Marvel comics is full of a variety of amazing and memorable characters and it just so happens that plenty of them are of the animal persuasion. And we're not just talking about the animal characters who happen to be sentient and capable of communication.
There are plenty of animal sidekicks and companions within the Marvel universe, and over time we've become quite attached to them. And really, who can blame us? These characters allow us a gentle reminder of the brighter side of the Marvel universe, and okay, sometimes they give us a chance to get some comic relief along the way, some characters more than others.
With that in mind, here are ten fan-favorite animal companions found within Marvel comics. We're hoping you love these furry (and scaled or feathered) friends as much as we do.
Niels the cat, aka Hairball is the pet of the one and only Speedball. He first made his appearance in the comic book world back in 1988. Back then, he was just an ordinary – but adorable – pet. But that has since changed.
Now Niels is an intelligent and superpowered cat. It may come as a surprise to hear that, or not. He has similar abilities to his human counterpart, Speedball. And that's why he ended up in the pet equivalent of the Avengers (Pet Avengers). And he's still cute as a button if a bit cranky.
Redwing is a stunning falcon, so you can probably guess who he's bonded to. In case it wasn't obvious, it's Falcon, aka Sam Wilson. They've been working together since 1968 (going by comic releases that is). And obviously, they've been great friends and allies this whole time.
Redwing was shown in the MCU as a clever little drone. In the comics, he's a full-fledged falcon, though admittedly one who spends more time around humans than expected. He's been an excellent source of intel for Falcon, as well as always being there to watch his back. Perhaps that's why we love him so much.
Lockheed is an interesting little critter. They're an alien dragon, but one that became bonded to a favorite X-Men character. We're talking about Kitty Pryde. Lockheed was in the right time at the right place and thus was able to save the day – and Kitty Pryde.
He later followed her to earth and has been a loyal companion to the little heroine, putting himself in danger for her sake on more than one occasion. So yes, he may not be a 'typical' animal companion, but he certainly counts as an amazing and loyal one in our books.
7 Old Lace
Old Lace is a genetically engineered Deinonychus. In order words, she's a telepathically bonded dinosaur. She was designed to be a companion and protector of Gert, one of the Runaways. Her introduction was a dramatic one, but fans have since had plenty of time to fall in love with her character.
She may have been designed to obey orders, but there's no denying her fondness or loyalty to all members of the Runaways crew. She's gone above and beyond in her duty and has broken our hearts on more than one occasion thanks to this trait.
6 Devil Dinosaur
While we're on the subject of dinosaurs, let's talk about Devil Dinosaur. Devil Dinosaur is a massive red dinosaur, but one who is exceedingly loyal and fond of one Luna Lafayette, aka Moon Girl.
These two found each other through a series of strange events – involving time travel, naturally. But Devil Dinosaur has proven to be the perfect companion for Moon Girl. And not just because he provides some much-needed muscle to the small (but brilliant) hero.
Lockjaw is perhaps the cutest Inhuman out there...though we might be biased on that count. Lockjaw is not only extremely adorable, loyal, and okay...he's massive as well, but he's also very useful. You see, Lockjaw can teleport almost as well as he can drool. Which is saying something!
Lockjaw is a massive bulldog, and an Inhuman to boot. He's made friends and allies with more than one Marvel character, and we're not surprised by that fact. This is one dog who has plenty of room for love in his heart. And that is why we love him so much.
Bats is a very good boy. And if that line made you tear up, then we promise you're not the only one feeling that way. Bats is a ghostly animal companion to Doctor Strange. Though he wasn't always a ghost.
Bats is a basset hound who found himself alongside Doctor Strange when he was at one of his lowest points. And he's stayed by his side ever since. Even when that meant following the Sorcerer Supreme around in ghost form. And yes, that transition did break the hearts of many a fan.
Cosmo, aka Cosmo the Spacedog is another telepathic creature in the Marvel Universe. He started out as a Soviet Spacedog but has seen become a friend an ally to many a marvel character. Most frequently/notably Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Cosmo is an independent character, though he doesn't have his own series. Instead, he more or less comes and goes as he pleases. Yet whenever he does show up, it's usually because he's actively trying to help somebody. And we adore that about him. Also, his adorable spacesuit. Basically, we love everything about Cosmo.
Chewie (or Goose, as fans of the movie may know her as) is the beloved pet of Captain Marvel. And while she may appear to be an ordinary cat, she's actually a Flerken – a shockingly dangerous race of aliens with the ability to hop dimensions.
Chewie does have a lot of cat-like tendencies, so she may not come off as the most affectionate critter all of the time. But we've got to admit, we love the fact that even guys like Rhodey are hesitant around her (and that was before her alien status was revealed!)
All of the plots and humor revolving around Chewie have undoubtedly made her a fan favorite. And the fact that she looks like an adorable cat certainly doesn't hurt.
1 Jeff the Land Shark
Jeff the Land Shark is the newest addition out of all of the characters on this list, but that hasn't stopped him from being an instant hit among fans. He first made an appearance in the West Coast Avengers, where he quickly became pet and ally to Gwenpool (and Quentin by proxy).
Jeff the Land Shark is exactly as quirky as he sounds. He's a shark. On land. And that means he has little feet and everything. He's a perfect addition to the West Coast Avengers, and to Gwenpool's insanity. And we adore him.