Ruff ruff and away! Meet the 8 coolest dogs in comics


  • Books
  • Tuesday, 06 Feb 2018

A Man of Steel needs a Man Of Steel's Best Friend Of Steel. Photo: DC Comics.

This Chinese New Year being the Year of the Dog, we decided to compile a list of the coolest dog characters in comics.

There are plenty of major dog characters around, Here are eight that we felt are the coolest canines of them all, listed in alphabetical order.

If you think about it, Batman doesn't really NEED a dog sidekick, does he? Photo: DC Comics
If you think about it, Batman doesn't really NEED a dog sidekick, does he? Photo: DC Comics

Ace The Bat-Hound

Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, Ace made his debut in 1955’s Batman #92, in which he is a German Shepherd owned by an engraver named John Wilker, who is later kidnapped by a bunch of money counterfeiters.

Bruce Wayne put out a number of ads searching for Ace in order to use the dog to find and resuce Wilker, but fearing that someone might make a connection between Bruce Wayne and Batman, he made a mask for Ace to hide the distinct star-shaped marking on his forehead, and made him a collar that had the Bat-symbol. Wilker later left Ace in Bruce Wayne’s care, and he would join Batman and Robin on some of their adventures.

Kiba and Akamaru have been partners and soulmates since they were little. Photo: Masashi Kishimoto
Kiba and Akamaru have been partners and soulmates since they were little. Photo: Masashi Kishimoto

In 2016’s Batman Annual #1, Tom King recently ret-conned Ace’s origin in a short story titled Good Dog, turning him into a former Joker guard dog that had turned savage. Alfred adopted the dog, cares for him, and trains him to bond with Bruce, who later gives Ace a Bat-mask for Christmas and calls him a “Bat Hound”. The story won King the Best Short Story Eisner Award last year.

Akamaru (Naruto)

Appearing on the pages of Naruto, Akamaru is the partner and soulmate of Kiba Inuzaka. Yes, Akamaru is a NINJA DOG. How cool is that? Besides being a fearsome fighter, Akamaru also has several abilities that prove to be quite useful on ninja missions. For instance, if he pees on someone, he can track them wherever they may go. His bond with Kiba also enables him to take on his owner’s appearance, and even merge to become a three-headed wolf!

Dogbert is truly a dog of few words. Photo: Scott Adams
Dogbert is truly a dog of few words. Photo: Scott Adams

Dogbert (Dilbert)

Scott Adams’ Dilbert strip may be best known for poking fun at corporate and business culture, but some of its funniest strips have been those involving Dogbert, Dilbert’s talking dog.

Introduced in 1989, Dogbert is no ordinary dog – he owned business, taken over companies (even the one Dilbert works at), taken on numerous jobs (including radio host, consultant, tech support and ruler of Elbonia), and even ran for the President Of the United States once. His ultimate goal is to enslave all humans and rule the world. But despite his megalomaniacal tendencies, he remains a good friend to Dilbert, and often helps him out of whatever sticky situation he finds himself in.

Super-licking sounds like a power every superhero should have. Photo: DC Comics
Super-licking sounds like a power every superhero should have. Photo: DC Comics

Krypto The Superdog

Krypto first appeared in 1955, via a Superboy story in Adventure Comics #210. Created by Otto Binder and Curt Swan, he was originally baby Kal-El’s pet dog on Krypton, but Jor-El decided to use Krypto as one of his test subjects for a prototype of the rocket that would eventually send Kal-El to Earth. Tsk tsk, bad parenting move, Jor-El.

Anyway, Krypto’s rocket got knocked off course, and only landed on Earth years later, after Kal-El had already grown to become a teenage Clark Kent/Superboy. The two first met when Krypto busted out of a dog catcher’s van, and later, Clark found the rocket that the pooch had travelled in, complete with a note from his father!

Like his master, the yellow sun also gave Krypto superpowers, and his super sense of smell and hearing is far greater than Superman’s. Oh, and Krypto even got his own TV show, Krypto the Superdog, in 2005!

Don't hug Lockjaw too tightly, Ms Marvel, or he'll teleport you over the moon. Photo: Marvel Comics
Don't hug Lockjaw too tightly, Ms Marvel, or he'll teleport you over the moon. Photo: Marvel Comics

Lockjaw

Speaking of Eisner-winning superhero dogs, Marvel also had one in 2015 when Matt Fraction and David Aja won the Best Single Issue Eisner for Hawkeye #11, an entire issue told from the perspective of Hawkeye’s dog Lucky. However, when it comes to dogs in Marvel Comics, its biggest canine star has to be Lockjaw.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Lockjaw made his first appearance in 1965’s Fantastic Four #45 (December 1965). A really, really large bulldog with a tuning fork on his head, he is part of the Inhuman Royal Family, and his main power is the ability to teleport himself and others to anywhere he wants, even across space! Who needs chauffeurs when you have a teleporting pet dog, eh?

Not if Groo eats you first, Rufferto. Photo: Sergio Aragonés
Not if Groo eats you first, Rufferto. Photo: Sergio Aragonés

Rufferto (Groo The Barbarian)

Groo is arguably the stupidest barbarian in comics, but that doesn’t matter to Rufferto, who thinks he is the smartest and most heroic of them all, even though Groo initially wanted to eat him when they first met. The former royal pet of a queen, he ran away from his spoilt and pampered life to join Groo on his quests for frays and food. Rufferto does have one magic power though – with him around, Groo can actually step foot on a ship without sinking it immediately!

We'll never figure out why Snoopy prefers sleeping on top of his doghouse rather than in it. Photo: Charles Schulz
We'll never figure out why Snoopy prefers sleeping on top of his doghouse rather than in it. Photo: Charles Schulz

Snoopy (Peanuts)

He is a struggling author, a college student named Joe Cool, and an ace pilot. He has a house that is a lot bigger inside than it looks from the outside, and which sometimes doubles as a fighter plane for The Red Baron. Funnily enough, he never seems to sleep INSIDE the house, preferring to lie on its rooftop most of the time.

Oh, and he is friends with a fluffy little bird named Woodstock, and a boy named Charlie Brown seems to think he owns him.

Inspired by one of Peanuts creator Charles Shulz’s childhood pet dogs, Snoopy made his debut in the second Peanuts strip way back in 1950, and since then, he has gone on to become, without a doubt, one of the most iconic and famous dogs in not just comics, but in pop culture history.

Snowy has been to space, and even has his own little doggy space suit. Photo: Herge
Snowy has been to space, and even has his own little doggy space suit. Photo: Herge

Snowy (Tintin)

WOAH! WOAH! WOAAAAAAH! When you’re an intrepid Belgian reporter who tends to get into trouble more often than not, it helps to have a faithful companion by your side at all times.

Snowy, the trusted dog sidekick of Tintin, made his debut alongside the Belgian boy reporter in Tintin In The Land Of The Soviets back in 1929, and he has never left his side wherever he goes, even to space!

Fun fact: Snowy’s original French name is Milou, which is a shortened version of “Marie Louise”, the name of Tintin creator Herge’s first girlfriend.

Honourable mentions:

- Dogmatix (Asterix)

- Hyperdog (Top Ten)

- Dawg (Hi And Lois)

- Marmaduke

- Rex The Wonderdog

- Odie (Garfield)

- Sadaharu (Gintama)

- Bandit (We3)

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