One day, the date unknown, in the summer time of 1975, I walked down to a local variety store in the town in which I had lived at the time, in order to peruse, and to buy, that week’s newest batch of comic books, as I did every week.
Occasionally, the first issue of a new title might perk my interest. And, some times, I’d buy and give those new number ones a try, too – just to see if I liked them.
A twenty page U.S. comic book at the time bore a cover price of 25 cents, each. One new title on that day, a # 1 from an unknown new publisher, caught my eye, on the ‘comics merry – go – round.’
It was priced a dime higher, at 35 cents cover price, and this new comics fare seemed to (visually) jump out at me, on the stand. There was something different about the printing and colouring process of this new first issue!
Slap me, if you will, but — I’m Canadian. (Sue me.) And this new comics title was ‘CAPTAIN CANUCK’ — or, to put it still another way — ‘Captain Canada.’
Whereas ‘Yanks’ or ‘Yankees’, I’ve been aware of, for many decades, is considered to be a derogatory or negative slang word to describe Americans (something I would never do, by the way)….the word ‘Canuck’ or ‘Canucks’, meanwhile, while a slang word for a Canadian or Canadians, this word simply does NOT have a negative connotation associated with it, to describe Canadians. Heck, we often call ourselves ‘Canucks’, half the time, for Pete’s sake!
And the word does have mileage (in Canada, kilometers), for several decades!
During World War Two, for example, Canadian comic book publishers put out two ongoing characters by the names of ‘Canada Jack’, and ‘Johnny Canuck.’
But, let’s get back to the summer of 1975. “Captain Canuck-?” said I, astonished. “A….Canadian….super hero!?!”
I was excited, and, in my fifteen year old opinion at the time, I had a right to be-!!
So, I took that week’s comics up to the counter, and the person behind the counter tallied them up, at 25 cents each. Including the 35 cent Captain Canuck # 1.
Which, truthfully, I hadn’t even noticed, till I counted out the change I had been handed back, on the way home.
She hadn’t noticed the higher price on this one.
Once at home, I showed this new title to my mother, and to my younger brother, Chris. Well, my mother got excited, too! In that she went in to her purse, and got out enough change, for me to go back to the same store, and purchase three more copies of Captain Canuck # 1.
I was beginning to suspect that the summer of 1975 had the potential (even then) of being very exciting!
One of those extra copies of Captain Canuck # 1 went to my younger brother Chris, still another copy to my sister, Carol, and the third extra copy, my mother mailed it to England, for her half sister’s young son. Who, it should be pointed out, wrote us months later, asking if we could mail him a second copy of # 1. It seems he had read his first provided copy of Captain Canuck volume 1, # 1 so many times, that it, finally, had fallen apart-!
And so, it certainly seemed that at least ONE young, rabid die -hard fan of Captain Canuck existed, in England!
The publisher of this new comic book (hopefully a series, I thought, even then), was ‘Comely Comix.’ with an ‘x.’ Even then, I knew that the word ‘comely’ meant ‘good looking’, or ‘attractive.’
And that, thus, the company that put out this new comic, was basically, ‘good looking’ (or) ‘attractive comics.’ Oh, sorry – ‘comix.’ With an ‘x.’
Several things about this new publication, this new premier issue, struck me as unusual (in a good way), aside from the slightly higher price!
(1) For starters, both the cover and the pages inside were ALL printed on the same, high gloss shiny paper. The interior pages were NOT newsprint, which all (at that time) ‘current’ comics were printed on, sans the covers. I noticed that, right away!
(2) The colour palette RANGE of colours used to colour this issue was obviously – to my then teenaged eyes – much, much more extensive, than the then also ‘current’ at the time, comics selections that were being published by our American friends, to the south of us.
In saying this, I don’t mean to imply that this ‘Captain Canuck’ title was (better) than American comics counterparts; just that it was different.
And, to my eyes, these things also explained the slightly higher price.
(3) To put point 2 in still another way, the colours of both Captain Canuck’s cover and interior pages were much more vibrant than those in American comics at that time. These colours – quite literally – seemed to jump off the page at you!
(4) Also, on several interior pages, the backgrounds behind character figures in the page panels, were often colour photographs, instead of line – drawn backgrounds, behind the foreground pencilled and inked person figures.
‘What a neat idea!’, I thought!
It was certainly different from anything I had ever seen before!
And so, as before, I had plunked down my coins, and proudly took this ‘EVENT’ home! I don’t recall if I had bought any other comics, that day.
After all, this all happened a little over 41 years ago. Which likely leads you to ask: ‘How old am I, now?”
Twenty – Six.
Ahem. : – )
My mother had said something like, “Canada doesn’t publish comic books, does it?” And, as far as I knew, the answer to that question, at that time, was (mostly), “No.” I didn’t know about the World War Two ‘Canadian Whites’ comic books, at that time. In fact, most Canadians then (including Canadian comics collectors) didn’t know about Golden Age, 1940’s and 1950’s Canadian comic books. Those comics companies and titles had lived and died, (so to speak), before I was ever born.
For, as I mentioned above, I’m only twenty – six. : – ) Don’t do the math – it’ll hurt your head. Just trust me!
Up to that time, with a few exceptions, most all of the comic books I had ever seen, had been published by various companies in the United States.
Including (one of my top favourites), Captain America!
Standing on the cover of this ‘Captain Canuck’ first issue was a costumed, masked man, standing facing the reader, legs spread wide apart, elbows out, with this gloved hands on his hips. In a nutshell, he was dressed in a skin – tight costume designed after the Canadian National Flag. A flag that Canada has only even had, since 1965.
I had thought at the time, “Canada finally has her own superhero! What a great idea! For the luvva Mike, it’s about time!”
During World War Two and into the 1950’s, there actually were various Canadian comic book companies that published Canadian written, drawn and published comic books, with many, many Canadian motif characters, which were then distributed throughout Canada and The United Kingdom.
But not to the United States. Which, of course, I knew nothing of, as a teenaged comics collector.
‘Comely Comix’, I would learn, rather quickly, was named after Captain Canuck’s co-creator, Richard Comely. The other co – creator of this character, who did NOT write nor illustrate any of the Captain Canuck comic books, was one Ron Leishman, a religious Jesuit Missionary, as explained on one of the first issue’s text pages. Well, that was different!
The second comics story in this premier issue was entitled ‘Jonn’. This fun illustrated tale was about an Earth man named Jonn, an astronaut, whose space ship had crash landed on some distant, inhabited planet. A planet peopled by aliens who (coincidentally) looked…..just like us!
This second series character, I knew, was obviously influenced, in the creation of same, by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
For the reason that Jonn, with this alien planet’s lower gravity, imbued him with super strength!. Just like E. R. B’s John Carter of Mars.
But there were differences, too. The artist for this backup strip on the (first) issue, was one Mr. Owen McCarron, who just happened to be a resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia – the city where my family was from originally, to begin with — although we were living over 200 miles away, at the time, in a much smaller town, named Yarmouth.
It was the very beginning of the 1970’s, since we moved there in the summer of 1970, my dad having accepted a job transfer to that dingy little place of small minded people. People from that one – horse town taught me, very quickly, to hate the place. Like many small towns, they didn’t like outsiders, who had not been born, there. But enough said on that.
Because that’s a tale for another time. Or better yet – never!
What kept my sanity down there, while attending High School, was, as a teenager, suddenly discovering the existence of girls. And, of course, more and more comic books! And illustration.
I would get to know Owen McCarron, the artist of ‘Jonn’, the backup comics story in the back of Captain Canuck, Volume 1, # 1, decades later.
Within another five years or so, this same Owen McCarron would produce numerous Marvel Comics’ issues of ‘Marvelous Fun and Games’, a monthly comics title, while at the same time, McCarron produced very similar Marvel Comics’ based newspaper strip fare, in a syndicated newspaper comic strip page, weekly, with those same Marvel Comics characters. By this time, I was living in Toronto, my having moved there following High School, in 1979. Having flown out of there on a Big Silver Bird! What’s that saying? Oh yeah. “Don’t get mad. Get even.”
Owen McCarron had also illustrated a lot of war comics years earlier, at Charlton Comics. He would go on to illustrate other titles for Marvel Comics later on, including some issues of the demonic like Ghost Rider title, and the title Super Villain Team – Up, and even some issues of the (for younger readers) title, ‘Spidey Super Stories.’
Even then, I had been aware that Owen McCarron had illustrated numerous full – colour Canadian comic books, as well, assisted by one (also Nova Scotian) creator named Robin Edmiston.
Owen McCarron himself self-published most of these, out of his home, and also utilizing the presses of the daily Nova Scotian newspapers ‘The Chronicle Herald’ (and) ‘The Mail Star.’
Mr. McCarron was an also employee of this same newspaper firm.
Still other, later Owen McCarron comic books were published and funded as well, by The Government of Canada.
But this ‘Jonn’ backup comics story in the first issue of Captain Canuck, would (regrettably) be the only story he ever did for Comely Comix. But it was as enjoyable to me, as the lead feature!
Later, the second and third issue of Captain Canuck came and went, and readers STILL did not know who the man was, UNDER the Captain Canuck mask. In fact, issue three started a two – part story, setting up the readership, in part one, (as far as we were concerned), to finally learn who Captain Canuck was, UNDER the mask, in the soon to come (we were promised) # 4!
However, unknown to all of the Captain Canuck readers at the time, there was a problem; a BIG one.
Comics were a lot more expensive to publish in Canada, at that time.
Especially given that high – quality (Read: more expensive) paper was being used to print them on, from cover to cover.
Why they didn’t go to newsprint interiors, once the publishers finally realized this method was getting too expensive to produce, is anyone’s guess!
And then – you guessed it – while sales of Captain Canuck were VERY STRONG, nonetheless, Comely Comix, very regretably, went out of business! Arrrggghhh! This left a lot of Captain Canuck fans extremely disappointed and frothing at the mouth, biting at the bit; myself, among them!And hey, how’s that for three dazzling metaphors-?
A year or two later, enter Doug Sulipa, who, for decades, had and still has, to this day, a HUGE back issue comic book selling business in Steinbeck, Manitoba, Canada. He is also one of the top advisers to the Bob Overstreet annual ‘Comic Book Price Guide,’ which has been coming out, in new annual, updated editions, every year without a miss, since around 1970.
He eventually arranged, with Richard Comely, to do two things: One, to publish 15 (only fifteen) signed and numbered copies of the then – as – yet – unpublished Captain Canuck volume 1, # 4, and in Marvel Treasury Edition size-! In black and white! However, since there were only fifteen copies of this RARE # 4 out there, acquiring a copy seemed to be next to impossible, even then!
Three or four years passed. And then, Doug Sulipa’s Comix World went back to press, reprinting this HUGE,vol. 1 # 4 Marvel Treasury Edition (sized) Captain Canuck, vol. 1 # 4 issue, entitled “Behind The Mask!”
I jumped on it, and purchased a serially signed and numbered # 169 (out of 300) of this second printing edition, which I still own, to this day.
A few years later, I graduated High School in Nova Scotia. And, with money saved from summer jobs, I bought a plane ticket, and flew to Toronto on a Big Silver Bird to work, and eventually, I ended up working for The Dragon Lady Comics Shop, which, at that time, was located at 200 Queen Street West, in Toronto, not too far from the C.N. Tower. There is also a cross – Canada railroad, (info for our American friends), which is called C.N. – this stands for the ‘Canadian National’ railroad. There is also a ‘Canadian Pacific’ railroad. See all the info you learn on First Comics News.com …..that you didn’t even ask about! How can ya do better than that??
Within a couple of years, Richard Comely teamed up with a business associate, by the name of Ken Ryan, who provided financing to relaunch Captain Canuck, volume one. The new company that would take up where ‘Comely Comix’ had left off, was named ‘CKR Productions’; ‘CKR,’ as in (Richard) Comely – Ken Ryan Productions.
The first new issue that CKR Productions published and distributed was, of course, Captain Canuck, volume One, # 4. However, this (third) printing of Volume One, # 4 was a normal, small – sized, full colour comic book.
Since, of course, only a total of 315 readers previously had had the resources (money) and the privilege to buy and read either version of the two other, oversized printings/-versions of volume one, # 4, printing a third printing of Vol. 1 # 4 made a great deal of sense. Only this time, this # 4 would see a print run in the hundreds of thousands. And so, this normal comic book full colour version of volume one, # 4 was actually the THIRD version of vol. 1, # 4.
And thus, for the first time ever, hundreds of thousands of people, both in Canada and in the United States, found out, and at about the same time, that, behind the mask was a Canadian Aboriginal Indian, with black hair, one Thomas (or Tom) Evans. We further learned that Tom Evans had a brother named Michael Evans, and that (in issues still to come), Michael was married to an Eskimo lady named Saskia. Michael Evans had originally been a uniformed police officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.), as had been his brother Tom (Captain Canuck) Evans, originally.
What follows are plot and story synopsis of the first series of Captain Canuck, Volume One, # 1 through 15, and the Captain Canuck Summer Special, which, any way you slice it, was a new Annual.
Captain Canuck, Volume One, # 1, cover dated as July of 1975:
Title: “Arctic Standoff Part One”
Caption: “Dotting the desolate vastness of the North, Alert stations like Pi.4 act as all-seeing sentinels for the continent.”
Basically, the text was indicating that there were very far, northern, well – equipped buildings on Canada’s far Northern tundra, in this future time period, between far northern Canada and the (then) Soviet Union, acted as listening posts.There was, after all, a Cold War (as it was called), going on, at the time.
This first series issue # 1 was set in the (then) futuristic date of May 8th, 1993.
It may help to remember that this comic book was published in the summer of 1975.
The bearded man manning this remote outpost suddenly gets an indication on his computer screen of FOUR UFOs…!
He then pressed an ‘Alert Condition Blue’ button.
Someone on the other end of his communications headset communicated to him, “Station Pi.4, Confirm Condition Blue.”
The lonely outpost sentinel replied back, “Confirmed. Five UFOs seem to have appeared out of nowhere. All indications are….they’re hostile! Surely you have them on your screen! At their present speed, they’ll be at pi.4 location in….seconds.”
Suddenly, the high Arctic outpost pi.4 is totally destroyed, by a missile from above!
Now, here we’ll take a brief recess, while I explain to our American friends, something about a real life (not fictional) Top Secret Agency in Canada. My doing so will help you understand the Captain Canuck series a bit better.
This agency is the Canadian equivalent of the American agencies of The F.B.I. and The C.I.A., all rolled into one.
This Canadian Top Secret Agency in Canada is called C.S.I.S. As stated, this is a real agency, and NOT a fictional organization. C.S.I.S. stands for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Here’s a link: Canadian Security Intelligence Service – Wikipedia
I needed to explain this, (above), and before we go further, because, in Captain Canuck comic books, there is a (fictional) comic book version of C.S.I.S, which is called C.I.S.O = Canadian International Security Organization. Are you with me so far-?
Now, in Captain Canuck vol. 1 # 1, the next scene takes place in the C.I.S.O main observation and strategy room for C.I.S.O and C.A.F. (Canadian Air Force) air weapons control room. As you might imagine, this huge room is bristling with state of the art computers and other communications and listening post equipment, and lots of men in C.A.F. uniforms.
They are aware that Arctic outpost P.i.4 has been cut off in communication, but they are not yet aware that this remote outpost has been destroyed!
Suddenly, a red phone rises out of a previously – hidden alcove, in the center of the main planning table.
“Sir, it’s The Prime Minister!”
Canada’s Prime Minister (Canada’s equivalent to the President of the U.S.) says to Canada’s General Sunn, “General Sunn, the President of the U.S. is on another line with me. what is the present situation?”
General Sunn explains to Canada’s Prime Minister that Alert station Pi.4 had spotted 5 UFOs.
“Because of some interference, we had no warning from any of our satellites. Canadian and U.S. fighters will make an interception in 6 minutes.”
Another voice in the room says, “Our Sasmo satellite will be transmitting a visual to us, in a few seconds.”
In a jet, racing to the scene of the destroyed Pi.4 high Arctic station…..an enemy helmeted pilot says over a video comm system (like closed circuit TV), “Hear this: call off the approaching fighters, or face total thermo destruction. We will now take over the control of Canada.” (!)
Listening in is Captain Canuck and his also costumed crime fighting partner, Blue Fox. The two are enroute to the Prime Minister’s office in a “nuclear powered monorail, shooting towards a small C.I.S.O. airbase in Northern Quebec. Gee. I hope we don’t have a melt down. That would surely ruin a lot of Canadian’s days, for sure.
The next text balloon says, “The predictions of Canada becoming the most important country in the world became a reality in the 1980’s. This posed new threats and problems for Canada’s leaders and for the countries that depend upon Canada’s supply of natural resources.
Thus, C.I.S.O. selected 2 men (our costumed superheroes) of unequaled physical and mental prowess, to be trained as special ‘super’ agents.
Writers note: Wow. “Canada becoming the most important country in the world….”
Hey, does this comics writer have an ego, or what-?
The Prime Minister is informed that Captain Canuck and his partner, Blue Fox, are on their way!
These two superheroes are, of course, also agents of C.I.S.O.
They exit the subway rocket, and they then take off in a futuristic jet, arriving 30 kilometers from the destroyed base, though they don’t, at this time, know that it has been destroyed.
But only that communications from the base have ceased.
They land about 30 kilometers away (we’re on the metric system in Canada), and take a snowmobile, from there.
Later, their snowmobile crashes into some ice, destroying it, and so, they must walk, from there. They still have 14 kilometers to go, to reach their destination.
Suddenly, they are attacked by a polar bear. The huge bear is getting the best of Captain Canuck when a rifle shot rings out.
An Eskimo, who had been hunting, named Utak, had shot and killed the bear, and thereby saving Captain Canuck’s life!
Finally, Captain Canuck and Blue Fox arrive at their destination, when, Blue Fox, behind the good Captain, hits him hard, over the head, with his gun pistol, rendering Captain Canuck unconscious! Betrayed!
A man plans to interrogate Captain Canuck, but Blue Fox says, “There will be time for that later. We will now inform their government that we have Canuck!”
The interrogator says, “We knew when we planned the invasion that these capitalist pigs would attempt this. This is why you were planted in C.I.S.O., Blue Fox!”
Blue Fox says, “When they see their mighty Canuck as our prisoner, they will realize that we are superior. Then they will surrender!”
To which Captain Canuck says, “Don’t be so sure, Foxy! They may decide to shoot it out!”
The interrogator says, “That would be very foolish! Even if your lasers did manage to stop our (nuclear) missiles, the effects of the fallout would be devastating!”
Suddenly, like a giant spring, Captain Canuck jumps up, and quickly incapacitates three men, including the would-be interrogator. He holds this man in front of him, in a headlock, while holding a rifle, in his other arm.
Canuck: “Order them to throw down their guns!”
Interrogator: “D-don’t shoot your commander, men!”
Blue Fox jumps up and tries to launch the missiles!
Captain Canuck quickly shoots him in the back, with this advanced stun rifle.
But it is too late: the missiles’ launch buttons have been activated, and launch time is counting DOWN from 90 (ninety) seconds to zero!
Canuck, tossing the bad guys around like clothes pegs, says “There are millions of people down there! I’m pullin’ the plug on those missiles!”
Canuck runs outside, towards the missile launch tower.
The interrogator plans to shoot Canuck in the back, but Utak, the Eskimo, has finally arrived, and Utak shoots the interrogator, instead!
With seven seconds to go, Captain Canuck, with brute strength, pulls the thick steel fire launch control cables apart, with his bare hands, shredding them!
This silences the missiles, which now cannot launch; and then, it is a simple matter to mop up the remaining bad guys!
Title: C.I.S.O. faces “The Brain Machine”
Because of a successful raid by members of the R.C.M.P’s ‘Special Forces Squad’, (including R.C.M.P. constable Randon) on some master criminals,
Randon is offered a transfer, from the R.C.M.P, to C.I.S.O. He has the right to refuse the posting, however, he decides to accept it.
Constable Randon receives a new code name in C.I.S.O: ‘Redcoat.’
Another R.C.M.P. member who was on the same raid, also has been promoted and transferred to C.I.S.O. His new code name is ‘Kebec.’ (As in ‘Quebec.’)
At the same time, an investigation is being conducted, to determine how an invasion force, in an attempt to take-over Canada (from issue # 1), got hold
of nuclear weapons! The U.S.S.R. and China have refused to give any statements, regarding this matter!
General Sunn and other members of C.I.S.O., having conducted lengthy investigations, have determined the terrorists’ home base location, in South
America. Communist radicals from 6 different countries, under the leadership of a Marshal Rezero, who is described as “a maniac,” is responsible.
Rezero had also taken over a small republic in 1985, after a military coup.
Canadian Nato forces have recently gone in and taken over the republic’s main air base.
Meantime, a prison guard in a maximum security prison not far from the Canadian Rockies, posing as an inmate, has placed plastic explosives on the
outer wall of the prison. The guard (in disguise), and Bluefox, in civilian prison garb, make their escape from the prison!
Secretly, C.I.S.O, with Captain Canuck, LET Bluefox escape!
Captain Canuck, Redcoat and Kebec fly to the scene where Bluefox and the guard are hiding, in Montreal.
Like they suspected, Bluecoat and the guard, in tow, have gone to the domain building of Marshall Rezero, who is also an inventor.
Marshall Rezero is working on a new invention, which he calls his ‘brain adjunct controls.’
Redcoat and Kebec, with body armour and bullet proof vests, are outside, caught in a firefight.
They are pinned down by enemy fire.
Captain Canuck gets inside, kicking open Marshall Rezero’s door, with a stun gun in his hand.
Rezero has a mechanical head band on his head, linked to a very sophisticated computer – like machine, which has lots o amperage. Which he explains will augment his brain power and IQ, exponencially. Thus, he will be able to solve any problem, including how to defeat Captain Canuck.
But then, the machine, never tested prior to now, malfunctions.
Captain Canuck quickly unplugs it, but the damage is done.
“Come along with me, now”, says Captain Canuck.
Rezero replies, childlike. “Can I go play, now?”
Rezero’s mind is gone.
This is the final scene in Captain Canuck Volume 1, # 2.
Title: “The Canadian Connection”
Captain Canuck, Redcoat and Kebec are waiting outside a building, with members of the R.C.M.P. and C.I.S.O, standing next to some very futuristic -looking automobiles. Kebec says, “We’ve worked a long time to get to this!”
Kebec radios two members of the R.C.M.P. in one of these cars. “We’re going in now, to make the arrest.”
R.C.M.P: “Just holler, if you need us.”
From inside a building, some criminals observe, from a higher floor, the C.I.S.O. and R.C.M.P. members, outside. One of them says, “We’ve got no other alternative!”
The other one says, “Okay. Get it ready, fast!”
“Let’s move! We go in 30 seconds!”
Richard Comely has done the pencilling for issue # 3, however, Jean Claude St. Aubin, an artist who has just joined the company, starting with # 3,
has inked Richard’s pencils, and the result is fantastic! I should point out as well, that the colouring on this issue, is spell – binding. Really.
One of these criminals says, “All systems check! Now…get ready! Firing up Countdown in 15 seconds!”
It is obvious, (from the art), that these two criminals are in some sort of conveyance machine or vehicle, inside the building! This machine looks like a vertical rocket!
From the elevator shaft in this building: “All hatches closed. Elevator shaft….ready. Ignition!”
From outside the elevator on one of the floors, Kebec says to Captain Canuck, “Captain! The elevator is jammed shut! These doors are solid!”
There is a wooooooossssssh, and Captain Canuck proclaims, “That’s a jet engine! You two get out of here! Get on the radio to Norad, fast!”
Kebec leaves hurriedly, and Captain Canuck thinks to himself, “There’s a slim chance I can find the main ground controls in that 2nd floor
apartment, before they can lift off!”
There is a mighty rumble, and Redcoat, outside, on the sidewalk, proclaims, “The whole building is shaking like crazy! Get the fire department over here!!
Get everyone back fast!”
Captain Canuck is trying to get out of the building through a stairwell from a higher floor, but the building and the staircase begin crumbling, with HIM IN IT-!
Caption: ‘How to crack a 30 story building: send a jet rocket shooting up its’ elevator shaft!’
Like a bullet, a nuclear power jet – craft comes shooting up the long elevator shaft!
The rocket, with the men inside of it, fires up the shaft, high into the sky, and is gone.
One of the C.I.S.O. men says over the radio, “We’re going to need any ambulances we can get! Also, contact E.M.O!”
Redcoat: “Every available man up the stairways! There’ll be injured on at least ten of the thirty floors!”
An injured woman says to Redcoat, “T-there’s a (gasp) guy in r-red a-at the bottom o-of (choke) the s-stairs!”
Captain Canuck is indeed found at the bottom of the stairwell, unconscious, amidst rubble, his head smeared with blood!
Several ambulances are taking numerous people to hospitals, and among them – Captain Canuck!
Men in C.I.S.O. uniforms arrive with medical staff, saying “It’s okay. We’ll take care of this patient”, indicating Captain Canuck.
Kebec insists that a special nurse is assigned to The Captain as well, from the hospital.
Inside the building, the agents are looking at the elevator shaft. “The shaft was designed like a missile silo!”
Meanwhile, the rocket plane lands on a frozen lake, where it is met by the criminals’ compatriots.
It turns out that the main pilot of the rocket plane is a man known as ‘Rosey’, a Canadian crooked politician who was one of the first M.P’s to support the forming of C.I.S.O. They intend to hide out in Canada, and then, to get to South America in the spring.
A hospital doctor who is ‘on the take’, calls Rosechuck (‘Rosey’) to inform him that he has some info that Rosechuk will want to pay money for: namely, that Captain Canuck is in the hospital! Rosechuck and his compatriots are planning to snatch Captain Canuck out of the hospital, where he is injured.
The wretched doctor had ‘sold’ Captain Canuck to Rosechuck and his underlings, for $15,000.00 -!
Members of the R.C.M.P. arrive and explain that they have been instructed to move Captain Canuck to another hospital, for security reasons.
However, these men are actually part of Rosechuck’s gang, in fake R.C.M.P. uniforms, and armed with fake I.D’s-!
A ‘doctor’ in light green surgical garb (including a matching operating mask), comes in with a syringe for Captain Canuck, which is filled with deadly poison!
Captain Canuck recognizes the fake R.C.M.P. members, from police mug shots!
When one of the fake R.C.M.P. members gets close enough, the Captain kicks him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him!
Our Captain gets off of the gurney, woozy, and, with his arm and head bandaged, he nonetheless manages to punch the other fake cop, hard-!
The fake doctor, pretending he is a good guy, shoots the fake R.C.M.P. member that Captain Canuck had previously kicked into a wall. The fake doctor’s gun shot almost kills him. This ‘doctor’ explains that he is actually a real R.C.M.P. undercover operative. But….IS he?!?
Canuck says “It wasn’t necessary to shoot him! That jolt came close to killing him!”
Doctor: “Sorry, Captain! We’re going to move you to another hospital, where you can be looked after. It’s obvious the word is out that You’re laid up, here.”
Canuck doesn’t trust this guy, suspecting he is a fake, too, but Canuck is injured and woozy, from his injuries. He decides to play along until he gets his strength back.
This masked doctor insists that the hospital nurse, a nurse Lori, accompany the good Captain, to the other hospital.
