Krypto tales

You get it?  Tales?  As in tails?  Yup, that’s the kind of humor you can look forward to on this blog. Anyway, continuing our Superman family theme, let’s talk a bit about the dog.

Krypto’s been around since 1955, and writers haven’t really known what to do with him.  He’s a dog with all of Superman’s powers.   They gave even gave him his own cape.  As the decades past, sometimes Krypto’s intelligence, usage, and strength have changed dramatically.  Still, he’s a beloved supporting character in the DC universe, as you can imagine a super pet would be.

He premiered in Adventure Comics #210, edited by Whitney Ellsworth & George Kashdan.  But with Superman’s origin firmly established as the last survivor of Krypton, how did his childhood dog get to Earth in the first place?

I love the idea of Superman’s dad saying to his wife, “Honey, no time to explain.  I need to shoot the family dog into space.”  Followed by the loving wife’s response of, “Well, if you say so, dear.”  The 1950s were a silly time.

For most of his time, Krypto guards the Fortress of Solitude, in case the advanced Kryptonian technology and hundreds of guard robots fail to stop intruders.  Like in Superman/Batman #9, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Michael Turner, during the arc Supergirl gets reintroduced to the DC universe.

Superman keeping the dog trapped in the fortress?  Surely the dog needs fresh air, long walks, and human interaction.  It’s a dog, for goodness’ sake.  Well, I actually have that answer.  Y’see, it’s one thing to be an animal and another to be an animal with the same powers as Superman.  In Superman #170, volume 2, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Dale Keown, naïve Clark Kent has to find out the hard way.

Don’t you hate when you take walks in the park with your wife and super powerful alien warlords stop by?  I don’t really have the desire to go into Mongul’s back story, but just think of him as a yellow Darkseid.

Luckily for the residents of Metropolis, Krypto and Superman were on first response.

By the way, that joke may be the funniest thing Superman’s ever said.  He’s not known for his sense of humor.  In Mongul’s defense, the dog punch meant to show Mongul’s evilness, but he’s certainly entitled to defend himself when attacked by an angry beast.  I would never hit an animal if it’s playing catch next to a playground, but my views differ tremendously if the same dog is shooting laser beams at my face.

Okay, so now the odds are stacked against our hero.  While Superman deals with the lady behemoth, the dog can settle the grudge with Mongul.  Teamwork and whatnot.

If you don’t enjoy a panel where a dog headbutts a supervillain, I don’t want to be your friend.

Unfortunately for both Mongul and Superman, Krypto is just a dog.  Instincts and stuff.

Poor Krypto.  He defended his master the only way he knew how and for that, he has to be punished.

Well, sad for Krypto.  A few years later, obviously feeling a crapload of guilt after abandoning his dog at his frozen secret base, Superman makes a decision in Teen Titans #7, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Tom Grummett.

Superboy, planning a fresh start in Smallville, receives a visit from his mentor.

Aw, a happy ending for everyone!

On a final note, when the DC universe rebooted last year, Krypto’s origin changed, forcing the dog to be trapped in the Phantom Zone protecting Superman’s family.

But finally in Action Comics #13, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Travel Foreman, Superman’s dog gets reintroduced perfectly into the brand new universe:

One Comment on “Krypto tales”

  1. My Nightlight was a Tesseract says:

    You left out one of the best Krypto bits. The dog does indeed seem to hate everybody. Except Catwoman. He just loves Catwoman. Jeph Loeb introduced the idea in Hush, and Chris Dee’s Cat-Tales ran with it in Identity Element where he flies around her head, pawing at her hair and licking her face. Both instances of Krypto doing what he does best, adding a little levity to some grim goings on.

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