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May 17, 2017

Captain Absolutely ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

What is worldview? defines it as "a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity's relation to it."  The Bible makes it clear what a Christian's worldview should be.  Love.  This was so important, that Matthew, Mark, and Luke each told us in their book "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  Focus On The Family has been sharing that message with families and children for decades.  Children have loved Adventures in Odyssey and Clubhouse magazines and now they can read a brand new adventure featuring Captain Absolutely, a character from AIO.  In fact, I had Xav listen to a few of those audios before we received the book Captain Absolutely: Defending Truth, Justice, and Lots More Truuuth by Focus on the Family, Stephen O'Rear, and Christopher P.N. Maselli.  He was definitely excited to read more adventures.

Captain Absolutely defends Metropolitanville, a city without a sense of right or wrong, against The Legion (for they are many) while spreading God's Truth.  Many battles are fought throughout the comic book and some references are made to AIO episodes where other adventures took place.  The Captain's alter ego is a young librarian named Josiah King.  Choosing that name for this character was no accident.  He is named for a real Bible hero, the young king, Josiah (from 2 Kings), who "champions God's Truth" through all his kingdom.

The Captain's nemeses in the Legion each represent a worldview that is in conflict with a Biblical worldview and do not believe in God's absolute truth.  They are convinced that their beliefs are better and preferable to the truths of the Bible.  Dr. Relative believes in a changing truth that morphs as circumstances change.  He developed this worldview in the same accident that created Captain Absolutely, but instead of landing in the Bible section of the library they worked together, he landed in the philosophy section.  The Unifier thinks his way is the only way.  Cap'n Crastin says that life is hard and people should just relax.  And watch the shows on his network.

Not everyone is evil.  Some people are just misguided.  Take Sloppy Joe, for instance.  He's *trying* to do the right thing.  He just might not know exactly what is right.  Anita Lin just thinks Christianity is too dangerous for her daughter.  And not everyone stays evil.  Why, Lord Foulspleen (from AIO episode "Push the Red Button") is now making the most of his second chance.  Each of the villains represent people and beliefs that we all run into in this world.  The trick is to separate those beliefs from God's ultimate truth.

This is not your mama's comic book.  When I was a kid, they were pretty boring by today's standards.  The paper was thin and the color was wanting.  Captain Absolutely is a bound book of over 100 brightly colored, glossy pages.   The boys were waiting anxiously to receive this new graphic novel.  Xav read it the very first evening we had it and has read it over multiple times in the last couple of weeks.  Mal read it once and now prefers to turn to his favorite pages and read the action over again.

Focus On The Family

Xav had this to say.
It was exciting.  In it, there's a bad guy called Dr. Relative.  He likes sunflower seeds.  And there's the Fear Chemist guy and a bunch of other villains.  Fear Chemist thinks fear will make him powerful.  All the bad guys are called the Legion.  The Legion tries a bunch of stuff to take over the city and turn the world against God.  Thanks to something one of the bad guys of the Legion (Unifier) can move stuff around in his mind and accidentally squished Captain Absolutely's secret hideout.  He thought he was doing good things by bringing hospitals to where the sick and injured people are.  I liked the book and I like Adventures in Odyssey where I first heard of Captain Absolutely.  My favorite thing was the back of the book which told the characters worldview.  Captain Absolutely's biggest problem was paper cuts because he reads a lot of books.  All in all, it's a good book.

And Mal's review.

Dr. Relative, Farmer Vile, Cap'n Crastin, Fear Chemist, Baron Von Confuser, the Pajama Bandits, Unifier, and Sloppy Joe make up the Legion.  Baron Von Confuser's contraptions are a crop duster, a big, red mecha-knight, and clones of himself.  Farmer Vile has hypnotonic radishes and robot ants with mind altering rays.  Dr. Relative has a thing called a lyris.  I liked the plane scene with Baron Von Confuser, because I liked the look of his plane.  And he likes to rhyme... all the time.  "Left or right, low or high, you can't catch me, but you can try."

I like the yellow arrows throughout the book.  Most point out Bible verses and give their reference, there may be some foreshadowing, and some are there for fun (like when Josiah is fighting the vile ants, he is "looking for ant-swers").  One references a non-rhyming line of Baron Von Confuser and the arrow points it out and calls it "slant rhyme" and makes the claim that it still counts.  (I had to look it up, slant rhyme is an almost rhyme, also known as half rhyme of near rhyme.  Yeah, I never heard of it. has a bar that shows the difficulty index for slant rhyme is quite high.  That means that few English speakers likely know the words.  Well, I do now.  As a purist, I don't think I'm a fan of it.  *grin*)  But, hey, there's some new vocabulary for you.

As Xavier said in his review, there are character biographies in the back of the book.  If the character was in an AIO episode with Captain Absolutely, it is clearly marked so you can give it a listen.  As I read through the novel, I was thinking how I should start making notes and put together some sort of discussion guide for the boys.  Though the story is often quite clear, I think some of the word play and the references were abstract enough that my punks didn't pay them a lot of attention.  Then, I got to the end of the book and found Big Questions, a section devoted to discussion prompts with the pages numbers clearly marked for follow-up in the story.  It's a great starting point for just the kinds of things I had in mind.

Captain Absolutely: Defending Truth, Justice, and Lots More Truuuth! is a really fun read for any child who is a fan of Adventures in Odyssey, the Clubhouse Magazines, or graphic novels in general. 

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Captain Absolutely {Focus On The Family Review}

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