As the ambulance pulls away, with Canuck in the gurney bed in back, with the nurse, a driver, and the fake doctor aboard, one of the C.I.S.O. agents, standing outside of the hospital, thinks to himself, “Hmm…strange. This ambulance ALSO looks like one of the two stolen last year!”
The fake doctor finally drops the charade, saying, “We got first prize! The great Captain Canuck! We’ve even got a cute little nurse to help us give him the fatal injection! Ha,ha! Hey doll, take off the Captain’s mask! You’re going to take his picture for me so I can have it for my album! Ha,ha!
The nurse says, “What! You’re not–?!?”
Captain Canuck is helpless, and thinks, “I’ve got to at least save this nurse, he’s got me cold! And…and I’m so weak, I’m useless! Dear God, I need help now like never before!”
Followed by the next issue blurb: ‘NEXT ISSUE: we reveal everything in ” Behind The Mask!”
If only the readers had known, after reading that comic, when it came out in 1975, that most all of them were going to have to wait FOUR SOLID YEARS, before they would be able to read # 4, which was Part Two of this very dramatic storyline, with fantastic art-!
However, since I had been one of the 300 people who had been able to purchase the second printing of the Doug Sulipa’s Comix World’s Marvel Treasury Edition – sized # 4, I, after several months, fairly quickly was able to read part two of this very dramatic story, with the cliff-hanger ending at the end of part one-! Unlike MOST all other Captain Canuck fans!
Everyone else would have to wait another FOUR YEARS, before they, too, could get to read Part Two of this tale-! But the owner and employees’ of Canada’s Comely Comix did not, of course, know this, at the time that vol. 1 # 3 came out; and probably not for some time, thereafter-!
Note: George Freeman had begun handling the JONN back – up story, art – wise, beginning with issue # 2.
Around about this time, the first issue of the Captain Canuck Newsletter, which was FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS (through the mail) of Captain Canuck, came out. These are actually rather scarce! I have issue # 1 only; however, it is known that at least four issues exist of this Captain Canuck Newsletter.
Here is the text contents of the Captain Canuck Newsletter # 1:
Comely Comix’ Captain Canuck, For Immediate Release.
Canada’s only comic book publishers “Comely Comix”, originally began right here in Winnipeg, the centre of Canada. The entire operation will be moved to the town of Cardston, in Southern Alberta. We’re all sorry to leave Winnipeg, but the move is probably going to be very important in the future of Comely Comix. I WILL BE TAKING ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF RUNNING CARDSTON’S WEEKLY NEWSPAPER, with George Freeman and Jean – Claude (St. Aubin) also putting in time on the newspaper each week. Don’t we have enough to do producing Captain Canuck, you ask?
Yes we do. Working on the newspaper does mean putting in more hours and “lengthening our stride”, as President Kimball would say, but it also means extra income, which is badly needed. The sales of Captain Canuck are good but they have to sell 3 times better than our gigantic southern compeditors, (sic) just to break even on our printing bill! Egads! The reason is simple. It has cost us 3 times as much to have them printed in Canada than the U.S. comic publishers pay. That is why issue No. 4 is being printed by WORLD COLOR PRESS LTD., WHO’S (sic) HEAD OFFICE IS IN NEW YORK, with two huge plants in Illinois. They ship 130,000,000 comics from their plants each month. The printing quality won’t be as good as our third issue which was printed by two Winnipeg firms, but we have lost money on each issue because of paying such high printing costs. Issue # 3 has done well in sales after suffering mediocre sales with # 2.
100,000 copies were distributed across Canada, 66,000 into the U.S., and 5,000 were bought by CP Air for their passengers. As far as we can determine, this is the first time this has happened in Canadian
30,000 more copies will be used for special distribution in the future. The first issue is still the most valuable as a collector’s item. It sells for more than $2.00 in some U.S. comic shops, mainly because they never reached the news stands, there. The remaining stock of the 199,000 copies of No. 1 will be sold in special Collector’s packs at cut rate prices throughout Western Canada in stores like Dominion News and This Is It Stores.
Captain Canuck is the only comic on the racks among hundreds of the foreign made, that is Canadian. A French version will be appearing in early 1977 and will be distributed in Quebec.
The National Film Board (of Canada) and Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd. have requested permission to use Captain Canuck in two separate (sic) text books for Canadian schools.
Future plans for Comely Comix are first of all: Syndication of Captain Canuck in the daily and weekend newspaper comic sections.
Transworld syndicated features in New York are positive they can receive orders from newspaper publishers in many foreign countries, although indications are that U.S. editors are not interested in carrying any super hero strips (let alone a Canadian superhero.) We plan to have Captain Canuck available for Canadian newspapers before the end of 1976.
Writer’s note: this actually DID happen, a unique Captain Canuck daily and weekend newspaper comic strip to various newspapers (separate entirely from the Captain Canuck comic book stories and art), to many newspapers, for a time-!
The mail continued to pour in from excited Canadian and U.S. fans. We seem to have sparked many imaginations, and the support of many readers, of whom many are in their late teens and early twenties. (According to a recent demographic survey quoted by Marvel Comics, half of the readers of comics are between 16 and 25.) More than one out of every three college students are also avid comic book readers, according to this survey. This is one of the reasons we attempt to produce a more sophisticated magazine. The vocabulary, the distinctive speech, and the whole format of the Comics are aimed to stimulate the interest of our older audience and the adolescence of today who seem to be more aesthetically and culturally advanced, than their preceeding generation. Kids today learn more and
have more access to education than ever before. They are also exposed to more violence and immorality than ever before. Children who go to the comic rack in many drug stores and newsstands are bombarded by covers of pornographic magazines depicting naked women in various degrading poses. I’m not trying to force my morals on anyone, but I don’t want them forcing their morals on me and my children.
COMELY COMIX OLD HEADLINES – THE REAL FACTS
Captain Canuck may soon turn up on your lunch pail. At present there are two companies licensed to use Captain Canuck. Tam O’Shanter has T-Shirts on the market and is licensed to produce touques,
scarves and mitts as well. Stepping Stone is licensed to produce sparkle and velvet Doodle Posters which are presently on the market. The lunch pail deal still hasn’t materialized yet. The Canadian division was all excited about the idea when I met with their representative here in Winnipeg. But, it seems that their U.S. mother company has given the no – go for the time being.
One of my first jobs was as a crest designer. I worked mainly for Mr. J. D. Schacter who encouraged me (and more importantly lent me money) when I began with Captain Canuck. Now we work
together under his company “Can – Am Spectator Sales Ltd.” promoting licensing for Captain Canuck and our other characters.
Religion keeps Captain Canuck off book shelves. Headlines like this appeared across Canada, but they didn’t tell the whole story. CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting System’s) “As It Happens” phoned me
after seeing this article with the idea of having both myself and the book shop owner who was quoted saying “He would not touch Captain Canuck because of religious aspects,” on their program.
I agreed (to appear), but “As It Happens” phoned to say the book store owner declined. “He didn’t like the newspaper quoting him.” He stated to the “As It Happens” people that he was mainly upset because he could not get a low enough dealer’s discount.
I am very proud to be a Latter – day Saint and like most Canadian “Mormons” I’m proud to be a Canadian. many people in the news media and fans ask about the Church, and I’m always happy to answer questions. I’ve also enclosed two booklets that explain a little bit about the Church.
Please note: the writer of this lengthy article is Phil Latter. However, despite my legal surname, I am (NOT) a ‘Mormon/-‘Latter Day Saint.’
The fact of my surname being ‘Latter’ is nothing but a complete coincidence. I’ve been informed that my surname, Latter, is actually Welsh, in origin. (Wales, England.)
Richard Comely continues: Why did I become a Latter – Day Saint? Because I know without a doubt that this is Christ’s True Church, and that it’s (sic) teachings lead to real happiness here and in the
here – after.
Ron Leishman (who will be back January ’77 (1977) from his mission) and I respect good Catholics, Protestants, or any other religions as much as we respect good Mormons, but we can’t deny the truth,
we have to embrace it. This is why we are conscientious about things like morality and violence.
If you have any questions, or would like interviews please contact me at: Comely Comix, 745 Carter Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba phone: 204 – 284 – 6256 res: 204 – 475 – 8019
After September 1st contact me at: Comely Comix, Westwind News, 22- Main Street, Cardston, Manitoba, phone: 403 – 653 – 4023
Writer’s notes: Mr. Comely’s views on religion are not my own views. I include, from the first Captain Canuck newsletter, this letter, as well as Richard Comely’s PREVIOUS addresses and PREVIOUS phone numbers, for the sake of historical accuracy, as to the contents of the 1976-ish Captain Canuck Newsletter # 1. Every last one of the above addresses and phone numbers are several decades old.
They are all, also, no longer valid. They are completely out of date. If the phone numbers were still valid (they are NOT), I would not print them, here.
But to continue…
All you out there — take care and be happy. We appreciate your support. I hope you’ll support all good Canadian literature.
Comely Comix Richard D. Comely
This is our first newsletter and definitely a collector’s item! This news release is going to news – media people across Canada and to our 2,000 subscribers. (This is also a historical first in the comic
FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS are available to anyone working in the news – media. Just send me your card and you’ll be starting with issue # 4.
