Krypto #132: Escaping the Kennel of Solitude

From: Superboy #91 (October 2001)

If I felt Jeff Loeb didn't really get the point of Krypto, Joe Kelly definitely does, even if the story comes up short of making the super-dog Kon-El's best friend. (Superboy and Krypto, a boy and his dog, is a dynamic preferable to Superman and Krypto, the grown man who leaves his dog at home all day, don't you agree?) Krypto has to be a dog, but he also has to be a hero. In "War Letters", Kelly tells three stories, one of which is Krypto's, and he's both things, where Loeb kept him as a too-powerful dog.

What makes a hero? I ask because dogs are innately "heroic" in that they want to protect their masters, but that's pack mentality. A hero is one who makes a conscious decision to help others, even outside their pack. Perhaps ESPECIALLY outside their pack. Kelly's Krypto starts off as the same destructive dog, munching on Superman robots and almost knocking over the bottled city of Kandor. Then he sees Superboy on a monitor and thinks "playmate!" and he's off. But there's this whole war of the worlds, Imperiex Probe storyline going on, and it makes him... think!
This is crucial. The Silver Age Krypto had high intelligence as part of his powers suite. He had a dog's instinct, but he could think, reason, plan, and he had a sense of right and wrong (at least unless a cat was involved). If he'd had the vocal chords for it, he would have spoken (and did, as a member of the Legion of Super-Pets). It took a little while (what's the solar energy absorption rate for intelligence?), but seeing people suffering ignites that intelligence, at least the empathetic part of it. And instead of going out to play, he put his considerable energies to helping people.
It's a beautiful thing. And when he gets home to Antarctica, exhausted, he's met with an Imperiex Probe and he still gives it his all.
This, THIS, is the Krypto we've been waiting for. Superman arrives and saves his bacon just then, but that's what friends are for.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine