Written by Manuel A. Carmona
For this #FridayFlashback I'm going back to the time I got the first look at my inked pages for Phazer #6 featuring Captain Action. I remember vividly how excited I was at the chance to work on a character like Captain Action and so many public domain characters like El Gato Negro, Black Terror and many others. What should've been the beginning of my career in comics quickly evaporated and I realized the grim reality for many creators in the comic book industry, and also that many people are in this business to take advantage of the people who actually do the work.
A long time ago I was approached by someone and offered to work on a comic book project featuring Captain Action. For those of you who don't know who Captain Action is, he was an action figure created in 1966, equipped with a wardrobe of costumes allowing him to become Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America, Aquaman, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger (and Tonto), Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Sgt. Fury, Steve Canyon, and the Green Hornet. Captain Action was the Ideal Toy Company's answer to Hasbro's G.I. Joe—although the protagonist dolls of both toy lines were created and designed by the same toy-and-idea man, Stan Weston.
National Periodical (DC Comics) licensed the character from Ideal and published five issues of Captain Action in 1968, illustrated at first by Wally Wood, then by Gil Kane. The scripts were by a teenage Jim Shooter and Gil Kane. In 2008 Moonstone Books began a new series and created a new back-story for the character. Captain Action was now Miles Drake, a former Marine who discovers a cache of alien weaponry during the Vietnam War. Moonstone Books published a new Captain Action comic book from 2008 to 2010, with the initial six-issue arc written by Fabian Nicieza. A Captain Action Special was also released in 2010 as well as a two-issue miniseries teaming up Captain Action with the Phantom, written by Mike Bullock. In July 2010, Captain Action Season 2, an ongoing series written by Steven Grant, debuted that lasted 3 issues. Moonstone planned on releasing Captain Action: Classified, which would tell stories of Captain Action's earliest adventures in the 1960s, but this did not happen. In 2013 Dynamite Entertainment put out a mini-series with Captain Action called Codename: Action that included several pulp and comic book characters in an origin story for Captain Action.