Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

A Captain Action Update

The PopCulteer
August 9, 2019

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.

You can also still order the Captain Action card game. I wrote about it HERE, and you can order it HERE.

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…


  1. Thomas Wheeler

    I am truly delighted that the comics are being compiled by IDW. I will be very interested in this. And if that Captain Action figure is a production level version, then it looks AWESOME! I kind of find myself wishing they’d do a 6″ scale to go with my DC Universe Classics and Marvel Legends, but this is still VERY impressive. Thanks for the great Cap news!

  2. Tom Tempest

    I really can’t wait to see this come out. My only caveat is I wish Mark Waid wasn’t attached. Not a very positive force in the industry at the moment.

  3. Jo

    Great this is happening best of luck

  4. Ron

    It’s terrific that these original Captain Action comics are being compiled into a nice hardcover book. DC should be ashamed that it never did so. I will definitely be buying it despite having all of the original comics. My pre-order for the 4″ Zica figure is already placed and hold out hope that it sells well enough so that the planned Dr. Evil and Action Boy also get produced. Now if only some company would also make them in the more popular 6″ scale that would be amazing. It certainly is nice to see the good Captain get this attention after all these years.

  5. Sparky

    I’ve a bunch of the Mantis Captain Actions, and the 4 Jonny Quest variants. I’m lucky.

  6. Eugenio

    I got two original Captain Action figures from the 60s. My parents bought that to me and my bro and even ti this day we got them. Unfortunately we played hard and they are pretty damaged, but still on duty. Our treasures. Really love Captain Action.
    Some days ago I had a dream. It was like a movie, with Cap on action with Action Boy. Funny it was Tom Cruise as the Cap. They were aboard a tank and fighting Dr Evil, funny on my dream played by Arnold Voslo and looked human. At the end Dr Evil killed Action Boy in front of Cap and fled. The traumatic event made Cap resign.
    Ten years ago he was on a gas station market and dealt with some scoundrels that were ready to steal peasants. He defeated them all and left.
    In the dream he and hus wife were divorced, but she was still on duty abd was taken prisoner after a mission went wrong.
    That firced Cap to accept return and with a team go to rescue her and stop some Dr Evil plot. Certain things cant remember well…just images. Captain Action outfit was cool,like more updated. Hard to describe, will make drawings. Remember a team of heroes, lot of action, like a movie. At the end Cap and Dr Evil had a big final fight. It was epic, hard to describe. Of course Cap rescued her ex wife, and defeated Dr Evil. The villain revealed his alien identity before, apparently die. I like the hero won over evil…good my dreams too. The final was anthological, too. Captain Action was promoted to Colonel and he named a new Captain Action. It was a girl, one who was part of his rescue team. She was Michelle Rodriguez. I was sure it was my dream. Thanks to let me share. It was kinda weird but lotta fun. Sure will do drawings.

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