Note: this offer of free subscriptions (from the first newsletter) is, of course, likewise, no longer valid!
Captain Canuck # 4 will be 52 pages plus cover for our 1st Giant Size Annual Edition! Cover price will be 50 cents. Besides an 18 page story on Captain Canuck “Behind The Mask” (Part Two of “The Canadian Connection” (# 2)), there will be a Chaos Corps story and a Catman Story, plus other features! We don’t blame people for considering our magazine the greatest comic book on the market!
The contents (typed out, above) of the first Captain Canuck newsletter, which also went out free at the time to subscribers, ran eight pages, and also included lots of unique illustrations — unique to the newsletter, that is! Those illustrations will accompany this article.
The third (normal sized, full – colour) printing of Captain Canuck, Volume One, # 4 was cover – dated July – Aug, 1979. Remember, as stated several pages above, in this article, the first and second
printings of Captain Canuck volume 1 # 4 were BOTH Marvel Treasury Edition – Sized! The first printing only saw 15 (fifteen) copies, so those were published to be VERY RARE, upon printing.
The second printing of volume 1 # 4 of Captain Canuck, saw only 300 (three hundred) copies were printed/-published. I am lucky enough to have one of those; mine is # 169. Both the first and second over – sized printings of volume 1 # 4 of Captain Canuck are all serially signed and numbered. Also, the first and second printings of Captain Canuck, Volume 1 # 4 were published in black and
white. The third printing of Captain Canuck, Volume 1 # 4 was a regular sized (same size as Marvel and DC regular comics), and like them, the third printing of that issue is in full process colour!
Okay, we’ve got all that straight! Whew!
Caption: ” Fear rides with the ambulance of doom! Doom for Captain Canuck and one very frightened nurse! They race down highway no. 29, leaving smog – ridden Sudbury far behind!
One Sad truth we learn from issue no. 3 is that you won’t know who to trust in the 1990’s! The Captain battled phony mounties only to END UP prisoner of a phony doctor. (For more details, see issue no. 3.) But YOU ARE SAFE in your seat, dear reader, so let’s go on to what you’ve been waiting for! Let’s go….BEHIND THE MASK!
“Here, sweetie! Stick this in the Captain! that’s what nurses are FOR, right?”, indicating the hypodermic needle full of toxic poison.
The nurse replies, “I can’t do that! I just….can’t.
Doctor: “If you don’t, I WILL….only I won’t be gentle!”
Then…..”I want his mask off, now! Let’s see if he’s really part Indian, like I’ve heard!” And, with that, the doctor yanks Captain Canuck’s mask right off, exposing his face, for the very first time in four issues!
Caption: ” the captain is still alert enough to take advantage of a chance to escape…he struggles blindly, using every ounce of strength his weakened body can muster.” The Captain grabs the doctor by the neck, while jumping off of the gurney. The doctor’s gun fires blindly, accidentally killing the driver, one of his own cronies.
Caption: “The stray shot instantly kills the driver! Sending the ambulance, swerving out of control, into a giant tree!
Nurse Lorie and the Captain escape the crash with just cuts and bruises.”
The ambulance is in flames.
Captain Canuck’s head is spinning. “We’ve got to f…find a telephone, to call for help!”
Nurse Lori: “You can make it! Don’t worry, I’ll help you!”
Minutes later, Redcoat and Kebec arrive at the scene of the accident.
But Captain Canuck and the nurse are no longer there, having climbed over a low fence, and approached a farm house. The lights are out at the first farmhouse, so they continue on, and approach a second farmhouse, with lights blazing, in the dark of the night.
As they knock, the Captain loses consciousness. The door opens, and a gun barrel sticks out the door. “Why, it’s the nurse and the good Captain! All that trouble for nothing! You see….this is where I was delivering you to!”
Nurse Lori: “OH NO! Doctor Wilby!! How? …..I thought the crash….finished you!”
Doctor: “Shame on you! You’ve made me keep Mr. Gold waiting!”
Note: On Captain Canuck volume one, # 4, the art chores are by George Freeman and Jean Claude St. Aubin, whereas, the writing chores are by Richard Comely.
Mr. Gold’s henchmen are watching Kebec and Redcoat arrive outside, via monitor screens.
The Captain is taken out the back and loaded on to a plane. The plane takes off, with Canuck and nurse Lori aboard, with Captain Canuck still unconscious.
Much, much later, at their destination, which is South America, Canuck wakes up in a prison, but he craftily escapes, knocking two guards out at the same time!
It seems that Rosechuck and Mr. Gold are working together, having teamed up!
Canuck reconnoiters back, and sees his young nurse fighting off Rosechuck’s advances!
As ill as he is feeling, Canuck still kayos Rosechuck.
And then, the nurse and Canuck raid the fridge, because they’re both half starved.
Through a course of several actions, Canuck manages to defeat Rosechuk and Mr. Gold and their minions, and escape once again.
C.I.S.O. forces, including Redcoat and Kebec, show up, to wraps things up. Canuck, now dressed in civies, is having a conversation with this nurse Lorie. She has tears running down her face. “So what happens now? Will I ever see you again? Am I just supposed to try and forget you?
Tom Evans: “I can’t promise you anything…you know I can’t!”
Nurse Lorie: “Well, I’m not going to forget! I said I was tough…but not so tough that I can’t fall in love…with you.
Tom Evans has purchased a motorcycle and decides to go on vacation and to ride the motorcycle back to the United States.
The art, now by George Freeman, and the unique colouring by Jean Claude St. Aubin, were both stellar! Issues # 3 and # 4 were just fantastic!
Title: : “Planet Earth: 1994“
Now, obviously, the very first thing to remember about the title of this particular issue, which is “Planet Earth: 1994“, (as stated earlier
in this article), is that the Captain Canuck, Volume One series was published in the 1970`s, but set in the (then) future Earth of 1994.
Just as the two TV seasons of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson`s British science fiction television series `Space: 1999` came out between
1975 to 1977, but were, of course, set in the (then) future of 1999.
In BOTH cases, well, the respective creators probably should have set Space: 1999 a lot further into the future.
In fact, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson`s (with Reg Hill`s) previous British partially space-based television series, “UFO“, was first podcast in 1970, but was actually set in the then – future (ten years ahead) of the year 1980. And in that series, just like in Space: 1999, we had a moon base!
In Captain Canuck Volume One, #5, there were a few new differences:
1) For the first time, the inside (page one) indicia title name actually changed, from `Captain Canuck`(#1 through #4), to the NEW title, `Captain Canuck – Planet Earth 1994`, AND the TM (trade mark) letters were after the end of that long title.
2) More interestingly, starting with #5, the good Captain received a brand spankin’ new costume! Or, rather, it was more like an updated, more stream – lined version. The biggest changes, overall, were to the much larger (and stylized) Canadian maple leaf on the forehead of his mask, and form – fitting ‘cuffs’ on his gloves and boots. However, there were a few other changes as well, on the uniform – costume
tunic. In my opinion, while there was certainly nothing wrong with the original Canuck costume, this, now, was a handsome re – design!
This time, both the penciling and the inking were performed by Richard Comely, just as he had done with the first 2 issues.
The very fine, uniquely innovatinge colouring techniques this time, I suspect, were done by Jean Claude St. Aubin (who, in later years, would sign his work, simply, `Claude St. Aubin`, and at other times, `J.C. Aubin.`)
But there was no way to confirm this in issue five, because the only credits on the first story in this book were `Art & Story Richard D. Comely.`
The obvious (to me, at least) reason why both St. Aubin did not do the artwork for the Captain Canuck lead story in issuefive, was because he had something else, equally as interesting, to do, that month. While Richard Comely as well as `George Percival Allan Freeman` both co – wrote a NEW back – up feature this month, a comedic superhero type group (think DC`s `The Inferior Five`), and you sort – of have the idea (although I think this new feature was much more interesting), of this feature: ‘CHAOS CORPS’.
Now, because this back – up feature comics story WAS a humour strip, I suspect that George Freeman`s signed name, in the credits for this strip, as `George Percival Allan Freeman`, may be, umm…..`suspect.` If ya know what I mean…
Especially in so far as St. Aubin`s name in the credits for `Chaos Corps` was listed, for the first time, (also), as `Jean – Claude Adelbert St. Aubin.` And, while Comely`s name on Chaos Corps was signed as `Richard Douglas Comely`, that I do choose to believe, seeing as how, on previous issues, he had signed himself as `Richard D. Comely.`
Now, it`s entirely possible that these are, indeed, the full real names of all three creators. And I want it to go On Record that I applaud their great courage in daring to admit it.`Adelbert-!`
My OWN middle name, meantime, is ‘Andrew’. Sigh. How boring. I’d rather be a ‘Napolean’ or ‘Tiberius.’
Chaos Corps consisted of:
-Tartan (basically, Tarzan, with a loin cloth made with – of course – a tartan colour pattern.) Oh, and a hairstyle reminiscent of Groucho Marx`s brother, Harpo, except that Tartan had brown hair.
-Screw Driver (don`t ask.)
-and finally, Fastman.
Both the writing and art in this initial Chaos Corps adventure were both hilarious and top – notch! It seems that some nefarious villain had somehow managed to quite ingeniously change the normal consistency of clouds over the city, into the consistency of…..foam rubber.
