Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew: Storm Warning, Chapter 4: Into the Surreal

by Marc Drayer and Comickook

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The discussion went apace as the heroes of the Zoo Crew and the Looney Society of Toomerica formed the teams that would be going out in search of Doctor Hoot’s new hideout. They hoped they would be in time before the nefarious fowl cooked up a new plan. Stormwing had been a little shaken to see the Pterror-dactyl, an evil clone of himself with some of the Looney Society’s powers. But something else was bothering him. He turned to Alley-Kat-Abra and said, “All I have learned about Doc Hoot is that science, not sorcery, is his specialty. Even he couldn’t have whipped up the clone that quickly without help.”

The feline magic-wonder answered, “Yes, it did seem so surreal, almost like the work of an old enemy of mine — Debbil-Dawg. If he escaped from his painting, we could be in big trouble.”

“That’s why I want the two of you on the first team,” said Captain Carrot, looking wistfully at Abra. He first thought of placing her with Skirt Chaser, but quickly nixed the idea. “Pig-Iron, you can go with Duck L’Orange, Little Cheese with Yankee Poodle, and Fastback with Bunny-Goddess. I’ll go with Skirt Chaser, and Rubberduck, you can go with What’s-Up-Doc. Let’s get moving, and let’s keep in touch with each other. If any team gets in trouble, call for backup.”

Without another word, they sped out of the Z-Building.

Stormwing flew beside Alley-Kat-Abra and asked her, “I’m not too familiar with this Debbil-Dawg, Abra. Could you fill me in?”

“Well, he’s quite a powerful sorcerer,” explained Abra. “He was formerly the famous artist Salvador Doggi, who went quite mad. In our first encounter, he almost trapped me in one of his paintings and could have escaped to make the whole world his canvas. (*) I was sure I wrecked that painting, but he must have moved over into another one.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Into the Deadly Dimension of Debbil-Dawg,” Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #9 (November, 1982).]


In Doctor Hoot’s super-stealth-rigged space satellite headquarters, which was invisible to both the unaided eye and any means of electronic detection, the evil owl looked down on the scene in Los Antelopes. “Fools! They’ll search to the ends of the Earth, but they’ll never think to search outside the Earth. Best of all, even if they do think to search outer space, we’re invisible, so they still won’t find us until it’s too late.”

“Si, amigo. Your scientific mind does provide an excellente compliment to my arteestic one, Doctor Hoot,” said Debbil-Dawg, while discreetly trying to get his collar loose, only to receive a noticeable shock.

“I wouldn’t try it, my dear Senor Doggi,” Hoot shot back to Debbil-Dawg. “You see, not only is that thought-sensitive collar designed to emit a potent shock — not quite potent enough to be lethal, but still potent enough to remind you who is in charge here if you try to attack me again — but it is also designed to shock you if you should try to remove it. Granted, it still allows you to attack anybody except me, but I knew what I was getting into when I found that painting and used my portable super-atomic generator to provide the power to create that split-second portal between your prison dimension and this world. Therefore, before I even used said generator, I created that collar to keep you in line.”

Still, Doctor Hoot had to admit Debbil-Dawg’s twisted artistic imagination and magic brush did compliment his scientific genius nicely. Salvador Doggi was telling the truth about that. Thanks to that power, Hoot was able to create a composite clone using the trace blood samples he lifted off Stormwing during that second battle and the energy signatures of the three Looney Society members he briefly had under his control.

Debbil-Dawg grumbled to himself; even if the collar didn’t allow him to attack Hoot, he could still gripe to himself about the spot he was in. True, he had no qualms about tangling with Alley-Kat-Abra again or trying to take down the whiskered witch’s teammates, but he wanted to do it on his terms, not Doctor Hoot’s.


For over an hour, the entirety of the Zoo Crew plus their four dimension-stranded Looney Society allies conducted an exhaustive search without any luck, until Alley-Kat-Abra, What’s-Up-Doc, and Duck L’Orange thought to use their mystic energies to scan space.

Unfortunately for Doctor Hoot, while he might have thought to rig his space-satellite hideout to be invisible to the unaided eye and scientific detection, he neglected to shield it against magical detection. This was an error he realized only too late, as he and Debbil-Dawg observed Alley-Kat-Abra, What’s-Up-Doc, and Duck L’Orange all flying out into space with protective auras around themselves and their assigned partners.

