Some heroes, such as Batman
, name themselves after, or have powers based on, a member of the animal kingdom. Others actually are
members of the animal kingdom, or at least the Funny Animal
The result of bringing together the most popular action-cartoon genre with the most popular comedy-cartoon genre. Usually come in one of three flavors. One is a Funny Animal
comic that is a direct parody of superheroes, and likely to consist of bad animal puns
. Usually considered non-canon in most comic "universes." Another type often features Animal Sidekicks
and even superhero's pets, and this often is
canon, though unlikely to play a very important role.
And the last type, possibly the best known, are straight-up superheroes who just happen to be animals, often of the very anthropomorphic type
. You can thank the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
for this type being so ubiquitous.
Will often have Alliterative Names
. Not to be confused with an Animal-Themed Superbeing
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Anime and Manga
- DC Comics' Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, from "Earth-C" (for "cartoon") in The DCU: Rubberduck, Alley Kat Abra, Pig-Iron, Fastback (a turtle), Yankee Poodle, Little Cheese, and Cap himself.
- Marvel Comics' Peter Porker, Spider-Ham, and many others appearing in his universe (Deerdevil, Captain Americat, Hulk Bunny, the Fantastic Fur, Ducktor Doom.... the list goes on and on).
- Comic book people sure love animal puns, don't they?
- There's also the puntastic Marvel Apes series along with the Prime Eight spin-off. Just a small sampling: Spider-Monkey, Iron Mandrill, Nick Furry (same name as the funny animal in the Spider-Ham stories, oddly), Silverback Surfer, Doc Ook...
- Does Black Panther turning into a literal anthropomorphic black panther in Earth X count?
- Boris The Bear, an ultraviolent ursine Anti-Hero who's made it his life's mission to destroy every other anthropomorphic animal superhero in existence, starting with the TMNT, except for Droopy.
- Not really. That was only in his first issue. Still, the fact that this exists shows you how popular, almost tediously so, this trope was in the wake of the Turtles.
- Extinctioners - an indy comic featuring an entire planet of super-powered, human created "humanimals".
- A few stories had Tom Strong meet his Funny Animal counterpart, a rabbit named Warren Strong along with his wife Patience, daughters Topsy, Turvy and Fluffytail (a Shout-Out to Peter Rabbit) and archenemy Basil Saveen (a fox version of Paul Saveen, possibly named after Basil Brush).
- Rex, The Wonder Dog. He killed dinosaurs with atom bombs.
- And he wasn't even anthropomorphic!!
- Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, in which Team Pets from across the Marvel Universe band together without their humans getting in the way.
- The DC version of this (in the Silver Age, at least) was the Legion of Super-Pets, set up in the 30th century (even though most of the members came from the 20th century!) as an adjunct to the Legion of Super-Heroes. The LSP consisted of Krypto the super-dog, Streaky the (sometimes) super-cat, Comet the super-horse, Beppo the super-monkey, and Proty, a shape-shifting blob of protoplasm that the similarly-powered Chameleon Boy had as a pet. Proty (and his successor Proty II) was the only Super-Pet native to the 30th century; just as well all those super-animals could travel through time, wasn't it?
- And then there was the Space Canine Patrol Agency, an LSH-like team of super-powered dogs that Krypto encountered on one of his romps through space and joined, sharing a few adventures. They don't quite qualify for this trope, though, as all the members were depicted as life-like dogs rather than anthropomorphic animals; that was left for the villains! We will mercifully pass over the Space Cat Patrol Agency, who also appeared in one panel of the first SCPA story...
- As Silver Age flavour slowly creeps back into comics, Krypto has returned as Superman's loyal if unpredictable pet.
- And we have a new animal Sociopathic Hero to boot, Red Lantern Dex-Starr!
- There's also Detective Chimp, a genius (by human standards) chimpanzee who can communicate with animals.
- DC also has at least two gorilla supervillain, Gorilla Grodd, an Evil Genius mind controlling gorilla who gained his powers from a crashed alien ship or a meteor, and Monsieur Mallah, who gained his superhuman intelligence from a Mad Scientist's experiements.
- Then there's Grodd's heroic nephew, Sam Simian of Angel and the Ape.
- Grodd is connected (exactly how varies pretty much every time his origin story gets retold) to Gorilla City, an entire city of genius gorillas. They're not superheroes (though their former leader, Solovar, wore a cape and had psychic powers similar to Grodd's), but on the other hand, they are gorillas, so even an ordinary citizen of Gorilla City is far stronger than a human.
- Marvel's " Power Pachyderms◊", an Affectionate Parody of their own X-Men.
- The aforementioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of course.
- DC also has Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, a lapine version of the original Captain Marvel. Hoppy's "hero" name is Captain Marvel Bunny.
