Posts tagged ‘Krypto’

Adventure 322 – Proty II joins the Legion of Super-Pets


You just can’t beat the Super-Pets when it comes to absurdity handled with dead seriousness.  They sit at a table behind the name-plates for goodness sake!

In Adventure 322 (July 1964) Edmond Hamilton gives us a stirring tale of the extremely challenging initiation of Proty II into this team.

Preparing for a major assault on the Time Trapper, the Legion ask the Suns to help them construct weapons, and Saturn Girl orders the Super-Pets to guard the Legion Clubhouse while the are away.


Proty II applies for membership, and telepathically relates his background to the Super-Pets, giving us the story of the colonization of his planet, Antares, and how the Proteans were horrifically experimented on by colonizers, which gave them their powers.


The Super-Pets give him challenges that the rest of them would be completely incapable of doing, such as impersonating Superboy, but he pulls each task off.  Finally Krypto challenges him to track and capture him.

He succeeds, and is awarded membership in the team.



Adventure 294 – JFK, Marilyn Monroe and the best Bizarro World story


Jerry Siegel hits the gold mine with Adventure 294, with my favourite Bizarro World story.  In truth, I was disappointed the first time I read it, as it appears in the Overstreet Price Guide listing as “Bizarro JFK and Marilyn Monroe,” and I was fully expecting those people to appear in the story.  But once that disappointment passed, I was able to enjoy the story hugely on its own merits.


It’s Halloween on Bizarro World, and they don masks of terrifying creatures – such as JFK and Marilyn Monroe.  Jerry Lewis is another, and Mickey Mantle.  Seems like there is a hint of something subversive in this scene.  Including a baseball player is b0und to make one think of Marilyn’s ex, Joe DiMaggio.  Just having her and JFK in the same panel is enough of a sly wink.


The story then becomes about joyously torturing Bizarro Krypto, who runs away from home, seeking love.


Bizarro Lana Lang treats him too well, but Kltpzyxm sends him against a variety of deadly beasts.  Bizarro Krypto murders them all, and then sobs because he has no more friends to play with.


So Kltpzyxm brings the real Krypto to Bizarrow World, and the two dogs fight viciously, until Krypto saves his counterpart from blue kryptonite.   Bizarro Krypto then heads to play with Bizarro Luthor, who is trying to make the cube shaped Bizarro World a globe, but Krypto makes the robots he sends out play paddycake with each other instead.

In the end, he returns home to Bizarro.  The final panel is so twisted. Is it funny, frightening, or sad?  All three really.


There are only a couple more Bizarro World stories before the end of the run.  None of them top this one for sheer insanity.

Adventure 293 – The Legion of Super-Pets, and Bizarro Luthor


Jerry Siegel does double-duty on Adventure 293 (Feb 62), writing both the Superboy and Bizarro World features.  Curt Swan draws the Superboy tale, but alas not the Bizarro World one.


Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up in Smallville and try to trick Superboy into freeing General Zod and Jax-Ur from the Phantom Zone.  Mon-El, still a resident of the Zone at this time, warns Superboy.  The Legionnaires then attack Superboy, and are revealed to be under the mental control of the Brain-Globes of Rambat.

When they notice that Krypto is not vulnerable to the Brain-Globes powers, the team decides to form a battle squad of animals, and zip through time, recruiting Streaky the Super-Cat, Beppo the Super-Monkey and a Super-Horse.  This is Comet, making his first appearance.  He is introduced as an animal that will soon become Supergirl’s pet.


The animals defeat the Brain-Globes, who flee, and are never heard from again.  Saturn Girl rewards them by officially creating the Legion of Super-Pets as an auxiliary unit of the Legion of Super-Heroes.


The Legion of Super-Pets will return and have some of my favourite goofy adventures from this era.



Bizarro Luthor gets created in this issue.  And as Lex Luthor does bad deeds, Bizarro Luthor of course does good deeds.  But when Bizarros try to do good deeds these often turn out badly.  So when Bizarro Luthor tries to do good deeds they turn into bad deeds but not really bad deeds, more like…

My brain hurts.


Although this story is really fun, overall the series is beginning to feel repetitious, and the constant inclusion of new Bizarros means that few actually get to do anything significant in the story.  While Bizarro Luthor gets the spotlight in this tale, a Bizarro Bottle City of Kandor and Bizarroe Superman Emergency Squad are also created in the tale, but pretty much shoved to the side.



Adventure 287 – The origin of Dev-Em, and Jimmy Olsen visits Bizarro World


Adventure 287 (Aug 61) begins a 2-part Superboy story, spending its time by giving an extended backstory to Dev-Em, the Knave from Krypton, in his debut appearance.  As a result, Superboy is really only a supporting character in this tale.


Dev-Em and his parents live next door to Jor-El and and Lara, and he is shown as a rowdy and criminally irresponsible teenager.  He almost runs over baby Kal and Krypto with his car, steals, vandalizes, and even breaks into Jor-El’s home.  Though it’s because of that that Dev and his parents wind up surviving the destruction of Krypton.


