DCAU #362: Old Wounds

IN THIS ONE... Mxyzptlk gives Superman a Kryptonian puppy.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton and Dan Slott (now of Spider-Man fame); art by Neil Vokes and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: Even though it's grounded in the post-Crisis Superman, the animated series strikes the perfect tone for an appearance by Krypto. It just never happened. Using Mxyzptlk to get the Pup of Steel to Earth is as good an idea as any, but because 5-dimensional spells tend to time out, this was always going to be a heartbreaker. Superman is reunited with his childhood dog and at the end, must accept Krypto is lost forever, returning as he does to a doomed planet. Mxy gauges the situation completely wrong and gets punished by the Council for his attempt at a "good action". Except the levity of that last page is overshadowed by Superman's sadness.

Not that he could have easily kept the dog as he was. The story really does live in the post-Crisis universe, with a super-powered dog played "realistically". His super-senses drive him mad and he destroys everything in sight until Superman chokes him in orbit. He doesn't kill him, but that panel is as sad as anything else in this issue. So I'm a little torn. On the one hand, the issue does manage to give you the feels it should; on the other, it's trying to convince me of something I disagree with - that Krypto cannot viably exist in Superman's world.

As usual, Mxy's paramour is funnier than he is, and she gets some nice (if sometimes inappropriately sexy) visuals with her changing bathing suit and impressive house of cards. Comic book nerds like myself will have questions about the story's place in continuity though. Mxy JUST appeared two issues ago, and he really ought to respect the 3-month window in publishing as well as in-world. Two issues ago, there was no mention of the Council's ruling, and here he's trying to get out from under it. I don't expect much continuity from the animated series and its tie-ins, but it does call attention to itself. And then there are the Kents who are usually farmers with a cat, and suddenly have a whole barnyard of animals, including two dogs...
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: In the Silver Age, Kal-El indeed had a puppy called Krypto who would grow up to be a faithful companion and fellow Krypton survivor to Superboy and later Superman.

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A sad Krypto story, and that has value, but Mxyzptlk is in danger of overuse.

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