Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm not sure he's a "pet."

As much as I enjoy the concept of the Super-Pets, I'm not sure they really should have been considered pets. Remember, once they gained superpowers, they also gained super-intelligence. Doesn't this make them sentient beings who should be considered the equals of human beings and other sentient beings?

But they were always considered pets and seemed content with their lot. Which might be understandable for Beppo, Streaky and Krypto. Their basic psychology might have still allowed them to be content with having human owners, just as a well-loved normal dog is content with a human owner.

But Comet--well, I don't think he ever came close to being a "pet." As we saw in our last Superman Universe post, Comet was first seen in Adventure Comics #293, cover dated February 1962. He's next seen in Action Comics #292 (September 1962)--the first part of a trilogy (written by Leo Dorfman) that firmly brings the Super-Horse into DC continuity. The October issue details Comet's origin.

Pay attention, because Comet's origin is the model against which all other origin stories should be measured for pure weirdness.

In ancient Greece, a centaur named Biron falls in love with the sorceress Circe. He saves her from being poisoned by an evil wizard named Maldor. As a reward, Circe promises to turn him into a human so they can marry. Unfortunately, Circe turns out to be an idiot and gives Biron the wrong potion, turning him into a horse.

She can't reverse that spell, so to make up for her error she gives him another potion giving him immortality and super powers. But Maldor later vengefully uses a magic spell to send Biron to a remote asteroid, where he's trapped by a magical aura.

A few thousand years later, the rocket taking Supergirl to Earth from Argo City passes near the asteroid and shatters the magical aura. Comet is freed, follows Supergirl to Earth and eventually makes telepathic contact with her.

By the end of Action Comics #294, Comet has amnesia and thinks he's just a regular horse, but he regains his powers in later issues. It's also eventually established that he turns human whenever there's a comet in the sky, then turns back into a horse when the comet is gone.

I love the convoluted and bizarre feel to the origin. And I love the idea of a Legion of Super-Pets. But I still don't think Comet or Biron or whatever you want to call him should be considered a "pet."

Of course, neither should Proty, an intelligent shape-changer that hangs out with Lightning Lad and joins the Super-Pets whenever they visit the future. He's definitely a member of an intelligent species and is still called a pet!

There's no denying it. The Super-Pets need better legal representation.

Next time we visit the Superman Universe, I think we'll take a look the Legion of Superheroes. We can warn them they might be getting sued by their pets.


  1. and didn't Biron fall in love with Kara as well? that adds just a touch more weirdness to the whole story.

    I'd never thought about it, but Proty I or II should be an actual member of the Legion. perhaps it's because they don't have a structured civilization that causes them to be considered as less than sentient?

  2. Both Profuse definitely should have Bern actual members of the LSH. No justification for calling them pets is ever given in-story.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...