After reading Jor-El’s notes, Dev converts a backyard bomb shelter (ah, peaceful Krypton, where families have big bomb shelters in their backyards), preparing it to block the deadly kryptonite radiation that Jor-El theorized.

Dev-Em convinces his parents to go into suspended animation with him, but awakes before them.  He must be near Earth, because his powers have kicked in, and by using super-vision he spots Kal on Earth, receiving a trophy as Superboy, and decides to head there and get rid of him.

The story concludes in the following issue.



After being yelled at by Perry White for not getting any good stories, Jimmy sees a spaceship, apparently being boarded by Superman, and stows away.  Of course, it was not Superman, it was Bizarro, and Jimmy winds up on Bizarro World.


He starts working at the Daily Htrae, under Bizarro Perry White, but has even less success than he does on Earth, as he cannot grasp what makes news on Bizarro World.

It’s a fun little tale, but again I find it curious that Otto Binder wrote the serious Sueprboy story in this issue, and Jerry Siegel the silly Bizarro one, rather than the other way around.

Jimmy just wants to head back to Earth, but as long as he keeps bombing out with his news stories, the Bizarros have no intention of returning them.

Finally, Jimmy creates a Bizarro version of himself, and is punished by being sent back home.


Adventure 285 – Bizarro World begins


Tales of the Bizarro World begins as the back-up feature to Superboy in Adventure 285 (June 1961).  The entire run would be written by Jerry Siegel, and while many of the stories are amusing, and one particular one so insane it approaches genius, I can’t help but think Otto Binder might have helped this series survive longer.  As fun as the tales are, they quickly descend into wandering and repetitious.


Bizarro, his wife, children and square planet, had all been introduced in the various Superman books by the time this series began, but it opens with a re-introduction of the backwards way of life on Bizarro World.

The story in this issue, such as it is, deals with Bizarro’s son, who risks passing in school because he has been giving correct answers. He fails because, while sleepwalking, he carved a bizarre version of Mt Rushmore, and everyone is happy.

In the middle of this, Superboy and Krypto stop by for a visit, as Superboy time travelled to the present, and saw Bizarro World for the first time.  Really, the only purpose in this is so that Bizarro Krypto can be created, and Superboy is forced to play baseball and re-enact the cover image.



Adventure 278 – Supergirl comes to Smallville, and Janu becomes Janurilla


At the time of this story, Supergirl had her own series in Action Comics, but was still living in an orphanage, forbidden by Superman to use her powers publicly.  He was afraid she would give away her identity, or his.  Determined to prove herself, Linda travels back in time and heads to Smallville, in Adventure 278 (Nov 60).


She reveals her identity to Ma and Pa Kent, and enlists their aid in attempting to fool Clark, figuring that if she can conceal it from Superboy, Superman will have to agree she has proved herself.


She does a pretty good job of it, and succeeds in fooling Superboy the first time they meet.  It’s pesky Lana Lang that has the suspicions, but a little aid from Krypto and Ma Kent helps Linda con her as well.


Supergirl figures she has it all down pat, but I guess this makes her less cautious, and she makes a completely stupid mistake.


Distressed, she heads back to her own time, concluding that she is not “ready” to be adopted.  Which is kind of awful.



Janu winds up becoming Congorilla in this story.  He resents Congo Bill getting all the ape action, so puts on the ring himself.

He ties his body to a tree, so the mind-transferred gorilla will not run off with it, but he gets mistaken for a missing boy, and in the gorilla body has to chase his human body.

This could be fun, but the way Janu’s speech (or thoughts) are written are so idiot-ish that there is little fun to be had at his expense.  Nor is the art on the story particularly appealing.

But it was enough of a change of pace that I felt like including this story.


Adventure 267 = The Legion imprison Superboy, and Aquaman and Green Arrow trade locales


Adventure 267 (Dec 59) features not only an early appearance by the Legion of Super-Heroes, but also an interesting not-quite-team-up by Aquaman and Green Arrow.

Of the three stories, the Superboy one is the least impressive; and if a Legion freak like me is saying that, you can be sure it’s true.

The costumes are almost right, but there is really little else to recommend this story.


Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up in Smallville again, stopping crimes and treating Superboy badly.  Even Krypto and the Kents turn against him.  He leaves, and discovers a world built in his honour by Legionnaires, who promptly imprison him in a kryptonite cage.  They had seen him on a time viewer destroying military property, so feel he deserves death.  Saturn Girl had used her telepathy to turn everyone against him.

Of course, it’s all a misunderstanding, and everyone is buddies again at the end of the story.

Hate to say it, but this mess was written by Jerry Siegel, although I’m not sure he’s the one to blame for Saturn Girl emitting destructive beams from her eyes, as that detail is in the art, but not the text.


