen on a poisoning mission, Captain Marvel buried the stunned Nazi under thousands of tons of rock then flew away. Nazi took a few minutes to extricate himself from the rubble. He then carved a threat for Captain Marvel, and left.

Despite this promise of a rematch, Abernathy was never seen again.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Captain Nazi is a racist, hateful thug given great power. He’s not exactly a deep thinker, and revels in his capacity to dominate normal persons. Yet he is careful around powerful opponents such as Captain Marvel.

Nazi, as befits his name, has next to no empathy. He just sees people as means to his ends.

He also obsesses about the supposed role of Black folks and Jews, believing such fixations of the Sons of Valhalla as the “ZOG” (“Zionist-Occupied Government”  of the US).

Abernathy isn’t the sharpest person around. That doesn’t mean that he’s dumb — he’s vaguely above average in intelligence. But “vaguely above average” is not enough to be on the ball in a superhuman environment.


Quotes

“I got nothing against you… unless you got Jewish blood.”

“Maybe Lester Abernathy volunteered for your little experiment — but he’s history. Captain Nazi took his place — and I don’t take orders — I give ’em !”

“You’re hamburger !”


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Captain Nazi

Dex: 08 Str: 18 Bod: 14 Motivation: Power
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Neo-Nazi thug
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 018 HP: 025

Powers:
Cold immunity: 03, Flame immunity: 03, Flight: 14, Heat vision: 12

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Sons of Valhalla (Low).

Drawbacks:
CIA toward Racism and anti-Semitism.


Design Notes

The first three incarnations of Captain Nazi (1940s, 1970s and 1980s versions) are impossible to stat up accurately. The material is simply not there to base analysis on. These writeups thus use educated guesses a lot, and use the numbers in World at War to get a sense of scale when necessary.


Dexterity check

The stats block above is done with the assumption that Captain Marvel has a DEX of 09 at that point. Which is important since that’s the only number to benchmark Captain Nazi’s DEX against.

There aren’t that many appearances of that version of Captain Marvel, and some of his scores — including DEX — tend to evolve as he gains experience and is involved in more or less zany genres. The main piece of data is his fight against an Eclipso-powered Superman.

Since most of us think that Superman, at this point of his history, likely had a DEX of 10, a DEX of 09 for Captain Marvel sounds about right.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Action Comics #624-626.

Helper(s): Peter Piispanen, Chris Cottingham, Keith.

Writeup completed on the 30th of December, 2010.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.