“May I suggest, Doctor, that we once more combined my artistic mind with your scientific resources to create a few obstacles for the mystically advantaged heroes?” Debbil-Dawg said with a grin.


“Between you, me, Pig-Iron, Rubberduck, What’s-Up-Doc, and Duck L’Orange, how bad can this Debbil-Dawg be?” Stormwing asked Alley-Kat-Abra. “I mean, I know you said the guy is very dangerous, but it’s nothing three powerful mystics, a weather-controller, a nearly invulnerable physical powerhouse, and an incredibly flexible fowl shouldn’t be able to handle. That’s not underestimating an opponent. That’s just stating fact. I mean, you beat him on your own before, and you’ve actually got both help and much more experience this time around.”

“Precisely. I only won by a trick last time I fought him,” Alley-Kat-Abra said matter-of-factly. “As you said, we can take him, but only if we don’t underestimate him and we don’t overestimate ourselves.”


Debbil-Dawg used his mad artistic talent with his paintbrush to whip up two other satellites, using a blinding flash of light to cover up the satellites’ placement. Only one of them was the real one; the other two were mystical traps.

“Let’s see if those heroes can find the right one. Ho-ho, this ees another masterpiece!” yowled Debbil-Dawg.


Indeed, as the heroes approached, they were initially confused by the three satellites. “I see now what you mean, Abra,” said Stormwing. “That Debbil-Dawg is just as dangerous as the Pterror-dactyl we met earlier, if not more so.”

Alley-Kat-Abra nodded. “I don’t want to be another of his masterpieces. There has to be a right way to find the one they’re in.”

Soon, What’s-Up-Doc and Duck L’Orange approached close enough to Alley-Kat-Abra for all three mystics to combine their mystical energies enough to provide both the protection and scanning capabilities needed to determine the real satellite.

“There it is!” Abra finally said, pointing to the one in the right following the scan.


“That ees not the full extent of my masterpiece, heroes,” Debbil-Dawg said with an evil grin as the two fake satellites both split into three more fake satellites, and all six of those fake satellites then transformed into massive, metallic monsters, each more surreal than the next.

“This ees my best work yet!” Debbil-Dawg cried as Doctor Hoot looked on in approval.


“Ehh, you t’ree go in dere and see what you can do ’bout dose two baddies,” What’s-Up-Doc said. “Daf, da kitty cat, ‘n’ I will see what we can do ’bout dese monsters.” At that, he teleported Pig-Iron, Rubberduck, and Stormwing into the real satellite.

“OK, the party’s over, Doggi,” Pig-Iron said as he started charging Debbil-Dawg and Doctor Hoot.

“Hardly,” replied Debbil-Dawg. “The party, as you put eet, hasn’t even begun yet. Those monsters are designed to absorb mystical energy. Furthermore, I’ve physically connected zose monsters to myself and Doctor Hoot so zat any attempt to attack either one of us will result in zose monsters doubling in both size and number. Eef we both get subdued, all the monsters weel explode with a force that weel destroy everything within a one-million-mile radius!”

Out of concern for their friends as well as their world, Stormwing, Pig-Iron, and Rubberduck stepped back.

“Ehh, luckily, ol’ Debbil-Dawg is not da only artist around here,” replied What’s-Up-Doc from outside the satellite, having keyed himself in to Debbil-Dawg’s little speech via the mystic telepathy he maintained with the three heroes inside that satellite.

What’s-Up-Doc, Duck L’Orange, and Alley-Kat-Abra combined their mystical energies to render themselves invisible, as well as intangible, and created an army of carefully controlled mystic energy decoys designed to lure the monsters away. The monsters absorbed these duplicates, but the three heroes had an army of them to spare, and they weren’t really alive to begin with.

The decoys then lured the monsters so far out into space that they were eventually caught in the inescapable pull of a black hole, made even more potent by the combined efforts of all three mystic heroes, and sucked in so deep that the massive blast was easily contained within. The heroes had cleverly use enough mystic energy while enhancing the black hole to pose it as an irresistible lure. Debbil-Dawg’s creations absorbed the energy used to enhance the black hole, but by the time they finished absorbing the energy put into the hole, they were so deep past the black hole’s event horizon that they couldn’t escape its gravitational pull.

