Super Pets: Ruff, Ruff, and Away!
At long last DC's Super Pets is releasing later this month and in this article we're going to take a look at some of the Super Pets you will see in the movie and some you won't, (but maybe will! Fingers crossed!) while giving some history behind the idea.
Now Krypto the Super-Dog and Ace the Bat-Hound may be the most well known of the Super Pets, the idea of the team actually predates the doggie dynamic duo. Wonder Woman was actually the first hero to have a pet. Debuting in Sensation Comics #6 (1942), Jumpa was Wonder Woman's pet flying kangaroo (of all things.) On Themyscira, instead of traditional horses the Amazons would use kangaroos as primary form of transportation on the island and Jumpa was specially trained by Wonder Woman to help her on her whirlwind adventures as well as to win some Paradise Island’s arena battles.
The titular super dog would leap onto the comics scene a few months before his brooding companion Ace in Adventure Comics #210 (1955). Krypto would crash down in Smallville much like his owner to then be discovered by Superboy, where we learn that Jor-El sent Krypto's rocket to space before sending his son to test the safety of the vessel before krypton’s destruction (akin to Earth’s Laika, RIP). Krypto's rocket would end up getting hit by a meteor causing it to go off course and land on Earth years later than expected. Superboy would train Krypto how to use his powers before Krypto would leave earth to start his own adventures.
The Caped Crusader would find his rescue in Batman #92. Ace belonged to a Gotham city engraver named John Wilker. One night a Gotham gang needed a counterfeiter and John was their target. In attempting to kidnap John, Ace fought off the kidnappers only to be knocked unconscious and thrown into the Gotham river. Coming to and struggling against the river's current, Ace is spotted on patrol by Robin who helps him out of the river. Now as many Golden Age stories end, Ace helps Batman and Robin find the counterfeiting ring, and is returned to his owner, always welcomed back to being the bat hound whenever trouble calls. Ace's origin changed over the years and I'd be remiss not to note my favorite version of his origin written by Tom King. King’s run on Batman gives Ace a more tragic story. As a petowner of several rescues, it’s always hit home with me. In Batman Annual #1 (2016), Batman and Inspector Gordon discover a fighting ring and in it, a dog that has been infused with the infamous Joker toxin. The dogs all have playing card masks on and the only one left standing is Ace, who is then sent to the Gotham pound set for euthanization, Alfred sees an opportunity for healing for both Ace and Bruce and adopts Ace into the Bat-Family.
Now my personal favorite of the super pets, because your girl loves the Green Lanterns, would have to be Ch’p (or G’Nort who I know doesn’t count but listen, I love him.) Now the trailers for the movie show us a super powered squirrel with a different power set from the furry friend we all know and love, who is still named Chip so I will take what I can get! Ch’p is not actually a squirrel, he is an alien from the planet H'lven as written in his first appearance in Green Lantern #148 (1982.). His planet was overrun by invaders and Ch’p was to be put to death for defending the resistance when the ring found him and changed his destiny.
Now these are just a few of the many, many, many DC super pets that have been introduced since their inception as a team in Adventure Comics in 1962, and there are sure to be many more in the future but for now I cannot wait to see what the new animated film will bring to the table! For books involving these wonderful pets and for further recommendations be sure to come to your nearest Bedrock City comics and lets chat!