6 Even More Comic Book Captains
What’s the deal with putting the term “Captain” in front of superhero names to make them sound more important? I know Captain America and Captain Marvel started the trend, but what does it even signify? In almost all cases, it’s not a military rank or an honorary title. It might as well be an adjective the way some superheroes use it!
Once upon a time, I wrote a List of Six of a bunch of other famous comic book captains. There were more than enough to fill the list and beyond. And like all good lists, it deserves a second glance, because I’ve found even more comic book characters who randomly added the word ‘Captain’ to their name for no good reason! Perhaps it’s some sort of madness?
Either way, join me after the jump for another smattering of comic book characters with an inflated sense of self importance!
6. Captain Flag
When Captain America is already popular, what’s the next best thing to use for a knock-off character? How about the flag? Captain Flag debuted in Blue Ribbon Comics in 1941, around the same time as Cap. When Tom Townsend and his inventor father are kidnapped by the evil Black Hand, Tom is rescued by a mighty eagle, who raises him as his own. The eagle — whom Tom names “Yank the Eagle” — even brings him an America flag for comfort. Tom decides to turn this whole deal into a superhero get-up, creating Captain Flag! He promptly never appeared in comics again.
5. Captain Carrot
Animals are just great! And comic books are no strangers to anthropomorphic animals becoming superheroes in their own right. Spider-Ham might be the talk of the town these days, but Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew are owed their due! There’s a lot of weird history with this Crew — not to be confused with the Just’a Lotta Animals anthropomorphic Justice League parody — but basically they’re as one-note as they appear. Captain Carrot is their leader, a rabbit with Superman-like powers, though he has super leaping instead of flight. He gets his powers from eating cosmic carrots, which make him super-powered for 24 hours. Don’t even get me started on their dark and gritty reboots.
4. Captain Rivet
One of the characters who inspired this new list is Captain Rivet (sometimes Capitan Rivet), leader of the Superhomeys and a major character in Empowered! Are you reading Empowered? You really should! Writer Adam Warren has created a fun and energetic superhero world, with the mighty and metallic Captain Rivet as the head of the premiere superhero team. He’s a metal golem summoned by a super-villain who turned good and became one of the world’s leading supraheroes. He’s a father figure sort who has a lot of faith in the young up-and-comer Empowered, and that makes him an alright guy — though even he has admitted that he could have done more to help and guide her.
3. Captain Metropolis
Another inspiration for this list is Captain Metropolis, one of the premiere heroes on the Minutemen from Watchmen. I really enjoyed the first episode of the new HBO show, where Captain Metropolis got a couple quick cartoon cameos. Nelson Gardner was a military veteran and self-hating gay man who became a superhero and founded the Minutemen to fight society’s ills. He was a weak-willed fool who couldn’t hold the team together. When he tried again with the Crimebusters later in life, the Comedian laughed him out of the room. Captain Metropolis was everything wrong with superheroes in the Watchmen universe, and that’s saying something.
2. Captain Canuck
If it’s good enough for America, then it’s good enough for Canada! Captain Canuck was the first character in a revitalized Canadian comic book industry in the 1970s, a secret agent who gained super-powers after an encounter with aliens. He’s just a noble Canadian hero and has had various revivals over the years. I’m not one for easy Canada jokes, but no doubt he’s a polite fellow. And something something moose. He’s not to be confused with the various Canadian superheroes created by American comic companies, like Guardian with Alpha Flight at Marvel Comics. Captain Canuck is his own maple leaf-inspired hero!
1. Captain Ultra
Avert your eyes, dear readers, so that you do not have to behold that monstrosity of a superhero costume any further! That is Captain Ultra, a Marvel Comics comedic character who can’t seem to make it as either a hero or a villain. A former plumber, Griffin Gogol accepted an offer from a client to use hypnosis to overcome his smoking habit. The client turned out to be an alien, and the hypnotism unlocked a whole host of super-powers, like speed, strength, invulnerability, flight and all the other great ones. He’s Superman-lite, essentially, with an additional ability to tap into his “ultra-potential” and unlock even more powers! But the hypnotism also gave him a terrible fear of fire, which led to rejections from hero and villain teams. Captain Ultra eventually settled into being a superhero in Chicago and Nebraska, because somebody has to fight crime in the fly-over states. Most recently, he was tricked into joining the Revengers to take on the Avengers, and that got him locked up. His crimes against fashion should have led to him behind bars ages ago!