Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Who's Who: Legion of Super-Pets

The Legion of Super-Pets
by Russell & Siskoid


Members: Krypto (dog), Streaky (cat), Comet (horse), and Beppo (monkey) were the charter members; Proty II (protoplasm) joined later
Relationship to Legion: Auxiliary support group of and to the Legion

Legion Log
The Legion of Super-Pets was the auxiliary support group of the Legion of Super-Heroes that was called upon whenever threats proved too difficult for the humans to handle. They were formed when the Brain Globes of Rambat attempted to take possession of Earth in Superboy's time. They knew they could not succeed without first destroying Superboy, so when they found they could not mentally control him, they summoned the Legionnaires from the future and took mental control of Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad to have *them* kill Superboy. Luckily, Krypto was immune to their mind control, which gave the Legionnaires the idea to draft Streaky, Beppo, and Comet to help them defeat the four Brain Globes. After they were successful in thwarting the invasion and saving Superboy's life, the Legionnaires created the animal branch.

After several adventures with the Legion the Super Pets added a fifth member, Proty II, Chameleon Boy's "pet" protoplasm creature from the planet Antares. Like the true Legion, the Super-Pets made its new applicant prove its worth to them via an initiation test.

No information was ever given whether the Super-Pets held regular meetings or if their get-togethers were random. Initially they were only called together when the Legion needed them. In later stories, they appeared to be spending time together outside of specific missions. They could communicate with each other and with the Legionnaires via mental telepathy, an ability that Saturn Girl augmented for them. Organizing meetings between them would be difficult, however, as initially Krypto came from one time period (Superboy's), Streaky, Comet, and Beppo came from another (Supergirl's and Superman's), and Proty II was from the 30th Century. It has been suggested that after the initial meeting, all future Super-Pets appearances of Krypto were of the older, Superman-era Krypto. In most cases it is impossible to tell for certain, but one can assume that when Supergirl calls on the Super-Pets in her time-line (Adventure Comics #351), it is the older Krypto who responds.

After Supergirl stopped visiting the Legion so often, and eventually resigned, the Legion of Super-Pets also seemed to have disbanded; they did not participate in any adventures after Karate Kid's term in office as Leader.

Krypto made his debut in Adventure Comics #210 (March 1955), as baby Kal-El's puppy. Jor-El used Krypto to test the rocket design that he eventually used to save his son; several years later, Krypto's rocket also landed on Earth, and (Super)Boy and (Super)Dog were reunited.

Streaky made his debut in Action Comics #261 (Feb 1960) as a cat which gained super-powers after being exposed to irradiated Kryptonite.

Comet made his debut appearance in Adventure Comics #293 (Feb 1962); he made his actual first appearance in Supergirl's continuity several months later in Action Comics #292 (Sept 1962). His history is complicated and convoluted; suffice it to say that he is not from the planet Krypton. Although Comet's name was used in that series, his name was not used in a Legion story for more than four years, until Adventure Comics #343. Before that, he was only called "Super-Horse."

Beppo's name was also not used for his initial appearances. Although Beppo made his debut appearance in Superboy #76 (Oct 1959), he was not given a name in that story. He did not re-appear for several years, and in all of those minor "cameo" appearances he was never given a name. In Legion continuity, he is first called by name in Adventure Comics #351. Before that he was consistently referred to as "Super-Monkey." Even their name-plates in Adventure Comics #322 were "Super-Horse" and "Super-Monkey."

Proty II made its debut in, of all places, Jimmy Olsen #72 (Oct 1963). It was a "pet" or "mascot" of Chameleon Boy who replaced the original Proty after it sacrificed its life to save Saturn Girl. As the only Super-Pet who actually resided in the 30th Century, Proty II appeared in several stories separately from the Legion of Super-Pets.

The Legion of Super-Pets do not appear to exist in the Reboot or Threeboot. It is unclear if their history has survived the Infinite Crisis, given how most of the members have strong links to Superman and Supergirl history, whose histories did not then include Streaky, Comet or Beppo.

All further appearances by the Super-Pets took place out of continuity: Some of them have appeared alongside Krypto in his all ages mini-series. Similarly, they have appeared in Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures (which included a Super-Mouse), and DC Super Friends where the Green Lantern Ch'p assembled them. They've also appeared in the DC Nation Superman 75th Anniversary short, and Robot Chicken parodied them in an episode, which included new member Hissy the Super-Snake.

Important Legion of Super-Pets Stories:

Adventure Comics #293
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 1)
The Legion of Super-Pets is formed to defeat a menace the Legion could not
This is actually the debut appearance of Comet the Super-Horse

Adventure Comics #313
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 1)
The Super Pets are called in to help defeat Satan Girl

Adventure Comics #322
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 3
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 2)
Proty II joins the Legion of Super-Pets

Adventure Comics #343
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 2)
The Super-Pets defeat the Luck Lords

Adventure Comics #351

 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 3
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 6)
The Super-Pets help in a magical spell to free White Witch from Evillo's control

Adventure Comics #364
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 7
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)
The Super-Pets feel put-upon and taken advantage of, 
so help foil an invasion of Earth

Action Comics #380

 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 4)
The Super-Pets help Superboy save the lives of several Legionnaires

Action Comics #387

 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 4)
The Super-Pets are used as bargain chips to keep Supergirl a full-fledged Legionnaire

Krypto the Super-Dog #6
The Legion of Super-Pets back together again under Krypto's leadership

DC Super Friends #14
Ch'p assembles the Justice League's pets
Tiny Titans #28
Focus on the Legion of Super-Pets
Robot Chicken
A Legion of Super-Pets parody
Superman Family Adventures #3
The Legion of Super-Pets will appear frequently in this series from this point on
DC Nation Superman 75th Anniversary short
A Legion of Super-Pets tribute shot

2 comments:

  1. Even as a elementary school kid , I hated the "Legion of Super Pets" . Oddly after seeing this article I understand why .

    I'm surprised that "Jimmy Olsen"
    wasn't a member !

    " The Legion of Super- Pets " just unbelievable !

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is a listing on Amazon for a super pets book that comes out in May.

    https://amazon.com/Super-Pets-Silver-Age-Various/dp/1401272037/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477188266&sr=1-12&keywords=super+pets

    ReplyDelete