Cover to Fantastic Four #210 featuring Galactus

I’ve posted before about my love for Captain Carrot. There’s something about that comic that just reminds me of being a kid. I only had a few issues of the series, the first of which I’m sure came with a “comic collecting starter kit’ ordered from the JC Penny (or Sears) Christmas Wish-book in the early 80’s. So it’s not a love from being over-exposed.

I suppose it’s the same love I feel for many of the comics that started my collection. I got the same feeling when not too long ago I located a copy of Fantastic Four #210 in a quarter bin. Flipping through its pages, I remember specific panels and was fascinated to read it again. I think that’s part of the reason I like Captain Carrot so much now. Back then it was just a “funny” book. Now, I read it and I see all the references it was making to the current comics of the time. It’s like watching The Simpsons, where kids find something funny and adults get a completely different picture. It’s a Meta-Text to the DC Universe and other comics of the time.

Cover image for Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew issue 1 from DC Comics

The origin of the team came about when Superman was investigating a strange phenomenon causing the citizens of Metropolis to begin acting like their primate ancestors. He soon found a ray streaking at him from a strange barrier surrounding the Earth, which prompted him to use a meteorite as protection. When the ray struck the meteorite, Superman and the meteor’s fragments were sent from Superman’s native dimension into Earth-C. There, Superman met several of the world’s residents, who had gained superpowers when they were struck by the various meteor fragments.

The animals and Superman soon teamed up to stop the source of the ray (which was also causing the denizens of Earth-C to behave like their non-anthropomorized animal ancestors), which turned out to be the old Justice League villain Starro, a sentient starfish, who was launching his de-evolution assault from the Earth-C universe’s Pluto. After defeating the villain, the animals decided to stick together and form the Zoo Crew, and Superman returned home.

Anyway, to get on with the point of this long winded post, DC Comics announced that the full run of Captain Carrot will be available in their Showcase format on September 26. For those unfamiliar, the Showcase format is a phone-book size collection of comics (usually 20-25 issues), printed on newsprint in black and white. For the past few years DC has been releasing their older comics (Superman, Batman, Justice League) in these collections. Marvel has something similar with their Essential line. Both lines are a great way for new and old fans to pick up full runs and large sets of story-lines or issues for very little $$. Both collections retail for $16.99 and can usually be found online for $10-$12. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. Don’t pass them up because of the black and white printing either. Before the 90’s, comic art wasn’t as detailed, so the simpler illustration style reproduces beautifully without to color, with some volumes looking better than their color counterparts.

Now have some fun and check out Issue 13 of Captain Carrot and His Zoo Crew. Just mouse over the image after and click the NEXT or PREV links to continue.

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Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew Return

The New York Comic-com was this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier about one surprise announcement made by DC Comics.

Jann Jones announced a new project: Captain Carrot and the Final Ark, a three-issue limited series. "It's a very important year for Captain Carrot," Jones said. The project will be written by Bill Morrison and drawn by Scott Shaw! The villain of the story will be Ra's al-Pica.

I remember reading Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew as a kid and thinking it was just the coolest idea. An entire world that mirrored the DC universe, but populated by talking animals. It's very similar to one of DC's hallmark ideas, the multi-verse. The idea that any number of alternate universes exists, some with minor variations and some with major ones. I've always loved alternate time-line stories and DC has always used them creatively.

Marvel Comics does them as well, but they bounce back and forth with no explanation or connection. They've never attempted to link or explain them. They just use the "alternate time-line/universe" character when it's convenient.

I could go on all day about Marvel vs. DC and maybe one day I will, but for now, I can't wait for some new Captain Carrot.