Yes, you read that right. And that, therefore, the weight of these clouds having consistently increased, they were now no longer lighter than air. And thus, they fell out of the sky, descending on the city, weighing everything down, and causing general….bedlam.
The Skunk, a female in a sort of skunk costume, uses her skunk power (you can guess what that is: think `The Spleen`character, in the Bob Burden comics series, turned into the theatrical movie `Mystery Men.` — to try to disintegrate these now foam rubber clouds lying all over the city, creating traffic jams, etc, , etc. This, of course, doesn`t work.
The city work men, using pavement jack hammers, trying to break up these – eh – foam rubber clouds, to no avail, start choking on the noxious smell from The Skunk`s…..`power`, gasping, “Aargh! I give up! I give up!“
To which her comrade in arms, (Tartan), suggests, “You better stop while some of them are still alive! Leave it to me. I`ll get through!“
Tartan swings on up to the mayor`s office, to check on if he is safe, figuring, “Got to get to the mayor! He`s probably still trapped by the clouds.“
Arriving there, Tartan is surprised to discover that, not only is the mayor free, but that the mayor`s research assistant has found a way to DISSOLVE these clouds. The answer is: common dirt will dissolve these now foam rubber clouds!
Tartan then TRIPS over one of the foam rubber clouds in the mayor`s offi and goes plunging out the second story window, to the street.
Battered and stunned, he says, weakly, “Dirt…dirt is the solution.“
Screwdriver, who has the uncanny ability to have his helmet emit pretty well anything mechanical from the top of his helmet, brings forth a truck – like snow removal front scoop, and, with his head-helmet, then starts pushing up all the dirt all over the city, saying, “I`ll get the dirt! You`ll have to figure out how to dump it on the clouds.“
Exhausted and lying down in the street, later, Screwdriver then says, `Wow! That`s a lot of dirt! What are we going to to put it in!“
There`s a little bratty kid throughout this story, who had been flying a kite in the sky, just before this calamity all happened.
His kite is wrapped around a lot of these now foam rubber clouds lying all over the city.
The kid finally shrieks to the other female on the CHAOS CORPS team, Pink Pong, “Hey lady! My kite! You know!??“Fastman tries to lift tens of thousands of garbage bags that have been glued together, to try to contain all these clouds, slowly dissolving, now covered in hundreds of tons…..of common dirt, assisted by Duckman (who keeps tripping over his own webbed feet), and the female hero, Pink Pong.
In the super powered attempt to lift all these glued together garbage bags over the city, holding in these foam rubber clouds covered in dirt…..they predictably explode (the garbage bags full of dirt),
and then, they cover the entire city in dirt!!! It then starts to rain, and the dirt turns into….mud.
An entire city now covered, from top to bottom…..in mud. MUD-!
The city`s denizens now cheer CHAOS CORPS for getting rid of the foam rubber clouds. But the mayor is furious! “My city….my beautiful city!!“ Covered in mud; a bloody quagmire! “You idiots!! You cretins!!! You saw what the mud did to my office and you went ahead anyway! At least the clouds were CLEAN!
The Skunk: “Just a minute you….you….mayor. We were hired to get rid of the clouds and we DID! Scream at the guy who made the clouds fall!
Not at us!!!“
From the mayor: “We don`t know who did it!! All we DO know is that the clouds were struck by a charge of electricity from somewhere in the city.“
And then the kid who had been flying the kite, speaks up, with an enquiry of his own: “You mean like when the tail of my kite got caught in that POWER LINE? Boy, did I get a shock!“
The next (and final two) panels are hilarious: the next two panels shows the face of each CHAOS CORPS member as well as the mayor, with red, angry faces, looking at this child, just about getting ready to tar and feather him!!!
The final panel shows the kid covered in mud; only his eyes are visible, and his kite has been broken over his head!
– THE END –
In comics, seldom are any stories that are meant to be funny, ACTUALLY funny. But this story succeeds in that regard, very, very well!
While George Freeman is credited as being a co – writer of this tale, he is not credited with any art chores this issue, and therefore, I have to assume that Jean – Claude St. Aubin illustrated this winner of a tale, on his own.
It`s clear to me that Mr. Comely illustrated the Captain Canuck story in this issue on (his) own, because, had George done any part of the art in the lead story, the art story would have come out very, very differently.
So, now that I`ve talked about the backup story in issue five, (which is, by far, more interesting than the lead story), here is what the lead story was about: Captain Canuck is piloting a sort of space shuttle 3,500 kilometers (2,100 miles up, for our American friends), in Earth orbit.
How one figures out kilometers to miles: multiply the amount of kilometers by .6 (point 6)
Conversely, if you have a number of miles, and you want to know how many kilometers that would be, you would divide that number, by .6
And that, friends, is your conversion lesson, for today! : – )
Captain Canuck`s ship is about to dock with a space station orbiting the Earth, built with the combined efforts of twelve nations.
Kebec and Redcoat meet Captain Canuck in the `Main Control`section of this space station.
Canada`s General Sunn contacts Captain Canuck on the main visi-screen of the space station, and informs him, “Captain, the Neo Nazi situation is becoming critical! As soon as you can, head for East Germany!“The Captain asks the General, “Earth Patrol was given that assignment. What are they doing?“
General Sunn: “We`ve lost all contact with Earth Patrol!”
Caption: `The Neo-Nazis have been around for years! In MAY they got a new leader; he considers himself another HITLER. In fact, he calls himself Der Fuhrer!`
Caption: `Earth Patrol learned that they`ve merged with other terror groups and are building up ARMS! Getting ready for the big one!“Earth Patrol is a NEW independent agency introduced in this issue, headed by a man known as Lord West, who uses his millions of dollars, to finance the operations! He had previously worked as Britain`s leading physicist, until his wife was killed by terrorists! Since then, he has dedicated himself to the task of making the world safe again.
Star Dance, a native Canadian Aboriginal (Indian), is an electronics expert, and a computer genius, and is Lord West`s Top Assistant. As well as his best friend.
Captain Canuck informs Red Coat and Kebec that both Lord West and Star Dance are currently being held in a prison cell of these German Neo Nazis! The Neo Nazis captured them by firing knock out gas capsules, out of specialized guns — a gas that these Neo Nazis seemed to be immune to, their probably having been inocculated, against it!
Captain Canuck, Redcoat and Kebec all depart from the space station orbiting Earth, in 3 separate C.I.S.O. space shuttles, of C.I.S.O`s own unique design, heading to Hanover.
Note: Hanover (in Germany, Hannover), is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Who says learning can’t be fun?
Issue five is remarkable in many ways: the first appearances of Chaos Corps, Lord West, Earth Patrol, Captain Canuck`s new at the time (second) costume, and also (finally), the first time told, ORIGIN OF CAPTAIN CANUCK!
Two brothers, Tom and Mike Evans, proudly joined, and at the same time, the Canada`s R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police.) Then, also together at the same time, they were both recruited later, into C.I.S.O.
Captain: “People used to say, they came as a set.”
That was soon to change!
Fate was blamed for the fact that the night Tom Evans, as Scout Master, was camping with a group of Boy Scouts, Tom had an encounter that was to change his life! Even now, the memory is veiled!
The boys, getting lost, with Tom searching for them — to find them under the control of beings from another world!
His Reason, or rational thinking ability, (for Tom Evans) faded, at the sight of what looked like his boys in danger! The reaction was impulsive!
Tom lunged at the aliens, and that was the last thing that Tom remembered.
Except, the dream – like memories of the aliens, exposing Tom to strange rays!
And then — it was morning, back at camp. Tom Evans awoke in his camping tent, to see the Boy Scouts he was in charge of, were there, and safe!
Quote, “The aliens had affected my body with their rays! Suddenly, I was twice as strong as before! I could lift as much and move twice as fast as I could before! It wasn`t long before the heads of C.I.S.O. were also aware of my new power, and they had a plan on how to capitalize on it. C.I.S.O. directors and specialists created a costume, and a code name. They wanted to create an image – a symbol of C.I.S.O authority and power – a show piece for Canada!
Especially now, with C.I.S.O`s elite anti – terrorist squad being used, by other countries!
While en-route to Earth, Captain Canuck receives a telecommunications message on his ship`s visi screen: `Captain, the Neo Nazis are now moving on Brauschweig!
They are threatening the town`s people! We want you to move in, and put a stop to them, now! But be careful — theyhave prisoners! “At the same time, this Neo Nazi leader who has patterned himself after Adof Hitler, says “You have your orders! Now get that laser cannon ready! The C.I.S.O. jets just be destroyed!”
These laser cannons fire at the shuttle jets of Captain Canuck, Kebec, and Red Coat! Both Kebec and Redcoat`s jets are shot down; however, they eject, and activate….jet packs that they have strapped t;o their backs, for emergencies.
Editor`s Note: well, naturally! I myself never go anywhere, without mine!
Redcoat says over his helmet radio, “Let`s go down and give them a good spanking, Kebec!“Captain Canuck flies his space jet out of range, then radios to his comrades, Ì`m safe from their lasers, now! I`m going to let the computer land the jet, and join you on jet pack!“
Note: this new Neo Nazi both looks like, dresses like, talks like, and acts pretty – well exactly like the original one nut wonder, Hitler, except that he has a gold eyepatch over his left eye. Waitaminute. A Gold eyepatch! That seems like…..hmm!
