Very Good Boys and Girls1 of 12
April 11 marks National Pet Day in the United States, so to celebrate, we're looking at the long history or super-pets in comic books.
As usual, we've limited ourselves to discussing the top ten super-pets, which didn't leave room for some precious little poopsies like Ms. Lion, Proty the blob, or Gleek, the Super Friends' monkey - but that doesn't mean they aren't great pets.
Jonathan the Wolverine2 of 12
If you are the kind of person who’d love to come home and snuggle up to a warm, cuddly, razor-clawed beast, Jonathan the wolverine is the perfect pet for you.
Jonathan is the domesticated companion of Laura McKinney and her sister Gabby, a.k.a. Wolverine and Honey Badger. Like his human friends, Jonathan is a survivor of strange experiments, but unlike Laura and Gabby, he’s a literal wolverine.
Rumor has it, he’s also the best there is at what he does, which is being a very good boy.
Bubastis3 of 12
This lovely lady is Bubastis, a pet so nice Watchmen’s Ozymandius cloned her twice.
Of course, the reason Ozymandias had to clone this genetically-engineered lynx for Doomsday Clock in the first place is cause he sorta disintegrated her while trying to kill Doctor Manhattan.
A+ very good girl, F- mean guy pet owner.
Old Lace/Devil Dinosaur4 of 12
Old Lace and Devil Dinosaur don’t really have anything to do with each other which is weird because they’re both pet dinosaurs from Marvel Comics.
Old Lace is the Deinonychus companion of Gert from Runaways, who is genetically engineered to respond to her keeper’s commands.
Devil Dinosaur, on the other hand, is a straight up mutant T-Rex from an alternate dimension – you know, a classic dinosaur – and was originally the companion of Moon Boy, a humanoid from Devil Dinosaur’s world. Now he pals around with Moon Girl – a human girl who is also currently the smartest person in the Marvel Universe.
Arrow/Bats/Sparky5 of 12
Over the last few years, Marvel Comics has started giving some of its leading heroes pets to keep them company when they have alienated all their fellow heroes.
First Hawkeye got Arrow – a.k.a. Pizza Dog – a pizza loving pal who had an Eisner-winning adventure in an issue of Hawkeye told through his perspective.
Then, Vision completed his nuclear android family with a synthezoid dog named Sparky that, alas, didn’t survive Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s Vision.
And of course, most recently, Walta and writer Donny Cates introduced Bats in Doctor Strange, a sad-eyed, friendly hound dog who was resurrected as an astral spirit after Loki accidentally killed him.
Wonder Dog6 of 12
Wonder Dog is a great example of a very good boy gone very bad.
Wonder Dog was originally introduced on the cartoon Super Friends, as the adorable but vaguely dumb pet of Wendy and Marvin, a couple of kids who for some reason were allowed to hang out with Batman, Superman and the rest despite generally hurting way more than they ever could have helped (probably cause they came with a dog in a cape and that’s awesome).
Then 30 years went by, and someone remembered this ain’t the 70s and these ain’t your daddy’s DC Comics, and Wonder Dog was reinvented as a hellhound who attacked the Teen Titans and devoured Wendy and Marvin while trying to kill Wonder Girl.
Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice…
Lockjaw7 of 12
Lockjaw is kinda the whole Marvel Universe’s dog. Yeah, he technically lives with the Inhumans (and has a special relationship with Kamala Khan), but this good boy seems to have a damn-near perfect track record of showing up with a rescue or carrying the cavalry with his teleportation powers no matter who needs a save.
But Lockjaw’s more than just a kind of cosmic St. Bernard – he’s also the Inhuman king Black Bolt’s best pal. Writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Christian Ward dialed in close on Blackagar Boltagon and Lockjaw’s boy-and-his-dog dynamic with an especially hearfelt issue of their recently wrapped Black Bolt solo series.
And yeah - we’re gonna gloss over the period of time when the Inhumans decided to prank Ben Grimm and let him believe Lockjaw was not a dog but a dog-like Inhuman for something like 15 years (retcons ain’t always bad news, kids).
Lying Cat8 of 12
Lying Cat – it’s not just a name, it’s also a species.
The companion of the bounty hunter the Will, Lying Cat is something of an unofficial mascot for Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ perennial favorite sci-fi comic book Saga. Lying Cat is one of a species of feline-esque aliens that can detect outright lies.
Lying Cat seems like a pet many fans would want to own (she’s a popular merchandising item for Saga, to be sure) – but would you really want a cat that doubles as a constantly running lie detector around?
Ace the Bat-Hound9 of 12
Inspired by Superman’s dog Krypto, Batman once had a pet german shepherd named Ace the Bat-Hound who helped the Caped Crusader fight crime.
But like Batman, Ace had a secret identity as well – he was once the recognizable companion of a kidnapped engraver who helped Batman locate his owner – while disguised in a mask to conceal his identity since, weirdly, Ace also had a relationship with Bruce Wayne as well as Batman.
Ace was later the name of the older Bruce Wayne’s dog in the future world of Batman Beyond where Bruce is retired as Batman.
Lockheed10 of 12
OK, so Lockheed isn’t necessarily a pet (given he was actually an undercover agent of S.W.O.R.D. for his early years with the X-Men), but since we mostly know him as Kitty Pryde’s personal dragon and constant companion, we’re gonna say it counts – after all, can anyone really say for sure their pet isn’t a spy for an extra-terrestrial entity?
As pet’s go, Lockheed’s got it all, too – he’s cuddly like a cat, loyal like a dog, and he can breathe fire when the chips are down. He’s even sorta got a good sense of humor. Just make sure your apartment complex doesn’t have a “no purple dragons” policy.
Krypto & the Super-Pets11 of 12
Superman’s dog Krypto is what you’d call a classic 11/10 good boy who loves to play fetch and fight crime.
Though his origin has varied based on the era of DC Comics in question, we can’t help but love the Krypto as the Kryptonian super-dog, able to do everything his master Kal-El could do - flight, heat vision, play dead, but also shake hands, roll over, and fetch..
Krypto is Superman’s best known animal companion, but back in the fun-but-weird years of the Silver Age, Supes had a whole menagerie of Super-Pets including Streaky the Super-Cat, Beppo the Super-Monkey, and of course Comet the Super-Horse (whose 90s revamp somehow managed to take the weirdness of Superman having a “Super-Horse” and cranking it up way past 11 with body-switching, angels, and more).
Even still, Krypto remains a presence in Superman’s life, now the companion of his son Jon Kent/Superboy.
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