Captain Action #0
Moonstone (April, 2008; posted to comiXology July, 2009)
WRITER: Fabian Nicieza
ARTIST: Mark Sparacio
Unfortunately the scans at comiXology do not include the credits and they only list the writer, penciler, and inker in the online store, so I don’t know who the colorist and letterer are.
Years ago an alien invader slowly took over the world with parasite, but a few government officials who managed to stay uncontrolled formed the secret Advanced Command for Telluric Interdiction Observation and Nullification Directorate. (You guys when a lonnnnng way to get your shadow group called the ACTION Directorate. Woman Of ACTION didn’t try that hard. And that group called themselves “Advanced Counter-Terrorist Intelligence and Operations Network”. I wish that comic was still online. If anyone knows a host for the Action Age Comics webcomics please let me know.) And its greatest agent was Captain Action, able to change his appearance to resemble other superheroes and battle the Red Crawl in secret. Years after their defeat the original Captain retires, but the superheroes they created to publicly fight evil were secretly infected with the parasites. In present day the hero known as Savior destroys ACTION Directorate’s headquarters. Now the only hope the world has lies with Captain Action’s estranged son, who must now take over the legacy of Captain Action!
What they got right: For those of you who don’t know, Captain Action was a series of doll-sized action figures (like the original GI Joe or the Mego figures) that could be disguised as other licensed heroes, like Batman, Superman, and the Phantom, as seen in the video above. They come up with a good explanation as to how Captain Action could do this in-universe rather than just putting on a mask and changing clothes. Having his son take on the legacy allows the older version to still be canon while the younger one takes on new adventures, and his estrangement from his father and the directorate explains how he escaped, though bad guys do go after him.
What they got wrong: This version has joined forces with the Phantom, as seen in a crossover I reviewed when it came out. (Issue 1| Issue 2) I actually received a review copy of issue #2. That’s not really happened before and one once since. My question is whether or not Savior and the other heroes in this story are also canon to the Moonstone take on the Phantom, since comiXology’s preview for issue #1 of this series mentions the first Moonstone appearance of Mandrake, who later also teamed with the Phantom. I guess they couldn’t have Captain Action junior turn into other licensed heroes so they made up their own, since that’s part of the original toy’s gimmick. (In the Phantom crossover they just fought a criminal cult.)
Recommendation: A good introduction to this series and the concepts needed to follow it. Give it a look and see if you’d like to check out the full series.