Review: Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1 cover
Cover by Jack Kirby

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1
Published by Pacific and © Jack Kirby, November 1981

Title: “Captain Victory and His Galactic Rangers!!”
Synopsis: Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers destroy an enemy hive world – but evil Insecton survivors flee to Earth!

Writer: Jack Kirby
Penciler: Kirby
Inker: Mike Royer

Review: With this debut of Captain Victory, Pacific Comics (PC for short) helped usher in the post-Bronze era. While still chronologically falling in the Bronze Age range, a new breed of titles from publishers like PC, First and Eclipse melded ground-level and mainstream sensibilities to create books for the emerging direct market. It’s fitting Jack Kirby would be one of this new age’s pioneers. The King – already a key player in the Gold, Silver and Bronze ages – serves up strong but familiar concepts here. His dialogue is starting to border on parody, but his art, though increasingly abstract, remains quite powerful.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “The visual variety alone lends excitement to the book. Unfortunately, that is about the only excitement in it, and while the graphic maneuvering rescues the book from being bad comics art technically, it cannot rescue the story.” – R.C. Harvey, The Comics Journal #67, October 1981 … “ ‘New – exciting – original!’ read Pacific Comics’ Captain Victory and the Galaxy Rangers #1, and it did launch a new exciting and original concept: Creators retaining the rights to their work and being paid through royalty.” – Hero Illustrated Special Edition Vol. 4, No. 1: The 100 Most Important Comics of All Time!, May, 1994 …  “Created as an answer to Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ what emerged was closer to Ed Wood’s ‘Plan Nine From Outer Space’.” – World’s Worst Comics Awards #2, 1991

Cool factor: Jack Kirby returns to comics to deliver a creator-owned property. How cool is that?

Notable: While there were earlier PC publications – including 1977’s One – Captain Victory was the company’s first regularly published series.
Collector’s note: First appearance of Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers.

Character quotable: “Heroes used to die only once – but in this day of identity transfer and plentiful clones, our idols can die with magnificent regularity!” –a medic, restoring Captain Victory to life

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 3, 2009.

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