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New Mini-Series Codename:Action

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  • New Mini-Series Codename:Action

    Now that Masks is over, Im guessing a lot of people will be interested in the next series to star pulp heroes and it's also written by Chris Roberson. It's Codename: Action and will focus on Captain Action and feature the Hornet, Spider, and others. It will be drawn by Jonathon Lau, who I wasnt a huge fan of on Hornet but he's not bad. Looks like it could be good...

    Hopefully it is more consistent tbroughout the series than Masks ended up being.

  • #2
    Looks like a bit of a weird amalgam. I always thought Captain Action was a superhero who turns into other superheroes, so I can see the 'master of disguise' angle, but I never thought of Captain Action as part of that '60s spy-craze thing along with 007, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Our Man Flint, and S.H.I.E.L.D. Obviously Dynamite can only use characters that are either public domain or legally licensed. Still not clear if these are the actual (1960s versions of) Dynamite heroes, or just alternate identities for Captain Action. May or may not pick this up, we'll see after I read the first issue.


    • #3
      Interview with writer Chris Roberson for a couple of weeks ago on Newsarama.

      Newsarama: Captain Action has a long and storied history in both toys and comics, and its making its way back to comics with you and Dynamite Entertainment. How’d this project come to you Chris, and what made it something you wanted to do?

      Chris Roberson: I had a great experience working with Dynamite on Masks, and had just gotten started on a stint on The Shadow with them when they floated the idea of a Captain Action series. I’ve been a little obsessed with the character since I was first introduced to him in the pages of Amazing Heroes back in the early 1980s. And Dynamite was amenable to my idea of using the character as the focal point for a big Sixties-flavored superspy adventure. So how could I refuse?

      Nrama: The title of this series isn’t Captain Action, but rather Codename: Action – why the revised title?

      Roberson: Basically, because this isn’t a “Captain Action” story as such, but a spy story that has Captain Action in it. Or rather, this is a spy story that serves double-duty as the origin story for Captain Action. But he’s just one of the superspy characters that we’ll be dealing with.

      Nrama: According to the press release from Dynamite, this six-issue series promises not only the return of Captain Action but also pulp heroes like the Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider and Black Venus getting involved. Can you tell us how this works, and if it ties into your work on Masks?

      Roberson: As I said, this is a superspy story, and the focus of our attention is going to be on the spy characters like Captain Action, Operator 5, and Black Venus. We’ll be seeing various masked characters and superheroes in supporting roles, but they won’t be stealing center stage. So Codename: Action is thematically linked to Masks in a lot of ways, but it isn’t a direct sequel as such.

      Nrama: This series is set in the Cold War, around the same time Captain Action himself was introduced as a toy. Why’d you decide to make this a period piece and in this specific time period?

      Roberson: It just made sense. The original Captain Action figure was so much a product of its time, which was obsessed on the one hand with superspy adventures (James Bond, Derek Flint, the Man from UNCLE, etc) and on the other with superheroes (Batman, Green Hornet, et al.) Everything about the character as originally formulated, with his high tech gizmos and vehicles and such, just seemed to work best in that jet-age mid-Sixties setting.

      Nrama: In the press release you state that this will be an origin story for Captain Action. His origin has been told somewhat several times by different authors in comics and in toy packaging – how’d you bring it all together and add your own ideas to create this origin?

      Roberson: We really went back to the original information that came along with the toys kids would have bought back in the Sixties, and built up from there. But in many ways what we’re seeing in the course of Codename: Action is the backstory to that material, so this serves more like a prelude than anything.

      Nrama: Captain Action was created by the same man who just a year or so before created G.I. Joe for HASBRO – Stan Weston. Has that tie between this and G.I. Joe played into your story or thoughts at all?

      Roberson: What I find interesting about Captain Action is that he is more an adventurer and spy than he is a soldier. Closer to the later formulations of GI Joe in the “Adventure Team” era of the Seventies than the more militaristic approach of the Sixties or the “covert operations” approach of the Eighties.

      Nrama: Did you look much at the previous Captain Action comics or those text with the toys in research for this comic? If so, which ones stood out to you the most?

      Roberson: One of the things that fascinates me most about the toys of the sixties and seventies is that they were characters without stories, as such. While later action figures would be released with enormous mythologies, whether tied into television cartoons or comic book series or what-have-you, characters like Captain Action, G.I. Joe, Big Jim, and the like came with only the most cursory level of detail about who they were and what they did. It was up to the kids playing with them to fill in the details. So we’ve used the cursory details about Captain Action and his supporting cast that were printed on the boxes and in the inserts in the original releases, and used that as a framework to tell our story.


      • #4
        Isn't the guy with the star on his chest from Project Superpowers? I'm pretty sure from the artwork that the character is from the Black Terror series or something. And he looks exactly the same as he does in PSP.

        Why is Dynamite using all these PSP character in books like MASKS, and now this series? Are they in the same continuity? If not, they should stop. It's getting a bit confusing.
        Last edited by BountyHunter; 08-23-2013, 07:13 AM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by BountyHunter View Post
          Isn't the guy with the star on his chest from Project Superpowers? I'm pretty sure from the artwork that the character is from the Black Terror series or something. And he looks exactly the same as he does in PSP.
          He's American Crusader and yes he's one of the characters from P:SP. And while it's not in continuity with P:SP I think they're trying to keep up awareness of the P:SP characters. I look on Masks and Codename:Action as Elseworlds type stories.
          Always remember, Murphy was an optimist
          Munchkin 1, 2, 4, 7 Super Munchkin 1&2, Munchkin Bites 1&2, Munchkin Fu, Star Munchkin Deluxe and Star 2


          • #6
            I wouldn't mind if Dynamite revived the idea of Codename: Action in a second limited series, but I'm not sure if the numbers would warrant it..

            Here's how the five-issue series did according to Diamond's Top 300 comic books lists:
            * Sept. 2013 = 265th - Codename: Action #1 - 7,752 copies
            * Oct. 2013 = 353rd - Codename: Action #2 - 4,831 copies
            * Nov. 2013 = NOTE: not seeing any titles from Dynamite listed below 300th place on the chart
            * Dec. 2013 = 372nd - Codename: Action #4 - 3,253 copies
            * Feb. 2014 = 354th - Codename: Action #5 - 2,963 copies

            And the trade paperback collecting this series was released in July of 2014.