Comic Reviews


In the past few days of the Captain Action Advent Calendar, we’ve seen some pretty strange things as it relates to the Captain Action comics. However, this promo comic from 1967 is both the most insane thing I’ve ever read and also a brilliant piece of marketing. Mini-comics are nothing new to toy fans, as they were popular concepts up until the 1980’s. Even the new Captain Action figures come packed with a comic. It’s a great way to introduce kids to the characters.


But this mini-comic is designed to sell other toys and makes no effort to hide it’s blatant shilling. The plot is downright insane. It’s 30+ pages of wall-to-wall costume changes. Captain Action manages to don every one of his costumes and also uses all of his gear. It starts out at Jimmy’s birthday party. Jimmy is just like you and I, an excitable boy.

Jimmy soon falls asleep, dreaming of how awesome his Captain Action is. We’re then taken into Jimmy’s dream. There, Captain Action notices a large mist. He takes his rocket pack into the air to check it out and finds missiles being shot at him. Naturally he assumes it’s aliens.

So Cap decides to get on the horn… But instead of using the telephone, he opts for this thing… (Available at your local retailer!)

GET SET FOR INVASION FROM SPACE!

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Captain Action Moonstone #1 Review
Captain Action #1
Moonstone Comics
Story by: Fabien Nicieza, Marv Wolfman
Art by: Mark Sparacio

We’re going to be reviewing two comics today, because I have so much content I want to get to in this Captain Action Advent Calendar and I don’t want to be too predictable with just doing comic reviews each day. So we’re going to look at Moonstone’s Captain Action #1 and Captain Action #2 in this review. Be sure to check out our review of the first issue, Captain Action #0 from a few days ago to fill you in on the setup. Remember, this Moonstone comic has no connection to the DC comic from the 1960’s.


When we last left Moonstone’s universe, the original Captain Action, Miles Drake, had been killed by rogue superheroes. The Captain’s son is the only one who knows about it, but after a life of partying and irresponsibility, he’s not eager to retake his father’s mantle. Now Cole Drake is forced back into being Captain Action and has to parade around as the heroes, to help unfold the mystery, and defeat the alien threat, the Red Crawl.


We learn more about the heroes, they are Savior (he’s basically Superman), Crescent, Offshoot, Green Circle and Flashpoint. They’re all sort of reminiscent of different Justice League heroes, but they have their own twists as well. It turns out that the late “Original” Captain Action, eventually developed a super suit of sorts that allowed him to mimic the powers of the superheroes. The catch is, it only lasts for a short time. This in addition to the plastiderm masks, gives Cole a chance for redemption in disguise.

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Captain Action #2
DC Comics
Story by Jim Shooter
Art by Wally Wood & Gil Kane
1968

We’re back for day four of our Captain Action Advent Calendar and we return to our vintage 1968 DC comics adventures of Captain Action. We still have the legendary Jim Shooter and Wally Wood at the helm, but now Gil Kane has been added to the mix as well. When we last left the good Captain, he was in Greece, where he had tracked down the notorious Krellik, his former friend. The two were doing battle and Captain Action had lost. It looked like Krellik was going to put the nail in Captain Action’s coffin… In his first adventure, no less!

Krellik has Captain Action down, but rather than kill him, he decides to revel in the Captain’s helplessness. I guess you can chalk this up to Krellik being arrogant, but later in the comic Krellik actually says that he knew Captain Action would find a way to fight him again, so why doesn’t he just kill him here? Regardless of that, Krellik steals Captain Action’s magic coins (even though he just beat Captain Action WITHOUT them) and flies off with both the magic coins and his own magic enchanted items.

While Captain Action tries to figure out a way home from Greece (now that he can’t fly around the world with his magic powers), Krellik heads to Clive Arno’s house and beats up his son. Krellik wants all of the coins for himself! For whatever reason, Krellik is unsuccessful. Yes, he’s got all the power in the universe, but apparently not enough chutzpah to beat the secrets out of Carl.

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Captain Action Moonstone #0 Review
Captain Action #0
Moonstone Comics
Story by: Fabien Nicieza
Art by: Mark Sparacio

Yesterday we reviewed the first issue of the 1968 classic Captain Action comic and today we’re going to take a look at the first modern Moonstone Captain Action comic. Of course, since this is a modern comic, it’s not issue #1, but instead, issue #0! Because you know, modern numbering and all that jazz. This comic was written in 2008, a full 40 years after the DC debut of Captain Action. The cover on this thing is beautiful, but doesn’t really advertise anything that the actual book itself is about.

Right off we’re introduced to the concept that will define most of the storyline. Aliens invaded Earth in the 1950’s via a parasite that can take over a human host. It’s sort of like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but on a microbe level. The Aliens are dubbed the “Red Crawl” because they’re sort of like little red creepy crawlers. They infiltrated a lot of the Earth’s highest ranking officials, so a shadow government is formed, with a secret task force named A.C.T.I.O.N. (Advanced Command for Telluric Interdiction, Observation and Nullification) which was led by Captain Action. His name is Miles Drake and he has no connection to the DC character.

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Captain Action DC Comic Review
Captain Action #1
DC Comics
Story by Jim Shooter
Art by Wally Wood
1968

The second day of our Captain Action Advent Calendar brings us the vintage 1968 DC Comics first issue of Captain Action. This comic is somewhat historic because it not only has legendary artist Wally Wood and writer Jim Shooter at the helm, but it was also one of the first times that Jim Shooter was actually credited on a comic. He wrote about that in one of the modern Captain Action comics and regarded that as one of the only reasons that he really was glad he was a part of the Captain Action mythos.

Apparently at the time, Ideal (Captain Action’s original parent company) had saddled poor Jim, who was just a teenager, with an awful lot of demands about things that needed to be in the comic. Shooter also had to flesh out the origin story for Captain Action, who at the time, had no real bio to speak of. He simply was an action figure that could be transformed into other famous comic characters. With all that being said, Shooter was actually able to come up with a really neat origin story for Captain Action. In fact, it’s a story that I prefer over a lot of the other versions of the Captain. At least in concept, if not necessarily execution.


Click on the pics to make them bigger!

The comic is immediately an eye catcher with that bombastic cover of Captain Action pushing Superman out of the way. DC was infamous for these sorts of covers and often they don’t even reflect what the heck happened in the comic, but in this instance this is actually a panel from the book. We start off with a battle between Captain Action and a man named Krellik. I’m reminded of TNA’s Rellik (that’s killer spelled backwards!) immediately. In fact the very first page is what I suspect was originally planned for the cover, as it’s Krellik standing over Captain Action saying that his career as a superhero is over before it even started. I assume someone then realized that nobody reading comics would know who Captain Action was, but if they put Superman on the cover, it would get kids to buy it.

Anyway we see some of the battle between Krellik and Captain Action, as they use amazing powers to try and defeat one another. Then we flashback to just moments before where the Captain and Rellik duke it out. Immediately you’ll notice that these guys have incredible powers that most don’t associate with Captain Action. He shoots laser beams out of his hands, as an example.


Krellik calls the Captain an idiot for warning him before he attacked (which was pretty stupid) but Action says that he is like a rattlesnake and gives a warning before he strikes. That doesn’t make much sense to me, but hey, who am I to criticize Stone Cold Captain Action?!

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