Sunday, March 3, 2013

Why Krypto?

By Alex Ross
Because he's such a good boy! Yes he is! Yes he is!

My secret is out: I am a dog person. When I first decoded the cryptic telegram, sent via hawk, that told me I would be writing for Thought Balloons, the first thing I did was take my own dog (half Jack Russell, half shih tzu; a jack shit, if you will) for a walk and contemplated characters I could choose. Including everyone's favourite Super-Dog, Krypto.

The whole "super-pets" phase is one of the most used examples of Silver Age wackiness. You had Ace the Bat-Hound, of course, but it was Superman who had to clean up the most poop, with Streaky the Super-Cat, Comet the Super-Horse, and even Beppo the Super-Ape. And while most of them either vanished or became ordinary house pets in modern times, Krypto has endured.

By Francis Manapul
Perhaps this speaks of the loyalty of dogs in general. Krypto has remained Man of Steel's best friend, always ready to come when called for a dramatic last-minute rescue, or even just steadfastly guard the Fortress of Solitude (although if he's anything like my dog, all you need to do is walk in the front door and ferocious barking turns into playful face-licking).

Just as Superman lives the life of an ordinary mortal albeit with amazing abilities, Krypto is at his best as a character when acting like a familiar, faithful dog... who can fly and shoot lasers out his eyes. This is best shown in Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul's Superboy, where we see that under the big, wide puppy-dog eyes and permanently stupefied expression, Krypto really does mean well. 'Cause all dogs take after their masters.


  1. Panel 1
    Night time. We take to the skies as Krypto flies, determined.

    CAPTION (Krypto): *[I smelled it from miles away...]

    *Translated from Dog language

    Panel 2
    Krypto is standing over the roof of a victorian mansion, looking down at us.

    CAPTION (Krypto): [...and this familiar scent led me here...]

    KRYPTO: [Howdy there! Mind sharing?]

    Panel 3
    Close-up of another dog. A German Shepherd. Ace the Bat-Hound! He wears his bat-costume and is overcast with shadows. And he is growling.

    CAPTION (Krypto): [ a house with a faithful guardian...]

    ACE: [No, not this time. Get out of here, Krypto.]

    Panel 4
    Krypto had flown down the ground as is walking towards Ace. We now see the object of their debate. A big chunk of raw meat!

    CAPTION (Krypto): [ a dog pretending to be a bat...]

    KRYPTO: [Oh, come on! I flew all the way down here from the Fortress.]

    Panel 5
    Close-up of Krypto. His eyes burning red.

    KRYPTO: [And you know I can help you cook it.]

    ACE (Off-shot): [Fine. But I'll take the bigger half.]

    Panel 6
    Both dogs are now busy eating there cooked meat.

    CAPTION (Krypto): [ a friend.]

    KRYPTO: [Where'd you steal it?]

    ACE: [I didn't steal it. The Butler was gonna throw it away.]

    KRYPTO: [Why?]

    ACE: [Some cat got into the mansion. She tried to steal it.]

    1. I love the mirroring of the Superman/Batman dynamic here; something I'm not sure we've seen with the super-dogs before. You nailed both of their "voices" too.

    2. Heh. I like the interplay between the two here and the dialogue at the end about the source of the meat is pretty neat too.

      Good stuff.

    3. You write one hell of a fun Super Pets page. This is well paced, funny and has a nice pay off at the end.

      Also J.D excellent Why post man.

  2. Thanks guys!

    J.D. have you not seen the Krypto cartoons? Heh. Check out the episode "The Dark Hound Strikes" written by Paul Dini!

    1. I did not know Paul Dini was involved in those. I shall definitely have to check them out!


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