How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
Ape-ril is over, but the month goes on. This can mean only one thing… It’s the Eight Days of Eh-pril. Eh-pril? Indeed. It’s time to celebrate the best Canadians in comics! And my God, Canada has produced a vast amount of comics talent. Who’s up first? Everyone’s favorite…
113. Captain Canuck
If the US gets to have Captain America, why can’t Canada have Captain Canuck? That’s the basic premise behind the character, who was introduced in 1975 by Ron Leishman and Richard Comely of Comely Comics. The series took place in the future of 1993, where Canada was the world’s foremost superpower and Captain Canuck patrolled its lands and occasionally outer space. He fought for truth, justice, and delicious maple syrup.
The idea seems like it cribs from Captain America and Captain Britain (He’s a government agent! He fights in space!), and yeah, he looks like Guardian from Alpha Flight (but he pre-dates that guy). He’s cool, though. He’s surely a major figure in the Canadian comics industry, and made a big splash in the indie scene at the time.
There have actually been three incarnations of Captain Canuck: the original, Tom Evans; Darren Oak, who showed up in a 1993 mini; and the most recent, David Semple, a mountie-turned-motorycle hero, who first appeared in a mini subtitled Unholy War in 2004. From what I hear, there’s a current mini that’s supposed to be running, but I know I haven’t seen it. Of course, I am a dirty American.
The maple-leaf-masted superhero is a relatively obscure bit of fun in the comics realm, nothing more. It’d be lovely for a major Canadian comics creator or two to write and/or draw the hell out of the character and make him the A-Lister he deserves to be. Trust me, there are some terrific Canadian creators out there.
Maybe Captain Canuck won’t ever be popular, but there are plenty who will remember him fondly. Big, crazy, fun, silly; yeah, big deal. Captain Canuck is a hidden comics gem.
A ton of CC information exists on the internet. You’ve got to look at the marvelous, in-depth Ultimate Captain Canuck Tribute Page, for one thing; it’s brilliant. There’s also the Official Captain Canuck Website loaded with relatively up-to-date info about what’s going on in the world of Captain Canuck. Then there’s a website all about the Unholy War mini-series, as well. Immerse yourself in the Canuck universe!
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