Captain Action #2: "The Battle Begins!"

Captain Action #2 "The Battle Begins!" December, 1968 - January, 1969   Script: Jim Shooter Art: Gil Kane & Wallace Wood   In this corner, D.C.'s newest super-hero, Captain Action!  In the other corner, the challenger, the villainous Krellik!  The action starts now!   On the splash page, Captain Action and Action Boy go about their plans to catch Krellik with their coins of power, and are unaware that their quarry is eavesdropping outside their window.   On a sunny afternoon, the Aegean Shore is the site of a battle's end.   Krellik is now in possession of Captain Action's coins of power.  Each one has been minted by an ancient race who are now known as the gods of myth today.  Professor Clive Arno had found them in a long-buried city, but now they belong to Krellik.  The villain has found four coins in the Captain's belt-buckle.  The first is the sun-god's coin, with the power of Sol, Ra, Helios, and Tonatiuh,  including bright light and unyielding heat.   The coin of the Thundergod contains the lightning power of Zeus, Thor, Jupiter, and Pyerun.  While Captain Action would use this ability to help others, Krellik would conquer the world.  The coin of Vidar, he who slew the Fenris Wolf with his bare hands, and who survived Ragnarok.  He was also known as Hercules by the Greeks, and Heracles by the Romans.  The villain can now lift an entire mountain now.  The coin of Mercury or Hermes grants him super-speed.  When he learns where the rest of the coins are located, Krellik will become the most powerful man on Earth.   There is no need to slay such a helpless and humiliated foe now.   As the Captain revives, he sees Krellik soaring westward with the speed of Mercury.  Although the villain has gotten the coins in his belt, Captain Action still has the one coin hidden in his hat, and he will be needing it later on.  After crossing the Atlantic at lightning-speed, Krellik gloats about finding the coin of the god of evil.  Its power of sorcery enabled him to locate the other coins.  He was able to defeat Clive Arno with a whip, a sickle, and a torch.  After donning a fake beard and glasses, Krellik is ready to begin the rest of his plan.   Professor Alfred Graeme of the Archeological Institute has come to see Professor Clive Arno.  After showing some relics to Arno's son, he is invited inside.  While being shown the professor's private collection, the boy sees Graeme ripping the phone line.  Without the beard and glasses, the son of Clive Arno recognizes Krellik, who has come for the coins of power.   Time passes, with Professor Arno stowing away on a state-bound airplane, and bypassing customs.  Entering his home, he sees Carl on the floor, and learns that Krellik had been looking for the coins.  The villain left empty-handed, leaving the boy unconscious.  Without the coin of Heimdall, Krellik was unable to find the hidden door to the lower-level headquarters, and collect the other coins of power.   Now in their sub-basement headquarters, Carl learns that with the coins, and his own sorcerous weaponry, Krellik would be more than a match for the Justice League of America.  When he asks his father if he plans to use more coins to find the villain, the professor knows that it won't be that simple.  Although he still has other coins of power, Krellik now has four of his best powers, and the remaining coins may not be enough to stop him.  The coin of Heimdall will be used to locate the villain's hideout, while the coins of Odin, Tlaloc, Vulcan, and Mars will serve him, as well.  In his own hideout, Krellik fumes with rage over not finding the other coins.   With Arno trapped in Greece, it's only a matter of time before the professor makes his way back, and the villain will be waiting for him.   With Clive Arno's will-power, threats will not work, but perhaps trickery will suffice.  Krellik's coin of sorcery is more than a match for any of Arno's.  Captain Action and Action Boy have just arrived, and smash their way through the hideout.   Carl reaches for the coins on the table, but they are levitated out of reach.  Action Boy is slapped aside, with Captain Action easily outmaneuvering Krellik's speed.   With the fighting powers of Mars, Arno is able to match his opponent's speed.  Several sun-blasts soon surround the Captain, but Tlaloc the Rain God's power coin provides some life-saving rain.  Krellik claims to be blinded by the storm, but Captain Action exercises some caution.   With the coin of Odin, Clive Arno sees that the villain is pretending to be blind, and is trying to lure him into range.  Even as he sees the true intentions in Krellik's shadow, its owner leaps at him.  Action Boy offers a chair to the back of the villain's head.  Although he is powerful, Krellik is not invulnerable, and is now dazed.   Thanks to the god of evil's coin, the villain is able to escape through a wall.  Carl wonders how they'll find him again, but his father still has the coin of Heimdall.  Even if Krellik should wear a disguise, the coin will be able to penetrate it.  Only a magical one would defy detection, but their foe is unaware of this.  It would seem that Captain Action and Action Boy are unaware that Krellik is perched on a ledge, and has been listening to their every word.   After a change of clothes, Clive and Carl are about to drive home, when the boy suggests that Captain Action could use some transportation of his own.  Without the speed of Mercury, the professor considers this to be a necessity.  Once they are gone, Krellik prepares a simple disguise spell, and begins his surveillance of the Arnos.   The following day at the Archeological Museum, Professor Arno pauses to look at the stone lions he had found in Pompeii.  He is unaware that they are observing his every movement, and reporting what they see to their master.  Later in the day, the alarm goes off, and Clive Arno thanks the coin of Quetzalcoatl which serves as a mystic alarm.  He heads downstairs, through the entrance beneath his desk, and Captain Action will answer the emergency call.   A crew of mechanics have just finished converting an amphibious craft into a speedy vehicle worthy of the Batmobile.  