Posts tagged ‘Captain Strong’

Action 566 – the last Captain Strong story


Captain Strong, the version of Popeye introduced in this book in the early 70s, makes one final appearance, in Action 566 (April 1985), by Craig Boldman, Ron Randall and Karl Kesel.


Lois Lane and Clark Kent join Captain Strong and his love, Olivia as they sail out to find the Fountain of Youth – not that Lois and Clark knew that was the plan.


There is an evil old woman, cloaked in purple, who is the villain of the story.  I don’t know if she is based on a Popeye character, but his long-lost Pappy certainly is, and a similar character appears in this tale.


And just to get the cover image in, the old witch conjures up a Superman apparition, which Captain Strong defeats after eating sauncha.

Not a great story, but it’s nice to see the character one last time.


Action 456 – Superman vs jaws, and Green Arrow and Black Canary and a telethon kidnapping


Action 456 (Feb. 76) is packed with pop culture references, right from its “Jaws” cover.


Captain Strong, the Superman version of Popeye, has a small role in this story, visiting an aquarium with a couple of children, one of whom gets turned into protoplasm by the Shark, as he steals the boy’s form in order to re-evolve his own.

The Shark had not appeared since the mid-60s, but the success of Jaws saw his return this year.  Originally a Green Lantern villain, this was his first outing against a different hero.


The Shark takes some water with him, as he goes flying through Metropolis, seeking out Superman.  He often wants to defeat anyone powerful, in an animalistic battle for dominance.  Superman wins, and forces the Shark to de-evolve, bringing back the child.  But this is a very temporary defeat, as the Shark returns shortly to become a major problem for Aquaman in the pages of Adventure Comics.


Maggin and Grell begin a three-part story about the kidnapping of the “Nutty Kid,” a comedic actor who hosts a charity telethon every year – in other words, Jerry Lewis.  Clowns take him captive during the broadcast.


Green Arrow and Black Canary go into action to stop the kidnappers, but split on how to pursue them.  Canary winds up following them right onto their helicopter, which is not such a good thing.



Action 439 – Captain Strong returns, and Atom vs the Two-Dimensional Man


Bates, Swan and Oskner bring back Captain Strong in Action 439 (Sept. 74).


The Popeye-like captain now has a girlfriend, Olivia, and a Bluto-like opponent, Carnax.  Captain Strong comes to Clark Kent, asking him to contact Superman for help.  He is sure Carnax is after Olivia.


Olivia does not much resemble Olive Oyl, but the connection is obvious within the story.


In an entertaining twist, Carnax turns into a Sweepea like baby.  He was an alien traveller, infected with a gigantism disease when he landed on the planet.

Captain Strong returns in a couple of years.


Pasko, Dillin and Blaisdel bring back Professor Myles Adrian, and reveal his power to turn two-dimensional, in this follow-up story.


Myles is still pursuing the Atom, and manages to steal his size-control belt.  But the belt will not work on anyone else.  The Atom gets free, and Mysles turns two-dimensional to escape.  But the Atom simply gets smaller, so even a two-dimensional man is wide enough to hit.


Action 421 – Captain Strong debuts, and Green Arrow begins


Bates, Swan and Anderson pit Superman against Popeye in Action 421 (Feb. 73), although they alter him slightly in creating Captain Strong.


Captain Strong is first seen by Billy Anders, a young boy who has been involved in a number of Superman’s adventures in his own book.  He tells Clark Kent about the man.


The Captain has discovered the bed of a rare plant, sancha, which endows him with super-strength, like Popeye’s spinach.  A corporation wants the location of the sancha, and send out a Superman impersonator to try to get the information from him, but he sees through the ruse.


This complicates matters when Superman shows up, and winds up in a mid-air fight with the angered sailor.  Eventually Captain Strong calms down, and together they get rid of the corporate shills.  Superman discovers that the sancha is really an alien plant life, and gets rid of it.

That could easily have been the end of Captain Strong, but the character proved popular enough to return.


Green Arrow joins the rotating back-ups, with a story by Elliot S Maggin, Sal Amendola and Dick Giordano.  This marks Green Arrow’s first solo series since he joined Green Lantern in the pages of his book.  There was a Green Lantern/Green Arrow adventure as a back-up in the Flash, following Green Lantern’s cancellation.  Green Lantern remained as the back-up feature in the Flash, as Green Arrow moved over here.


It’s not entirely a solo series, as Dinah Lance is a major player.  Later in the run, she would be in her Black Canary garb, but in this one she is trying to get her flower shop off the ground.  Oliver Queen decides that he would make a great public relations person, and makes Dinah’s shop his first client.


He finds a wanted criminal, and herds him towards the flower shop, and contacts the media, to ensure there are photographers when he captures the man in front of the store.

And though he fought crime, and promoted the shop, all he really cares about is how he looked in the newspaper photo.

Yup, that’s Green Arrow.


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