Captain 3-D
The cover to Captain 3-D #1 (1953), by Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Mort Meskin.
Publication information
PublisherHarvey Comics
First appearanceCaptain 3-D #1
(cover-dated December 1953)
Created byJoe Simon (Writer, Artist, Inks)
Jack Kirby (Artist)
In-story information
Notable aliasesThe Chosen One
AbilitiesSuperior physical attributes and intelligence

Captain 3-D is a 1953 superhero in comic books published by Harvey Comics. Created by the team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the character marked an early attempt to produce a 3-D comic book.[1]

Publication history

Created by the writing and art team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, whose characters include Marvel Comics' Captain America, DC Comics' Manhunter and many others, Captain 3-D starred in one issue of an eponymous Harvey Comics title, cover-dated December 1953.[2] A second issue of Captain 3-D was partially completed,[3] but the fad for 3-D was waning even as Captain 3-D first appeared.

Fictional character biography

Around fifty thousand years ago, a battle between two opposing civilizations takes place, one society populated by humanoids, the other a race of Cat People. The Cat People succeed in all but wiping out the humanoids, with only a tiny number of survivors hanging on in underground bases.

A humanoid scientist, Professor Five, devises a way that one of his people might survive to oppose the Cat People in the future. The Chosen One will be kept in a sort of "two-dimensional half life" in a specially prepared book, the Book of D, able to be released for brief periods of time by someone wearing a special pair of glasses.

Professor Five entrusts the book to a group of primitive men, who promise to guard it. Shortly afterwards the Cat People kill Professor Five and the other remaining humanoids, leaving the Chosen One the last survivor of his race. However the Cat People are all but destroyed themselves when their continent sinks beneath the ocean.

The handful of Cat People survivors are forced to hide in disguise among mankind, although they never give up their dreams of conquest. Knowing that in their weakened state the Chosen One might be able to lead humanity against them, they hunt for the Book of D, but every time they manage to catch up with the Book's guardian and kill him, someone else spirits the Book away to safety and becomes its new guardian.

In the early 1950s a strange, badly injured man stumbles into a book shop that has been inherited by teenager Danny Davis. Probably feeling the best place to hide a book would be in a shop full of them, he hands Danny the Book of D and begs him, "Keep this one. Never sell it." Seconds later he is killed by one of the disguised Cat People. Danny disarms the killer, who flees.

Examining the book afterward, Danny finds a pair of strange glasses inside it. The only other thing inside the book is an illustration of a strangely dressed man. Looking at the picture through the glasses, Danny is astounded when the man springs to life off the page. His arrival is timely as it coincides with the appearance of more gunmen, who identify the man from the book as Captain 3-D.[4]

In spite of being outnumbered, Captain 3-D easily subdues the attackers, then has Danny examine them through the same strange glasses that brought him to life. Danny sees that the "gunmen" are Cat People. The Chosen One, who has become known over the years as Captain 3-D, tells Danny that he is the new guardian of the Book of D. Danny realizes this means he is now a target, but Captain 3-D reassures him that he will not be alone. With that, he returns to his sleep in the Book of D.

Powers and abilities

The last survivor of an otherwise extinct humanoid race, Captain 3-D is gifted with superior intellect and physical attributes. He is fitter, stronger and faster than normal humans, to a level unspecified in his one brief appearance. Able to survive for millennia stored within the Book of D, Captain 3-D can only be released by the special glasses developed and built by Professor Five.

See also


  1. ^ Markstein, Don. "Captain 3-D". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  2. ^ Schelly, William (2013). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1950s. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 9781605490540.
  3. ^ Mendryk, Harry (March 21, 2008). "Captain 3-D #2". Jack Kirby Museum. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  4. ^ Mougin, Lou (2020). Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics. McFarland & Co. pp. 86–88. ISBN 9781476638607.