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Captain Canuck - Essay on Canadian Comics

2 pages
491 words
Vanderbilt University
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While most Canadians can name Captain Canuck in four runs over 40 years, the comic simply totaled 23 issues, and constantly shuttered due to issues with finance. Part of what makes Marvels Alpha Flight beloved in Canada then is the lack of competition: there are simply other Canadian superheroes to choose from, and the American origin of these features is less important to Canadian readers than one might anticipate. Those seeking to construct a domestic canon of superhero comics like John Bell tend to downplay the importance of these comics.

Like Comelys Canuck, Captain Canada wore a red-and-white costume based on the maple-leaf flag. Captain Canada was recruited to his super-hero duties by a powerful character in Stirlings comic universe Captain Atlantis. As a matter of fact, Captain Canada was joined by several other characters such as an aboriginal superhero, Captain Freedom and a Quebecois superheroine, Mademoiselle. In terms of content, it was obvious that the goal was not to produce a traditional superhero. Instead, they considered Captain Canuck a didact vehicle; a means to popularize certain philosophical and religious ideas.

In the introduction to Getting It Back: A Program for Canadian Independence, Rotstein and Gray Lax (1974) warned that the issue of an independent and creative cultural life in Canada might be the ultimate determinant of our prospect of survival. There was the need to free culture from elite dominant and ostracizing paternalism for purposes of encouraging a national project with a wide social base. Refinement mattered less compared to opportunities for domestic debate, especially if the content involved national identifiers refernces to the nation showed through figures, stories, events and other elements able to situate the Canadian identity and experience. Within this paradigm, a comic book such as Captain Canuck would be worth.

Canadian comics in general, beginning with reliance on the expression of British cultural connections, then opening the way to the influence of American cultural power, and eventually becoming an interpretation of unique cultural integrity. This story is almost related to the geographical and political affairs as a minor nation that is formed mostly by its new history. The story, however, is of vital success as well as a supplement to large Canadian history with works like Captain Canuck being far more fortunate as ideas and rallying points than they ever were as comics, and to comics history globally.



Dittmer, Jason, and Soren Larsen. "Captain Canuck, audience response, and the project of Canadian nationalism." Social & Cultural Geography 8, no. 5 (2007): 735-753.

Edwardson, Ryan. "The many lives of Captain Canuck: Nationalism, culture, and the creation of a Canadian comic book superhero." The Journal of Popular Culture 37, no. 2 (2003): 184-201.

Beaty, Bart. "The Fighting Civil Servant: Making Sense of the Canadian Superhero." American Review of Canadian Studies36, no. 3 (2006): 427-439.

Rotstein, Abraham, and Gary Lax. Getting it back: a program for Canadian independence. Clarke, Irwin, 1974.

Dr.Osborne. Captain Canuck and the Discursive Construction of Canada. Ideas that Shape the World. (n.d).


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