It's A Dog's Life
This is the beginning of something decidedly odd:):)
Let moi explain.
Once upon a time, way back in the Cretaceous Period (AKA The Silver Age Of Comics!) there dwelt a humble editor at DC named Mort Weisinger. Now in this bygone era of innocence, Editor Weisinger frequently found himself in need of a good Superman story to tell. So, being the wise and truly great man that he was, Weisinger found himself equal to the task. He decided to go straight to the horse's mouth ... as it were. In pursuit of said Superman story, "Uncle Mortie" would gather the neighborhood kiddies and ask, "Okay boys and girls, what should Superman do this week?" This resulted, as ya'll may well imagine, in many a strange tail -er - tale.
Oh, it began innocently enough. Every young Superboy needs a dog, right? A boy loves his dog. Just ask Harlan Ellison. (Never mind ... just read the freaking story .. it's on the net!). Thus was born Krypto, the Superdog. Followed by Streaky the Supercat, Comet the Superhorse, and culminating with, Ah kid thee not kemo sabes, Beppo, the Supermonkey. Before ya'll could say, "SuperPolly wanna cracker?" we had ourselves a virtual ( gasp; wheeze Dare Ah say it?) Legion of Super Pets!
Ah don't know about ya'll, but Ah know that Ah feel ever so much better knowing that caped house pets prowl the skies, keeping moi safe from alien invasion and such like.
Oh, the horror, the horror ...
So! In tribute to this rampant silliness, Ah have decided to write about them all, of course. Heh heh heh:):)
First up: Krypto, The Dog of Steel!
God Ah love the Silver Age of Comics!
"Big Dog, Big Dog!
Lowering his paw from the communal salute, Krypto the Superdog found himself misty eyed. But then, the Dog Of Steel frequently shed a tear or two after the repetition of the Space Canine Patrol Agency's stirring motto.
Grasping the gavel in his prehensile tail, Tail Terrier, the current elected ChairDog, pounded it upon the podium for order. "I hereby declare this meeting to the Space Canine Patrol Agency open!" he announced. "Let all who have business before us approach!"
A mild mannered, trim young dog, his glowing white coat resplendent with preening, stepped forward, pushing his glasses back upon his wet, healthy black nose in silence. "I have business I'd like to discuss," he declared in a firm mellow bark.
"By the Dog Star!" sizzled Hot Dog, his long Dachshund body fiery with intense heat, "What's your problem, brother Air Dale? I'm ready to help!"
"Hey! Watch the coat! I just had a shampoo, wiener boy! And I've got a date after the meeting!" growled Chameleon Collie, who was rather vain of his handsome appearance. With one paw and his tongue he began to smooth his silky coat.
"Yo Mama!" snarled Bull Dog and shook his branching horns menacingly at his canine in arms.
Chameleon Collie retorted by morphing himself into a giant Doggysaurus and raising his left leg in preparation. "Keep it up, small fry," he warned Hot Dog. "I know just how to put out a fire!"
"Oh dear," moaned Paw Pooch and wrung all twenty of his paws in dismay.
"Say," whispered the masked German shepherd glowering in dismay at the side of the bespeckled white dog, "I thought your secret identity was Spot, mild mannered canine companion to resident Smallville milksop Clark Kent?" Taking a cautionary step back the shepherd melted into the shadows with the ease of long practice.
"It is," the white dog agreed pleasantly. "But I introduced myself here first as Air Dale."
The shepherd nodded knowingly and scowled darkly in disapproval. One secret identity was hard enough to keep up with. Juicy Bones! Two must be an incredible pain.
Snatching his glasses from off his long nose "Air Dale" stood revealed as Krypto, The Superdog, the Dog Of Steel.
"Oh, I knew it!" cried Prophetic Pup with a mysterious smile twisting his doggie lips.
"Of course you did!" his comrades all chorused together in sarcastic reply.
"So what else is new?" muttered Tusky Husky, though talking meant he must retract the two foot long tooth growing out of his mouth.
"Can it, Skull Head!" growled the irascible Bull Dog, shaking his horns in menace at the naive young psychic canine, who paled and whined with his tail tucked between his legs.
A much perturbed Tail Terrier rapped loudly once more for order. "Order! Order!" commanded the Prehensile Pooch loudly, scowling at Bull Dog. "This meeting will come to order!" He glared at his comrades as if challenging any of them to dispute his next words. "Now, as I was saying ... let any who have business approach!" He glanced hopefully at Krypto and waited.
Quickly, The Mongrel of Might ceased gnawing and scratching for that annoying Kryptonian flea. Clever little bugger. The last of his kind ... and he intended to remain that way, too. He spared a withering glance at the snickering Bull Dog and the smug Chameleon Collie, busy preening himself. To Polaris, the Dog Star with them both!
