Team Canuck modernizes Canadian superhero


Look up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Canadian superhero?

Captain Canuck has returned from a long absence from the comic book world.

A team known as “Team Canuck” has revitalized the older comic book character into today’s world.

“We are reviving Captain Canuck because we love Canuck, Canada and comic books,” said creative director Paul Gardner. “We all grew up with this superhero and felt it never realized its full potential.”

Captain Canuck was a Canadian superhero that was first created in 1975 by Richard Comely, and was published independently until 1979 by CKR Publishing.

Canuck originated as Canadian secret agent Tom Evans, who made contact with extraterrestrials that gave him super strength and super speed. With these gifts, he then became Captain Canuck to help defend Canada from evil

While not as big as other superheroes like Batman and Superman, Canuck gained a cult like following in North America.

The first issue of Captain Canuck from July 1975.

The first issue of Captain Canuck from July 1975.

Instead of rebooting the Canadian superhero as a comic, Gardner and the rest of the team decided to turn Canuck into an animated web series.

“We chose the web series because we feel we can reach a wider audience initially but a comic series is coming soon,” said Gardner.

The idea for revitalizing the Canadian superhero came through an unusual way.

“It all started with a sandwich,” said Gardner. “Fadi Hakim, our CEO, owns a restaurant called the Lakeview and wanted to name a sandwich the Captain Canuck.  After a few conversations with Richard Comely, one of the creators of Captain Canuck, Hakim acquired all the rights, except for live action.”

The premiere episode was shown on July 1 at a viewing party at the popular comic store The Silver Snail in downtown Toronto to great fan reactions.

Episode 1 of the new Captain Canuck web series.

“Fan reaction has been very positive,” said Gardner. “We have brought back a lot of the old fans who like what we are doing, preserving the qualities that drew them to the character in the first place.  We are also establishing a new fan base who really like to see a Canadian superhero created by Canadians for Canadians.”

Even comic fans who were too young to know about Captain Canuck enjoy the new web series.

“It’s great,” said comic fan Nellie Inglis. “It reminds me of kind of cheesy, but really awesome, anime.”

Despite the temptation to give the character a new identity, Gardner and the rest of the team decided to stick close to the source material.

“Well his suit is different and he is a man of today, but he essentially has all the same qualities as the original,” says Gardner. “We did not want to veer away from what defined him.”

After all the years without a popular Canadian superhero, Canuck’s return seems to still have significance.

“Canuck is important and relevant because he represents the best qualities of Canadians,” said Gardner. “He has evolved and continues to change just as our country does.”