Monday, January 26, 2009

Krypto Fascist

At first glance, it seems like it must have been a breeze to be a comic book writer back in comics' early days. Back then, there was no Internet, and they were writing to actual nine year-olds, rather than forty-year old men with the emotional maturity of nine year-olds. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Not so fast. The charming, goofy Silver-Age yarns we bloggers so glibly mock were largely produced by stressed-out, semi-suicidal wage slaves, so we have to cut them some slack if the prose was less than stellar. Take for example, "The Space Adventures of Krypto" written by original "Comics Done Him Wrong" poster boy / Superman Co-creator Jerry Siegel and drawn by George Papp.

Published in Superboy #77 (1959) "The Space Adventures of Krypto" finds Krypto romping in space mentally bitching to himself about cats, when ironically enough, along comes a kitten in an experimental rocket ship looking scared and helpless. Krypto guides the rocket to the planet below and frees the kitten:

Krypto then continues on to another planet, which we begins to explore. He comes upon a clearing with an obvious trap in place, and decides to "step inside, for laughs!" assured in his great powers. When two hunters return to see Krypto break free from their cage, they bow before him, and beckon him to follow them. He follows them back to their city to find:

Well, it took some doing, but someone came up with a goofier way of electing leaders than the electoral college. The Flying, Trap-Escaping Dog Prophecy hath been fulfilled, and the King is seated before his court:

How exactly does one interpret a dog's actions as commands anyway? I picture a lot of "His lordships' tail is wagging! This treaty with Lower Westonia pleases him!" and "He's licking his balls! We go to war!!"

Soon, his Imperial Dogship is feted in style, immediately becoming jaded by the royal life! Check out his bored, effete expression below. Yes, Superboy's pet quickly becomes accustomed to the pampered life, proving the axiom that absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Of course, the good times can't go on forever, or even for five minutes before the doughballs-in-waiting proudly bring their new monarch a nice big glowing ball of the one thing that can kill their new monarch...Kryptonite!

Soon enough, the witless minions sadly carry off King Krypto's apparently dead body, but before they can chuck his carcass on the compost heap, he revives and flies off, having lost his taste for the royal life.

But still there were pages to fill, so Krypto continues onward in his seemingly interminable space adventure:

An asteroid of dog biscuits, hot dog trees, and giant dog houses! Too good to be true? Krypto?

Well the stupid bastard obviously didn't get eaten. He used his Superdog freeze breath to freeze then shatter the killer plants, then returned home to Superboy:

Imagine the collectible value of poor Jerry Siegel's used cocktail napkins from back then. Crumpled, ringed with cheap Bourbon and stained with tears. Notes reading: "Krypto=king of planet. Hot dog and bone honey-trap. Check to see if Uncle Edgar still hiring at the dry-cleaners..."




Mego Thor said...

And thus, a new meme is born!

Brian Hughes said...

Memes bore King Krypto.

Bill said...

Krypto stories were great, but even better were the ones that featured the super dog society, the SPCA (The Super Pups something something).

Grebo said...

Precious. Thanks so much for posting this... uh... "gem." I absolutely love the line, "Why be logical when my stomach wants to be humored?" That should be my personal motto.

Mike Schau said...

Still, I would rather have Krypto as president than Obama.

Scipio said...

I... I thought I was completely inured to the Silver Age.

Apparently I was wrong. Very wrong.

I can no longer feel my legs... and I'm growing cold.

At least I lived long enough to read the greatest canine sentence of all time:

"Why be logical when my stomach wants to be humored?"

Brian Hughes said...

Your puerile comments bore King Krypto.

Mike Schau said...

I know, I am notworthy to pet His Holdy Head. Long Live Krypto! (and down with socialism!) nyaa nyaa

Mego Thor said...

At first, I dismissed this as Silver Age Silliness ™. But, upon further reflection, maybe Krypto's "Loyal Subjects" have got a smooth set-up. From what we can see, their society is made up of (mainly) pudgy, pointy-eared, bald-headed men; and beautiful dames! These slobs could "interpret" their four-legged leader's "commands" as anything they want. "Look, my dear. King Krypto's humping my leg. A sure sign that you and I should mate. Oh, and he says to make me a sandwich, too."