Bucky O'Hare in action.


Original medium: Newspaper comics
Published by: Continuity Associates
First Appeared: 1984
Creators: Larry Hama (writer) and Michael Golden (artist)
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Bucky O'Hare is one of those "serious" funny animals, like Usagi Yojimbo, Destroyer Duck and (of course) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which have had a presence in the genre for a long time (e.g., the adventures Mickey Mouse got into in 1930s newspaper comics) but really proliferated during the 1980s. In such …

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… series, the anthropomorphic form was overwhelmingly present, but while they sometimes took a lighthearted, humorous approach, the emphasis was on action and adventure.

Bucky was the brainchild of comic book writer/editor Larry Hama, who has done a lot of work for Marvel on such characters as G.I. Joe (no relation) and The Punisher. Bucky kicked around in Hama's head for several years, until 1984, when Continuity Associates (Megalith, Ms. Mystic) placed him in an anthology title, Echo of Futurepast. There, his visual appearance was created by artist Michael Golden (Batman, Man-Bat), who illustrated his initial six-part story starting in the first issue. Critics have noted that that while the story's introduction, which compared it to Carl Barks's Uncle Scrooge, Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland and other classics of the field, was more extravagant than realistic, it was still an enjoyable story. It was collected into a graphic novel in 1988.

In it, Bucky, a green-furred rabbit, was an adventure hero fighting for the United Animals Federation against the evil Toad Empire, which was bent on conquest. He commanded The Righteous Indignation, a military space ship, whose crew included a cat named Jenny, who served as first mate; a one-eyed android named Blinky; gunner Deadeye Duck; and Willy DuWitt — a normal Earth human, interdimensionally transported to the "aniverse" where all the action took place.

The story became a TV cartoon in 1991, when BBC Worldwide broadcast Bucky O'Hare & the Toad Wars, starting September 14 of that year. Doug Parker, also heard in Transformers, Tales from The Far Side and elsewhere, did Bucky's voice. Other voices included Scott McNeil (Skully Pettibone in Scary Godmother, Bat-Hound in Krypto the Superdog) as Deadeye Duck, Terry Klassen (Impossible Man in a French version of The Fantastic Four, Sylvester in Baby Looney Tunes) as Blinky, and Shane Meier (various voices in Sonic the Hedgehog and My Little Pony) as Willy. One season of 13 episodes was made.

Simultaneous with the TV version, Continuity reprinted Bucky's series. Also, it was reprinted in Britain, with additional stories by creators other than Hama and Golden continuing the series for an additional 15 issues. The original series, plus some of the British stories, were reprinted in 2006, in a digest edition.

There was a Nintendo video game in 1992, and later one for arcades. Hasbro (Jem, Air Raiders) marketed a licensed toy line during the 1990s. Interest in the character has faded, but the 2006 edition is still in print. A new animated version is rumored for release in 2011.


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Text ©2007-09 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Larry Hama.