It’s no secret that comic book movies are taking over the movie industry. With the majority of movies coming out per year being comic book or superhero related, its only a matter of time until we get to see a movie for every character you can possibly imagine. There was a time when nobody thought the Avengers would ever be able to have a movie, but now its one of the most successful movies ever made. So get ready for the next hero that is planning to grace the theaters and captivate audiences. Get ready for Captain Canuck.
Okay, so I realize this might only be interesting news to myself and roughly 34 million other people. Captain Canuck is not known for his wide reaching influence across the world, nor his stature as a high profile superhero in any popular comic universe. But for a period of time he was pretty well known in the Great White North. That’s Canada, if you don’t get the reference. If you also were unaware, I am Canadian. So is The Wozz. We are awesome. Still don’t recognize the above character? What if I show you a picture of the original Captain Canuck?
Still nothing? Fine, let me drop some knowledge. Captain Canuck is an agent for the Canadian International Security Organization (CISO) and later CSIS, Canada’s actual security organization. He is a very political and patriotic hero fighting the good fight in the far away future of 1993. Most often described as Flash Gordon mixed with Captain America, Captain Canuck first arrived in 1975 as the brainchild of Richard Comely. Over the years the uniform and title have been worn by three different Canadians. Wikipedia has a good description of the 3 patriotic heroes:
Canuck’s first appearance was in 1975, published by Comely Comix of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The story followed Tom Evans, a Canadian secret agent who gained superhuman strength from contact with extraterrestrials. This first version of the Canadian superhero ran for three issues before going on hiatus in 1976. In 1979, it came back, with Comely being backed by CKR Productions, and publishing 11 more issues, plus a summer special, concluding in 1981; it was drawn mostly by George Freeman, taking over from Comely, who was pushed out of CKR about midway through the run. In 2004, the completed issue #15 was finally published in a limited edition by Comely.
Since the original there have been two newer incarnations of the Canadian icon: Comely launched a second version in 1993, under the banner of Semple Comics. Set in the present, Captain Canuck: Reborn featured a new Captain Canuck, Darren Oak, who fought a global conspiracy. This title lasted only four issues (#0-3) and was drawn by Richard Comely, Leonard Kirk and Sandy Carruthers with inks by Eric Theriault. That incarnation continued as a newspaper comic strip for a short while.
A third incarnation (sometimes called the “West Coast Captain Canuck”), edited by Comely but written and drawn by brothers Riel and Drue Langlois, appeared in 2004 under the banner of Comely Comics, entitled Captain Canuck: Unholy War. Yet another man, RCMP Constable David Semple, adopts the guise of Captain Canuck, to take on a biker gang called the Unholy Avengers. “Unholy War” was slated as a three-issue mini-series, the third and final installment being published in January 2005. However, the series came out with a fourth issue (under the ‘Hot Hail Comics’ banner) in August 2007, which fully concluded the character.
So while Captain Canuck has not had a long running series ever, he has certainly been around for a long time and developed a cult following with Canadians and collectors. He was Canada’s superhero, someone to look up to and aspire to, but nowadays I would say he is pretty much forgotten. Or just confused with Marvel’s Guardian, a member of the Canadian team Alpha Flight.
Now that I’ve enlightened you a little on the national hero of Canada (Not Guardian), let’s talk about why I’m telling you this. Captain Canuck looks like he will be making the jump to the big screen soon, as announced at Comic-Con International this year. ScreenRant reports:
The Vancouver Sun reports that a film based on Canadian hero, Captain Canuck, is officially in the works. The character, created in 1975 by illustrator Richard Comely, is a Canadian security officer who develops super-strength and speed after being exposed to extraterrestrial Zeta rays. Screenwriter Arne Olsen beat out hundreds of writers to win the job of scripting Captain Canuck, after submitting a 15-page sample to Mind’s Eye Entertainment, the production company behind the film. Of Olsen’s writing credits to date, only the 1995 adaptation Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie could be considered part of the superhero genre.
Olsen on his approach to a Captain Canuck film:
“I’m much more interested in the grittier [films] – where there’s a much more realistic approach. The way we’re going to approach this is – more of a visceral action thriller in the [style] of the Bourne trilogy. We’re trying to take him to more of a 21st century sensibility. Hipper, with a bit more of an interest in contemporary issues and characters, and the technology and information we have access to.”
I think the comparison to the Bourne films is a great one and wouldadapt well with Captain Canuck’s history. As to which Captain Canuck would be wearing the costume, I would say create a new character, why not? It’s been done before, and if you are trying to adapt the character for modern times then you might as well do exactly that. We are still quite a ways away from any sort of production on the film, but I for one am excited. The actor Olsen mentions he would like to see take on the role? Ryan Gosling, who yes, is Canadian.
Now I can hear some of you laughing in the back, and that’s fine. Yes, Captain Canuck is corny, his costume is slightly ridiculous and he right away seems like a rip off of Captain America. But then again doesn’t Captain Britain? or Union Jack? Or any of the numerous nation related heroes out there that serve their country? What’s more important is that he is a symbol of the country and its feelings. Captain Canuck was there for Canada at a time of extreme nationalism, and his actions and stories reflected the best parts of the country when we needed it most. Just like Captain America in World War II, although Canuck has always been more concerned with Canadian problems then in getting involved in other countries. Go figure.
I hope this movie continues to make its way though production, has a decent budget, and doesn’t turn into a straight to DVD, or worse yet a TV movie that will be mocked for eternity. He deserves better than that.
Sound off in the comments section below for what I’m sure will be many funny jokes about Canada and Captain Canuck. Don’t worry, I can take it. I’m Canadian.