Monday, November 5, 2012

Retro-review: Captain 3-D!

The only issue of this comic came out in December 1953, published by Harvey Comics, and created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Originally, readers needed special green-and-red glasses to view this comic, but the reprinted version in the Simon & Kirby collection restores the story to its original art and full color, both for the first time. The restoration is very well done, as there is no evidence that the book was intended solely to be read in 3-D. And there are no obvious 3-D "tricks" in the art, that the movies of the time so often relied on t oemphasize the gimmick.

The story is a classic sci-fi/fantasy tale: a mysterious book finds its way into the hands of young Danny Davis, enabling him to use magic glasses (hidden inside the book) to bring Captain 3-D from the pages of the Book of D into our world. Captain 3-D reveals to Danny that he is part of race of humanoid survivors,  all but wiped out by their enemies, the Cat People. Following a destructive war, the elders placed their great champion in the pages of the magical Book of D, of which Danny is now the guardian.

The stories in this issue mostly involve the return of the Cat People, and Captain 3-D's battle against them, although he and Danny do a little old-fashioned crime-fighting, as well. In our realm, the Captain possesses strength and speed beyond those of normal humans.
It is certainly a crazy premise, but it is also an interesting read as a curiosity. This comic series lasted about as long as the fad did in movies, as this one issue was the only one published.

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