Thursday, September 8, 2016


It takes a certain mindset to see a wall of plummeting housepets and immediately blame it on fascism.

I was musing on how ridiculous the name “Captain Wizard” is when I got to realizing that Marvel Comics had made some hay with a long-running character called “Doctor Druid,” and that maybe I was missing the boat on the “Profession + Dungeons and Dragons Player Class” school of character creation. Why not “Foreman Ranger,” “Engineer Barbarian,” or “Beautician Warlock?” Hold on, save me those last two …

"In Maude's dress!"
In any case, Captain Wizard debuted as the star of his own self-titled book and the fanciful tale within. Apparently already a household name and notable figure in the world of crimefighting by the time the audience is introduced to him, the Captain (or is he, colloquially, the Wizard?) boasts an ambiguous set of superpowers. Uttering what is literally “the magic word” (well, not “please,” the other magic word) Abracadabra, the Captain can make roughly anything happen as necessary. He seems to use it to power his ability to fly, at least on some occasions. On others, he can change his costume and appearance from mighty superhero to meek civilian, and all the while he possesses some sort of super-strength. In fact, his magic word is so randomly applied to his adventures that I suspect “Abracadabra” might actually be his version of an expletive. “Abracadabra, I just stubbed my abracadabrin’ toe again, motherabracadrer!”

In his sole adventure, the Captain gets involved with Professor Phineas Bopplegush and high-flying adventurer Don Derring, both of whom seem to have slipped into this strip from someone else’s. The trio are investigating the sudden appearance of Fortrean phenomenon on Earth – cats, dog, frogs and red rain pouring from the sky. The cause appears to be an upside down layer of Earth floating in lieu in the Heaviside layer, which is going to make it tough to get to the moon in 1969. Just warning NASA now…

On the floating land, Cap and his pals find a reversed world of good and evil – Derring’s alter-ego is a proto-Elizabethan sissy, the Professor’s alter ego is a world-conquering dictator, and Captain Wizard doesn’t have a doppelganger because he’s special.

Also included in the opposite land is Adolf Schickelgruber, a happy painter who’s tormented by dreams of his alternate self on Earth. In fact, a kindly scientist of “Cloudland” explains it thus: “When we go to sleep up here, our minds go down and occupy your bodies, and vice versa!” Captain Wizard lacks a duplicate because he never sleeps, which is how you make yourself schizophrenic so, you know, Don and the Prof better watch themselves on the flight home. Captain Wizard may snap at any moment. 

There's really no reason for them to be standing on their hands.

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