Captain Canuck happens upon a sign that says, in German, Àlbes pferde zu vermieten`, which, just like Captain Canuck himself, we all KNEW that this means a horse riding academy, in the German language. Right? Right! ; – )
Besides, everyone and his dog knew that most Canadians read, write and speak fluent German.
Okay, okay, I just made that up!
This caption made me laugh: “After explaining the situation in simple German, the Captain is given a prize stallion – one brought over from
Alberta.` (The province of Alberta, Canada.)
I guess this means that Canada, in advance, sent a prize stallion to this particular place in Germany, just in case an evil Neo Nazi leader should later rise to power, who then might (still later) try to take over this particular small area of Germany, and just in case C.I.S.O. then sent Captain Canuck in there to deal with it; and just in case, furthermore, Canuck`s jet plane was then shot down in the area where this horse academy just happened to be. That, of course, is why they taught our Good Captain (in advance)….fluent German!
By Gawd, those Canadians are frickin`brilliant! Eh, wot! LOL
Captain Canuck then explains, “Isch braucha ihr bestes pferd!+“ , which we ALL already know means, “I need your best horse!“To which the German horse ranch tender replies, `Versuch es in* einin teil zur uck zu bringen!“
Because I`ve already guessed that our readers are already fluently conversant in German, I really don’t need to explain, here, that The King`s (or Queen`s, if you are all modernists`); English translation is “Try to bring it back in one piece“, Right? Right!
Tally ho, and such, forthwith!
The Neo Nazis` Hitler clone commands his troops to use their laser cannon to destroy the building that Kebec and Redcoat are hiding out in, and them with it, of course!
When (you`ll never see this coming), Captain Canuck charges to the rescue, jumps off the horse, and bowls over the two Neo Nazis holding this here laser cannon. `Then, one more pistol – wielding soldier joins his immobilized comrades!
Kebec hurls 3 gas bombs at the Neo Nazi troops, who then panic and retreat!
Note: no wonder the original Hitler and the boys lost the war!
One of the C.I.S.O. agents informs Our Hero that the German militia (meaning, the GOOD GUY German militia) are moving in, to mop up!
Canuck: “Good! I`m going to find Der Fuhrer!“
Retreating, Der Fuhrer decides it would probably be a ‘veddy goot idea, ja’, to take Lord West and Sundance with them, for hostages.
Hostages always come in handy! Probably MORE handy, than butter, for toast!
However, Sundance fights them off, which Lord West tries to do as well, (but fails.) The evil villains escape with Lord West, in a `hover jet.Lord West, upset that the
Lord West, upset that the villians have escaped with his friend Lord West, actually breaks down….and cries. Sigh.
`C`mon, Man Up, Stardance! We`ve got us a millionaire to save! And effite BRITISH millionaire, I might add!
In this escaped hover jet, the Neo Nazi pseudo Hitler rants: “That interfering Canuck has destroyed my plans again! I`ll kill him! If it`s the last
thing I do! If he saw our hover jet, he may already know that I`M BACK! Back to continue my rise to power! Back to settle my score! let him know — cause Captain Canuck, you`re as good as dead! Nobody messes with MR GOLD, and lives!“Ha! Didn`t see that comin`, didja?
In my view, Issue five`s lead Canuck tale was over – dramatic and silly, but still, nonetheless, good clean fun!
Take this scene, for instance (full page spread!): Caption: “An expert horseman, mounted on a powerful (Canadian, exported to Germany) stallion, thundering over beautiful German countryside — the sight stirs the blood, sets our hearts pounding, knowing that there is NO other to equal his might — No other to match his speed. We sense the majesty of this man, known only as: Captain Canuck!“
Not to be rude, Mr. Comely, but…psst! He`s Also known as….Tom Evans!`
The only thing missing in the above scene was an R.C.M.P. mountie hat on his head, over his Canadian maple leaf – labelled mask!
Bring on the beavers, maple syrup and Canadian back bacon! And God Save The Queen! We Stand On Guard For Thee!
End caption for next ish: “Tune in next for The Search! Captain Canuck must save his country, or die trying!“
Ànd you JUST KNOW he`s gonna pull it off, right-?
Favourable propaganda is always half the fun in comics stories like Captain America, Captain Britain, and Captain Canuck!
In Canada, in comics, we not only have a Captain Canuck. We`ve also had a Captain Canada, Captain Newfoundland, The
Northern Light, Capitan Quebec, Johnny Canuck, Canada Jack, Nelvana of The Northern Lights, Fleur De Lys, Wolverine, Deadpool, and others. Here is a link to these and others: The 7 Most Canadian Superheroes Ever
The 7 Most Canadian Superheroes Ever They’ve battled supernatural villains, Nazi invaders, and American corporate influence. And, if that isn`t enough, how about Sgt. Canuck, The Penguin, (not the Batman villain, but rather, a World War Two era Canadian superhero by the same name), The Brain, The Polka Dot Pirate, Red Ketchup, Northguard, and more. Captain Newfoundland`s face mask has an outline of the entire province of Newfoundland emblazoned upon it, and he is like a God and a superhero all rolled into one, somewhat like DC Comics`The Spectre! Here is another link: : The 11 Greatest Canadian Superheroes
Caption, Page One: ” Deep in the Andes of South America, a beautiful ancient city much like Machu Picchu nestled against the mountains, centered by a crystal clear lake.
Unlike Machu Picchu, this lost city is not pictured in any travel brochure, nor is it an attraction on any package tour. This ancient lost city remains LOST from the world!
Lost from all…
All except two select groups, whose lives are as different as day and night! On the day side, are the natives, who for hundreds of years, lived in this hidden valley in peace.
Now they are forced to share their city with others! White Men, who came in great Air Ships!
On the night side: Mister Gold and Company! Although the colour of their skin is lighter, their souls, in comparison to the humble natives, are as black as midnight!
Mr. Gold orders his men to “Throw the ol’ goat into the dungeon!’ – referring to the captured Lord West.
One of his men asks Mr. Gold, “Der Fuhrer, what if Captain Canuck comes after us and finds this place?” Gold: “You can knock off Der Fuhrer stuff now – IDIOT!”
Underling: “Sure boss — er– Mr. Gold, but what about Canuck?”
Gold: “No one can find this place, fool. Not even with sensors! We’ve got a scrambling device to take care of that! IF they stumble on to my city by chance, the defence system will destroy them, before we even know that they’re here!”
Caption: Richard Comely Presents Captain Canuck in ‘The Search’
Credits: Writing, art, lettering & colours were all done by Richard Comely.
George Freeman inks Comely’s pencils, and also worked on the colouring. George Freeman’s inking over Richard Comely’s pencils transforms Comely’s art into a transmogrified, (in a good way), much cleaner and slightly more sophisticated, combined style. But, personally, I always preferred Freeman inking his own pencils, or working in tandem on the art with Jean Claude St. Aubin.
Captain Canuck: “Even though I was taken there and then later escaped in one of Gold’s hover jets (from issue # 4), when we went back, we couldn’t find the city! We used every sensor and tracking device we had, but we finally had to give up, for lack of time and budget!”
The aboriginal Canadian Indian, Stardance, says, “There’s a number of ways that they could shield electronic sensors, but it is strange that you couldn’t spot it from the air.
General Sunn says, “We’re still working on that, Stardance! Now, let’s go over your Samota case! Redcoat is en route to Samota’s mediterranean island disguised as Tony Viola, head of the largest dope – dealing mafia family in the states! We caught Viola at the airport, where we planted Redcoat, to take over from there. Once Redcoat finds the heroin, he’ll plant the electronic neutralizers!”
Kebec replies: “That’s where we come in, Stardance. A sub will take us to 3 kilometers from the island with the power transmitter.
General Sunn: “Once we’re on the island, we will activate the neutralizers, on Redcoat’s signal.
Stardance: “So you negate the heroin electronically, to make it useless. But why do it this way?”
General Sunn: “Stardance, because of rather complicated political reasons, Samota can’t be dealt with, in the usual manner. He’s planning to finance a war in the Middle East, and we’ve got to stop him NOW!”
Stardance: “Ah, I see….when the mobs find out that their SMACK is no good, it’s game over for Samota!”
Five hours later: Captain Canuck is flying a sophisticated jet over the Andes mountains. He contacts General Sunn by radio, to inform him that he is getting close to his destination, and then goes back to RADIO SILENCE.
It takes almost an hour, but finally, Captain Canuck has found his target. He lands the jet about 30 kilometers away from his target. Note: Canada has been on the metric system for several decades, thus we gauge distance by kilometers, not miles. Which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with maple syrup! I knew you were wondering.
Having landed his jet, the Captain straps on an advanced C.I.S.O. rocket jet pack, heading for the hidden valley in the distance.
Within a dark cave, a robotic machine comes to life, (so to speak), as Captain Canuck shows on its’ scanner, pointing a weapon up at him, flying over -head.
While, on the other side of the world….Redcoat, disguised as Tony Viola, meets with some Mr. Samota, a cigar smoking, over – weight, middle – aged man – and his cronies, having arrived at his destination. The disguised Redcoat is carrying a briefcase full of Canadian currency. Six million dollars worth-! (Hey, he could buy a Steve Austin, with that much dough!)
