Interview: Mike Baron’s ‘Private American’ Fills Void Left by Woke Punisher And Captain America

Source: 'Private American.' Cover art by Richard Bonk and Gabe Eltaeb.

Marvel Comics has alienated comic book fans by wokifying The Punisher and Captain America. But the destruction of these characters has presented author Mike Baron with the opportunity to replace them with Private American, and Bounding into Comics spoke with him about the forthcoming graphic novel featuring his newest creation.

Private American #1 (2022)

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Private American features a Cuban American protagonist named Marcos Zamora. He’s a former Army Green Beret (a dishonorably discharged one—more on that in the interview) who launches a war against drug cartels and more after the lawlessness of America’s southern border hits him at home.

And if you think this sounds like a tale that might ruffle a few feathers, you’re right. A Sep. 28 press release from the creative team promises that “[c]ontroversial ideas fly like bullets in this brisk action-adventure comic.”

The title of the graphic novel both describes who Zamora is—a private American—and it’s also a subtle dig at Captain America, who, like The Punisher, has gone woke. Baron, of course, wrote The Punisher comic book series for several years back in the late 80s and early 90s.

Joining Baron on Private American are illustrator Richard Bonk, colorists Gabe Eltaeb and Ichsan Ansori, and letterer Warren Montgomery. Bonk and longtime Baron collaborator Steve Rude will provide two different covers.

So it’s quite an interesting setup for a new tale and new character, and it made for an interesting interview.

Source: ‘Private American.’ Cover art by Steve Rude.

Bounding into Comics: What inspired you to make hero Marcos Zamora a dishonorably discharged veteran instead of an honorably discharged one?

Mike Baron: Sometimes I just go with my gut. With soldiers being forced out for refusing the vax, or misgendering other soldiers, it’s no great stretch to think the [Army] would dishonorably discharge a soldier who shot an Iraqi in cold blood.

Why? Because the Iraqi was torturing a dog. There are videos on the net of Arabs torturing dogs. Don’t look at them.

Source: ‘Private American.’ Promotional art.

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BiC: Will Private American target the actual illegal aliens invading the nation or just the drug cartels who are doing the smuggling? Why or why not?

MB: Marcos goes after human smugglers, drug smugglers, rapists, and terrorists. As the son of immigrants, he understands most just want a better life.

If our own government has no respect for the rule of law, why should they? They have nothing to lose. I’m sure you know that Venezuela opened its prisons and set all the criminals to the US border.

Source: ‘Private American.’ Interior art.

BiC: Is Private American intended to be a one-shot story or does this have the potential to become a new, ongoing character/series?

MB: It depends on the reaction. We caught lightning in a bottle with Thin Blue Line. I just finished the sequel. It’s called The Revolving Door.

There’s a crossover with Private American that will become evident to readers of Private American.

Source: ‘Private American.’ Interior art.

BiC: Will Private American cover controversial ideas other than the ones about the open border?

MB: It’s ludicrous that protecting our border is controversial. The government’s first duty is to protect its citizens. Only in this insane inversion of right and wrong would anyone entertain for an instant that open borders are right.

The Border Patrol just announced the seizure of enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of the U.S. three times over. 750 migrants have died this year crossing the border. The administration flies illegals all over the country in the dark of night.

While Americans were forced to stay inside and wear masks, not a single migrant was tested for Covid. The other issues are collateral, such as the corruption of law enforcement.

Source: ‘Private American.’ Interior art.

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BiC: Does the fact that Private American is one of many comic books that are smashing through their crowdfunding goals signal that the comic book industry has now permanently changed so that the Big 2 publishers no longer control it?

MB: I don’t know about that, but many think the Big 2 will stop publishing books altogether. Farm them out to other publishers.

Their current publishing choices seem inexplicable to long-time readers. Dropping Truth, Justice, and the American way for Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow is emblematic. I’m sure you know what I mean. All you have to do is read or

Anybody can put out a comic, and a lot of self-produced comics aren’t going to set the world on fire. But some are. Some of the newer Comicsgate books are outstanding, such as Renie’s Fiendish, Aaron LoPresti’s Wraith of God: Blood Hunters, and EVS’ Cyberfrog.


Source: ‘Private American.’ Interior art.


Right now it’s blue skies for everyone working on Private American. It took fewer than six hours for their crowdfunding campaign to hit their initial goal of $10,000 on Indiegogo. Now it’s a matter of how many stretch goals they can unlock.

Head on over to to contribute and to learn more about the graphic novel.

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