He cleared his throat and addressed the assemblage. "Comrades, I stand here before you today to propose a new member for our illustrious ranks!" he announced with burgeoning pride.
Tusky Husky looked pained. His giant tooth retracted once more and he muttered, "Not another one. Wasn't that clown Hoodoo Hound enough?"
General embarrassment prevailed at the woeful memory of their unfortunate encounter with the Magical Mutt from Xerox until Chameleon Collie observed, "Say! Where did your friend get off to? I don't see him, anywhere Is he the one you're proposing for membership?"
Startled, Krypto glazed around. The Shepherd was gone.. Taking a deep breath, The Super Dog shook his white head in wonderment. How did he do that?
"I'm right here," said a low growl from out of the deepest shadows.
"Yipe!" howled the nervous Paw Pooch, his multitudinous appendages trembling in fright.
"Show off!" sniffed Chameleon Collie under his doggie breath. Whew! Which reminded him to pop another doggie breath mint. Better safe than sorry, right? And the stunning, lovely actress waiting for him after the meeting was certainly worth the effort. He salivated, his tongue hanging out in anticipation. "Lassie" was HOT!
Hot Dog snap crackled and popped in silence, being careful, now, to keep the sparks well away from the ever vainglorious Chameleon Collie..
Prophetic Pup merely smiled. After all, he already knew what was to happen, didn't he? Sadly, his canine comrades were rarely inclined towards gratitude when he shared his foreknowledge. He sighed.
"To business, then!" Tail Terrier cried in a firm bark. "Let the candidate step forward!"
"Come on, Ace," the Pooch of Power whispered, knowing the Doggie Detective would surely hear him. Ace heard everything . "Work with me, here, Pal!"
Reluctantly, The Dark Knight Doggie stepped forward, one dark shadow separating itself from another. In silence he waited.
"Ah! So kind of you to join us - ah - " The ChairDog's eyebrow lifted in wordless inquiry.
"Ace, the Bat Hound." growled the Shepherd.
"... Ace." Tail Terrier conceded. Nodding, the imperious, commanding statesdog shot out his remarkable prehensile tail and gagged the sputtering Bull Dog. A rather harrowing affair with some of the inhabitants of the planet Draculon had left the Horned Hound with no great love for bats, it was well known.
"What is it that sparked your interest in joining us?" Tail Terrier continued smoothly, ignoring Bull Dog's frustrated efforts to escape, Chameleon Collie's smirk, and Hot Dog's white hot, smoldering laughter. "What powers do you possess?" he inquired.
Krypto covered his eyes and ears against what he knew was coming.
"None," replied Ace.
Startled, Tail Terrier frowned. "None?"
"None," acknowledged Ace, simply. "I'm a normal dog in every respect."
Kyrpto snorted, "Normal? NOT!"
Ace might have smiled. It was hard to tell.
Tail Terrier's look of confusion was classic. "I'm afraid I don't understand," he admitted. "What do you think you can contribute to the Space Canine Patrol Agency in that case?"
"Yeah," Hot Dog glowered. "Who's next on the list of candidates, anyway? 'Chomping Chihuahua'?"
Immediately Chameleon Collie glowed and shrank, finally standing reveled as a small Chihuahua with huge, snapping teeth
"Viva Mexico!" he cried, "Andele! Andele!"
"Grrr!" growled an offended Tusky Husky, and his tooth popped out, prepared for combat.
"Wrong species," primly observed Paw Pooch. "I believe that was a mouse. Need I remind you that this is the Space Canine Patrol Agency and not the Space Rodent Patrol Agency?"
"No sensa humor," muttered Hot Dog.
With a mischievous twinkle in his eye the Changeable Collie transformed himself once more.
"This any better for ya, buddy?" he asked innocently.
Jaws dropped at the sight of another Chihuahua, this one calm and placid, clad in a beret and colorful woolen poncho. The lips moved serenely.
"Yo quiero Taco Bell?"
"Enough!" Tail Terrier ordered angrily. He pounded his gavel, barring his teeth in canine wrath. "Order! Order! I say - order!"
Chastised, Chameleon Collie returned to normal. Surreptitiously, Krypto used his super breath to blow out a small fire started inadvertently by Hot Dog rolling in mirth on the flammable rug covering the floor of the S.C.P.A.'s HQ. Ace stripped off his large fire retardant cape with his teeth and threw it over the Dazzling Dachshund to prevent any further outbreaks.
"Watch it!" the Combustible Canine protested, crawling out from beneath the heavy dark garment. "Black's not my color, bub."
