Victor Wiebe

Game Designer, Author, and Photographer

Captain Canuck (1980) Summer Special: A Review

Though the cover says “First Summer Special,” this would prove to be the only Summer Special that the original Captain Canuck series published. Alas. But at least it was a good one!

The issue itself is comprised of four stories, two of which are Canuck-focused, and one of those which has a fantastic science-fiction and fantasy bent.

The first story, though having Canuck in it, is really a story about Redcoat and Kebec needing to prove themselves as proper CISO agents. It’s a great story, though a little unbelieving that these two would somehow need to prove themselves as worthy of acting on solo missions.

The second story of the four, The Money Run, features both Captain Canuck and Kebec and shows the side-effects of crimefighting when a young child is seriously injured during a car chase involved Canuck and Kebec. Of course, the child lives, but it was really nice to see how the injury and the heroes reaction to it played out; it felt real and heartfelt.

The third story, The Filler, is a comedy and, indeed, a filler story just before the Special’s finale. It’s a fun read which not just breaks the fourth wall, but ignores it completely and opens up into an entirely new realm of reality. All the characters in all the Canuck comics to date make appearances, including those in backup stories that I have not reviewed. Good stuff. Really.

But it’s the final story of four that really kicks Canuck into overdrive and prepares him for his final ride. This fourth story serves two primary purposes: it re-introduces Heather, the nurse from Captain Canuck 3 and 4, and also introduces the villans that will come to plague the good Captain, CISO, and the entire world in the next chapter of Canuck’s history.

I did not much care for the art in this particular story, but the writing was fluid and fun, and Canuck had an uphill battle to win the day. Like all good Captain Canuck stories, he could not do this one on his own either, and ultimately ended up dependent upon others to help him achieve victory. I have said previously, and it is perhaps worth repeating here, that I firmly believe this Captain Canuck’s major superpower to be the ability to bring out the best in others, even if they are not – or are no longer – human.

This particular image is really reminiscient of the final fight scene that Canuck and his brother engaged in a few episodes back.

Without offering any spoilers, the final antagonists of the series make an appearance in this issue and let the reader know that things are about to Get Real the next few issues.

At the time of publication, the Summer Special was intended to be jsut the first of a routine publication of “annual” issues; a large format comic with multiple stories by multiple writing teams. In hindsight, of course, that did not turn out, but it did serve as a magnificent segue into the last two chapters of Captain Canuck’s original 1970 and 1980’s run.

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