Saturday, May 21, 2016

Captain Video - The Comic Book!

The Captain Video comics from Fawcett, the home of the Marvel Family, are tight and detailed sci-fi adventures. In most of the stories, the good Captain and the Ranger are called on to fend off the predations of some scientist who has developed a deadly threat to the world. In one story all mankind loses the ability to walk and a miracle cure appears until Captain Video can get to the bottom of the plot. In another a distant unknown land is invaded to reap high-tech weapons to bring the world to its knees, and again Video saves the day. They travel to other planets, and save the Earth from deadly missiles. My favorite story is about a robot that kills its master and then goes on to match wits with the greatest brains on Earth before killing them. The United Nations itself comes under threat until Video figures out how to render the creature harmless.

The stories are well drawn by George Evans, an underrated veteran of the form who draws the real world with flair and renders action especially high-fling action with grace. In addition to Fawcett Evans drew for Fiction House, EC, DC, Marvel, Warren, Gold Key and so many more. He drew some of the best Classic Illustrated yarns and had stints on comics strips especially Secret Agent Corrigan.  The stories in Captain Video are text heavy (the writer is unknown) but filled with details especially about the boundless gizmos that Video and his men use to thwart the threats they encounter. The series only lasted six issues, but they are hearty morsels for anyone wanting to read a comic which demands attention and time.

Weirdly, in keeping with the TV show, a portion of each comic is taken up by a western adventure, specifically a Rod Cameron story. These are durable no-nonsense oat-burning vignettes with a stylish hand on the art. Cameron held down his own series for Fawcett as well as appearing in the Captain Video comics.

There are handy links below each photo cover, so you can do just that. Enjoy!

To read Captain Video #1 go here.

To read Captain Video #2 go here.

To read Captain Video #3 go here.

To read Captain Video #4 go here.

To read  Captain Video #5 go here.

To read Captain Video #6 go here.

I read the stories in PS Artbooks reprint which I found at my new favorite story Half-Price Books. Roy Thomas serves up a tasty introduction which puts these stories into their historical context and also shows how they influenced him. We'll explore that heritage next time.

More to come next week. 

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