April 25, 2015

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future - Final Thoughts


Well, Jonathan Power and his team just passed me a note that reads "Do you like me? Circle YES or NO." So you know what that means, it's time for another Final Thoughts piece. *Sigh* Captain, if only it were that simple.

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was, if nothing else, a bold experiment. First you had the interactivity of the toys and the show. As noted, the final result left something to be desired, but it's admirable that Mattel dared to buck the status quo and risk everything on the success of a fresh approach. And make no mistake, it was a huge gamble. Not only were they taking a chance on new and mostly untested technology, they were doubling down on the synergy between the toy line and the series. Several of our previous Showcases have featured properties that were based on toy lines, but none of them had their fates so inexorably linked to one another as Captain Power. If one failed, both failed, and while that was often the case with these toy based ventures, here it was almost a certainty. The other gambles were more of an artistic nature.

April 18, 2015

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future - The Original Bible


Like many people, I'd long been under the impression that Captain Power was pretty much a J. Michael Straczynski show from beginning to end, and it's been interesting learning through this project just how much was already in place before he came on board. Those who have the dvd can see the full details of the show's creation, but to sum up, it's mostly the brain child of Gary Goddard and the folks at Mattel. I haven't mentioned Goddard much here, mostly because a number of charges against him in the last few years, while legally dismissed, left of bit of a sour taste with me, but before then, I had been quite fond of his Masters of the Universe movie (still am, admittedly). He came up with the initial characters, ideas, names, and designs, alongside Landmark Entertainment executive Tony Christopher and artist Luc Mayrand.

April 13, 2015

Captain Power and the Soldier of the Future - Toys, Merchandise, and Training Videos

Apologies for the lateness of this post. Some family medical emergencies kept us from finishing it on time.


For photos of the entire toyline, check out The Toy Box and Action Figure Archive.

If people remember anything about Captain Power, it's likely to be that the toy line was interactive with the show. If you've been watching along with us, you may have noticed that Dread's forces and their vehicles all have some sort of glowing red box of one type or another on them. That wasn't an attempt to make them look more cool, they're actually targets. Using the Powerjet XT-7 (a lightgun disguised as one of the ships from the show) you'd rack up points for every "hit" on the various targets, and subsequently had points taken away when the sensor on the toy was hit. If the point counter on your XT-7 hit zero, the figure inside was ejected, putting an exclamation point on your failure to save mankind.

April 5, 2015

Captain Power and the Soldier of the Future - The Comic


Here's where I make a confession I know a few people will find shocking: I'm not a fan of Neal Adams. He seems like an okay dude, certainly makes for a lively interview, but I just don't get into his comics all that much. I don't hate them, there's just a certain hamminess and clunkiness to them which keeps me from being all that interested in what's going on from page to page. He's a magnificent illustrator, certainly, and his individual panels are gorgeous, but his layouts lack any flow or momentum, and the constant over-wrought emotions strung throughout leaves those emotions, which he's working so hard to convey, feeling forced and insincere. And then there's his writing. He's a freakin' mess as a writer, with choppy dialogue, poor motivations, and scattershot plotting.

So no, not a fan of the dude, which is why I was a bit hesitant to check out these comics. All of the above? Still applies here, though I will go through the books a bit more beyond those feelings for those interested.