Larry Siegel In 1968 I met a new superhero: Captain Action. His manly, yet concerned features, stretchy pants and counter-clockwise chest emblem captured my seven year-old's attention. His gun and lightening-shaped sword--yes, sword--kept my fascination.
I fondly remember being taken by my mom after school one day to the toy store near the bowling alley at "The Willingboro Plaza". We went into the unkempt store, toys and model boxes stacked to the ceiling, and we bought Captain Action along with his arch enemy, the blue skinned, Dr. Evil. That's right. There was a Dr. Evil before Austin Powers. This one had bug eyes and an exposed brain, which was covered by a GI Joe-like face mask. A competitive shot at Hasbro, I wonder?
Anyway, I got home, opened the boxes and played and played and played.
Then, much to my surprise and delight, I found Captain Action comic books in the rack at the nearby 7-11. I only got two of them and later found out that they only produced five. Somehow, I was the only kid in the neighborhood that had anything related to Captain Action (and Dr. Evil). I learned to keep my thrill over Captain Action to myself when the playground shop talk turned to the discussion of cool toys and super heroes. At my friends' houses, we'd play GI Joes and destroy various accouterments and throw dirt bombs at the action heroes(and each other). That was fun.
But at my house, mostly on my own, it was intergalactic mayhem, ray gun wounds and vicious miniature swordplay. Take that, Dr. Evil! A lightening sword cut to your ewy-gooey right hemisphere. I made the comic book come to life, all while creating panel after panel of unscripted adventures.
As the years passed, and the inevitable moves from house to dorm rooms to apartments to my own houses took place, I lost touch with Captain Action. In fact, I forgot all about him. But then, three years ago while in the theater watching Steve Carell in The 40 Year-Old Virgin I saw the scene in his apartment with all his action figures. There, on the shelf, looking scrawny and anachronistic was my Captain Action. He lives!
I remember urgently whispering to my wife, "There’s Captain Action!" to which she said, "Wuh?"
Oh, how few of us there must be.