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Captain Canuck is a Canadian comic book superhero. Created by cartoonist Ron Leishman and artist/writer Richard Comely, the original Captain Canuck first appeared in Captain Canuck #1 (cover-dated July 1975).

Three characters have worn the maple leafed costume of Captain Canuck. Described[by whom?] as a cross between Captain America and Flash Gordon, the first Captain Canuck patrols Canada in the (then) futuristic world of 1993, where “Canada had become the most powerful country in the world.” He was the costumed agent of the Canadian International Security Organization (CISO).

Like most independent comics, Captain Canuck’s adventures have been published sporadically.

Captain Canuck is sometimes confused[by whom?] with Marvel Comics's Guardian, leader of Alpha Flight, created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in 1978. Both characters have very similar costumes, as both are based on the colors of the Canadian flag.

Publication history[edit]

Tom Evans[edit]

Canuck’s first appearance was in 1975, published by Comely Comix of WinnipegManitoba. The story followed Tom Evans, a Canadian secret agent who gained superhuman strength from contact with extraterrestrials. This first version of the Canadian superhero ran for three issues before going on hiatus in 1976. In 1979, it came back, with Comely being backed by CKR Productions, and publishing 11 more issues, plus a summer special, concluding in early 1981; it was drawn mostly by George Freeman, taking over from Comely, who did the writing and lettering. He was pushed out of CKR after issue #12 was completed and issue #13 and #14 were outlined. In 2004, the completed issue #15 (written and pencilled by George Freeman and inked, lettered and coloured by Claude St. Aubin) was finally published in 2004 as a limited edition by Comely.

Darren Oak[edit]

Since the original there have been two newer incarnations of the Canadian icon: Comely launched a second version in 1993, under the imprintSemple Comics. Set in the present, Captain Canuck: Reborn featured a new Captain Canuck, Darren Oak, who fought a global conspiracy. This title lasted only four issues (#0-3) and was written and drawn by Richard Comely, Leonard Kirk and Sandy Carruthers with inks by Eric Theriault. That incarnation continued as a newspaper comic strip for a short while.

David Semple[edit]

A third incarnation (sometimes called the “West Coast Captain Canuck”), edited by Comely but written and drawn by brothers Riel and Drue Langlois, appeared in 2004 under the banner of Comely Comics, entitled Captain Canuck: Unholy War. Yet another man, RCMP Constable David Semple, adopts the guise of Captain Canuck, to take on a biker gang called the Unholy Avengers. “Unholy War” was slated as a three-issue mini-series, the third and final installment being published in January 2005. However, the series came out with a fourth issue (under the ‘Hot Hail Comics' banner) in August 2007, which fully concluded the character.

Captain Canuck: Legacy[edit]

A miniseries, written and illustrated by Comely Captain Canuck: Legacy, began in the fall of 2006. It contained two continued stories: One detailed the efforts of the second Captain Canuck to prevent illegal weapons from reaching Canada, whilst the second chronicled the continued adventures of the third (West Coast) Captain Canuck.[1][2] While the series has remained in limbo for some time, the official Captain Canuck website stated that the remainder of the series would be completed in 2009. Captain Canuck Legacy 1.5 was published in August 2011 as a limited edition of 5,000 copies only distributed in Ontario.[citation needed]

Captain Canuck Collections[edit]

IDW Publishing published two volumes of collected editions of the 1975-1980 Captain Canuck series.[citation needed] Its first release in June 2009 contained issues #4-10. Volume two, released December 2009, contained the 1980 Summer Special. In November 2011, IDW released Captain Canuck The Complete Edition as a 375-page trade paperback with issues #1-15, the Summer Special, the newspaper strips, sketches and Captain Canuck: Legacy #1.5.

Proposed movie[edit]

The Canadian company Mind’s Eye Entertainment announced at Comic-Con International 2011 that it planned to develop a Captain Canuck feature film. No scriptwriter or director were attached.[3]Mind’s Eye announced at Comic-Con 2012 that it had selected Vancouver-based screenwriter Arne Olsen to script the feature. Olsen was chosen from a solicitation of pre selected, accredited Canadian writers, who submitted treatments. The final two choices submitted copies of sample scripts.[4]

Web series[edit]

In 2013 Captain Canuck was reimagined for a five-episode animated web series by Captain Canuck Inc and Smiley Guy Studios.[citation needed] Kris Holden-Reid voices the Captain and Paul Amoshis antagonist, Mr. Gold.[citation needed]

Influences[edit]

Captain Epic, the lead character of Team Epic, a comedic Canadian television and web series is a parody of Captain Canuck and other traditional Canadian superheroes both in costume and character traits.

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