Friday, 31 July 2015


Image copyright DC COMICS

H'mm, a guy with a panther pushing SUPERMAN out of the
way?  Well, I suppose with his 'coins of power', it was possible
for the comicbook incarnation of CAPTAIN ACTION to do so,
but he bore little relation to the concept of the  IDEAL toy figure
he was based on.  Hardly surprising, seeing that the articulated fig-
ure was little more than a clothes horse for various superhero
outfits, not all of which DC held the copyright on - hence the
different approach with CA's five issue comicbook run.


DeadSpiderEye said...

The cover's pretty good, except for the panther maybe, cats always seem to be a problem for artists rendered in the idiom of superhero comics. Don't know why that should be, cos in the horror comics, House of Secrets, that kind of thing, they're a staple component of those stories and generally come out pretty well. Maybe it's because, everything has to look like the Maiwand Lion, all muscle and sinue in Superhero comics, who knows?

Kid said...

I know why, DSE. It's because the feckin' felines won't sit still when the artists are drawing them.

TC said...

The panther was probably only included because it was part of the toy line. It was a soft plastic, non-movable figure that (IIRC) came in the same box with the Action Boy figure. In the comics, AFAIR, he only appeared in the first issue.

Mainly, I remember that DC's version was a professor who discovered the "coins of power" while on an archaeological expedition. They had been left behind by space aliens who had visited Earth B.C.E. Of course, the aliens were mistaken for gods by the natives, and our ancient myths and legends were based on them. Captain Action #1 came out the same year as Erich Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods, which may have been an influence. But then, the idea had been used in science fiction and fantasy at least as far back as the 1930's.

Kid said...

I've got all 5 issues, TC, and the covers are on the blog somewhere, just in case you'd like to refresh your memory of them. (Although maybe you've seen that post before - and perhaps even commented.) I got the Playing Mantis (I think) re-released figures of Captain Action, Action Boy (renamed Kid Action to avoid problems with Hasbro), and Dr. Evil back in the early 2000s, and the panther was indeed in the Kid Action box. The only costume I've got 'though, is The Lone Ranger one. (Always wanted The Phantom costume.)

Philip Crawley said...

Never saw the comics until years (decades) later but I recall we had the Captain Action figure, the only costumes I can remember were the Phantom and, would there have been a Captain America? Memory fails. And of course the Captain's own recyce-label emblazened costume complete with dinky little captains' hat. Like many of the purchases in our house at the time it was communal and shared among myself and my two brothers. Alas the Captain is long gone, disappearing into the mists of time courtesy of one of our mother's periodic and well-meaning clear outs of such things. "You boys are getting too old for these now", I think was the phrase. I'm amazed that I managed to hold onto as many other childhood possesions as I did, escpecially the comics. Yeah, funny about comic artists and cats - I recall John Buscema drawing some great lions on Conan and Tarzan covers but he never got the feet right. If you want a great big cat artist - Frazetta was your man!

Kid said...

I may have seen some of the CA comics on the spinner-racks in the '60s, but they never particularly interested me if I did, PC - despite me coveting the figure when I saw it in the ads in other DC comics. (Or, to be more precise, the costumes - and yes, there was a Captain America one.) However, I also saw the DC ads for the CA comic, and perhaps that's where I remember seeing them from, rather than seeing the actual comics themselves. (Unless I read one in a pile of comics given to me by a neighbour, which is also a possibility.) I never knew anyone who ever actually had a Captain Action figure (or who even knew what I was talking about) until fairly recently, and that was someone who recalls seeing them on sale in Lewis's in Glasgow in the '60s. I acquired all 5 issues of the comic in the early '80s.

Dougie said...

One of the two issues of CA that were bought for me- 2 or 4- as a child carries an ad that indicated it was a toy tie-in. I think if I had known they were on sale in Glasgow, I would've pestered my parents to death.
I only have very vague memories of Lewis's; we usually went to Goldbergs at Xmas and to Bow's on the High Street. But I discovered there was a comics spinner rack in Lewis's circa 1978 until at least late 1981. I bought some of the early issues of the New Teen Titans there, as well as an issue of Moon Knight and the first appearance of Cloak and Dagger.

Kid said...

It's a certainty that I still have some of the comics I bought from that same spinner-rack, Dougie, although I'd have to see them to remember which ones. I also used to go to Goldberg's, but they didn't have a spinner-rack, alas. Ah, great shops, great days.