Who's Baron Bedlam?

Who's This? The first Outsiders villain.
The facts: Baron Bedlam and his terrible haircut's enduring legacy is that their provided the initial excuse for the Outsiders getting together. As the despotic regent of Markovia, his father installed by the Nazis during WWII, then he himself supported by the Soviets (so who pulls the strings now? ISIS?!), Bedlam kills the king, which puts Prince Brion in a position to gain powers and become Geo-Force, while other heroes all find their way to the tiny Balkan country for various reasons. Yes, VARIOUS reasons. At the end of that first two-parter (Batman and the Outsiders #1-2), the Outsiders were a thing and Bedlam had been thrown off the castle ramparts into an angry mob. Looked dead enough to me, and he'd deserved it. Alas, he would return a couple more times to plague the Outsiders because of his ties to Geo-Force (and indeed, giving him similar powers). It's like a perfect storm of people I don't care about.
How you could have heard of him: Confusingly, the Fourth World's Doctor Bedlam started calling himself BARON Bedlam in the late 90s or early 2000s, as if to say, yes, it's a good alliterative name, and please, never let the Markovian model return. Doomsday Clock #12 just gave us a Baroness Bedlam - the streaks look much better on her. But if you really need more proper Baron Bedlam, he's in the third season of Young Justice. With a better haircut.
Example story: Adventures of the Outsiders #33-35 (May-July 1986) by Alan W. Barr and Alan Davis
Look, I've already covered Bedlam's first appearances, page by excruciating page, in my snarky Outsiders reviews. So that only really leaves one choice - the one with the Hitler clone. Well, at least it has Alan Davis art (and perhaps not accidentally, the Baron is never pictured on any of the covers). In this story, the Outsiders return to Markovia on a plane fueled by Geo-Force's anger, seeing as his home country is being invaded by the Soviets, allied with Baron Bedlam, and the baddies have captured his brother King Gregor's fiancée. As they enter Markovian airspace, the Commies blow them out of the sky, but Bedlam has hope he can murder them himself.
That's right, think positive. Working for Bedlam are the Masters of Disaster, and good thing too, as they're better equipped to provide cool superhero fights than the Markovian skunk. In Outsiders fashion, they get beat and brought to Bedlam's camp, where in some tent, he's stashed the body of Adolf Hitler's clone! Well! Huh! But wait, hold on, how did Baron Bedlam survive getting thrown off castle ramparts into the crowd that burned Frankenstein's Monster way back in BATO #2? That hasn't been addressed... until now.
He was well and truly dead and left to rot where he lay, but Dr. Ovarni gleefully took a sample and recreated him in her cloning lab. She resurrected him... complete with memories (?) and all she got for her trouble was his playful nickname for her, Madame Ovary. Real nice. That and Bedlam's collection of Hitler DNA, I guess. Having just made a big speech at Kremlin observer the Bad Samaritan, Bedlam moves over to the prison tent to make another. And look! He's found a use for Geo-Force!
Bedlam takes his troops to King Gregor's castle and there's a big battle, which he wins decisively because he's got all the superhumans on his side. And just in time for the unveiling of his new Führer too. But he's a bit of a mannequin, his memories slow to return (HOW DOES THAT EVEN WORK?!). Bedlam tries to jog his memory, how Uncle Adolf minted his father regent of Markovia. Remember? And aren't you glad some Nazi supporters saved your cells for posterity? No reaction? Well, no matter. All Bedlam needs from the Hit is his hand print to open a secret bunker. And in that bunker, a secret weapon of mass destruction!
Worse, Madame Ovary has brought a young Jewish girl with her for a "final test". I don't like this at all.

Third and final issue. Hitler's being reeducated by watching film of concentration camps. The smiling Jewish girl takes care of him, even saves his life when he almost chokes. The Baron is decorating his new office. He's ordered the execution of the royal family. Everything's coming up Bedlam.
Ah well, see, no. Ass didn't do his research. Looker had not followed the Outsiders into Markovia, so she was in a position to go and free them so they could still the firing squad and take a shot at defeating Bedlam and his Neo-Nazi plot. While the team fights the Soviets and the Masters of Disaster, Geo-Force runs after Bedlam who is himself running for the proton cloud cannon. But what skeletonizes a random Russian soldier may not work on a superhero who's no longer human.
Not great on the costume, of course. Last time, GF killed Bedlam. He's been there, he's done that. This time, he tells the Baron to do it himself.
Oh well. Maybe Doctor Ovaries has some samples left, or maybe Prince Brion should make sure they've been destroyed too. Oh, and what about the whole Hitler plot? Well, he sees the girl's Star of David and gets his gun out, there's a bang behind the door, but when the Outsiders find his room, he's shot himself. But while Bedlam took his second chance and made the worst of it, Hitler fought his evil nature and bailed. Black Lightning is sure that means there's "hope for the rest of us as well". Uhm... A lot of wrong-headedness to unpack there, Mr. Barr.

Gotta say, it was weird moving through an Outsiders story at that clip. I kept wanting to stop and strip and bash every single panel and page. Old habits die hard. Good thing there's "hope for us all"...

Who's Next? A garish Nazi.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine