Friday, April 17, 2015

Red, White, And True!

When I discovered Captain Canuck in a lone grocery store way back in 1980, the comic was a breath of fresh air, a rousing adventure with a completely novel character in a much underused environment by a completely new company.

I jumped aboard immediately and sought out all the issues as they arrived at the comics stands and ordered the back issues and even some of the swag. I joined the Captain Canuck club and still have my membership card around here somewhere. I thoroughly enjoyed the well-crafted stories. But then it stopped just like that.

1993 Revival
2004 Revival
No more was heard until the 90's and after a spate of revivals which to greater and usually lesser degrees failed to catch the magic of the original series which blended superheroics with just the right spice of sci-fi and even a hint of fantasy to make a heady brew. Successive attempts seemed to ground themselves too tightly into reality and felt somehow more viscerally violent. And none of them had the great George Freeman on art.

Then a few years ago Richard Comely, the good Captain's creator authorized through IDW, a reprinting of the adventures including a story by Freeman originally done in the 80's in which he battles an alien dubbed "The Stygian". The story ended on an abrupt note.

Now at last we get the next part of that yarn as part of last year's latest attempt to breathe life into this concept. The 2014 Captain Canuck Summer Special can be read in all its glory online by going to this site. The pdf comic also features a fun story drawn by Claude St. Aubin. Both the stories here have a fun vintage feel.

Also at the site you will find an rather entertaining series of webisodes which introduce yet another new rendition of Captain Canuck, with a few new toys and a somewhat more smart-aleck attitude. They are pretty cannily crafted and wonderfully paced. 

All these goodies I discovered when I went looking for information on this Free Comic Book Day offering due out the second day of May. I definitely want to check it out, and if it's any good at all, I might well sample the upcoming series if it actually develops. With this character it's always best not to count your "Canucks" until they hatch.

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  1. Shortly after the Captain's original run, Comely attempted a comeback with Star Rider and the Peace Machine. Are you familiar with it? I remember it as a paranoid fantasy about trying to prevent a One World Government being formed by a conspiracy of capitalists and communists. I sort of dismissed it at the time as crackpot gibberish, but now wish I'd kept a copy; an eccentric vision can often be illuminating,

    1. Oh I have a copy. That over-sized comic used to be in every other back issue box I checked it seemed. I snagged one long long ago and you're right, it's full of straight up conspiracy stuff for sure. Comely's politics are rather right of center, to say the least.

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