link


THE OTHER ADVENTURERS:


Captain Canuck didn't just feature C.C.; most issues had back-up series as well. And what series! Instead of sticking to a formula that would gel with the super-hero/adventure/soft SF tone of the lead stories, these ran the gamut of material and styles... Jonn was a science fiction piece, ala Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Flash Gordon (or, Canadian reference-wise, maybe Whiz Wallace). Captain Jonn Edwards, of the space-faring planet Zivox, crash landed on Trollis, a feudal planet of sword play, tyrants, and sorcery (that was really super science). His serialized adventure kicked off in the very first issue of Captain Canuck.

Jonn - pencils, inks Freeman (#3)In the editorial columns up to and including Jonn's penultimate appearance, big plans were detailed for the intrepid space man, anticipating his own book and future plot lines. But somewhere along the line the creative types got bored, or something, because Jonn's adventures ended after only five instalments and 33 pages. He appeared in issues #1-3, #7, and wrapped up in #8. Comely drew the first and last episodes, Freeman the three in the middle.

Superhero Catman was advertised as early as #1, but didn't make his debut until #4 (partly because of legal wranglings having to do with various similarly-named U.S. characters). His (admittedly kind of prosaic) powers didn't quite live up to his snazzy, eerie looks, but they did anticipate C.C.'s origin (as it would be revealed in the next issue): slightly stronger & faster than normal, thanks to alien technology. Catman's origin, though, was slightly more flamboyant.

Catman - pencils Comely, inks Freeman (promotional art)Jason Corey was part of a mountain climbing expedition searching for the elusive Sasquatch; he was rescued from an accident by an elderly alien who had crashed years before (and who allowed the Sasquatches to make their caves in his disabled ship). Though kindly, he wouldn't let Jason leave, fearing he would bring others. Jason escaped by stealing a device that, when activated, gave him strength and immunity to cold...and turned him purple.

In the first story, we learn his sister is a cop and that he plans to use this new device to exonerate their father of an unnamed crime... Like, Jonn, though, the big plans never went anywhere. Catman's next appearance in #6 was an entertaining enough piece done mainly in text (a short story more than a comic) with nary a reference to his dad or sis...and it was his final appearance, too. Actually, he had one other appearance: the inaugural "Gallery Page" (in issue #4) features a fan-fiction Catman story.

A high fantasy serial, Beyond told the adventures of a fellowship comprised of Sir Brant, a blind knight; the beautiful warrior, Lady Elodil; Fen, a young woman; Rion, a pan-like character; and the wise old dwarf, Sandynar, and of their battles with an evil wizard who had made their village of Meadan vanish. This off-beat -- and highly imaginative -- series mixed adventure, whimsy, drama, humour, romance...and got increasingly weird, peopled by evil piggy soldiers, snail-men, and characters undergoing (unexplained) metamorphoses, all owing as much to Alice in Wonderland as Lord of the Rings. It could be a little too out there, sometimes, but it was still memorable and refreshingly unpredictable. And the beautiful art and colour really sucked you into this mythical world.

Beyond - pencils, inks St. Aubin (#10)It was also Captain Canuck's greatest tragedy, because of all the series, it was the only one to end "to be continued". Sure, C.C. and Catman had unresolved plot threads, but Beyond ended in mid-story. Still, there's enough resolved plot-lines in the published chapters to make it worth reading. It ran in #9-12 and #14. All episodes were drawn by Jean-Claude St. Aubin and the impression given (in the editorial comments) was that he was also a major driving force behind it.

A parody of super teams, the Corps made their one and only appearance in #5 and marked J.C. St. Aubin's first pencil work in the pages of Captain Canuck. They were amusing enough, and the team was comprised of the characters: The Skunk, Duckman, Ping Pong, Srewdriver, Fastman, and Tartan. The team was advertised as appearing in the never-published 2nd Summer Special. A black & white, essentially educational, strip about a boy who travels back in time, that had first been done back in the 1940s, but never published. In these episodes he witnesses Jacques Cartier's arrival. Unlike any U.S. comic (that I've seen), Captain Canuck featured a fan contributed page in many of the issues, showcasing art and short-short story submissions. I don't know if the editors selected only the best submissions, or what, but the stories inparticular were pretty good.

Finally, The Summer Special featured a couple of short, novelty pieces, including the satirical "The Filler", which featured appearances by many of the CKR staff, and joke cameos by most of the characters from the above listed series.

The comic also featured occasional extras, like drawing lessons, a brief article on war time comic book hero, Johnny Canuck, and the like.

Back to the Ultimate Captain Canuck Tribute Page