Reaching into his ubiquitous utility belt, The Caped Canine retrieved a hard leather chew toy thoughtfully formed in the shape of a cowering cat and tossed it at the surprised Hot Dog. With a yip of pure joy, Hot Dog grabbed his prize and began to chew, clearly enjoying himself immensely to the near total astonishment of the others.
"How - how did you know?" he gasped after a moment. "How - ?"
"How did I know that you enjoy chew toys?" Ace supplied. "Simple. Your teeth. They're sharp and white. Quite clean. And your breath is fresh. Given your ... condition ... finding an acceptable chew toy would be very difficult. So I fireproofed one for you. The cat shape was a guess. I detected the faint odor of catnip about you. From this I surmise that you like to lure cats to you and ... play ... with them. You don't like cats very much do you?"
"Most ... impressive," granted Tail Terrier.
Paw Pooch paused in his eternal task of cleaning his many paws to nod in approval. With twenty of them to attend to that was virtually a full time job as he saw it.
"So, then," summarized Tail Terrier, "you offer us your skills as a solver of puzzles, a ... a ..." He paused, searching for the right word.
"Detective," supplied Ace succinctly and fell silent.
"He's really good at figuring out the best way to beat an opponent, too," Krypto volunteered.
Tail Terrier looked solemn. "Then I decree this," he proclaimed in a forceful bark. "Since, in order to join the lofty ranks of the S.C.P.A., we were each required to pass an initiation test ... your test shall be to solve a mystery for us."
After another moment's thought, the Tectiform Terrier announced, "You must solve the mystery of the death of Mammoth Mutt. Too long has his tragic fate gone unavenged! If you can find his killers for us, then we'll gladly accept you into our ranks."
"Done," said the Bat Hound. "I'm on the case. I'll need to ask a few questions and then I think I can solve this perfidious puzzle. The RottRiddler never liked me very much." He turned to Krypto.
"If I remember correctly from what you've told me of the incident," Ace mused, "you said the missile that struck and pierced Mammoth Mutt, subsequently killing him, came from along the plane of the ecliptic and the z-axis following Galactic north?"
The Kryptonian Canine nodded, sadly, overcome with memory. "I - I was too late," he mourned. "By the time I got to him there was nothing I could do!"
"Give me a map display of the area," ordered the Caped Canine in a brusque growl. With a flick of his tail, Tail Terrier complied and one corner of the large meeting room was filled with the bright lights and spinning glory of a holographic map of the Milky Way.
"Point out the place of the occurrence."
The members of the S.C.P.A. watched in gloomy silence as a large red X marked the spot. Prophetic Pup shed a tear. Ace studied the image intensely for a moment and then nodded sagely.
"Just as I suspected," he replied.
"WHAT!" they all demanded in a chorus.
"Follow the path of that missile and all will be made plain," instructed The Bat Hound, his voice grim.
Tail Terrier's prehensile tail flew over the controls built into his podium. As if by magic a bright red line crawled across the face of the hologram leading to -
"Leaping Labadors!" gasped Paw Pooch, "it's - it's - "
"The planet Cat-Tas-Trophy!" breathed Tail Terrier. "That means that - "
"YES!" purred a mocking voice from out of the air. "It's those furrious, felonious felines, the fabulous Phanty-Cats!"
"Purring Pete!" snarled Krypto and the Pooch of Power leapt to his feet barring his teeth ready to attack.
"No!" shouted Ace, reaching for his utility belt, "the others will be here soon! Save yourself for Power Puss!" With that, the Dark Knight Doggie stuffed his up right ears with small sound baffles as Pete began his sonic, purring attack. Then the always prepared Bat Hound lobbed a tiny looking pellet at the phantom feline. Hissing and spitting Purring Pete meowled, covering his ears and all the orange fur on his body stood up in vigorous protest.
"White noise generator," said Ace. "Works wonders."
"Ah," intruded another confident feline voice, "but the Cat Crime Club is not so easily defeated, Dog Wonder! As you observed there are more of us!"
From the lectern Tail Terrier leapt, crouching to face his marmalade colored foe. "Crabby Tabby you'll rue the day that you attacked us here in our HQ!" Snapping his cetaeceous claws in menace the Leader of the Phanty-Cats sniffed his derision.
"Cat's Rule! Dogs drool!" he cried his battle paen and one pincher reached out to firmly grasp Tail Terrier's prehensile appendage in a painful grip.
"Yip! Yip! Yip!" the Prehensile Pooch yelped.
Ace glanced up from tying up Purring Pete in a BatNet and barked, "Use your tail to bind his claws!" It worked wonderfully Tail Terrier noted and regarded the non-powered Doggie Detective with new respect.
