________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 20. . . .January 29, 2010


Captain Canuck.

Justin Eisinger & Scott Dunbier, eds.
San Diego, CA: IDW Publishing, 2009.
151 pp., hardcover, $24.99.
ISBN 978-1-60010-443-5.

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Gail de Vos.

** /4



Returning to Earth from outer space is an experience like no other??

The awesome visual spectacle now only adds to the adrenal increase going on inside the Captain as he mentally prepares to meet the enemy!

Regret, fear, anger??all pour through his soul??an emotional infusion –– laced together by ––

Memories: two brothers –– Tom and Mike Evans, together they join the R.C.M. P., together they were later recruited into the newly formed C.I.S.O.* People used to say: they came as a set??

That was soon to change! Fate was blamed for the fact that the night Tom was camping with a group of Boy Scouts, he had an encounter that was to change his life! Even now the memory is veiled! The boys getting lost??Tom searching??to find them under the control of beings from another world! Reason faded at the sight of what looked like his boys in danger! The reaction was impulsive!

That was the last thing Tom remembers??except??the dream like memories of the aliens exposing his body to strange rays! Then??

-- It was morning –– back at camp. The night encounter was like a nagging memory of a dream one tries to recall! But it happened...

* Canadian International Security Organization

Captain Canuck,Volume 1, is a handsome, hard cover reprinting of issues #4-10 of the original adventures of Captain Canuck first published in May 1975 but set in the futuristic 1990s. Primarily science fiction, this Canadian peacekeeper battles Neo-Nazis, terrorism, drug dealers, space pirates, and, as evidenced in the excerpt, his own memories.

internal art     Richard Comely, the originator of the title, offers a concise background of the creation of Captain Canuck in his one page introduction and the preparation of the original issues, archived at the Library and Archives Canada Preservation building in Gatineau, Quebec, for this new printing. He explains that the first three issues will be republished as a separate volume and that Volume 2 of the series is forthcoming as well. Each of the reprinted issues includes the original cover (and price tag of 50 cents) as well as the completely re-mastered tale. The colours are vibrant, the action non-stop and the characters diverse, including Stardance, top assistant to the powerful Lord West and an American electronics expert and a powerful man. He also sports long hair and Aboriginal features although his tribal affiliation is never disclosed.

     This volume concludes with several pages of black and white reprints of Captain Canuck from the newspaper comic strips, examples of George Freeman’s page layouts and character design sketches and a full page illustration of the 1995 Canadian postage stamp paying homage to Captain Canuck, “the first Canadian superhero portrayed on a stamp.”

     The stories are dated but of historical interest to both science fiction fans and comic book fans. Not to mention fans of excess punctuation!!! Recommended for collections of Canadiana, science fiction, and historical graphic novels.


Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and is the author of eight books on storytelling and folklore. She teaches an online course on Comic books and Graphic Novels.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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