The mechanics completed the job for Captain Action, who leaps to the wheel of the Silver Streak.   With Carl out on a date at the beach, the Captain will be on his own.   Krellik is firing lighting-blasts at the street below, then pulls a subway train from the open tunnel, and magically raises it high into the air.   Upon seeing Captain Action, the train is lowered to the ground, and the villain employs the coin of Mercury.  The Silver Streak is able to dodge the sun bursts, with the driver taking to the air, thanks to the coin of the wind god.   The Hindu knew him as Vata and the Greeks called him Aeolus.  The twin tornados batter Krellik, who shouldn't be suffering so.  As the villain heads to ground-level, the Captain uses the coin of Pluto, and the earth itself attacks him.  Even though he is easily more powerful than his foe, Krellik chooses to retreat, and Captain Action leaves a grateful crowd behind.   Driving back in the Silver Streak, Professor Arno doesn't know what his foe is up to, but a disguised Krellik is eager to continue his scheme.  A jewelry store is being robbed by an unusually powerful thief, but Captain Action's ice-blast freezes him in his tracks.  He is now using the coins of Kora-Okami, the Japanese Snow-God and the coin of Vulcan.  The Captain wonders why his opponent isn't using the sun's heat to counter the ice attack.   Krellik flees again, and dons his magical disguise once more.  As Captain Action flies home, the villain employs his power of sorcery to put Carl to sleep.  With the Captain returning to the museum, Krellik readies another disguise.   The villain now assumes the likeness of Carl Arno, then greets his prey at the steps of the museum.  Once inside, the disguised Krellik watches as the professor opens a display case containing ancient coins.  Since they were hiding in plain sight, the villain is now aware of their hiding place.   Arno is slapped aside by Krellik, who is now in possession of all the coins of power.  With them in his possession, he plans to use Vulcan's fire to dispose of the professor.  When no flames appear, it is Captain Action who delivers the punch line, and reveals that the coins are all fakes.   He is still in possession of the one's he has been using, including the coin of Heimdall, and knows that it wasn't his son who greeted him.  It wasn't the coin which tipped him off and Vulcan's forging abilities were used to create the false coins.  Now too dizzy to battle with magic, Krellik reaches for the sack of coins, but his hand is stepped on by a firm boot.  The Captain is now ready for a fair fight, without their coins.   The defeated foe feigns surrender, then flees before Arno can claim his coin of evil, and gets away.  Carl has woken up from his slumber, and learns about his father's recovery of the coins.  The game is still on, and with the coin of the god of evil, Captain Action is sure that they'll be hearing from Krellik in the future.   On the cover of Captain Action #2, "The Battle Begins..." aboard the Silver Streak.   The Captain was off to a good start with the likes of Gil Kane and Wallace Wood in his corner of the ring.   The idea of an ancient race being regarded as gods was explored in Jack Kirby's "The Eternals".   Krellik is baldheaded, wearing a green bodysuit, with matching trunks.   The villain is carrying the coins of the Sun-God, the Thundergod, the God of Strength, and the God of Speed.   In his disguise as Professor Alfred Graeme, Krellik does not arouse any of Carl Arno's suspicions in his purple suit.   Nowadays, Captain Action would be arrested for being a stowaway, and for avoiding customs.   In an Ideal advertisement, Captain Action is being held captive by Doctor Evil.  The blue-skinned alien has ionized him, and plans to use his thought-sensor to take control of the Captain's mind.  The Doctor is outdrawn by Action Boy, whose ray-gun is stronger than Evil's reducer.      Dr. Evil is an alien from Alpha Centura, who comes with an evil disguise, and evil things.   Action Boy comes with helmet, knife, ray gun, and panther.   We do not learn what crime-fighting accessories are included with Captain Action.   With the coin of Heimdall in his possession, it doesn't take the Arnos long to locate Krellik's headquarters.   I don't think that Action Boy was using any coins of power in this issue.   Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  Thanks to the coin of Odin, Captain Action knows.   Krellik's next disguise bears a striking resemblance to Tony Stark.   In this disguise, the villain is fond of smoking cigarettes and pipes.   Professor Arno is unaware of the spies "lion" in wait for him at the museum.   The museum director holds a desk job, with even more work beneath it.   The Silver Streak has three wheels and has a light blue paint job.   The mention of lightning and a subway tunnel sounds strangely familiar.   If Krellik possessed the power of clairvoyant vision, then why couldn't he use it to find out where the coins of power were hidden?   The ad for the next issue presents Captain Action's arch-foe... Dr. Evil! The blue-skinned bad guy will be giving the man of action more trouble.   Dave Blanchard mentioned in an earlier post that Gil Kane was an admirer of Jack Kirby.  Anyone know if Kane was a boxing fan, too?  Dave regarded the coins of power as a gimmick worthy of Weisinger.  He has also written an article about the Captain, including a company called Playing Mantis reviving the action figure with licensed costumes, and package designs by Carmine Infantino.   Bob Buethe was attracted to the plots and twists, and didn't care about the characterization.  He found the dialogue in later issues to be Kirbyesque and overblown.  Bob considered the concept a unique one and developed an interest in mythology.   Mike Norwitz mentions the Captain's retirement soon after, and the coins of power making a reappearance later on.   Dave Sikula was struck by the concept as an unnecessary promotional gimmick   BradW8 was less than impressed by the dialogue in later issues.   This Review Is Dedicated To Dave Blanchard, Bob Buethe, Mike Norwitz, Dave Sikula, BradW8, and Rich Goldberg   Steve Chung "The Review Begins!"