Krypto #2: A Rival for Superboy's Affections

From: "The Dog of Steel!" Adventure Comics #214 (July 1955)

Krypto's first appearance did cause Superboy some secret identity problem. His second is all about secret identities, and will force Clark not only to cover for himself, but for the dog as well. (Sadly, the splash page with Krypto running off with Clark's glasses never happens in the story.)

So it all begins one sad morning when Clark is thinking about his super-dog, somewhere out there, wihle eating breakfast, and lo and behold, the barking outside gets SUPER loud (if you know what I mean) and Krypto comes crashing through the window.
More amazing that a super-dog, surely, is how understanding Ma Kent is. So Clark goes out in the yard (if there ever was a dog you don't want in the house...) to play with him, and STUPID STUPID STUPID, here comes Lana wondering how this pup can crunch bones like they're nothing. Can she prove Clark is a Superboy with a Superdog?
So before Krypto can let the cat (ha!) out of the bag, Clark brings him to the dog house he'd built for him in Adventure #210, and they play fetch with steel beams and cannonballs. But how to get Lana off his back?
Though Krypto has yet to actually get a cape except on covers, the important addition to his character is his ability to think coherently enough that he gets readable thought bubbles. Of course, that doesn't mean he can understand English, even if the lettering mistake here makes it seem like he can read Superboy's mind. Oops! But no, he's just a dog and only understands tone and probably very few words. At least at this point. He follows Superboy with his telescopic vision and sees him pick up another white dog at the pound. Oh no, my master is replacing me!
See, the easiest way to placate Lana is to present her with a normal dog that can't possibly pass her "Superboy tests". But perhaps this new dog needs to. You see, Superboy gets back to the dog house to find Krypto gone, and leaves this other dog there (let's call him Eartho, a well-worn joke that I'll never make again). Then, crooks casing a job in the countryside come across evidence of a superdog (gnawed cannonballs and the like) and find the dog house with the "Beware of Super-Dog" sign. They steal Eartho and try 1) to confirm he is super and 2) train him to help with their job. Now, Superboy quickly finds them before they can do anything, but he's only got them on dognapping charges, so he decides to keep the misunderstanding going until he can catch them in an illegal act. So now he has to use his powers to make them think the dog IS super. This requires a lot of finesses, but also that the crooks have an Awareness rating of 0.
And on and on. There's a bit where Superboy throws a block of ice superfast through a safe and then melts it before they can realize the dog didn't do it. Turns out, the crooks want to burglarize a prize kennel (are breeding dogs easy to unload on the black market?)... oh but I see you're getting bored because there's not enough Krypto in all this. Well here he comes, looking to chase off his rival:
So now it's Krypto who's used in the crime, but silly dog won't cooperate and helps Superboy capture the thieves instead.
And once that's done, he obediently helps Superboy track down Eartho so he can trick Lana with it. So all the super-digging and super-eating, that all has a reasonable explanation.
And as ever, Superboy wants a dog with none of the responsibility that comes with a pet. He gives Lana Eartho, which I'm sure her parents appreciated, and then released Krypto back into the cosmic wilderness. It's great to have a dog... just not all the time!


SallyP said...

Does Lana ever do anything except lurk outside the venerable Kent farm, salivating over the chance to catch Clark doing something... anything... that could be misconstrued as "super"?

"You know what else is soft and crumbly Lana? My super hands around your throat!"

Siskoid said...

What a violent punchline.

I thought you were going to go with "your brain and/or ethics".

snell said...

Of course, "readable thought bubbles" are verboten these days, so Krypto would have to communicate through color-coded narrative captions. Perhaps a step too far for a dog, which is why we don't see him the days. (Not to mention that "fun" and "joy" are also verboten at DC...)

Suddenly I have the urge for a Krypto/Ambush Bug crossover...

Siskoid said...

You can make one happen in Lego Batman 3. Not the same, I know.

Green Luthor said...

Lana does seem to lurk around trying to catch Clark doing something "super", but she's also wildly inconsistent about how she reacts to evidence. (Lois had the same problem.) "If you were Superboy, you could have easily squeezed this bone to weaken it ahead of time!" "Oh, the ground here is soft? I guess your explanation about heavy rain must be true, since it's not like you couldn't cause that as Superboy." Yeesh. One would think she would either accept the evidence of Clark not being Superboy, or look at all that evidence as if Clark were Superboy and how he could have faked it, but not both. Her degree of skepticism and/or gullibility seems to be a function of the page number...

SallyP said...

Sorry for the violence... Lana just really really annoys me.


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