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|First appearance||Action Comics #421 (February, 1973)|
|Created by||Cary Bates|
|Full name||Horatio Strong|
|Abilities||Normally none, though very strong; under the effects of sauncha, superhuman strength.|
First appearing in Action Comics #421 (February, 1973), Captain Horatio Strong was created by writer Cary Bates, who had wanted to see what would happen if Superman and Popeye (or a reasonable proxy of him) were to meet. In the first story, Bates presented a darker side of the famous sailor; the green vegetable that gave him his strength was a drug, making him dangerously irrational as well as superhumanly powerful.
The character was designed to be more realistic-looking than Popeye, but still similar to him in appearance and speech. Other characters who appeared in his stories included Carnox (the DC Comics version of Bluto), his girlfriend Olivia Tallow (a takeoff of Olive Oyl), whom he later married, and his idle rich friend J. Wellington Jones (a knockoff of J. Wellington Wimpy). In one story Strong was reunited with his long-lost father, Pappy Strong (a takeoff of Poopdeck Pappy).
Captain Strong appeared in five stories from 1973 to 1985, and in one post-Crisis story (so far):
|Action Comics #421||February, 1973|
|Action Comics #439||September, 1974|
|Action Comics #456||February, 1976|
|Superman #361||July, 1981|
|Action Comics #566||April, 1985|
|Green Arrow (vol. 3) #22||May, 2003|
Horatio Strong, captain of The Fantasia, is naturally stronger than most men, but one day he discovered a strange seaweed he called "sauncha," the consumption of which made him superhumanly strong. At first he used his newfound power to do good for others, but the sauncha (which turned out to be of extraterrestrial origin) had unexpected side-effects; it acted like a drug, making its user dangerously irrational and causing severe withdrawal pains. After being stopped by Superman and taken to a hospital, Strong swore off ever using sauncha again, saying that he would only rely on normal vegetables to keep up his strength. Strong became a friend of both Clark Kent and Superman (never realizing they were the same man, of course).