Krypto #21: Movie Star

From: Adventure Comics #272 and Superman #137 (May 1960)

Context: Superboy is visiting Hollywood with Ma and Pa Kent when he saves movie mogul Boris Xavier's home from a fire. In gratitude, and because surely, Superboy is a bankable (and super-powered) star, the mogul offers Superboy the chance at a screen test, and if all goes well, at a movie career. The proceeds of a Superboy film could go to charity and so on. But during this trip, Krypto returns from space and finds his master not at home. Where could he be? Time to make a sweep of these United States:
Hm, are they suggesting the Silver Age Smallville might be in Maine? At any rate, Krypto is lucky to find Clark given that "Hollywood" looks like this:
Glamorous! He actually catches up to him on the beach, during the screen test, and screws everything up. Or does he?
Xavier thinks this is so cool that KRYPTO should be his next star. Superboy is comparatively a dud. Still, he gives Superboy the job of writing a suitable script for a Krypto movie, which can't be kosher with the Screenwriters' Guild (maybe it didn't exist yet). Somehow, the then quickly-filmed "Krypto Saves Earth" becomes a hit, leading to more movie opportunities for the Kryptonian pooch, and yet, not opportunities for Clark "Trumbo" Kent.

If you've been reading this series for the past 20 weeks, you'll realize instantly that jealousy is bound to flare between the boy and his dog. Superboy just can't STAND it when he's not the center of attention, and in this story, people push past him to get a glimpse of Krypto or get his teeth marks in a piece of paper, oblivious to the fact that there's a real-live superhero standing right there (and pretty much the world's only superhero, in these stories). Xavier gets Krypto hooked on the good life - diamond collars, fancy bone restaurants, pampering - and it certainly goes to the dog's head.
Krypto becomes a veritable cultural phenomenon!
Basically, the Last Dog of Krypton decides to devote himself fully to showbiz, makes personal appearances, puts his paws in dry cement (because he can), and stars in various studio flicks. The one I really want to see is the western comedy "The Supermutt of Deadwood Gulch":
There's also the one from the cover, "Krypto Duels the Junk Monster", which does seem to have good production values. So totally absorbed by his new vocation, Kypto starts ignoring dog-on-dog violence and Superboy must sadly intervene when a big dog bullies a smaller one (really?! this is what jealousy has reduced you to, Clark?), so his new mission in life is to show Krypto the error of his ways and bring him back to the "light side". But how far will he go? Pretty damn far, actually. After one scheme with a robot dog fails, Kal-El just up and drops Green K in Krypto's favorite swimming pool.
It depowers and emaciates him, and useless and unrecognizable, he's thrown off the movie lot and into the street where kids throw rocks at him. Only after he's had time to reflect does Superboy show up with a water bowl filled with Blue K, which restores him. By then, Xavier has already found a new animal star, a white horse that suspiciously looks like Comet, and Krypto is cure of his hubris.

Sayeth Ma Kent: "Krypto must realize now that our son's love is worth more than all the make-believe in Hollywood!" Yes, Superboy loves his dog so much he was willing to POISON HIM so he would stop drawing attention away from his own adventures!

Meanwhile, in "The Two Faces Of Superman!" (see all the crazy details HERE), Krypto encounters his master's evil double, Super-Bully, and doesn't like him at all!
Showing that evil has a distinctive smell. That's where expressions like "stinker" come from. Hey, Krypto, at least THIS GUY didn't STRAIGHT UP POISON YOU!



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