Krypto #130: Bad Dog!

From: Superman #168, 170 (May, July 2001)

So we know Krypto has been destroying the Kent-Lane home, right?
But can a bad dog changes his ways even if you give him a cape?
It comes down to this story by Jeff Loeb, a writer I'm quite ambivalent about. On the one hand, he brings in elements that are fun and retro-cool, on the other, he proceeds to smother them in the same kind of dismissive "realism" that made Krypto disappear from comics for a decade and a half. By Superman #170, the real doggone Krypto has been back for a couple of months and is living with Lois and Clark. During a walk at the park, the super-dog breaks his leash (why would Lois think she could ever hold on to him?) because Mongol is in town!
And Mongul's sister Mongal too. Yes, Mongal. And so there's a fight, a fight in which, it must be noted, Superman knocks the villain into an office building with no apparent care for anyone who might be inside or in the street below opening umbrellas against debris (my image, Metropolis is mostly deserted according to the art). Only after massive property damage does Lois sic Krypto on Mongul.
But then SHE gets into real trouble, so the dog does what he has to do. It gets violent.
Lois tries to stop it, and Superman finally does. Mongul survives (and is treated like any criminal and sent to the hospital - ?!). But even though Lois, normally NOT a Krypto fan, tries to tell Clark the dog was only trying to save her, Superman flies him to the Fortress of Solitude - NO DISCUSSION - and puts him in the care of a Superman robot, albeit one equipped to release fun smells.
Like, wow. I don't know if this was part of a bigger subplot to put the super-marriage in jeopardy, because there was an earlier scene where Lois was miffed Clark revealed his secret identity to B-list Justice Leaguers without talking to her first, but the way it happens is modern-day Superdickery. I guess we should be happy he didn't have the dog PUT DOWN. Because see, no matter how much Loeb may WANT to play with cool, retro stuff, we're not really allowed to keep the toys after he's done. It boils down to "comics are realistic and if this were real Krypto would have killed someone already". We've been told.

And now for your manipulative tearjerker ending:
A cute conceit that supports the action fairly well, but I have a hard time believing Clark Kent is now writing children's books about how Superman is a deadbeat pet owner.


Anonymous said...

"It comes down to this story by Jeff Loeb, a writer I'm quite ambivalent about. On the one hand, he brings in elements that are fun and retro-cool, on the other, he proceeds to smother them in the same kind of dismissive "realism" that made Krypto disappear from comics for a decade and a half."

Well said. This shouldn't be that hard: celebrate the fun of Krypto, and tell a story where it works. If you're worried about Mongul and Mongal (children of the original Mongul, if memory serves) are just a little too scary, put them in a helicopter like Thanos. Mongul's a ripoff of Thanos in every other regard (Starlin's ripoff of his own material), so why not?

Unknown said...

To be fair, during this era, at one point Lois was replaced by a shape-shifting this might not be the real Lois.


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