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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; gains superhuman strength under the effects of sauncha|
First appearing in Action Comics No. 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).
|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|
|Harley Quinn (Volume 2) #17||June, 2015|
|Harley Quinn (Volume 2) #18||July, 2015|
|Harley Quinn (Volume 2) #19||August, 2015||Harley's Gang of Harley's''||-}
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).
The New 52
He reappears in The New 52 continuity, trying to untangle his boat from some strangely glowing seaweed. He eats some of the seaweed, which has some strange effect on him, making him glow like the seaweed. Later on, his wife reports him missing and hires Harley Quinn's newly-formed Gang of Harleys to find him. Two members of the gang go out to investigate. They find him in a bar, but the seaweed gave him super-strength and drove him mad, so he knocks them down. Harley and the other members of her gang go after him. Harley eats his seaweed and begins to hallucinate. While she is taken to a hospital, Strong takes the rest of the gang to his boat. There, his mind clears for a moment, but the seaweed caused addiction and he eats more of it, become irrational again. Harley rushes to save her gang, but Strong defeats her. Captain Strong is only stopped by the arrival of Mrs. DiAngelis, mother of five of Harley Gang members. She shoots him with machine gun fire, knocking him down. She and the Harleys pitch the alien seaweed.
Later while on an island of doom created by a rich and crazed stalker of Harley's calling herself Harley Sinn, Captain Strong gives Harley's gang a ride to rescue her. During a battle with mercenaries it is revealed he was a former sniper and still has a gun, providing assistants to Harley and her friends by taking out their adversaries, a collection of mercenaries hired by Sinn, from his boat.