- While Hoppy lived in an Alternate Universe full of talking animals, Captain Marvel's best friend in his own world was Mr. Tawky Tawny, an anthropomorphic tiger. Tawny was originally an aversion of this trope, since despite being a tiger, he was consistently treated as a more-or-less ordinary civilian. Modern stories have usually let him be more of an active hero, using his tiger abilities to help the Marvel Family fight evil.
- Disney's Donald Duck and Goofy each have superhero alter egos.
- At least in Italy (but probably, elsewhere), it's easier to list characters that have not a super identity. Donald Duck and Goofy are the most prominent, but even Goofy's nephew, Daisy, Josť Carioca (actually, a parody of superheroes), Gyro, and many others. It's good to know that at least once the Beagle Boys have been supervillains (with the X-Men powers).
- Some of these stories were published for the English-language market by Boom! Kids as Disney Hero Squad: Ultraheroes.
- Nedor Comics' Black Terror (now a Public Domain Character seen in Tom Strong: Terra Obscura and Project Superpowers) spawned a Funny Animal counterpart called the Black Terrier. Since the Terror's real identity was either Mark Benton or Bob Benton, the Terrier was Bark Benton.
- DC One Million had Justice Legion Z (for Zoomorphs), which was descended from the Legion of Executive Familiars, which in turn was the even-futher-future counterpart to the Legion of Superpets. The JLZ membership included Proty One Million, a version of Comet the Super-Horse and Mastermind, presumably a heroic descendant of Mr Mind, the World's Wickedest Worm. The Executive Familiars were Krypto-9, Wormhole, the Sun Dragons, and Octo the Eight-Dimensional Cephalopod.
- Howard the Duck, who is an accomplished martial artistnote and even knows limited sorcery; although Howard would probably take offense at being labeled a "super hero," since he considers super heroes to be just one more ridiculous element of the world he's stuck in.
- Rocket Raccoon, and for that matter, a good number of his friends from his original mini-series.
- Back in the Golden Age, Sheldon Mayer drew one Red Tornado strip with Ma Hunkell as a mother hen, Scribbly the Boy Cartoonist as a horse, and the Cyclone Kids (Scribbly's kid brother and Ma Hunkell's daughter) as a colt and a chick. According to a somewhat Self-Deprecating announcement at the start of the story, this was just to keep things interesting.
- Independent and Underground comix have them too, naturally: QT Bunny and Wonder Warthog, to name just one for each. (Although calling Wonder Warthog a superhero is somewhat stretching the term...)
- The Man-Eating Cow from The Tick comics. Who is actually a cow. Who eats people.
- Bolt, which is in fact, a subversion in several ways.
- Cats & Dogs features superspy felines and canines, including Siamese "ninja", the Russian Blue (a cat assassin with a Russian accent), and Tab Lazenby Voiced by George Lazenby himself.
- The 1979 movie C.H.O.M.P.S. is about a super-powered robot that looks like a fuzzy little dog.
- In the world of Soon I Will Be Invincible, it's stated that the thousand or so superpowered beings include three dogs, four cats, and a bird, as well as more unspecified aquatic superbeings, which may or may not be human.
- How To Be A Superhero devotes an entire Appendix to the topic, including what commands to teach (and not teach) your superpet.
Live Action TV
- Max the Bionic Dog from The Bionic Woman was a German shepherd who had served as the prototype for the bionic implants later used on Steve and Jaimie.
- K9 from Doctor Who is a heroic robot dog.
- The Muppet Show episode guest starring Lynda Carter had a sketch with Miss Piggy as Wonder Pig, and another with Super Sheep.
- There was a CBBC series called Ratman starring Roland Rat as a Batman parody.
- The Worlds of Freedom sourcebook for Mutants & Masterminds features a Funny Animal version of the Freedom City setting called Furrydom City. The Furrydom League includes Captain Thunderkat, Bunny Liberty, Miss Corbie (a raven version of the Raven) Duck Daedalus, Sea Otter, Johnny Rabbit, Bowmoose, and Dr Metropomouse.
- The "Supertoon" setting for the Toon role-playing game.
- Palladium Games' Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, a system for creating mutated or otherwise genetically-altered animal superheroes.
- The Super Sheep weapon from Worms. It's a sheep which flies around wearing a red cape. And then explodes.
- Earthworm Jim.
- The Angry Birds got superhero makeovers in Angry Birds Space.
- Almost every character in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is this, even without superhero costumes.
- Atom Ant
- Courageous Cat And Minute Mouse
- Danger Mouse, in a variation, was an animal super-spy.
- As was Secret Squirrel.
- And Perry the Platypus in Phineas and Ferb, along with the other animal agents of the OWCA.
- And The Secret Files of The Spy Dogs, of course.
