Krypto #90: Star of Superman Family

From: Superman Family #182 (March/April 1977)

In the later part of the 70s, Jimmy Olsen's title was turned into the bimonthly 80-page giant series Superman Family, featuring stories for Superman's extended cast - Jimmy, Lois, Krypton, Supergirl, Kandor, Superbaby, and yes, of course, Krypto. The Superdog's strip finally had a stable home, and he would even get his own dedicated story arcs. Sit back and enjoy as Krypto does Lassie over the next few weeks.

We begin with a one-off, near the end of the issue, called "A Bad Day for Junkyard Blue" by Bob Toomey, John Calnan and Bob Smith. Kind of a day in the life story that shows how Krypto is still dedicated with helping dogkind. Birdkind, not so much.
Somebody down below makes a "bird dog" joke and we, the readers, laugh and laugh and laugh.


The story finally kicks into gear when inept bank robbers, being chased nonchalantly by Krypto, break down next to a junk yard. They jump the fence and are met by Blue, the resident junkyard dog. But seeing a flying dog freaks poor Blue out. He can't TAKE IT!
Having run to a car about to be turned into a paperweight, Blue is in danger. This is a job for... Superdog!
The robbers have, in the meantime, been arrested by the cops, so that's a non-issue. What IS an issue is Blue having lost his groove because of Krypto. Was this the inspiration for Zack Snyder's Superverse? Our heroes feared by the very beings they mean to protect? Well, in this case, Krypto does a pretty good P.R. job of it, letting Blue become the alpha and running away from the other dog's territory. Cute. Toomey really gets into canine psychology...
...if canine psychology includes dogs' enormous love of flight.

But I'm kind of glad they didn't do a literal pissing contest, aren't you?


Brendon Wright said...

I AM glad. As usual, seeing the artwork (in colour) makes my knees wobble.

My first EVER superman comic was from this series and a few months after this one. It cemented my whole reference for the Metropolis mythology at this time, looking back and forward from here as my definitive starting point. The only thing I reckon I've changed in my mental canon is I don't see Jimmy as "Mr Action" as he was portrayed at this time, rather as the pre-teen copy boy he was in the 40's, contemporary with Dick Grayson.

Brendon Wright said...

Another interesting thing is that when you read a comic at age 8 the characters are interpreted as real people, they're considered immutable: just as real people keep their personalities throughout their lifetime. That stays deep in your psyche no matter how "grown up" you become later in life.

It becomes a prejudice by which one approaches new interpretations of a character: the new interpretations are seen as a fiction rather than as the "real person."

While folks can be decent and make allowances for each other it's still an unavoidable (soft) dividing point: each person first "Met" the "real" Superman in different eras.

It's all part of growing up and being human, however.


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