NYCC: Pet Avengers Assemble!

You had me at Frog Thor.

If the title "Lockjaw & the Pet Avengers" alone doesn't get your juices flowing (or at least have you scratching behind your ear), then the inclusion of 'Throg' in the upcoming Marvel series must.

Announced Sunday at New York Comic Con, the four-part mini-series, written by Chris Eliopoulos, begins in May.

The story goes a little something like this: Earth's Mightiest Heroes are off-worlding en masse to battle a common threat. So, when the big mudball needs protecting, the Inhumans' pet bulldog rallies Earth's Mightiest Animals to step up - which is not an easy task for the quadruped-set.

Nonetheless, Frog Thor, Redwing, Hairball and Lockheed answer the canine's call, and hilarity, as it often does when Chris Eliopoulos is writing, ensues.

Eliopoulos, the long-time letterer of Erik Larsen's "Savage Dragon" and the creator of "Desperate Times," told CBR News that the idea for the series was not his, but Nate Cosby's, his editor on "Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius."

"My editor wanted a Lockjaw book, so he told me to go come up with something with Lockjaw and some other Marvel U animals," explained Eliopoulos. "The best part is when we talk about the plot points, we laugh our butts off at how fun this is."

Eliopoulos revealed that Lockjaw finds himself in possession of a powerful object early in the series, and he then enlists his friends in the animal community to help him on his quest.

"Never trust a human to do an animal's job," quipped Eliopoulos. "Anyone who owns a pet knows that the pet is really always the one in charge. In this case, though, he is in possession of this item, and so he's the boss."

While he wouldn't name names, Eliopoulos did tease that the Pet Avengers are trying to prevent the attack of the world from a powerful force. "They will be fighting off bad guys along the way, but there may be one bad guy out there who may destroy the Pet Avengers, along with the universe, if they don't finish their quest," offered Eliopoulos, who added that the book's artist Ig Guara is brilliant and the colorist Chris Sotomayor is doing fantastic work.

Not unlike Gandalf assembling the Fellowship in "Lord of the Rings," Lockjaw finds himself in a similar role to the wizened wizard as he attempts to fill out his roster.

Eliopoulos quickly shared his thoughts on each member, as well, what role each will play:

"Lockjaw is the quiet leader of the group. Being around the Inhumans and other heroes has given him a sense of duty."

"Frog Thor, or Throg for short, is the reluctant hero. He is a tiny frog with a portion of the thunder god's power, but isn't sure he's ready. He's also the mouthpiece for Lockjaw.

"Lockheed, the alien dragon, is really lonely right now. All his people are dead and his only friend in the universe, Kitty Pryde, is gone. He begins to find new friends in this weird collection of animals.

"Redwing, the Falcon's bird, is the arrogant one. He feels he's superior to other animals. But he has honor and loyalty, and is a true hero."

"Zabu is the fighter. He's all about action. While Lockjaw can be cautious, Zabu is ready to leap into action at the drop of a hat."

"Hairball, formally known as Neils the cat, has the abilities of Speedball. He joins the team in hopes of getting Redwing to eat, but is constantly bothered by the final member of the team."

"Ms. Lion is, well, um... he's a dog. That is that dopey but loyal dog that just wants to play and chase Hairball."

Eliopoulos said he is having such a blast he would love to keep telling stories of the Pet Avengers. "All the characters are fun and fun together and I think the possibilities are endless," he explained.

The 41-year old Queens native continues to write "Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius," and he recently contributed the framing sequences for Marvel's "Assistant-Sized Spectacular." He's also been creating and releasing a daily strip for the past 12 months at www.miserylovessherman.com.

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