by Starsky Hutch 76
Krypto the Superdog lay on the floor of his self-constructed Doghouse of Solitude as it floated through space. He was terribly bored. His travels through the galaxy were entertaining at times, but even these wondrous sights were becoming commonplace. He missed the company of a regular master.
He’d tried partnering with normal humans, but he couldn’t roughhouse with them the way he could with Kal-El — especially the way he had when he was a boy. Those had been wonderful times. The day he had first been reunited with his master after Krypton’s destruction had been the best day of his life. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Super-Dog from Krypton,” Adventure Comics #210 (March, 1955).]
Eventually, though, his master had grown up, gotten a job, and took on even more responsibilities than he already had. He had less and less time to play with old Krypto. Eventually, the Superdog took off for space looking for other opportunities to play and romp, returning from time to time to Earth only occasionally over the years. But even these cosmic exploits had a tendency to grow tiresome.
He was distracted, all of a sudden, by a rocket speeding by. This rocket, he realized, looked exactly like the rocket that brought him and his master to Earth.
Krypto looked through its hull and, sure enough, there was an child inside it appearing to be five or six years of age. He looked almost exactly like his master had at that age. Only this child was wearing a miniature Superman costume.
His heart began to beat wildly, and his tail wagged uncontrollably. The possibility of there being another child like his master at a young age was too great a temptation. He had to investigate further. Krypto flew off in pursuit of the rocket.
“We’ve managed to track the energy signature of the Bizarro child,” said one of two alien members of the Superman Revenge Squad. They were aboard the same spacecraft they had when they originally captured Bizarro-Junior No. 1 from the remains of the Bizarro World.
“Really?” the second alien said. “I had thought that potential weapon against the accursed Man of Steel lost to us.”
“I had thought so, too,” the second alien said. “But on a whim, I checked the place of the destruction one more time. Inexplicably, he had returned to that spot in his rocket once more. The enigma that caused so many bizarre readings in our ship was there as well.”
“Fascinating,” the second alien said.
“Yes, indeed,” the first alien said. “But that is not the most fascinating part.”
“What is it, then?”
“The most fascinating part is that his energy signature changed from that of a Bizarro to that of a Kryptonian child. Then his ship suddenly left for Earth!”
“Incredible! We must have that child back! Lay in a course for Earth at once!”
“I thought that was what you would say,” the first alien said. “I have already given the order.”
On Earth, Krypto landed in the woods near the mountain retreat of the Shakespeares. He watched as John and Mary found young boy in the rocket, named him Kent, and carried him back to their cabin.
He waited awhile, then walked stealthily up to the home and peered into the window. John and Mary Shakespeare were sitting on the floor, playing with the child. John was holding a toy plane and mimicking a flight path. He turned the plane upward and rose to his feet. The child stood, reached up for the plane, and then began to leave the floor, much to the shock of the young couple.
Seeing this, Krypto began to bark happily, which attracted the attention of the Shakespeares and their new charge. The boy saw and dimly recognized the dog, who had also left the ground at this point and was floating in full, and flew toward him, crashing through the window.
John and Mary ran to the shattered window and stared in shock as the two soared into the sky and began roughhousing and playing in the sky.
“I — I guess the little Superman costume wasn’t just a playsuit,” John Shakespeare said.
“Kent!” Mary Shakespeare called out. “Come back!”
Eventually, John and Mary managed to coax young Kent to return to the cabin, with Krypto eagerly following. The Shakespeares’ own dog Sassy whined and moved behind Mary at the entrance of the strange flying dog.
“Look at his cape,” John said. “I think this is Superman’s dog, Krypto.”
Krypto panted eagerly at the mention of his name, raised himself up on his hind legs, and leaned against John. He hesitantly stuck out his hand and patted his head. “Well, he certainly seems friendly enough.”
“What’s Superman’s dog doing here?” Mary said.
“He must’ve followed the rocket here,” John said. “You don’t suppose the kid belongs to Superman, do you? He does look kind of like him.”
Hurt and sadness crept into Mary’s face. “If Kent is his son, then he’s not a very good father. You don’t put a child in a rocket — even if he does have powers. And why have we never heard anything about a child or even a wife?”
“He might’ve been trying to protect him from his enemies.”
“He has a funny way of taking care of him,” she said. “He’d be safer with us.”
“I’m disappointed, too, honey,” he said. “But if he is his son, we have to let him know where he is.”
“We don’t even know if he really is his son,” she argued.
“Evidence seems to strongly suggest he is,” John said with irony.
“Because of the costume? You said yourself that lots of kids have them.”
“But most of those kids don’t fly.”
“Maybe he’s from Krypton, too,” she said. “We all know that Superman came here in a rocket as a baby.”
“But the suit!” John said in mild exasperation.
“Maybe everyone on his planet wears them,” Mary said desperately. Little did she realize it, but on this point she was actually right. Nearly all the males on Kent’s world did wear the same suit. But that was because he was from the Bizarro World, not Krypton. She’d never know that from his new human appearance, though.
“You’re grasping at straws, Mary,” John said cautiously.
“Well, of course I am!” Mary snapped, on the verge of tears. “I can’t believe after all we’ve talked about, you’re trying to give him away!”
“I just want to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
“The right thing is for him to stay with us,” Mary said, clutching young Kent to her, “where he’ll be safe.”
John stared at her with compassion as she held the child. “After everything you’ve seen, you’re still not the least bit frightened?”
“No matter what he might be, he’s still a child,” Mary said, cradling the small boy who was beginning to nod off after his romp with Krypto, “and he needs us. To me, that’s all that matters. A miracle brought him to us.”
John sighed and said, “Well, I don’t suppose we have to do anything right away.”