- And also T.U.F.F. Puppy.
- Darkwing Duck.
- Dynomutt Dog Wonder.
- Earthworm Jim.
- Gizmoduck from DuckTales
- Hong Kong Phooey, #1 super-guy. Phooey is really an incompetent clumsy oaf with good press; most of the actual heroism is done by Spot, his cat. Not an anthropomorphic cat, an actual pet cat, whose only real power is that he's smarter than Phooey (and pretty much everyone else in the show... it's not exactly a high bar).
- Krypto the Superdog later got his own Animated Series, where his partners included Streaky the cat, the Dog Stars and Ace the Bat-Hound (Bruce Wayne's dog) — all of whom were based on actual Silver Age comic-book characters.
- The Krypto series also featured examples of "Animal Supervillains", such as Ignatius, an iguana pet of Lex Luthor; Isis, one of many felines owned by Catwoman; Bud and Lou, a pair of hyenas belonging to The Joker; the Penguin's trained birds, and the Darth Vader-esque Mechanikat.
- Loonatics Unleashed, which cast descendants of the classic Looney Tunes characters as futuristic super heroes.
- The Powerpuff Girls has Mojo Jojo, although he's a villain.
- There was also the episode where Mojo Jojo turned the girls into dogs, not taking into consideration the fact that super-powered girls turned into dogs are still super-powered.
- And an episode where Bubbles gave an injured squirrel some Chemical X, and ended up giving it superpowers.
- The Mighty Ducks (from the Disney animated series)
- Mighty Mouse
- Ralph Bashi's New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse introduced another: Bat-Bat (with his sidekick, Tick, the Bug Wonder).
- One episode of New Adventures also featured the Legion of Super-Rodents. Some of whom were actually insectivores or small mammals rather than rodents. And one of whom was The Golden Sloth.
- One episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic had Rainbow Dash being upstaged in saving Ponyvillers from danger by "the Mysterious Mare Do Well".
- The mane characters could count, as the Elements of Harmony they use the the magic of friendship to Save The World on occasion.
- One episode in Season 4 had them all go into a comic book and become the "Power Ponies."
- Road Rovers
- SWAT Kats
- Plucky Duck of Tiny Toon Adventures took on a few superhero alter-egos, most notably as The Toxic Revenger and as Batman parody Batduck, with Hamton as sidekick Decoy. The latter set-up spun off a segment where all the major animal characters appear as Justice League members. Babs also parodied Supergirl once.
- Plucky and Hampton also once tried to join an in-universe Animal Superhero team. The Radioactive Immature Samurai Slugs. They named themselves after painters as well—Earl Schieb and Sherwin Williams.
- Plucky appeared as "Particle Man" in the short featuring the song of the same name. He was also Person Man (Particle Man minus the costume).
- Monkey from Dexter's Laboratory.
- Examples from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Flash the Wonder Dog and his sidekick Conrad Cockatoo, the Red Badger of Courage (all of whom are fictional), and Dale himself as Rubber Bando.
- Two Looney Tunes shorts featured Bugs as "Super Rabbit" and Daffy as "Stupor Duck".
- A McDonald's Happy Meal toyline also played with the concept: Bugs was "Super Rabbit", Daffy was "Bat Duck", the Tazmanian Devil was "Taz-Flash", and Petunia Pig was "Wonder Pig".
- On The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs is apparently Batman in the show's universe.
- As shown above, Super Cow from Cow and Chicken.
- Although it's debatable whether Super Cow has actual super powers or is just Cow speaking Spanish and willing to use the proportionate strength of... a cow.
- She's been shown flying on several occasions, so it's more than likely superpowers. In fact, it was made a plot point in one episode that her powers come from her "magic cape", which is actually Cow's blankie.
- In the Hanna-Barbera El Kabong shorts, Quick Draw McGraw became a Zorro-esque character who bashed people with a guitar instead of slashing at them with a saber.
- An obscure and very low-quality animated film called The Adventures of the American Rabbit stars a rabbit who fights forest crime by painting himself as the American flag and putting on roller skates to fly around and give speeches of Eagleland grade-A quality.
- Super Chicken was a millionaire playboy/superhero chicken, living among humans in Pittsburgh with Fred, his dim lion sidekick (who knew the job was dangerous when he took it).
- One Animaniacs segment had Buttons as one.
- The Caped Koala in SheZow is a badass defender of the peace between wombats and koalas.
- The DC Nation shorts Farm League, in which a League comprising Supermanatee, Wonder Wombat, Cybug, Aquamandrill, Batmongoose, Robin's Egg, The Flish, Ambush Slug and Shazham battle Sinestropotamus, Cat Cat, Moo-Face, Croaker, Captain Cod, Lex Liger, and Duckseid from the Barn of Justice.