Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #90



TV

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future

When it premiered this week back in 1987, the TV series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was on really early where I lived. If I remember correctly, this action-adventure series about a group of soldiers with power armor that gives them almost super abilities was on Sunday mornings at nine. And being that as a pre-teen there was no way in the world I was ever going to get up that early on a Sunday unless I had to, I ended up missing most of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was one of the rare late–1980s kids series that was live-action and had a line of toys the series was trying to sell. And the show had a gimmick to go along with the toys as well. If you were one of the lucky kids who had Captain Powers “Powerjet” or the evil “Phantom Striker,” during special parts of the show your toy could interact with the episode. Well, “interact” might be too strong of a word as you could use the toy to “shoot” at the screen and at certain points would be shot back and if hit your ship would “explode.”

At least that’s what was supposed to happen. I never got up early enough to watch the show, never had one of the vehicles nor knew of anyone who had the vehicles and watched the show either so whether or not that really worked is questionable.

Which is probably what doomed the series. Shows like Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future don’t really live or die by who’s watching them, they live or die by how many toys get sold when the series are on the air. And since the toys didn’t sell well — I remember seeing Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future toys on the clearance racks at toy stores well into the 1990s — the series got cancelled after a single season.

Standing in for nuclear apocalypse, in Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future it’s the future where robots have revolted, destroyed and taken over the planet leaving Captain Power (Tim Dunigan) and a handful of remaining armored soldiers to try and take it back. Each week they’d go on missions to try and destroy some thing or rescue some person from the robots.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I ended up watching Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future at all. It may have been a case of me catching a few episodes on TV when they aired as a special in prime-time and maybe ended up renting a few episodes on VHS too. I know me and my brother did have a few Captain Power action figures, but that was mostly because they fit well with our G.I. Joe collection.

A few years back I purchased the entire Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future series on DVD and to be honest, the show’s all right. It’s not bad but it’s definitely something that’s made for kids in mind and with Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future using then state of the art 3D effects for some of the robots and also adding these weird visual elements to make the toys work with the TV series has dated the show badly.

I do look back on episodes of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future with a bit of fondness, but it’s much like with a lot of other children’s TV series from the 1980s that I think fondly of now but don’t have much of a desire to revisit anytime soon.

The Punisher TV series spot

Black Mirror TV spot

Comics

Punisher: Suicide Run

In conjunction with the The Punisher Netflix series set to debut sometime this year Marvel comics is releasing a bunch of collected classic Punisher stories this year too. The first edition set to be released is Punisher: Suicide Run.

From Marvel:

Frank Castle stars in an explosive epic so big it took three titles to contain it! When the Punisher undertakes his most extravagant hit of all – collapsing an entire skyscraper on a group of crime bosses – he ends up presumed dead himself! A vigilante vacuum is created on the streets, and a number of psychopathic killers lay claim to the Punisher’s crown – and iconic chest symbol! Take your pick from the skull-masked Hitman, jaded cop Lynn Michaels, postal worker Desmond Kline, media-savvy author Dean Swaybrick or British Frank-ophile Outlaw! Bullets fly as the pretenders take on criminals and each other, learning the hard way that to step into Castle’s shoes is virtual suicide… But in all the chaos, will the one true Punisher make his return? Collects Punisher (1987) #85–88, Punisher War Journal (1987) #61–64, Punisher War Zone (1992) #23–25.

The Reading List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1968: Kristen Cloke, Shane Vansen of Space: Above and Beyond is born
  • 1985: The TV series The Twilight Zone premiers
  • 1987: The TV series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future premiers
  • 1993: The TV series The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. premiers
  • 1995: The TV series Nowhere Man debuts