Almost fourteen years ago, I first wrote about Captain Action in PopCult. Captain Action was one of my favorite toys when I was a kid. He was a 12″ action figure, created by Stan Weston (the real father of GI Joe), that could dress up as a variety of different comic book and comic strip heroes with the use of special costume sets (sold separately).
Captain Action was extremely cool, coming out at the height of the 1960s superhero craze, and I have lots of great childhood memories of playing with the good Captain, and with his outfits, Superman, Spider-man and Captain America. I always wanted his nemesis, Dr. Evil, but it took thirty years for that to happen, and that was what I wrote about way back in September, 2005.
Since that first post, I’ve told you about the revival of Captain Action in comics, pulp novels, vinyl figures, card games and once more as a full-fledged 12″ action figure. The fine folks at Captain Action Enterprises are still plugging away in service to the good Captain, and we have a lot of updates.
The big and most immediate news is that IDW Publishing will finally collect the 1960s DC Comics that introduced Captain Action to comics readers. Over the course of five issues of Captain Action we learned his real name (Clive Arno), his backstory, and met his son, Action Boy and his enemy, Dr. Evil.
These comics featured top-notch work by some industry legends. The first couple of issues were written by a then-teenaged Jim Shooter. Wally Wood pencilled and inked the first issue, then inked three of the remaining four issues over Gil Kane. Kane took over writing with the third issue and issue four saw him write, pencil and ink for the first (but not the last) time in his career. These are great silver age superhero stories, and it’ll be wonderful to have them all in one collection.
At the moment, the book is still being compiled, and is expected to be published in 2020. Mark Waid is on board to write the introduction, and in addition to the 110 or so pages of the DC Comics Captain Action title, the book is expected to include at least a sampling of the packaging artwork by Murphy Anderson, the comic book ads by Kurt Schaffenberger and the mini-comics that were included with the toys, which were drawn by Chic Stone. They’re still working on the book and determining the page count, so it’s not clear how complete that sampling may be, but I’m hoping they find a way to cram all of those goodies in there. The book is expected to be hardback, and given the high quality of IDW’s previous comics collections, is bound to be one impressive publication.
We will keep you posted on The Captain Action Archive here in PopCult.
That’s not all that’s happening with Captain Action though. ZICA Toys, which has been hard at work on creating a 4″ version of Captain Action finally has a light at the end of the tunnel. Originally Kickstarted in 2016, The Adventure People featuring Captain Action has fought its way through quite the adventure indeed with different Chinese factories, and this line is now in production with a firm delivery date. Below you see the good Captain, complete with interchangeable hands and his blaster rifle.
I’ll tell you the whole story of Captain Action’s Chinese adventures when I review my set of these figures later this year, but if you are interested in this new scale of Captain Action (along with several friends and enemies), you can pre-order them HERE. After almost a three-year delay, it looks like these figures are going to be well worth the wait and you won’t want to miss out.
There is also a new television concept in the works, but we don’t have any new developments on that, so until we do we’ll just wait patiently for the news.
And if you recall, last year Captain Action Enterprises announced that new uniform sets are in the works for Captain Action, like the one at right. Those are still in the works, and in a big way, but until all the details are worked out, the CAE folks have to remain tight-lipped. We hope to have some exciting news on that front soon.
Over all, things are looking up for Captain Action, and 2020 might just turn out to be a very exciting year for fans of the original super hero action figure.
That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for all our regular PopCult features. Let’s take one last peek at a page of uncolored original Kane/Wood art from Captain Action #2…