“Bat-Hound has acquired super-powers and he’s using them against us!” Batman #158 (September 1963)
Comic Cards Project: Day 49 • Krypto
When Superman was still a baby on the doomed planet Krypton, his father Jor-El built a rocket to safely transport the infant to Earth. While testing a prototype, Jor-El sent Krypto, the family’s puppy, into space. Unfortunately, the spaceship was knocked off course and it drifted aimlessly for years. When it finally reached Earth, Krypto was reunited with Superboy, the last surviving member of his family.
Krypto was a popular addition to Superman’s childhood adventures, although in their initial encounters the playful pet with superpowers ended up being more trouble than anything else. Fortunately for Superboy, his dog liked to romp around the universe far from home, keeping him from being a nuisance on Earth for long stretches of time.
He eventually became a reliable ally for the Boy of Steel and although he couldn’t talk, thought balloons revealed that he could think as clearly as any human. In addition to frequent appearances as a supporting character in tales about Superboy, Krypto regularly headlined his own adventures and occasionally turned up in stories after Superman had grown up. He was even featured on the Saturday morning Superboy cartoon from 1966-1969. All this notoriety for a superhero’s super pet was not that surprising given the kitschy comics environment of the 60s.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Tomorrow: Ace, The Bat-Hound!
“Lucky for me this high voltage can’t hurt me—but it sure does tickle! Hee Hee Hee!” Doom Patrol #103 (May 1966)
“Whoever that creepy surgeon was who gave me this body—why didn’t he give me wings, too?” Doom Patrol #103 (May 1966)
Comic Cards Project: Day 48 • Robotman
An accident on a European racetrack left wealthy international daredevil Cliff Steele with a body damaged beyond repair. His brain escaped injury, though, and a surgical genius transplanted it into a scientifically-advanced metallic body. It wasn’t until Cliff was recruited for the Doom Patrol that he learned that their leader, The Chief, had been the surgeon who turned him into Robot Man.
Elasti-Girl and Negative Man rounded out the members of the Doom Patrol, a group of outsiders who banded together to use their unusual abilities for good. Wisecracking, hot tempered Cliff was the most cynical of the bunch, at least on the surface, but he sometimes let his soft side show—especially when it came to his feelings for Elasti-Girl.
The Doom Patrol came along in 1963—about a year after the debut of The Metal Men—but Robot Man’s design seemed primitive compared to that band of artificially intelligent robots. Perhaps The Chief should have consulted with Doc Magus, the Metal Men’s creator, for a little help in crafting Mr. Steele’s body. Maybe with a sleeker physique Robot Man would have been a little less discontent with his situation.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Tomorrow: Superman’s dog, Krypto!