Who's Alley-Kat-Abra?

Who's This? The feline magician from the Zoo Crew.
The facts: Like the rest of the Zoo Crew, Felina Furr first appeared in a special insert in New Teen Titans #16, previewing the group before it went to series for 20 issues, mostly written by creator Roy Thomas. She is a sorceress on Earth-C, a world of anthropomorphic (funny) animals and uses a magic wand to create a variety of effects.
How you could have heard of her: Notoriously perhaps, the Zoo Crew was brought back in the mid-2000s' Teen Titans v3 #30-31 and shown to have had a dark future. Most egregiously, Alley-Kat-Abra sold out the team to the government for money and killed/ate her teammate Little Cheese. They doubled down on this during Countdown, because of course they did but at least it was revealed Dark Alley, an evil counterpart, did the murder. A Captain Carrot and the Final Ark mini-series brought them to our Earth where they were turned into normal animals. Final Crisis returned them to normal, which I hope means the dark future never happened. Fans of other media might also have seen her in the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special or the Scribblenauts Unmasked video game.
Example story: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #18 (August 1983) by Nicola Cuti, Stan Goldberg, and Larry Houston
The first issue of Zoo Crew I ever bought was #18 and it's going to be useful for covering some of the team's members in this feature as it gives three of them a solo short story all to themselves. Alley-Kat-Abra is one of the fortunate few, as her interest in magic shows brings her to see escape act "The Great Gnudini", who in reality is Willy Wildebeest, a bank robber. It's a quick run back stage and into costume (her magic "Wanda" provides quick-change ability) for Felina and when Gnudini jumps into a trunk, it looks like curtains on his act!
To her and the police's surprise, he's gone when they open it. Well, he IS an escape artist, guys. But our heroine isn't just a sorceress, she's also a detective, and a well-connected one at that. Noting a P.T. Bearnum sticker on the trunk, Alley-Kat flies to the carnival, where she seems to be on a first name basis with everyone. That includes fortune teller Pantha who used to be in couples with Gnudini. Pantha (but not that Pantha) won't directly betray her ex ox, but she does let Felina look through his old things. She's drawn to an old bottle and Gnudini really doesn't want her to have it!
And he's got real magical powers! He's basically a genie, only recently released, which explains how the crime wave just suddenly started. The fight moves to the Hall of Mirrors where she confuses the bullish villain and traps him inside his bottle again. Like a proper Zoo Crew story, it ends on a horrendous pun. You ready? You've been warned.
Ouch. I've read it several times now, and even *I* wasn't ready.

I guess one question we can ask is whether any of the Zoo Crew could sustain their own solo stories, but here they make Alley-Kat-Abra more than a one-trick pony and place her in a world of her own. There's an Earth out there where all these funny animals have their own titles. Speaking of other Earths...

Who's Next? The Golden Age.


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