It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… No, it’s…
…it’s a dog. Halloween is right around the corner and all the kids, fur or human, are sniffing around for the perfect Halloween costume. And if they’re like my big, white, fluffy calamity, they want to be a Super Hero.
Not just any Super Hero, but a real comic book style Super Hero. I’ll give a little help with a few stories of famous Super Hero Dogs.
Krypto the Super Dog
The most famous of DC Comics Super Hero Pets. Krypto was owned by Superman’s father, Jor-El of the planet Krypton. Before sending Kal-El (Superman) off Krypton before the planet was destroyed, Jor-El tested the rocket by sending off Krypto. Krypto’s rocket lost course and drifted in space for years. It eventually landed on Earth to be reunited with Superman while he was a teenager. Krypto possessed the same super abilities as Superman, but proportionate to a dog. He had super intelligence, and his sense of smell and hearing were more powerful than Superman’s. Just like dogs have over humans. And yes, he could fly. When not fighting for truth and justice, he was romping through the galaxy chasing UFO’s and sniffing aliens out of black holes. On Earth, he assumed the identity as the mild-mannered “Skip” belonging to the Kent family.
In 1986, Krypto sacrificed his life to save Superman by biting the evil Kryptonite Man. The fatal bite killed Kryptonite Man, but the resulting radiation from the bite also killed Krypto.
Krypto was reincarnated on and off in several series since then assuming a more modern dog with a somewhat snarky attitude. Confined to the Fortress of Solitude, he had a habit of scratching at the doors a little to hard when he had to “go”, resulting in destroying them. When let out, he flew around the solar system marking his territory on asteroids. And as a true protector of the fortress, he bit intruders which included some of Superman’s friends. Superman dismissed Krypto’s behavior with “It’s his job to protect the fortress while he’s here. Besides…the dog hates everybody.”
Am sure Cesar Milan would not have approved.
Ace the Bat Hound
Inspired by Krypto and Rin-Tin-Tin, DC Comics introduced Ace the BatHound in 1955. He was a German Shepherd originally owned by an talented engraver who was kidnapped by a gang of counterfeiters. When trying to locate this engraver from the clutches of evil, Batman and Robin used Ace to locate his master. Ace located his master and jumped menacingly onto the bad guy causing him to cry out “Get this Bat Hound off me!” Once the man was saved and returned to society, he found it difficult to care for Ace so he was rehomed to Bruce Wayne.
Ace accompanied the Dynamic Duo in the series many times. Whenever Batman and Robin were captured, Batman always signaled Ace by a remote control device hidden in his boot.
In 1964, Ace was dropped from the series, but resurfaced in 1991 as a guide dog owned by a blind Native American Indian named “Black Wolf”. After battling assassins with Batman, Black Wolf was gravely wounded and decided it was his time to die. He left his guide dog with Batman. This time, Ace was primarily confined to protecting the Bat Cave. In the late 1990’s, Gotham City was devastated by a massive earthquake which destroyed the Bat Cave. Ace was never found, and was never seen again.
Rex the Wonder Dog
Rex was introduced by DC Comics in 1952 but instead of being the faithful sidekick of a Super Hero, he had his own series.
Rex is a White German Shepherd dog who was owned by the U.S. Army’s K-9 Corps. Showing remarkable intelligence during his training, the Army selected him as a test subject for a super-soldier serum. After receiving an injection, Rex found himself endowed with great strength, speed, stamina, and even greater intelligence. After his tour of duty with the Army ended, he was adopted.
With his adopted family, Rex’s adventures were hardly confined to a home and neighborhood walks. His adventures took him all over the globe surviving attacks from lions, wolves, bears, panthers, and even octopuses. In one part of the series, he even took a trip back in time where he battled a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Rex could ride horses, operate small appliances, and swing on ropes and vines. When he wasn’t dashing back and forth on adventures, he could be found doing autographs for school children. His series ended in 1959; a victim of low sales and interest.
We all love hero dogs, and these dogs were some of the famous gracing the covers of comic books back in the silver age of Super Heros. Yeah, but you don’t have to dress up your dog with a cape for Halloween. They’re all Super Heros – every day of the year.
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