Captain Sprocket reports for duty.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Archie Comics
First Appeared: 1963
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Captain Sprocket may be the superhero who had the longest continual run at MLJ/Archie Comics, tho it's possible The Shield, who had a surprisingly long career in the back pages of Pep Comics, edges him out. But most of the company's '40s stars, who came and went in a couple of years, aren't in the running. Nor is their biggest '60s star, The Fly, who ran longer than most of the company's super guys but had a gap between incarnations. And yet, Sprocket has …

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… never had his own title, never been a member of The Mighty Crusaders, and isn't taken very seriously by either readers or creators.

Captain Sprocket was one of those '60s superheroes we recall as parodies of the genre, like Fruitman or Captain Klutz. Even established characters like Goofy and Archie were getting into the act, as Super Goof and Pureheart the Powerful respectively.

He was introduced in Archie's Madhouse #25 (April, 1963). The company had been using that title for miscellaneous humor, largely non-series material, but also including series when appropriate. Its prior series characters included Professor Transistor, Alice the Astro-Naughty Space Girl, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Archie and his gang had made occasional appearances there, but he was mentioned in the name of the comic book mostly as an attempt to use his name to sell comics.

Captain Sprocket continued to appear from time to time for the rest of the 1960s, but wasn't an every-issue regular. Archie's Madhouse had a couple of minor title changes, but continued publishing the same sort of humor until 1974. It switched to horror/supernatural stories for two or three issues that year, but was soon back to the funny stuff.

As Mad House, It lasted until 1982. But it mostly left its series characters behind by the early '70s.


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Text ©2009 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Archie Comics.