The #National______ Day trend continues with the most adorable installment yet: National Dog Day! Playful, easily distracted by squirrels and ever loyal, dogs warm our hearts and brighten our days with their lovable hijinks and hilarious mannerisms. Just thinking about their furry little heads cocked in curiosity or them looking up at you, tail wagging and panting in excitement, makes you want to tell them what a good boy or girl they are.
Needless to say, we love dogs -- as does the world of comics, evidenced by the multitude of super best friends and four-legged licking machines that populate countless comic book titles the world over. So, to celebrate this delightfulest of days, we're giving a shoutout -- and figurative treat -- to some of the best canines in comic books.
Arguably the most well-known super best friend in, well, the world, Krypto the Superdog remains a staple figure in the Superman mythos even to this day. This is quite a feat considering Krypto's Silver Age roots, in which we often actually saw his thoughts and feelings via thought balloons. He may have all the strengths and abilities of the Man of Steel, but his greatest power of all remains looking so dang adorable in that little red cape of his.
A vital member of the Inhumans, Lockjaw basically looks like a giant bulldog with a tuning fork on his head and has the ability to teleport anywhere in the galaxy -- which makes him hands down one of the greatest things created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Oh yeah -- he also once gathered the Infinity Gems together and wore them on a collar around his neck. So, there's that.
Ace, the Bat-Hound
Created during that time when basically every hero had an animal version of themselves -- you know, the Silver Age -- Ace the Bat-Hound made a few appearances in early comics before returning to popularity via Paul Dini and the successful animated series "Batman Beyond" and "Krypto the Superdog." A version of Ace most recently showed up in The New 52. Although named Titus, writer Peter Tomasi admitted he considered naming the black Great Dane Bruce Wayne bought for his son Damian Ace.
A telepathic Soviet dog -- complete with Russian accent and all -- Cosmo became a vital member of the Guardians of the Galaxy during writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's tenure on the title. Most notably, Cosmo appeared briefly in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" live-action film -- and yes, he was wearing his space suit and we cannot thank James Gunn enough for including that.
Oh man. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's "We3" stands as one of the greatest, most tragic, beautifully done series of all time. The limited series tells the tale of three lab animals trained as killing machines embarking on a "Homeward Bound" style journey. The series broke our hearts, touched our souls and made us want to cuddle our pets forever.
Beasts of Burden
Thank you so much for creating this series, Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. The idea of a group of everyday people investigating strange occurrences and the paranormal is a pretty standard -- but almost always enjoyable -- concept. With "Beasts of Burden" we have exactly that -- except instead of people, it's a team of dogs and cats! And that's amazing.
Lucky, a.k.a. Pizza Dog
We love everything about Matt Fraction's Hawkguy, er, "Hawkeye." The whole series basically shined a light on how ordinary of a guy Clint Barton is, despite the fact that he hangs out and dishes out justice with the Avengers. As such, like a lot of everyday people, Clint eventually ended up getting a dog. Unlike everyday people, he obtained this dog after saving its life -- and after it saved his -- following an attack on the Tracksuit Mafia. He named the dog Lucky, but he'll always be Pizza Dog to us.
He may not be the brightest character to walk on four legs, but there's no denying that he's certainly one of the most loyal. Rufferto's unconditional love for his master, Groo, is an only slightly exaggerated depiction of what we like to believe our dogs feel for us, and Mark Evanier's dialogue is probably a scary accurate representation of what they'd sound like if they could speak.
This pint-sized pup's loyalty to Tintin is only outsized by his bravery. Always ready, willing and able to leap to his best friend's aid, Snowy has probably seen more action -- and, to be honest, concussions -- than most super heroes in his adventure-filled life.
To be fair, Dogmatix's big appeal is neither his bravery -- though he is brave -- nor his loyalty -- though he is also loyal. No, Dogmatix is mainly cute. Really, really cute, especially when held in the hand of his hulking owner, Obelisk.