And now it's time to inaugurate a new feature here on the "Random Acts of Geekery" -- the long-promised (and hopefully long-awaited) "Dog of the Geek!" I was inspired to do this by Siksoid's Blog of Geekery, and his "Cat of the Geek" feature, although I'm doing a slightly different format than he is.
For each entry, the following categories will be identified:
Breed (if breed can be established)
Original Appearances (as in where this dog first appeared regularly)
Additional Appearances (other media, toys, etc.)
Biography (a brief discussion of the character's background, if such is avaialble)
Powers (if any -- cartoon characters, for example, tend to only have the ability to recover from any damage by the next scene)
Group Affiliation (if any)
Miscellaneous (this category is for discussion of alternate versions of the character and anything else I find interesting)
So, let's begin with the entry for Krypto the Superdog!
Breed: Kryptonian dog, resembling several different Earth breeds (depending on the artist). The Superman Supersite suggests he most resembles a white Parson Russell Terrier, although some drew him more like a Greyhound. The original appearances of Krypto had him looking more like a standard hound with pronounced jowls.
Original Appearances: DC Comics, particularly Adventure Comics and Superboy
Additional Appearances: Filmation's Superboy cartoons (part of “New Adventures of Superman”), Krypto the Superdog TV series, various toys and figures
Biography: Before Krypton exploded, Jor-El placed his infant son Kal-El's dog, Krypto, into an experimental rocket that was supposed to orbit Krypton and then return. Unfortunately, a satellite knocked the ship out of orbit. Many years later, the rocket arrived on Earth, after Krypton exploded and Kal-El had arrived on Earth, growing into the teenage Superboy. After Superboy grew up to become Superman, Krypto spent most of his time roaming in space, still occasionally returning to Earth to assist Superman.
Powers: Krypto has the usual Kryptonian powers under a yellow sun: Super-strength, flight, super-speed, invulnerability, telescopic vision, x-ray vision, heat vision, microscopic vision, and time travel. The original Krypto was also possessed of super-intelligence.
Group Affiliation: Space Canine Patrol Agents, Legion of Super-Pets
Miscellaneous: The classic story “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” featured the death of the original Earth-1 Krypto, dying of Kryptonite poisoning. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, there was no Krypto for some time in the comics, with the exception of the “Pocket Universe” storyline (which featured a “classic Krypto”) until the “Death of Superman” storyline, in which Bibbo rescues a litter of puppies that were thrown into Metropolis Harbor, only to find that all but one had drowned. The survivor was originally named “Krypton,” but when Bibbo went to get a dog tag, the engraver could only fit “Krypto” on it, and so Krypto he was renamed. Later, when the clone Superboy moved to Hawaii, this second Krypto went with him. Somewhere along the way, this Krypto disappeared. More recently, in a modern-day “Superman Returns to Krypton” story, Superman brought a new Krypto back to Earth from Krypton with him, who also had the standard Kryptonian abilities, although this Krypto was presented more as having the intelligence of an Earth dog with super powers. Briefly, the clone Superboy was put in charge of training Krypto, but of late, Superman has been responsible for him. Not having read any current Superman titles in a long time, I'm not aware of his current status. There was also a Smallville episode entitled “Krypto,” which featured an Earth dog that had been given superpowers, but this dog was eventually named Shelby, and was kept as a pet by Clark Kent (see separate entry). Of course, my own dog is named Krypto, and has dressed as his namesake for several halloweens, and also has his own Facebook page.