Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who's Who in the Zoo Crew - Fastback

Well, it's time for another exciting entry in Who's Who in the Zoo Crew, and since I recently posted an article about the Terrific Whatzit, I figured who better to feature this time around than Whatzit's nephew.

Good 'ol Timmy Joe Terapin. Garsh, he's nifty.

This handbook entry first appeared in the September 1985 issue of Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. The issue number (or volume number as it states on the cover) is #7.

Here's the cover to the issue. Fastback can been seen running swiftly up the Elongated Man's back. Um...

And just for fun, here is another cool picture of Fastback I found in an old November 1997 Flash one-shot called Speed Force. This 64-page special contained stories featuring all kinds of characters who use the Speed Force to be...well, speedy. In its pages, you will marvel to the exploits of such super speedsters as the Flash, Kid Flash, Max Mercury, Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Flash for people who live under a rock), Jesse Quick and a MYSTERY FLASH!!! Unfortunately, there is no Fastback story, BUT there is an awesome Phil Jimenez pin-up showing all the characters (as of Nov. '97 anyway) that access the Speed Force, and Fastback, as you can see below, is on it.

Captain Carrot fans have often wondered if Fastback accesses the Speed Force when he uses his super speed. It is never mentioned in any of the comics he's in, but I've long believed that he probably does. So I was thrilled when I saw this picture. Does it PROVE anything? Probably not. But who cares?

Keep on crewzin', folks!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Threshold #4 Cover

Well, here's the latest Captain K'Rot artwork, which is the cover of Threshold #4, due out April 10th, 2013. The artwork is by Howard Porter.

Threshold #3

Much as I hate to admit it, I actually don't mind the way he looks in THIS picture. Doesn't mean I'm jumping on the "I LOVE K'ROT!!" bandwagon, mind you, but he actually looks like a rabbit in this picture, not a drug-addict kangaroo. Plus, the orange jacket makes the costume a bit more Captain Carrotish.

Uh...I still hate him, though. With a passion!! HATE!!!!

People are telling me I should wait until I've read the book to judge, and that's good advice.

In the meantime....HATE!!!!! (But not as much after seeing this cover.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Golden Age Connection #1 - The Terrific Whatzit

One of the fun things about Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew are all the cameo appearances of old Golden Age Funny Animal characters within the pages of the series. Comics back then quite frequently had animal characters appearing as super-heroes, and DC Comics was no different. I think it's about time we take a look at some of those characters (at least the ones who appeared alongside Captain Carrot and the Crew).

So, for my first (in hopefully many) Golden Age Connection entries, I thought I'd start with one of the more popular Golden Age characters to appear in CCaHAZC!

The Terrific Whatzit!!!

Merton McSnurtle, aka the Terrific Whatzit, first appeared in DC Comics' Funny Stuff #1 waaaay back in the summer of 1944. He has the distinct honor of being DC's first funny animal super-hero character, and was created by Martin Naydel. According to what I could find on the Internet, Martin Naydel also worked on such DC Golden Age titles as All-Flash Quarterly (1941), All-Star Comics (1940), Adventure Comics (1938), Flash Comics (1940), Superboy (1949) and Comic Cavalcade (1942). He apparently contributed to 1975's Super-Team Family as well, although I'm not sure about that last one.

Funny Stuff #1, Summer 1944

Merton McSnurtle was a lowly shopkeeper who lived in the town of Zooville. He was well known for his honesty AND his laziness (sounds like a turtle to me). One day he was visited by two powerful entities known as Prince Highness (the nice guy) and Prince Lowness (the dirty bastard). The two Princes were curious to see how somebody so completely honest would handle being granted super powers, so they picked Merton and...wait for it...granted him super powers!!! (Bet you didn't see that one coming!)

The Terrific Whatzit's powers...well, they were pretty much the same as Golden Age Flash's powers. They mostly center around super-speed, although in his Captain Carrot appearance, he seems to possess some super-strength as well, as he is is shown being able to bend the muzzle of a tank's canon. That always comes in handy.

He also has what is referred to as his "automatic conscience" which harasses the poor guy until he does the right thing. I have that super power, too. It sucks!!

Apparently he flies as well. Not sure what's up with that.

Look! It's the Terrific Whatzit!! Um...yippee??

His costume, as you can see from the pictures, is also pretty much the same as Golden Age Flash's, although Flash's lightening bolt emblem (on the chest) is replaced on Whatzit's costume with a "TW" inside a yellow circle. I will leave it up to my intrepid fans to figure out what the "TW" actually stands for. You'll NEVER figure it out!

The Terrific Whatzit fought his way valiantly through 17 issues of Funny Stuff until his final appearance (as the Terrific Whatzit) in Funny Stuff #17, which hit news stands in January 1947. He would continue to appear in his civilian identity occasionally over the years in other features. But that was it for him as a super-speedy crimefighting turtle.

He's baaaack!!

Enter Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #9 (November 1982). In this story, Fastback gets thrown back in time by the Time-Keeper. On his trip to the past, Fastback encounters the Terrific Whatzit fighting during "the Second Weird War" on the side of the Allies.

It had been revealed earlier in the series (CCaHAZC #4, June 1982) that the Terrific Whatzit is Fastback's uncle. So that was kind of a hint to readers, I think, that he was going to appear in the series.

As far as I know, the character doesn't appear again. Of course, I could be wrong. I am quite frequently.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Amazing Heroes fan art (Or "Are you happy NOW, Shag?")

