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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – The Sensational Character Find of 1993, the Battling Bantam!

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today we look at the introduction of the Battling Bantam in Captain America’s 1993 Annual, part of Marvel’s Annual theme that year, which was to introduce a new character in each annual.

Written by Mark Gruenwald and David Wohl with art by MC Wyman and Charles Barnett, the story opens in Puerto Rico with a young bantamweight boxer (bantamweight boxers all weigh between 115 and 118 pounds) named Roberto who is given enhancements to help him box better. He doesn’t know that the enhancements gave him superpowers. He discovers this fact in his first fight…



Roberto quits, but they end up using another enhanced fighter to almost kill another boxer friend of Roberto’s. When he goes to challenge them over it, they try to kill him…


His powers helped him survive the attack and he decides to become a superhero…



They then kill his friend to mess with him and he goes nuts…


Cap had been undercover as a boxer to investigate stuff and he gets involved and Bantam more than holds his own against Cap…


Eventually, they get justice for Bantam’s friend…


The back-up story by Barry Dutter and Grant Miehm has Bantam try to teach a street gang the error of their ways…




I love that the dude actually says “Ay Carumba!”

So this is how we met the legendary Battling Bantam!