Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hero Spotlight: Captain Universe

When evil looms it head, when disaster strikes, when asses need kicked, the Uni-Power selects an individual to become Captain Universe. Captain Universe is one of my favorite concepts in Marvel comics. I say concept because this isn't really a character. Captain Universe could be anyone. Even characters who already have super powers have been given the Captain Universe power at times, most notably Spider-man.
This is a concept with a ton of potential story telling wise but also a huge limitation when it comes to marketability. Because this force chooses a different host for every mission any Captain Universe book would most likely lack any kind of supporting cast, would have very few continuing sub plots, and have a different main character every story. Since the Uni-Power is sentient, you could narrate the book through it's perspective, and that would give it a continuing main character, but again no real supporting cast and very little sub plots.

Back in 2005 there were a series of one shots in which the Uni-Power was damaged and was bonding with various super heroes like X-23, Silver Surfer, and Daredevil to copy their powers to replace some of it's damaged abilities. This was meant to lead into the Uni-Power bonding with some guy in a wheel chair as a regular host for an ongoing series. This series never happened. Currently an as of yet unnamed female Captain Universe was seen joining the Avengers. This is also most likely a regular host for the Uni-Power.

The temptation is strong among creators to give the Uni-Power a full time host for the above marketability reasons. With a full time host you can give the character a supporting cast, a civilian life, put the character on a team like the Avengers. These are all things that would increase the marketability of a possible Captain Universe series and make the character easier to write for some of the more unimaginative writers out there. The problem is, in giving Captain Universe a permanent host, you destroy it's hook, you take away the thing that makes it not just another super hero.

Personally I would love to see a Captain Universe book with the Uni-Power hopping from host to host like it should. Again if you get the right writer on there and have the book told through the Uni-Power's perspective I think it could sell. And come on, if DC could try and shove a Grifter book down every one's throats surely Marvel can take a chance with a Captain Universe book right?

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