Codename: Action–New mini-series partners retro spy with retro heroes

CodenameAction01-Cover-Jae Lee     CodenameAction01-Cov-1 retro key

Captain Action was first introduced by Ideal Toys as a large-sized action figure in 1966 to compete with Hasbro’s G.I. Joe, although both figures were designed by the same guy, Stan Weston.  Back then the figure came with alternative costumes, including Spider-man, Green Hornet, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, and Captain America.  A five issue comic book series was published a few years later with little to do with the figure and his ability to switch personas.  More than 30 years later Playing Mantis brought a line of toys to the market featuring the Captain Action characters.  And next week, Dynamite Comics, the publisher known for its retro series like Green Hornet, Bionic Man, Ms. Fury, The Lone Ranger, and Flash Gordon, picks up the Captain Action licensing and is introducing a mini-series to reboot the character, beginning with Codename: Action, Issue #1.

Written by Chris Roberson (Masks, Superman), with art by Jonathan Lau (Green Hornet, Bionic Man) and alternate covers by artists Jae Lee (Before Watchmen), Francesco Francavilla (Black Beetle), Johnny Desjardins (Phantom, Green Hornet), Jason Ullmeyer (Red Sonja, Vampirella), Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans), and Lau, Captain Action is the new superspy on the block complete with gadgets, a Judy Dench-type head of spy HQ, and plenty of action.  Lau and colorist Ivan Nunes really bring home the retro spy look of the 1960s, complete with a team of agents driving a 1963 Corvette as their car of choice.

Action01-Lau art     Codename Action Lau interior page art

Issue #1 begins with a plot like you’d see in the pages of G.I. Joe or Superfriends–world leaders are being replaced with doppelgangers and two key agents–one young and one experienced, along with a pair of foreign female spies, look like they have their work cut out for them in this Cold War-era story.  It’s yet to be seen whether Captain Action will be swapping out personas for superheroes as with the original action figures, but you will meet at least one superhero in Issue #1.

And did I mention there is plenty of action?

CodenameAction01-Cov-1 action figure     CodenameAction01-Cov-1 alt

Check out all these James Bond, and action figure, inspired covers for Issue #1.

CodenameAction01-Cov-1 cover art     CodenameAction01-Cov-1 Baltazar

Fans of Masks and all the characters of that series and the rest of the classic characters in Dynamite’s pantheon of retro will love this first issue.  Issue #1 hits comic books stores September 11, 2013.

C.J. Bunce

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