Captain Canuck (Free Comic Book Day #0)
Staff: Kalman Andrasofszky, Ed Brisson, George Freeman, Jim Charalampidis, Rosemary Cheetham
By the end of this awesome comic you'll be craving putien and maple syrup.
So I’m going to look at Captain Canuck today. It’s from Chapter House comics and, from what I understand, it’s a revitalization of a golden age hero written by Richard Comely and Ron Leishman.
Before I get onto the review I gotta say that I watched one of the animated shorts online before this and... wow. It’s legit. Like well voice acted, some fluid animation, and it sets up a solid (if not a little by-the-book) universe for our hero.
The art for this comic is up there with the best bits of modern professional comic artwork. This is right out of a Marvel or DC comic, no doubts about it. Clean lines, gorgeous color, etc. It was a real treat after the last comic I reviewed and I can see there is some serious talent/money behind this comic. It shows in all the right places and, to be honest, there isn’t much more to say than “wow- killer artwork bro”.
At the end of the book there are characters bios and character artwork. I just wanted to point out how goddamn beautiful and thoughtful they all are. My frequent readers will no doubt know how little I like to gush about character designs unless they are THAT good but... damn. They work a lot of history and politics into certain characters costumes, add little accessories, and make everyone memorable.If there is one shortcoming it is “Mr. Gold”, the villain. He seems so... stock. His background is very generic and it seems like his motives are one-dimensional.
Lettering / Layout:
Lettering is crisp and proper. No slipups. I always say what separates a good comic from a professional one is lettering and layout. This comic proves my point- it’s damn solid lettering and layout. As a result, it LOOKS professional. If you told me this was a DC comic I’d have believed it (might have even praised the art for being better than normal).
Writing / Story:
So the titular “Captain Canuck” (aka Tom Evans) is an agent of “Equilibrium” (think SHIELD or something) is setting up to stop an oil fire. They give us a lot of backstory on everyone though little bits of dialogue in the first few page preview (keep in mind I am reading from a free preview comic for free comic book day).
The second story is a text-heavy origin story of Captain Canuck. It recounts a lot of the golden age stuff from the character’s backstory and gives us a good overview of the character. As with any “Captain [Insert Nation Here” character, he DOES have a bit of the Captain America. I don’t think that’s the writer’s issue- it’s more just a product of the times it was written in and, ultimately, doesn’t sour the story at all. There are more aliens and time travel in his background and he kinda doesn’t have the WWII soldier vibe, but the connection is still there. I think I actually like Canuck’s better to be honest.
As a guy who spent summers in Quebec and PEI when he was a kid, I did like that they had the character from Quebec correct everyone’s pronunciation to “Kebeck” which is how it is said in French (and by everyone there). I also dig that she’s never been able to gell with her teammates- a nice little bit of political commentary there ;-)
Overall... yeah. I’m a fan. This is awesome. No two ways about it. I am a sucker for schlocky, golden age-inspired, lantern-jawed, goodness and this scratched that itch and went a bit further. Loved the redesign, loved the art, and the world is rich enough that I am invested. Give it a read! Oooohh Caaaanada!
Art: 10/10 [Pro level.]
Lettering: 9/10 [Good lettering and layout make a good comic.]
Plot: 7/10 [Solid writing. Good characters.]
Novelty: 6/10 [While rebooting an old character they do some new stuff with it.]