Krypto #8: He's Jimmy's Dog

From: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #29 (June 1958)

Milestone! This is the first appearance of Krypto in the current day, side by side with Superman and the rest of his modern Family. Prepare for super-dickery sans pareil. Superman is this close to putting Krypto to sleep in this one. It all begins when Krypto returns from space after years and years of absence, and he's immediately drawn to Jimmy Olsen's signal watch, used for stuff that really shouldn't be on Superman's radar, you spoiled Metropolis citizens, you.
Jimmy knows all about Krypto from his long chats/bragging sessions with Superman, so he asks the super-dog to help. Unfortunately, Krypto punches some holes into the pound car and the dogs start to escape.
It COULD be intentional, of course, but Superman assumes his pup is simply senile. If I understand the story, Kryptonian dogs do live longer than Terran ones, because Krypto is about Superman's age. So 29 IS getting on, and regardless, he's been out of touch with people for at least a decade, so his capacity for helping is certainly rusty.
Jimmy talks Superman down from his plans and adopts him, but Krypto is soon breaking stuff accidentally while trying to help, and Superman keeps warning that he'll take him to the farm upstate. For me, proof that Krypto hasn't lost a thing is the next sequence, in which he saves Jimmy's life and cleverly uses team work to stop some fleeing jewel thieves:
Ok, he breaks stuff and Jimmy is required to complete the plan, but remember, Krypto's been brow-beaten by Superboy to let his master be the hero and earn the trophies, medals and parades. The Superboy stories are full of Kal-El's jealousy. Now, at this point, I'm sure it's all a Silver Age trick and that Krypto is faking for some crazy reason, but no, he next thoughtlessly takes a dinosaur bone from a museum exhibit, so Superman takes Jimmy to court.
Ok, ok, it's the city council that does that, but Superman is on board AND testifying against his pup. Only Jimmy is in his corner, reminding them all that Krypto was a real hero, "honored like Superboy" (oh that's not gonna fly with the green-eyed monster), and that he performed many deeds, like rescuing people in the Arctic, and... taking Superboy's abuse for science?!
That is one untold story PETA would be very interested in, Mr. El! The judge finds that Superman should get rid of the dog, and he does. There is much sadness. But Superman then reveals that he didn't take the dog into space, but to a valley surrounded by kryptonite hills (WHAT?!) and wait for it, whose exact mix of Green K radiation and mineral water has created the Fountain of Youth (double-WHAT?!).
And get this, Superman had to hoax the world into thinking his dog had been put out to pasture so he wouldn't have to reveal the existence of the valley, not because the Fountain of Youth is dangerous (as per every sci-fi story about it, ever), but because he doesn't want bad guys to know there are ENTIRE KRYPTONITE HILLS out there! Selfish is as selfish does. I don't see why you had to put Jimmy through the wringer; it's not like someone's listening to everything you say (or else you wouldn't reveal it now!). So is Krypto now trapped in that lethal valley? Not at all.
Presumably, that's how Superman reached the valley in the first place. And why he never ages? Hm. So the restored Krypto heads back into space, and Jimmy is promised that if he ever returns, he'll be HIS dog. Because dogs aren't for adults unless they've given up on life. AmIright, Superman? I'll be interested to see if Superman honors that promise the next time Krypto comets his way back to Earth.



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