Bucky O'Hare is a character, created by comic writer Larry Hama between 1978 and 1979, who was the eponymous hero of a comic book series, as well as a number of spin-offs, including a TV series and various toys and games.
The storyline follows a parallel universe (the aniverse), where a war is ongoing between the slightly inept United Animals Federation (run by mammals) and the sinister Toad Empire. The Toad Empire is led by a vast computer system known as KOMPLEX, which has brainwashed the toad population.
The comic book was first published by Continuity Comics in comic book form in the mid-1980s, appearing in the anthology series Echo of Futurepast, with Hama writing and Michael Golden on pencils. The series was later collected into an oversized graphic novel. Hama wrote a second Bucky O'Hare arc, which was never published.
Bucky and his crew are members of the S.P.A.C.E organization, which stands for Sentient Protoplasm Against Colonial Encroachment.
The members of the Toad Empire introduced in the comic are as follows:
In the comic, Bucky and crew escape a toad attack but must rescue Jenny when she is captured by the toads. In the end, a strange, omnipotent mouse banishes the toads attacking Bucky to "a safe place where the food is bad and taxes are high". Willy's parents, not knowing what the photon accelerator does, deactivate it, trapping him in the aniverse.
The U.S. comic only ran this one plotline; however, to coincide with the TV show in the early '90s, a U.K. comic reprinted the issues, then produced a further fifteen issues written by Peter Stone, and illustrated by Andre Coates and Joel Adams.
In 2007, Vanguard reprinted the original Bucky O'Hare comic and two of the UK issues in a digest size collection, similar to a manga. The book is called Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Menace and is printed in black and white. The deluxe edition appeared in stores on April 27th. Some copies of the "deluxe" edition were in fact the standard edition with a slipcover, not the signed, numbered color version that was advertised. It is unknown whether this was universally true. Many retailers returned their copies.
Most of the ideas from the comic book were used for the cartoon, with three major differences: Bruce is transported into another dimension instead of killed, Willy can travel freely between Earth and the aniverse, and the omnipotent mouse is nowhere to be seen. The cartoon explored more of the aniverse and followed a loose unifying arc, with Bucky's home planet of Warren being captured by the toads in the season premiere and rescued in the finale (which was co-written by Neal Adams).
Almost all the characters from the comic book appeared in the cartoon. Most of the new ones that were introduced are listed below.
For other characters, see List of characters in Bucky O'Hare.
|Willy DuWitt||Shane Meier|
|Bucky O'Hare||Jason Michas|
|Toad Air Marshall||Long John Baldry|
|A1C Blinky||Sam Vincent|
|Deadeye Duck||Scott McNeil|
|Pilot Jenny||Margot Pinvidic|
|Al Negator||Gary Chalk|
|Captain Mimi LaFleur||Margot Pinvidic|
|Commander Dogstar||Richard Newman|
|Episode||Episode Title||Final Script Date|
|1||War of the Warts||20th November 1990|
|2||A Fistful of Simoleans||21st November 1990|
|3||The Good, the Bad and the Warty||23rd November 1990|
|4||Home, Swampy, Home||7th January 1991|
|5||On the Blink||11th January 1991|
|6||Kreation Konspiracy||18th January 1991|
|7||The Komplex Caper||UNKNOWN|
|8||The Search for Bruce||21st January 1991|
|9||Corsair Canards||2nd August 1991|
|10||The Artificers of Aldebaran||2nd December 1991|
|11||The Warriors||26th February 1991|
|12||Bye Bye Berserker Baboon||4th March 1991|
|13||The Taking of Pilot Jenny||6th March 1991|
A Bucky O'Hare game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992, which required Bucky to rescue each of his crew members (except Bruiser) on a series of planets. Immediately after regaining his entire crew, they are all stolen again, with the exception of Blinky. You must fight to regain all of them, and unless you take the green planet last you will not be able to play your last freed comrade. As each character was rescued, the player gained the ability to switch between them and Bucky on the fly to deal with different problems. After regaining your crew, you continue through the monsterous ship. The gameplay and level design very closely resemble that of Capcom's Mega Man series. For this reason, the Bucky O'Hare video game is sometimes referred to as the Konami Mega Man.
An arcade game by Konami was also released which allowed players to control Bucky, Jenny, Deadeye or Blinky in a format similar to the arcade games based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or The Simpsons. Perhaps to satisfy fans when a second season was not released, the plot of the arcade game allowed players to achieve final victory over the toads by releasing an energy called the Interplanetary Life Force contained within KOMPLEX. This last hurrah to the series also featured the original voice cast.
For reasons that still remain unclear, the line was terminated before the next two series of action figures could be finished. There are several photographs available online of the unreleased figures, some completely painted with accessories, and others as unpainted prototypes. At least one photo shows the fully packaged Jenny, likely because this figure was completed in time for the first release, but was delayed to be part of the second. Several others show Pitstop Pete and Sly Leezard both as unpainted and as completed figures. Bucky in a spacesuit, Rumble Bee, Kamikaze Kamo, and Total Terror Toad are the other finished figures. The mobile configuration of the chief villain Komplex (Komplex-2-Go in the arcade game), Digger, and Tri-Bot (a minor villain from the final episode) are the other unpainted prototypes known to exist from these photos.
One explanation as to why the line was cancelled is that the "Toad Air Marshall" action figure not only sold poorly, but was shipped in higher quantities than other figures, like Bucky. Stores would order a box of toys and the more popular (less in quantity) figures would sell first, leaving the shelves filled with Toad Air Marshall, leaving no room for stores to order more Bucky figures. This translated to poor action figure sales, and no second wave of figures.
The collected volume was translated to French and published in high quality hardbound BD format by Glenat, In 1988. The animated series was also translated to French and German and broadcast later in the early 90s.