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Comic Book / Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!

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Left to right: Yankee Poodle, Rubberduck, Little Cheese, Alley-Kat-Abra, Pig Iron, Fastback, and Captain Carrot.

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! is a team of Superhero Funny Animal characters owned by DC Comics. They were first published in their own comic book series in the early 1980's, though it didn't last very long. Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Scott Shaw, this was the first team of Funny Animal characters to be specifically recognized as being part of the DC Universe.

In their origin story, it was explained that fragments from a strange meteor (which had been shattered by Superman before it could hit Earth) were somehow transported to the Alternate Universe called Earth-C, which was inhabited by Humanoid Animals instead of humans (specifically, it's the setting of all the Funny Animal comics DC published back in the Golden Age). The fragments gave superpowers to various animals, who decided to join together and form their own superhero team, the Zoo Crew. They are:

  • Captain Carrot, who is in reality mild-mannered comic-book artist Rodney Rabbit. The fragment didn't give him powers- rather, it charged up the carrots he was growing in his windowsill, so that eating them turns him into a musclebound rabbit with superstrength—temporarily. (This is reminiscent of Super Goof's super peanuts power source, but probably owes more to the Bugs Bunny cartoon Super Rabbit.)
  • Fastback, actually a Country Turtle named Timmy Joe Terrapin who had gained superspeed.
  • Rubberduck, actually movie actor Byrd Rentals, who became elastic.
  • Yankee Poodle, secretly gossip columnist Rova Barkitt, who gained the ability to shoot "stars" that repelled objects out of one hand and "stripes" that attracted them out of the other.
  • Martial artist Felina Furr gained magic-like powers and renamed herself Alley-Kat-Abra.
  • Peter Porkchops, a pre-existing DC funny animal character, was transformed into a large, living metal being with Super-Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, and thus renamed himself Pig Iron.
  • Later, the team was joined by Little Cheese, actually a mouse named Chester Cheese, who had the power to shrink down to the size of... well, a mouse. A smaller mouse.
As you can see, despite supposedly being as "real" as the rest of the DC universe, Earth-C (and the series) was full of the kind of puns you see in cartoons. This is never explained beyond a "what seems funny to us make sense to them" attitude. (Lampshaded when Changeling of the Teen Titans visits Earth-C and asks the Crew about why their cities have such "silly names") note 

The Zoo Crew battled both their own villains and ones from the main DC Universe (Starro, the Starfish Conqueror, an old Justice League alien enemy, in their first issue; Gorilla Grodd in their last.) They also met the "Just'a Lotta Animals" ("JLA") a team of heroes from the similar "Earth C-minus" whose heroes were Expies of DC's main heroes.

After the series was canceled, the characters reappeared in, of all places, "The Oz / Wonderland War" miniseries, which was Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Decades later in the 2000s, they reappeared in an issue of Teen Titans (as part of a comic book Eddie Bloomberg/Kid Devil was reading) in a story that parodied the "Dark Age" style of modern comics: The team had disbanded after Little Cheese's death, whose murderer (seemingly) turned out to be Alley-Kat-Abra! This was followed by a 2007 miniseries, Captain Carrot and the Final Ark, where the team was reunited and Abra was cleared of the murder (it was her Evil Twin). They were joined by a new member, the non-powered crimefighter American Eagle, secretly right-wing talk show host Johnny Jingo. However, Earth-C was flooded as a result of a war between aquatic and non-aquatic animals, and the heroes had to evacuate it on a "Space Ark." They ended up on the main Earth of The Multiverse, but found themselves changed into normal animals while there. However, they were changed back to their true forms in the last issue of the Final Crisis Crisis Crossover.

Captain Carrot has now reappeared in the pages of The Multiversity, while both he and Fastback are significant characters in several tie-ins of Convergence. Captain Carrot later went on to join the Justice League Incarnate.

Fans of Terry Pratchett will have realised by now that this Captain Carrot has nothing whatsoever to do with the Discworld.

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Tropes!:

  • Cheesy Moon: Earth-C's moon is not only made of cheese, it's cheese with superpower-granting energy.
  • City Mouse: Yankee Poodle, an arrogant and rich Califurnia native who is frequently frustrated by the antics of the rural Fastback.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: The Zoo Crew itself at the end of "Final Ark", though that seems to have been fixed.
  • Raiders of the Lost Parody: The Crew meet a Funny Animal version of Indiana Jones called Oklahoma Bones.
  • Recursive Canon: Earth-C is an alternate Earth-Prime. Earth-C-Minus is an alternate DC Universe. Rodney Rabbit draws Justa Lotta Animals, who are real superheroes on Earth-C-Minus who end up suing Wombat Communications (a take off on Warner Communications, DC's then-parent company) for trademark violation.
  • Rhyming Wizardry: Alley-Kat-Abra's incantations take the form of (often silly) rhymes, which she makes up on the spot, either because it helps her concentration or because it improves the function of Magic Wanda, depending on the issue.
  • Rubber Man: Rubberduck and Elong-gator from the JLA both have stretching powers.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous, both in the comic and some to it, later.
    • The Zoo Crew is a popular cartoon in the main DC Universe. The uniform of Stargirl of the Justice Society of America was partly inspired by Yankee Poodle; Yankee Poodle is Stargirl's favorite character, which explains the costume. Christopher Kent in Superman had a Pig-Iron wristwatch.
    • The movie monster costume in "His Name is...Mudd!" consists of a gorilla suit and a diving helmet.
    • The Bunny From Beyond's real name is Ralf-124C4U, referencing the Hugo Gernsback novel Ralph-124C41+.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Yankee Poodle and Alley-Kat-Abra occasionally engage in spats. Alley-Kat-Abra also tended to be this in the original series with anyone who is a possible love interest for Captain Carrot, due to Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Sixth Ranger: Little Cheese and American Eagle both joined the team a significant amount of time after the other members have been active.
  • Sizeshifter: Little Cheese's power, to shrink from the size of a Funny Animal mouse-noid to the scale of a Mouse World scaled mouse.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The Squawker was the only villainess in the Zoo Crew's rogues gallery until the reveal of Dark Alley.
  • Starfish Aliens: Literally, with old JLA foe Starro the Conqueror — a giant alien starfish — as the Starter Villain of the series that the team gathers to battle.
  • Unanthropomorphic Transformation: At the end of Captain Carrot and the Final Ark, the Zoo Crew emerge on Earth-0, where they've become normal animals. This gets reversed by Nix Uotan in Final Crisis. This happens to Cap again in the Superman (Rebirth) storyline "Multiplicity", although he still has his mask and cape, unlike the previous event.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The only women in the Zoo Crew are Alley-Kat-Abra and Yankee Poodle.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Superman in the team's origin story. Also, Changeling (the once and future Beast Boy) from the then astronomically popular Teen Titans in the last issue (lampshaded: "Alright, already! We admit it! We sold out!").
  • World of Funny Animals: "Earth-C" in the DC Comics multiverse system is designated as the world where most of DC's Golden and Silver Age funny-animal comics ("The Dodo and the Frog," "Peter Porkchops," etc.) take place. Post-Infinite Crisis, Earth-C was renamed "Earth-26". Earth C-Minus, the home of the Justa Lotta Animals, is also populated by funny-animals.