Aquaman’s story begins with Shark Norton and the Wizard, old enemies of Aquaman and Green Arrow respectively (although this was in fact the only appearance of either villain), each deciding to switch their areas of operation.  Shark Norton will evade Aquaman by committing crimes on land, and the Wizard will elude Green Arrow by heading out to sea for his larcenous activities.


This story is also the earliest I can find that specifies the one-hour time limit for Aquaman, so delicately phrased by a police officer, “you gasp for water like a dying fish.”


Nevertheless, Aquaman pursues Shark Norton, and once again Ramona Fradon has fun with Topo, who uses his tentacles to shoot four arrows at the same time.  Aquaman goes through the tale with his head in a bowl of water, but triumphs anyway.


Meanwhile, Green Arrow and Speedy don underwater gear to pursue the Wizard.  Some really nice art by Lee Elias on this, I do like his work on the Green Arrow series.


The Wizard is using an artificial iceberg as his base, and while Green Arrow and Speedy attempt to melt it with arrowheads made of salt, they stumble across a Godzilla-type sea monster awakened by atomic testing, whose fire breath proves more effective at the task.


The two heroes interact only in the very last panel of the story, congratulating each other.  Not a real team-up, but an enjoyable way to link the two back-up features in this issue.

Adventure 257 – Superboy meets Samson and Hercules


Samson and Hercules appeared in Superman stories, not quite villains, not quite allies. Usually they were in trouble and needing Superman’s help, but lied about it.  Adventure 257 (Feb 59) recounts their first meeting with Clark, as Superboy, and things are not much different.


They come to Smallville with a carnival, as strong men, but are seeking Superboy and the elixir they believe he drinks to gain immortality.  Superboy explains the nature of his powers, but they assume he is lying.

After some goofy comedy where they try soft drinks and bubble baths, in hopes of gaining invulnerability, they take Superboy back in time with them.

It turns out they stole a king’s treasure horde, distributing it to the poor, and fear the repercussions of this, so want to be invulnerable.  This story is at it’s best when it’s being silly, though.  The serious plot is almost a distraction.


Look, Superboy is being the wheel to a chariot!  Ha Ha Ha.  Who needs plot?  Especially with Curt Swan drawing it.  And the story is penned by Otto Binder, who excelled at these kind of silly tales.


Adventure 214 – Krypto returns!


It’s Krypto the Super-Dog!  Strong enough to fly through a wall and too dumb to fly over it!  Four months after his debut, Krypto returns to Smallville in Adventure 214 (July 1955), once again causing identity problems for Clark.


Clark rounds up a second white dog as part of his plan to prove to Lana that he isn’t Superboy, a gang of thieves discover that there is, indeed a superdog, and mistake the double for Krypto.

Once more we head into sitcom territory.  Otto Binder seemed to really like writing those kinds of stories.  Superboy has to fake super-powers for the normal dog, in order to deduce what their criminal plot is.


Krypto returns for the big conclusion, rounds up the thieves and helps Clark once again convince Lana that he isn’t Superboy.

Although Krypto flies off into space again at the end of the story, this time Clark, and the reader, know he will return.


Adventure 210 – Krypto debuts!


It’s amazing how Kryptonian pets look exactly like Earth pets, isn’t it?  In a story all but overwhelmed by coincidences, Krypto the Super-Dog debuts in the Superboy story in Adventure 210, (March 1955). Readers were far less cynical than I, and the character was a huge success.  The first of many, many (oh, sooooo many) Super- whatevers from Krypton.


The story begins as Clark encounters a super-powered stray dog.  As Superboy he helps capture the animal, but the dog breaks free, just in time to cover Clark’s identity as robbers hit the Kent’s general store.

Superboy follows the flying dog, who leads him to a small rocketship, which just happened to land right outside of Smallville.  In it, Superboy finds a note from his parents.  And wouldn’t you know it, Krypto was young Kal-El’s dog back on Krypton!

It turns out Jor-El had built a model spaceship, and wanted to test it out before putting baby Kal into the larger ship.  So of course he took the beloved family pet and shot it into space in the rocket.  What else is a loving father to do?

Superboy is thrilled to have a super-pet, and builds him a stone doghouse.  Together they play catch and all is well until Lana Lang sees Clark tossing a girder into the sky.

Together Superboy and Krypto convince Lana that Clark is not Superboy, and Clark blames Krypto for almost giving away his identity, even though it was entirely Clark’s carelessness that caused the problem.

Likely resenting being blamed for something he did not do, Krypto takes off at the end of the tale, flying off into space.


The ending makes it seem like this was a try-out for Krypto.  If readers had not responded positively, we would never have seen the super-dog again.  But as Krypto returned a mere four months later, the editors must have decided they had a good thing on their hands and not even waited for reader response to bring the super-dog back.

I also have to mention the great art by Curt Swan on this tale, which rendered Krypto’s face with all manner of emotion, even though he does look a little like Pluto from Mickey Mouse.

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