Flying across the room to the rescue, Krypto was struck full force by the hurtling Power Puss. "Posturing fool!" challenged the vicious Last Cat of Krypton and raked the Pet of Power with his invulnerable claws. "Did you forget that you're not the only survivor of the Mother World blessed by Rao?" Krypto howled in agony.
From his ever ready utility belt Ace, The Dog Wonder, pulled a small glowing piece of green rock. "Get away from him, Pal!" he called to the Kryptonian Canine, "get away! Heel, boy, heel!" Rolling over and following Ace's command, The Dog of Steel barked obligingly and the Caped Canine took the opportunity to toss the small rock at Power Puss. Yowling and beginning to turn a rather sickly green the Kryptonian Cat collapsed.
"Pistachio kryptonite," said Ace. "Never leave your DogCave without it."
Looking about for an enemy to trounce Chameleon Collie was confronted with quite a sight. His eyes popped and he began grooming his silky fur in anticipation of l'mour. "What a babe!" he howled. Forget about Lassie! he decided immediately. She might be Miss Right ... but here was Miss Right Now ! With hardly a thought he morphed himself into a large feisty chocolate point Siamese tom with striking bright blue eyes burning with desire.
"Come away wiz me to ze Casbah," he crooned, nibbling one soft ear.
"Why, Suh!" protested the Persian minx in his eager arms, "Ah hardly know ya'll! Ya'll flatterer ya'll! Couldn't we rendezvous somewhere near The Cross? The Southern Cross, that is?"
"Anywhere, baby, anywhere!" the Collie vowed.
Just then he was struck from behind by a sharp blow that sent his senses reeling. Stunned, the Malleble Mutt dropped to the floor, his eyes crossing.
"Oh dear," lamented the voice of Atomic Tom, "I'm such a poor host. Did I introduce you to our newest member ... Curveous Kitty?"
"Pleased to meet ya," choked the Changeable Collie, sliding into unconsciousness.
"Cover your noses!" cried Ace, glaring at the beauteous Bad-Kitty. "Those are some powerful pheromones, sweetheart," he growled. With fluid grace, Curveous Kitty prowled her way to the side of the Dark Knight Doggie, purring loudly and nuzzled the stolid canine hero.
"Sugah, Ah just know we're gonna be such good friends! Ah can feel it!"
"I don't think so, Sugah ," responded Ace. So saying, the Dog Wonder let loose a blast of the BatSleep he'd palmed from the depths of his well stocked utility belt. With a cry of distress the Felonious Female Feline fainted into his strong arms.
"Hey!" murmured a recovering Krypto, "I thought you liked bad girls."
Primly, the Bat Hound straightened his disarrayed cowl. "I do." he admitted. "But I'll stick to my own species, thank you. Poison Poodle is more than enough for me."
"Curse you, Dog Knight Avenger!" spat Atomic Tom and lashed out with his withering atomic vision. Gracefully, Ace executed several backward flips to land on his feet. "Bull Dog! Hot Dog!" he ordered. "Take him! Now!"
"Bite me, Cat-Boy!" sneered Bull Dog, catching the irradiated feline from behind with his widely spreading horns. The Pugnacious Pug tossed the hissing tabby straight at Hot Dog's white hot body. In an instant the air was filled with the stink of burning cat hair.
Sighting carefully, The Bat Hound fired a small wire gun drawn from his utility belt. From the innocuous weapon sprang a wide gleaming metal tape that wound itself around the spitting, caterwauling Atomic Angora with ease.
"Lead lined," said Ace. "Radiation can't penetrate lead. Works every time."
Bull Dog turned to Prophetic Pup. "A lot of help you were, Skull-Head!" he woofed.
"You didn't need any help," the psychic Pomeranian pointed out. "I knew that."
"Of course you did!" chorused his irritated comrades.
"Polaris be praised!" cried Tail Terriert to the retreating Ace. "You've helped us defeat them all!" Leaping once more up onto the podium he rapped for order. "I hereby declare by unanimous acquisition that Ace, The Bat Hound, is a member of The Space Canine Patrol Agency! Welcome, brother!"
The others paused long enough in their task of securing the furry felons to set up a loud cheer. Krypto beamed. "This calls for a party at the Dog House of Solitude! The Space Dragon bones are on me!" Ace looked pleased.
"It's too bad there aren't more at home like you," moaned Prophetic Pup.
Ace smiled slyly. "Oh, I don't know about that. Have you guys met my litter-mate Rex, the Wonder Dog, yet?" he inquired jauntily.
All characters are DC Comics
This piece is © 2001 by Dannell Lites.
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