Wow, two, count them TWO, posts in one single day! I am AMAZING!! Okay, not so much.

Thanks to Shag Matthews for sending me these two fan pics of Captain Carrot. They are from the now defunct magazine, Amazing Heroes, that was published by Fantagraphics Books from 1981 up until 1992. I have to admit, I've never heard of the magazine, or if I have, it's long since dropped out of my memory. (Huge chunks of both the 80s and 90s are a bit hazy. I blame Molson XXX.)

The first picture is from issue 59. The art is by some chap named Chas Gillen, and features Pig-Iron duking it out with (classic 80s) Iron-Man.

The second picture, also by Chas Gillen, features Captain Carrot...um...playing horsey with Fastback. At least, I hope that's what they're doing. It's a well-drawn pic, regardless of whatever dirty shenanigans the two are up to. It was found in Amazing Heroes #61.

For more information on Amazing Heroes, check the wikipedia page. Trust the info at your own risk. The wiki page can be found here.

Thanks again to Shag for the pics. He says he may have more, and if he does, I'll be sure to post them. Hopefully there's no more dirty horsey pics, though.

Captain Carrot Checklist

First of all, I would like to wish everybody a Happy New Year from all of us here at the Burrow (meaning me). I hope everybody had a safe holiday season, and got lots of good stuff for Christmas.

Recently, I had somebody ask me for a list of ALL of Captain Carrot's appearances in the DC universe, like I'm some kind of Captain Carrot pro or something. Well, I'm pretty sure I managed to find them all. And I'm glad to say, I own ALL of these, with the exception of one book.

So let's get to it, shall we?

First up, we have New Teen Titans # 16,the FIRST APPEARANCE of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew. Guest-starring some Superman guy. Not sure what ever happened to him.

Next, we have the actual Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew series, which only ran (sadly) for 20 issues starting in 1982. But what a fun 20 issues they were. And please note, if you're planning on grabbing the back issues, issue one continues where the 16-page preview in New Teen Titans left off. So you might want to make sure you read that book first.

After the main series was cancelled, the story continued in the 1986 3 issue mini-series, Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew: The Oz/Wonderland War. Being a huge fan of L. Frank Baum's Oz books (and the rest of the Fabulous Forty), I was thrilled when this series first hit the shelves. It is absolutely a fantastic read. Each of the three issues are double-sized, as the story was originally intended to be a 6 issue mini. Check it out!

As far as I can tell, that was it for the good Captain for quite a few years, until 2000 when the gang made a brief one-page appearance in the Superman and Batman: World's Funnest graphic novel. (There's that Superman guy again. And Batman? Never heard of the loser. Sounds like a Bat-Mouse ripoff to me.) In this graphic novel, Bat-Mite (?) and Mr. Mxyzptlk have a big fight or something, which sends them bouncing all around the DC multiverse, where they bump into the Zoo Crew. This is the one appearance I don't have, so I could be mistaken about the details of the story. I know the Zoo Crew is in the book though; I've seen the page they're on.

Another few years of Carrotlessness follow, until Geoff Johns brought the Crew back in, quite appropriately, the 2003 run of Teen Titans. Our favorite heroes appear in issues 30 and 31 of that series, in what was supposed to be a darker look at the characters. The story is presented as a comic book that one of the Teen Titans characters is reading, so the Captain Carrot pages are sprinkled intermittently throughout the two issues. I don't want to spoil anything by going into more detail, but a lot of what happened in these two books was not well recieved by fans. But don't worry, it's all fixed by the time of the characters' next appearance.

Roll on 2007 and the 3 issue mini-series, Captain Carrot and the Final Ark. This was advertised as part of the Countdown to Final Crisis tie-in series, but to this day, nobody knows how or why. I'm pretty sure Scott Shaw himself has gone on record as not knowing how the two things tie together. I loved the book when I first read it, but that might have been Captain Carrot withdrawal at work. I still like it, but not as much as when it first came out. I think a large part of that has to do with was the way the series ended, and the fact that it has been pretty much the last appearance of the REAL Zoo Crew.

EXCEPT for this brief appearance. In Final Crisis #7, the Zoo Crew make their actual LAST appearance to date. As an afterthought. If you've read it, you'll know what I mean. The one good thing this issue accomplished is that it returned the Crew to the way they were before the ending of the Final Ark miniseries. Other than that, they're just...there. They don't do anything important, and they aren't even drawn well (no offense to the artist that issue, but you can tell the Zoo crew were just tossed in. The rest of the book is gorgeous). Like I said, an afterthought.

In my eyes, it wasn't a good ending for one of my favorite teams at DC. I liked some of the ideas Scott Shaw had for the continuing adventures of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, that would have taken place after the Final Crisis series (If I can find the link to the interview where he goes into detail, I'll post it here). I would have been completely on board with his new story. Unfortunately, the head honchos at DC shot that idea out of the water without even giving it a chance. They must have had something better in mind for our favorite furry heroes.

Or not.

Well, there you have it, folks. The complete (as far as I know) checklist of Captain Carrot's appearances to date. If anybody knows of ANYTHING I've missed, PLEASE let me know, on here or over on the facebook page. I would love to find out that I'm wrong, and there is still something out there I wasn't aware of.

Now to go track down that elusive copy of World's Funnest, and stock up on Pepto Bismol for Captain Crotch's New 52 appearance in March.