Saturday, August 29, 2009

1980's Flashback: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew first appeared in The New Teen Titans #16 (February 1982), but their ensuing monthly series proved somewhat short-lived (lasting only 20 issues), however it is still fondly remembered by many comic fans of its generation, and the characters occasionally appear in cameos in the mainstream DC Universe. The characters were created by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw!

Upon eating a "cosmic carrot," Rodney Rabbit is imbued with various superpowers, including limited invulnerability, super-strength, enhanced speed, stamina, hearing, and vision, and the ability to make gigantic, powerful leaps. Later in the series, Captain Carrot was able to achieve full flight.

Rodney's powers are the only ones out of the Zoo Crew that aren't permanent; after 24 hours or a period of extreme exertion, Captain Carrot's powers wear off, and Rodney reverts to being normal again. As such Rodney maintains a “grow-op” to ensure a continuous supply of cosmic carrots and he always keeps two holstered on his costume for recharges when necessary.

Set within the original multi-verse on Earth-C, the origin of the team came about when Superman was investigating a strange phenomenon causing the citizens of Metropolis to begin acting like their primate ancestors. He soon found a ray streaking at him from a strange barrier surrounding the Earth, which prompted him to use a meteorite as protection. When the ray struck the meteorite, Superman and the meteor's fragments were sent from Superman's native dimension into that of Earth-C. There, Superman met several of the world's anthropomorphic residents, who had gained superpowers when they too were struck by the various meteor fragments.

The members of the Zoo Crew including Captain Carrot, Alley-Kat-Abra, Pig-Iron, Rubberduck, Yankee Poodle and Fastback, soon teamed up with Superman to stop the source of the ray (which was also causing the denizens of Earth-C to behave like their non-anthropomorphic animal ancestors), which turned out to be the old Justice League of America villain Starro the Conqueror, a sentient starfish, who was launching his de-evolution assault from the Earth-C universe's Pluto. After defeating the villain, the animals decided to stick together and form the Zoo Crew, and Superman returned home.

Following the cancellation of their regular book, the Zoo Crew starred in two subsequent mini-series, The Oz-Wonderland War #1-3 in 1986 and Captain Carrot and the Final Ark #1-3 in 2007.


Booksteve said...

The Oz-Wonderland War was amazing comics! The Crew also appeared in a one-off appearance in a Teen Titans a couple years back that is considered non-canonical I'm told.

Chuck Wells said...

I have the three issue Final Ark set on the way, and have the Oz-Wonderland War pencilled in next on my must buy list.