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THE MAKING OF A FAKE COVER!

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SECRET ORIGINS OF CAPTAIN ACTION - PART 5 of 6
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ACTION COMICS!

Inspired by the success of Barbie and GI Joe, Stan Weston co-created Captain Action for Ideal toys. Cap became a huge hit, and as part of Weston's merchandising scheme for his creation, the action figure's name and likeness were licensed to DC Comics for a five-issue run, with an option to renew the license after that if both parties agreed.

Legendary DC editor Mort Weisenger hired teenage Jim Shooter, current writer of the Legion of Super-Heroes in Adventure Comics and .future Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics, and later Valiant Comics, to do the scripting.

Jim Shooter only wrote the title's first two issues (the rest were written by Gil Kane), but Shooter's stories added tremendously to the Capt. Action canon. Shooter gave Cap a real name -- Clive Arno; he decreed that Action Boy was Cap's son, and gave him a name -- Carl Arno; he also named Cap's black panther "Khem" (Egyptian for "black").

Shooter also invented a new mechanism which would give Cap super powers. After all, despite the toy Cap's penchant for changing into different identities, this was a DC comic. There was no room .for the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America, the Phantom, or Steve Canyon! This was Superman country.

Instead of typing up his scripts, Shooter preferred to draw loosely-rendered, stick figure comic layouts, then write his dialogue into them by hand. These crude layouts were then turned into genius by master craftsman Wally Wood, who penciled and inked the first issue of Captain Action. Wood credited Shooter in print, giving the imaginative teenager his very first "public" scripting credit (shown right)! And what a coincidence! I just happened to be featuring this very issue today on DIAL B for BLOG! Let's take a look at the...

ORIGIN of CAPTAIN ACTION!
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HOUSE AD FOR CAPT. ACTION #2

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GIL KANE LIKED TO SNEAK PORTRAITS INTO HIS WORK...
Artist Gil Kane, who took over pencils for Captain Action with the second issue, and scripting with the third, often drew himself into his stories. Below left, he's seen falling into a ravine in Capt. Action #3. Kane liked to draw in his relatives and co-workers, too. According to Kane, "The girl Katherine, who plays the ghostly wife of Captain Action #4, was modeled after my own wife."

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KANE'S PENCIL ROUGH FOR THE COVER OF CAP #5
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HOUSE AD FOR CAPT. ACTION #5

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ORIGINAL ART FROM CAPT. ACTION #5

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MORE HIDDEN PORTRAITS SNUCK INTO KANE'S CAP!
More of Gil Kane's hidden faces. Kane says, "I drew Carmine [Infantino] in there (#4), I drew Mike Fredrich with a face full of ulcers (#3), I drew Joe Orlando as a monster (#4)... the job came out pretty well." (I'm not sure about some of these... but someone will correct me if I'm wrong.)

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MERRY CHRISTMAS from... Captain ADVENTURE?!?!
Cap's DC title lasted just five issues -- per DC's agreement with Cap's maker, Ideal toys. DC declined their option to renew, because by the time Cap's fifth bi-monthly issue hit the stands in 1969, the action figure itself was no longer on the market!

But Captain Action made a surprise reappearance in the DC Universe -- sort of -- in DCU Holiday Bash #3. As seen below, young Clark Kent gets a "Captain Adventure" doll for Christmas. Unfortunately, Pa neglected to get the "disguises you can put him in -- the Justice Society and those other masked men." But Clarkie could care less, until later, when the doll runs amok...

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This concludes our look at Captain Action... we've definately covered EVERY major event and EVERY SINGLE character in the good Captain's life and times, and I am totally SURE that we haven't left ANYTHING out! It's all here. Yes, EVERYTHING YOU'D EVER WANT TO KNOW about CAPTAIN ACTION is IN THIS SERIES! Isn't it? WRONG, COSMOS BREATH! There's just one teensy-tiny little small detail we left out...

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CLICK HERE FOR THE CONCLUSION!

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