There was a wonderful bit of dialog between Uma Thurman and John Travolta in PULP FICTION that was unfortunately cut from the final film. It was about being an Elvis or Beatles fan. You can actually like both. But in the end you are going to like one more than the other. The same can be said about G.I.Joe and Captain Action as well. I'm sure there were many G.I.Joe guys who thought Captain Action was pretty neat. I say this in full confidence because I was one of them.
Captain Action was an "action figure" introduced in 1966 as the Ideal Toy Company's answer to Hasbro's popular G.I. Joe. Strangely enough both were created and designed by Stan Weston. Originally the good captain was to be called "Captain Magic" a hero who I suppose could magically transform into other heroes.For whatever reason I'm glad they decided to go with the name Captain Action. Captain Action came with a pretty neat black & blue costume,skipper's hat,ray-gun and extremely cool lightning bolt sword. Separate Aquaman ,Batman , Captain America , Flash Gordon , Lone Ranger , the Phantom , Steve Canyon ,Sgt. Fury and Superman costumes and accessories were available. In 1967 Buck Rogers , the Green Hornet , Spider-Man and Tonto were added to the line-up. And Captain Action was given a teen sidekick Action Boy who could be changed into Aqualad , Robin the Boy Wonder and Superboy. There was even a blue-skinned , bug-eyed alien scientist known as Dr.Evil that served as Captain Action's arch-enemy. The Captain Action figure was as much a part of the Silver Age of Comics as re-runs of The Adventures of Superman or the Batman television series starring Adam West. At least in my opinion.So it was appropriate that Captain Action received his own comic book series. If only for a brief run.
Captain Action No.1 (Nov.1968) published by DC Comics dropped the multi-hero idea from the toy-line largely because DC didn't own the rights to such heroes as Captain America or the Phantom. So an entire new origin was created for the comic book Captain Action written by the teenaged Jim Shooter , illustrated by the great Wally Wood and with a cover credited to Carmine Infantino and Irv Novick. On an archaeological dig Clive Arno and his associate Krellik discover a lost city that was once home to alien visitors who were the "gods" of mythology. These space-gods called the "Elders of Arsu" left their powers in coins before they departed from Earth. Arno decides to the use the powers granted by the coins to fight evil. Krellik decides to use the power granted to him for evil. Arno's son would join his father as Action Boy to thwart Krellik's plans. Shooter would also write the second issue. But Gil Kane would replace Wood as the penciller on the feature. Though Wood would ink Kane's pencils in issue two. Thereafter Kane was credited as both writer and illustrator of the feature. Though Wood would return to ink Kane's pencils again in Captain Action No.5. In issues 2 ,3 and 4 from the series Captain Action and Action Boy would face off against their arch-foe from the toy-line Dr.Evil.
In a twist Dr.Evil was Arno's father-in-law who was turned into the bug-eyed evil scientist by a lab experiment gone wrong. Just how many times has this happened in a comic book? In the 5th and final issue Captain Action and Action Boy went up against a demagogue. Not an "evil" that comic book heroes were usually seen struggling against.
There was another Captain Action comic that was published in the Silver Age. It was produced by Ideal and came with the Captain Action figure and was illustrated by comic book artist Chic Stone. It told the story of a young boy who receives the Captain Action and Action Boy figures and their accessories for his birthday. He then dreams of an alien invasion of Earth that is halted by the two heroes using their ability to turn into other heroes. Of course even though I enjoyed the story I couldn't help but wonder why they couldn't stop the invasion by simply turning into Superman and Superboy.
editor note- both Moonstone and Dynamite have made Captain Action comics. And you can grab your OWN Captain Action figure...not the original, but a modern made figure: http://www.freshmonkeyfiction.com/shop/Captain-Action-Amazing-Heroes-Action-Figure-p58570428
Do you like action packed fun?! So do we! Get JUDO COMICS!