CAPTAIN CANADA: 3
Both the second Captain Canada adventure and a third, unpublished story … were comic-art tours de force. The writer Evans and the artist Berneche combined to create graphic narratives that were chock-full of anarchic energy and yet also tightly crafted.” John Bell
Conceived by Robert Norton written by Peter Evans and illustrated by Stan Berneche the satirical character “Captain Canada”, the first national superhero to appear following the Canadian wartime comics, appeared in Fuddle Duddle vol. 1 no. 4 1971/1972 and vol.1, no 5, 1971/1972 which was the last issue of the magazine. There was a final instalment that was never published but whose originals are stored in the National Archives of Canada.
Dressed in the proverbial red and white costume with a Maple Leaf (along with the distinctive touch of antlers) on the face mask, Captain Canada received his incredible strength from eating magic muskeg a substance created out of the collision between a meteor charged with good karma and fertile Canadian muskeg. The same magic muskeg gave his constant companion Beaver Boy his incredible intelligence. Beaver Boy, by the way, was the survivor of a plane crash whom “Captain Canada” gave to his beaver friends to raise. Thus in the “Captain we have the brawn, but no brains and in puny Beaver Boy we have the brains.
In the first story Captain Canada and Beaver Boy encounter Pamela the sex interest and the three battle Media Master who, of course, is bent on world domination. Their second adventure focuses on the 1972 Federal election. In it the three undergo a transformation in which the “Captain” becomes a right wing oaf, Beaver Boy, now costumeless, is a long-haired subversive and Pam is a flower child. The “Captain”
“storms through the Ottawa counterculture beating up ‘commie’ freaks and getting himself arrested. Duped by a group of anarchists, he almost blows up the House of Commons and then goes on a rampage, which begins with his immortal battle cry (collected by John Colombo in his first book of Canadian quotations) – ‘Beavers Up!’ The story ends with Prime Minister Trudeau rescuing Cap from arrest and praising Canada’s superhero guardian as ‘an involved’ Canadian.” [39 – 40]
PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:
Back. Stanley Berneche (?).Fuddle Duddle,1-4, 1971/1972.
“Captain Canada Matches Mettle With The Monstrous Menace of The Media-Master” Con., Robert Norton. Writ., Peter Evans. Illus., Stanley Berneche. Fuddle Duddle,1-4, 1971/1972.
. “Another Captain Canada”, Guardians of the North: The National Superhero in Canadian Comic-Book Art, Writ., John Bell. Ottawa, National Archives of Canada, 1992: 37 – 39. A catalogue for the exhibit of the same name.
“The Great Canadian Superhero.” Writ., Henry Mietkiewicz. Toronto Star, 1 Feb.1992: J1.
Email from James Waley.
Illus., Stanley Berneche (?).Fuddle Duddle, 1-4, 1971/1972. Cover back