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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Canada 150: Who Is Captain Canuck?

With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday this month, we thought it was time to take a look at the hero that best represents our home here in the Great White North with Captain Canuck. While you won't find him within the pages of DC or Marvel, the character has a long-standing history within the industry, and has gained quite the following since his debut back in 1975.

Created by Richard Comely, Captain Canuck would first appear in the pages of Captain Canuck #1 in July of 1975. Published under the Comely Comics banner, the character's original adventures would be published on and off until 1981. Several different individuals, including Darren Oak and David Semple, have taken up the role of Captain Canuck over the years, however the most popular version of the hero is Tom Evans.

A Canadian secret agent, Evans would find himself gaining super powers, including enhanced strength and speed, following contact with aliens. These events took place in the then-future year of 1993, where Canada had become the most powerful nation in the world. These original adventures would run for three issues before going on hiatus in 1976.

Three years later, in 1979, Captain Canuck would return with Comely being backed by CKR Productions. Eleven more issues following the adventures of Tom Evans would be published, concluding with a summer special in 1981.

A new version of the character would launch in 1993 under the imprint of Semple Comics. Captain Canuck: Reborn would focus on a new version of the character named Darren Oak, who fought against a global conspiracy. This new title would only last for a total of four issues, all written and drawn by Richard Comely with assistance from Leonard Kirk and Sandy Carruthers.

In 2004, a third version of Captain Canuck would arise in the pages of Comely Comics. This time an RCMP officer known as David Semple, this new take on the home-grown hero would attempt to stop a biker gang called the Unholy Avengers in a proposed three issue miniseries entitled Captain Canuck: Unholy War. A fourth issue would be released in August 2007.

Comely would launch another Captain Canuck miniseries in 2006, which would contain two separate tales. One would focus on the Darren Oak version of Captain Canuck as he attempted to stop a shipment of illegal weapons from reaching Canada. The second story would follow the David Semple version of the character.

In more recent years, Richard Comely entered into a partnership in 2012 with Toronto businessman Fadi Hakim to relaunch a new, updated and modern version of Captain Canuck, which was designed in part by Kalman Andrasofszky. Now published under the Chapterhouse banner, the Canadian company looks to have big plans for Captain Canuck moving forward in the form of a brand new shared comic book universe.

"The concept of a shared universe was something that was sort of obscure nerd apocrypha ten years ago," Kalman Andrasofszky, Editor-In-Chief of Chapterhouse and the current author of Captain Canuck said in a recent interview with CBC. "And now my mom knows who the Avengers are because Marvel movies are putting shared universes on the screen."

Over the past few years, Chapterhouse has been building what it calls The Chapterverse, by acquiring storied Canadian superheroes and talented comic creators.

"I think Richard [Comely] wanted to do this back in the 70s," Hakim says. "It was one of those things where it is such a difficult business to keep it going. I know how hard it is to do right now, I can't even imagine how hard it was to do back then."

In 2013, Hakim launched a crowd-funded Captain Canuck web series, which can be viewed on the Chapterhouse Studios YouTube channel.

So, what doe the future hold for Captain Canuck? Well, during this past Free Comic Book Day, a brand new book entitled Captain Canuck: Year One was released. Co-wrote by actor Jay Baruchel. The starting point for a new series, the book serves as a ground-up reboot of the classic Canadian comic book hero created in 1975.This all-new series re-imagines Canuck as a kinetic and accessible 21st century icon. Thrust into battle at the head of the global crisis intervention agency called Equilibrium, Canuck must find his way as warrior, leader, and, ultimately, hero to save humanity from the machinations of Blue Fox, Mr. Gold and the even more menacing forces that watch from the shadows.

Sounds pretty exciting, doesn't it?

In short, it's clear that Chapterhouse has a plan for the classic Canadian hero.

We're  quite eager to follow along with the new and continuing adventures of Tom Evans as he battles the forces of injustice as the iconic Captain Canuck!

For more news on the Captain Canuck reboot, be sure to follow our friends at Chapterhouse!

Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!

Sources: CBC & Chapterhouse

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