The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada's regulatory broadcasting commission, has many goals in its duty to keep Canada's media flowing like the maple syrup which, at certain times of the year, does indeed flow freely. One of the CRTC's goals is to ensure that Canadian content meets the needs and interests of Canadians by delivering compelling, high-quality Canadian-made creative content from diverse sources on a variety of platforms. Hence today's feature, which fits at least one, maybe two of those criteria.
Canada needs its own super hero, obviously. And it was way past time for a patriotic super guy who would stand up for Canadian values in the tumultuous and turbulent world of the late 1970s! And thus was born Captain Canuck, once the star of the Vancouver hockey team, but after being rebuilt as a powerful cyborg by the team doctor, he... no, wait, that isn't his origin. Well, I'm sure as this comic starts they'll fill us in on who Captain Canuck is and what he's about.
Nope, we are instead smack dab in the middle of the Andes, where a lost Inca city has been taken over by what appear to be Space Nazis led by a dry-look Mike Power from the GI Joe Adventure Team.
Correction: dyslexic Nazis who aren't supposed to call him Fuhrer any more. Did Hitler fake his death only to become another world-threatening megalomaniac, albeit one with better hair?
Meanwhile we're back at Captain Canuck's headquarters, where we're sure to be given that little caption box that explains how Captain Canuck as a baby was rocketed from the doomed... nope.
I remember seeing these comics as a kid in my peak comic-buying years, being interested in getting in on the ground floor of a new super hero, and liking the artwork, but having absolutely no idea who was doing what to whom, when, where or why. I guess this fits right in with how most Americans think of Canada - they know it's there, and that's about it.
Our heroes, whoever they are, are going to split up. Stardance will handle the Samota case while Captain Canuck will go after Mister Gold. Stay tuned, gang - this could very well turn out to be just really specific shopping goals for a large family meal. (Stardance, you pick up the Samota ham from the farmer's market while I get a case of Mr Gold Potato Chips at the outlet store!)
It is great to see a super hero spy adventure finally acknowledge the reality of these things, which is, everything stops when the money runs out.
Meanwhile - pay attention to the slide show - agent Redcoat is disguised as a Mafia drug kingpin, he's going to buy heroin from Samota and also do some gardening, apparently.
And with their high tech electronic wizardry Redcoat and Stardance will synchronize their gadgets and electronically neutralize the heroin. Hey, that's great, why not just put that gadget on a truck and drive it around some skid row neighborhoods? Maybe we can save Sid and Nancy before it's too late!
But it's off to the Andes for Captain Canuck, like all Canadians desperate for a little vacation time somewhere the sun is shining and it's not freezing cold half the year. I gotta say that pose seems kind of familiar. Where have I seen that pose before?
Oh, THAT'S where I've seen it before, in the classic "How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way" by John Buscema and Stan Lee. I guess we know what's on the reference shelf at Captain Canuck studios!
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Redcoat meets Samota for the drug deal carrying a suitcase full of Canadian currency! Make sure it's not counterfeit, Samota - give it a whiff and check for that maple syrup smell! Seriously, that's the urban legend, that a scratch and sniff maple scent was added to Canadian currency. Of course this is nonsense, but understandable - EVERYTHING smells like maple syrup in Canada.
Hey look at that, a female character. No, she has no speaking lines. Why would a woman have any part in this exciting super hero adventure?
And now a message from our sponsor.
We already know Captain Canuck is going to be a big hit and everybody's going to want Captain Canuck T-shirts and visors in a choice of colors and styles! Don't be left out, get your Captain Canuck T-shirt today!
Let's see, there's a French guy and a First Nations guy working with what I can only assume from his code name is an English guy ("Redcoat"), we're definitely seeing some all-Canadian representation here. Move over, here comes South Asian guy and Chinese guy! No, wait, that's the Sicilian mafia. My mistake.
Meanwhile in the Andes Captain Canuck is shot down by what I believe is one of the killer laser robots from the fine documentary film "Chopping Mall."
And now another pause for our sponsor.
Hey kid. You don't need a T-shirt. What you need is a jacket. It's cold out there! Grab yourself a personalized Captain Canuck jacket and enjoy lots of questions from your friends! Questions like "who is Captain Canuck again?" and "Did you really pay forty dollars for that?"
Proof this comic was written in the 1970s - use of the word "turkeys" outside of a Thanksgiving context.
Gee, Canuck caught one right in the forehead. If he'd been wearing his helmet and his visor maybe this wouldn't have happened! That's what you get for listening to Don Cherry, Canuck.
Sorry Americans, that right there was maybe a little TOO Canadian content. We'll dial it back a bit.
But first, a brief interruption.
Was there really a massive groundswell of interest in Captain Canuck shirts, jackets, pens, pads, and visors? Was Calgary awash in red and white superhero merch? Or did Captain Canuck's creators realize they might have created a character that might work better as a sportswear emblem than an actual feature of serial fiction?
And here's the part where the evil genius conveniently explains his evil plan to our captive hero. If there's one thing Canadians value, it's tradition.
Not even the sweeping and controversial powers of the War Measures Act will stop Mister Gold's plan to get his minion into the Prime Minister's house. Have you seen that place? It's a dump! Think twice, buddy!
"General, tell Canuck how effective my plan really is!" Is he talking about a government takeover, or a headache remedy?
That evil mastermind Mr. Gold's devious scheme is to fake a revolution, blow up the cabinet, start a new political party lead by a popular guy, and eventually that new party will run Canada. Now, I'm no political genius, but it seems to me that you could just ditch the fake revolution bombing stuff, and just start with "new political party." You know, the part people do all the time, that seems to work OK? Of course, I don't have a fantastic cyber-eyeball, what do I know.
When everything looks bleak, it helps to remember what you learned in your twelve-step program and ask for the help of a higher power.
Also here's where we learn that it was aliens that made Captain Canuck into a super guy. I've always said immigrants make Canada stronger!
At the same exact moment, the locals decide it's time to conveniently evoke their own War Measures Act. Just watch them!
Google it, Yanks.
Remember, to avoid destroyer sled theft, lock your destroyer sled doors, roll up your destroyer sled windows, and keep your destroyer keys with you! Or some Canuck will steal it.
"Gold, you sparkly-eyed devil!" Is Canuck going to punch him, or ask him out on a date? And what gift does he bring from Canada? Is it poutine? I hope it's poutine! Meanwhile Lord West delivers a British-made punch. You can tell it's British-made because it's in the shop ten months out of the year.
Thank you, that's my British car joke. Thank you.
And with a SMAK and a KAZOOM the evil of Mr. Gold is finished at last. Was he really Hitler? We'll never know.
"I've had enough of these sunny skies and green, lush mountains. It'll be good to get back home to freezing, slushy Ottawa!" And thus ends another thrilling, overly complex, slightly confusing adventure for Captain Canuck, filled with electronically deactivated heroin, discussion of the uses of the War Measures Act, and most important of all, lots and lots of merch. Remember, Christmas is coming!
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