Opening the briefcase and seeing the money, Samota informs ‘Tony Viola’ that his merchandise will be ready tomorrow. Meantime, he is invited to stay, and relax, and enjoy the luxurious surroundings = booze & broads, nose candy, etcetera.
‘Tony Viola’ informs Samota he would like to change, after his long trip, and then, he will join Samota for dinner.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the island….Kebec and Stardance arrive two minutes ahead of schedule…carrying power transmitters on their backs. They have come in, in skin diving outfits.
Using a specially modified rifle which shoots a cable with a grappling hook up a sheer, high cliff, they climb the cable up this cliff face. They then wait, until the sun has gone down, and it is dark.
Stardance sees through futuristic – looking binoculars with an infra red screen, a bunch of men with weapons, in the distance. He then has Kebec look through the binoculars.
Kebec: “Looks like Sicilian Mafia. They must have found out about Samota’s heroin grainary! It doesn’t look like they’re planning to buy it, either! Stardance, needless to say, we’re going to get caught in a blood bath!”
Caption: While death stalks that mediterranean isle; in the Andes…a laser – toting robot homes in, and fires! The blast hits Captain Canuck’s jet pack strapped to his back. But he is not far off the ground, and
lands safely, on his feet! The jet pack is now useless. The Captain quickly removes it, then shoots the gun firing robot with one shot from his laser pistol! Canuck: “Bullseye! Let’s hope that heap didn’t alert their control centre, or I’m really up the creek!”
In the hidden valley enclave, an Alert on a computer screen informs. Several uniformed soldiers of the men in this hidden valley enclave mount futuristic – looking flying sleds, heading to intercept Captain Canuck, who is running down the mountain, on foot. The soldiers begin firing on Canuck, while Captain Canuck fires back at them!!
Canuck shoots TWO of the flying machine sleds manned by these enemy soldiers, out of the sky! There are two left!
Suddenly, a bullet from one of the sleds hits Captain Canuck RIGHT IN THE FOREHEAD, and everything goes dark-!!! Is this the end of Captain Canuck?!?!?
Captain Canuck regains consciousness, to find he is standing, his arms tied above him, to two long vertical poles, driven into the ground. Canuck has been unmasked, showing the black haired face of Thomas Evans. His senses are reeling, and his vision is blurred.
Mr. Gold: “Canuck! I see that C.I.S.O. has improved your costume…the leaf on your cowl is BULLETPROOF! That improvement just saved your life! And, because you can be very useful to me, you can go
on living! ”
Canuck thinks, ‘Gold!! For a minute there, I thought I was getting a tour of hell!”
Gold: “Canuck, you’re my prisoner again! Why not admit it to yourself — you’re finished! I’ve won! This time you can’t escape! IF you cooperate, I’ll let you live! I’ll even let you have a share in the spoils!”
Canuck: ” You’ll try anything, won’t you, Gold? I’ll tell you right now — you can –”
Gold: ” Don’t be so quick to be a martyr, Canuck! You haven’t heard the ALTERNATIVES! You see, you’ve come at a most opportune time! I was making final arrangements for my plan to take over Canada! I thought that might interest you, Canuck! Three thousand paid mercenaries, along with some ‘real’ western hot heads, are to attack Ottawa** in the name of the independent west! Ha Ha….for Freedom! In most countries it would mean CIVIL WAR!”
**Note: For non – Canadians reading this, Ottawa, Ontario is the city and province where the federal government of Canada sits in office; basically, the Canadian equivalent of Washington, D.C. (‘District of
Columbia’, to our Canadian friends!)
While, on the west coast of Canada, one of our largest provinces is ‘British Columbia.’
Captain Canuck: “NOT IN CANADA! The worst we’d have is ‘The War Measures Act!’ Then the (Canadian) Army would be everywhere!”
Gold: “Exactly! Then one small bomb will eliminate the Prime Minister and MOST of his cabinet! That’s all we need to get our man LARTER into power! No one will ever know I engineered the whole thing!”
Canuck: “You’re a fool, Gold. If you think the Army will stand idly by while you —”
Gold: “General, tell Canuck how effective my plan really is!”
Gold’s General, the leader of Gold’s own Army: “The time IS ripe!”
Canuck: “General Jackson?!! But you’re one of the most respected men in the country!”
General Jackson: “Can’t you see? Gold and his kind have the real power! The big money! Listen to him! If you do what he says on his other scheme, you’ll save thousands of lives as well as your own!”
Canuck: “His OTHER scheme?”
Gold: “That’s right — no war, no people dying! Instead, a new political party is formed with M.P. Larter as leader! He’s a very popular guy, and they’ll have the best publicity and advertising money can buy!
It’ll be much less expensive than a war! Much, much less, Canuck! With YOU getting certain information for us, and showing the people that you’re 100% behind the new party, it’ll work! A few years and we’ll be in! THOSE are your alternatives! I’ll give you one hour to think it over! Think, Canuck — you decide whether or not thousands LIVE OR DIE!”
Note: doesn’t this 1979 Mr. Gold rant remind you somewhat of the twisted mind of Donald John Trump? AND — this comic book was published…..in 1979-!
Mr. Gold, his underlings, and this Canadian Army General turncoat, leave Captain Canuck, tied up to these ground stakes, alone, to stew and think everything over.
And THEN….and then, Richard Comely’s religious convictions come out in the script! Have you ever heard of a comics superhero before, PRAYING to The Almighty, for HELP? Well, now you have-!
Canuck, looking skyward: “PLEASE help me stop Gold! ….To save my country! The aliens made me stronger, but I’m not strong enough! I need help to break these ropes…”
Then, exerting himself…..SNAP! SNAP! go the ropes binding Captain Canuck’s hands to the wooden poles It seems his prayer has paid off!”
Meantime….a bunch of natives within Gold’s hidden city, with one of them speaking to the others, inspires them: “Our history tells of how our people destroyed evil fair – skinned ones, centuries ago!
Surely we can defeat them and their gold – eyed leader!
Another says, “They are too powerful!”
The apparent leader replies with “No! Not now that we have some of their weapons! We can strike back! And we must strike now! No longer will we be the slaves of these evil men!”
Suddenly….a warning comes over Gold’s intercom system throughout this enclave, to his men: “Red Alert! We need every man to Main Control, now! The Indians are attacking us! With guns!”
Captain Canuck, still unmasked, runs to help lead them against Gold and his minions! He thinks, “That uprising by the Incans….happening now?! That’s more than just luck!”
The Good Captain boards one of the flying sleds, takes it airborne, and realizes: ‘Gold and Jackson, and Lord West is with them!”
Gold: “Keep us covered till we get out of here, you cowards!”
Caption: ‘The Captain aims the destroyer sled towards the battlefield, below!’ “Those Indians are brave! I’ve got to do something FAST, before Gold’s men slaughter them!”
Gold looks up, and sees the fast moving craft, descending towards him. “Hey! Who’s in that thing?!! Stop him! He’s going to KILL SOMEBODY!”
Lord West: “By jove, I think I know that bloke!”
One of Gold’s men yells – “Canuck! Where’s a gun?!!”
Canuck dives off of the airborne sky sled, and yells, “Gold, you sparkly – eyed devil! I’ve got something for you from Canada!” Hint: a knuckle sandwich! Times Two!
Lord West stops one of Gold’s fleeing minions, and says, “Hold on mate! I’ve got something for you, too! This is British – made, chum!”
Gold grabs a gun, and yells, “Stay back, or I’ll shoot!”
But Canuck is behind him, and he takes Mr. Gold out, with one punch!!
The pilotless sky sled then hits the ground, hard, and explodes, as if to announce the end of Gold’s reign of terror!
Later, in the mountains…
Canuck, on the radio….”General Sunn, we have 32 prisoners! Lord West and the natives are guarding them right now. I’ll give you a complete report when I return home.”
General Sunn: “Your coordinates are in the computer! We’ll have men there in 3 hours! Captain, you never cease to amaze me! You must have had to take on a small army!”
Canuck: “I had help…I’ll be waiting right here, general! It’ll be good to get back home!”
On the last page of issue six, at the very bottom, there are 3 more panels that show what is coming up in the next issue, issue # 7.
A minion of Samota’s is on the phone, and he says to Samota, who is also there: “Boss, it’s Joey in New York, on the line! Something about Viola being picked up by C.I.S.O. in Canada!”
Samota says: “Then WHO…?”
Samota’s man goes out to the balcony of Samota’s home with a gun, and catches Redcoat, in his Viola disguise, about to go over the balcony wall….”Going for a little night air, Mr. Viola?
Or whatever your name is!”
In the third panel….Kebec says to Stardance: ” We’ve got to get Redcoat out of Samota’s villa, before the Sicillians attack!”
The backup story in Captain Canuck Volume 1 # 6 is another new superhero from CKR Productions….The Catman, who is completely unlike the Golden Age 1940’s Catman, and also completely unlike The Batman’s villain, The Catman!
To be continued in PART TWO of….”Will the REAL Captain Canuck Please Stand UP!? Part Deux! I mean, Part Two! I forgot — most of you guys don’t speak French!