Comic Book: Krypto the Superdog

Good boy.

WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF GRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Wait... this is one of those where writing the article as the character just won't work. Unless you can do this.

Krypto the Superdog is Superman's pet canine, a white dog of indeterminate breed who like his owner also survived the explosion of Krypton. He was created by Otto Binder and Curt Swan, first appearing in Adventure Comics #210 (March, 1955). In the original Silver Age origin story, Krypto was the El family dog on Krypton, and was used by Jor-El as a test subject for his work on the escape rocket he was building for Kal-El. The experimental rocket Krypto was put in, however, got knocked off-course, and Krypto drifted (presumably in some sort of suspended animation) for years before eventually winding up on Earth, reunited with the now-teenaged Superboy. Being from Krypton, of course, gave Krypto a dog-sized version of Superboy's/Superman's powers and roughly human level intelligence (albeit with a dog's sense of priorities), which he used to help his owner fight crime.

Krypto was the first major Silver Age addition to the Superman mythos (the succeeding years would see other familiar elements, such as the Fortress of Solitude, the Phantom Zone, and Supergirl added).

He regularly appeared in Superboy stories from 1955 to 1970. In 1959, he was introduced to stories depicting the adult Superman, regularly appearing to 1970. He was then dropped for a few years before being revived in 1974. The Seventies were arguably his heyday, with Krypto getting solo stories in the pages of Action Comics, Superman, and Superman Family. The New Adventures of Superboy (1980-1984) at times depicted Krypto alongside Superboy, but this was the end of the original version of the character.

Post-Crisis, Krypto was at first eliminated from continuity, but (after a few short-lived characters with the same name were introduced) was brought back in the early 2000s as Superman's pet dog again, this time described as having come from an alternate-reality version of Krypton. This version needs considerably more maintenance considering he has only a regular canine level intelligence, which means he can be carelessly destructive and in combat, he will instinctively fight with all his strength without regard of the nature of the opponent.

In the current New 52 continuity, Krypto was the El family dog on Krypton, who was trapped in the Phantom Zone while helping repel an escape attempt by the criminals imprisoned there. Later, when another break-out attempt was staged through a Phantom Zone portal that had ended up in Superman's collection of Kryptonian artifacts on Earth, Superman and Krypto fought it off together and Superman brought Krypto back into the real world with him.

While Krypto's first animated appearance was as Superboy's sidekick in the mid-60s Filmation-animated Superboy cartoons, Krypto received his own animated series in 2005 titled Krypto the Superdog. In this series, Krypto was allowed by Superman to live with a suburban Metropolis boy and his family, and had adventures alongside other characters such as Ace the Bat-Hound and Streaky the Supercat.

Tropes associated with Krypto include:

  • Animal Superheroes
  • Badass: Krypto is a tank in a fight, besting the likes of Mongul II and Atlas.
  • Badass Cape: Sports a copy of Superman's cape attached to his collar.
  • Cool Pet
  • Flying Brick: He's a Kryptonian dog. Duh.
  • Gratuitous Animal Sidekick
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Provides the page image.
  • Heroic Dog: Of course.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow?, Krypto dies of Kryptonite poisoning after biting Kryptonite Man.
    • And also the Krypto from the Pocket Universe.
      • And in the new 52, the first thing Krypto does is dive into the Phantom zone portal to stop the Phantom Zone criminals from dragging in Jor-El, Lara, and infant Kal-El to torture. Also a moment of awesome considering the reactions from the criminals.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bibbo Bibbowski, a long-standing member of Superman's Post-Crisis supporting cast, rescued a white puppy from drowning (sadly, it was too late for his siblings) and decided to keep him, and he names him "Krypton" after Superman's home planet. However, his dog tag is spelled "Krypto". The guy who sold him the tag tried to charge extra to correct it, but Bibbo decided on keeping it "Krypto". Later, the puppy is given to the Post-Crisis Superboy, but they don't exactly get along like their namesakes did.
    • In the DCAU, "Krypto" is an aggressive alien creature that Bizarro thinks makes a cute pet.
    • Krypto briefly appears in the DCAU comic The Superman Adventures.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: His Post-Crisis incarnation is one of the purer examples.
  • Retcon: Following the Cosmic Retcon of Infinite Crisis, it is now said that the Krypto from the alternate reality Krypton is from the real Krypton, and has been with Clark since his teenage years.
  • Put on a Bus: The Earth dog Krypto was last seen on Hawaii.
  • Ret Gone: At first post-Crisis.
  • Superpower Lottery: Has all of Superman's powers, adjusted accordingly for his being a dog. This means, for the record, that his Super Senses are among the most powerful in the DC Universe.
  • Super Team: The Legion of Super-Pets (along with the Space Canine Patrol Agents).