After Duck L’Orange teleported himself, What’s-Up-Doc, and Alley-Kat-Abra into the remaining satellite, all six heroes found themselves face to face with literally a dozen bizarre, fire-breathing, military-rank hybrids of winged dragons, poison-quilled porcupines, and skunks.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Doggi and I have to be off, so we can… heh, heh, heh… paint the town — or rather, the planet — red,” Doctor Hoot said with a cackle as he gave the signal for Debbil-Dawg’s latest creations to attack the six heroes, while he teleported himself and his sorcerous ally back to Earth.

“Let’s look at the bright side,” said Stormwing as he looked at the monstrosities that Debbil-Dawg had created, “at least they aren’t carrying melted watches.”

Alley-Kat-Abra nodded, then quickly conferred with What’s-Up-Doc and Duck L’Orange as to how they were going to handle these mystical whatzits. Stormwing blew up a strong wind in the artificial atmosphere, sending those thingies flying to the other side of the satellite, when Felina Furr had an idea.

Using their combined powers, she and the other two mystical heroes conjured up a canvas that slowly pulled the dozen hybrid monsters onto it. After several minutes, they had become mere images, safely captured in oil on canvas in a series of paintings. They would make an excellent, if grotesque, addition to the local art museum, as a lost Salvador Doggi collection.

“We’ve got to get back to the surface,” said Duck L’Orange. “No telling what those two villains are doing.”

Indeed, as the six heroes were teleported back to Earth, it was chaos in Los Antelopes. The Z-Building had been transformed into the shape of a Q, other buildings in the city were looking like melting fudgsicles, and Captain Carrot, Skirt Chaser, Fastback, Yankee Poodle, and Little Cheese were hard put to counter the chaos.

“This ees my greatest masterpiece yet!” laughed Debbil-Dawg.

“Well, prepare to suffer from a permanent case of artists’ block, Debbil-Dawg, because from now on, the only thing you’ll be painting will be license plates!” Duck L’Orange boasted as he nailed the Latin looney with a surprise zap from behind, with What’s-Up-Doc and Alley-Kat-Abra following right behind him. “And you’ll be doing that with a non-magical brush.”

Taking advantage of the diversion the three mystical heroes had provided, Stormwing, Pig-Iron, and Rubberduck separated from their mystically powered partners to help Captain Carrot and the others protect the innocent animals from Debbil-Dawg’s monstrous art creations and revive the Bunny-Goddess so she could help out as well.

Bunny-Goddess had been knocked out moments earlier while saving a bus full of children from six hybrids of electrical eels, wasps, giant squids, and helicopters. She had managed to kayo the first three with one punch and had thrown the fourth hard enough into the fifth to knock them both out. But the sixth had been lucky enough to wrap its tentacles around her and shake her unconscious while the other five heroes were dealing with an army of fifty-foot gorillas with bat wings, scorpion stingers, and chainsaws for arms.

What’s-Up-Doc disabled Doctor Hoot’s portable super-atomic-generator, which Hoot and Debbil-Dawg had been using to increase the power of Salavador Doggi’s magic brush twentyfold. Then Alley-Kat-Abra flung the generator so far out into space that she could destroy it without the resulting explosion hurting any innocent animals. After that, the three mystically powered heroes combined their energies in direct combat with Debbil-Dawg, soon managing to slap a special aura around him that completely nufflied his powers.

With Debbil-Dawg now powerless, Alley-Kat-Abra flew up to him and nailed him with a superb cat-fu kick that sent him flying right into the fleeing Doctor Hoot. “Ay, carumba!” Debbil-Dawg yelped just before the feisty feline felon-foiler slammed his and Hoot’s heads together and took them both out.

“All dat remains now are da monstas dese two unleashed,” What’s-Up-Doc said as he conjured up an army of ultra-flirtatious female versions of the monsters Debbil-Dawg had created, but which were merely realistic-looking magic holograms. With Debbil-Dawg’s monsters thus distracted, Captain Carrot, Fastback, Pig-Iron, Yankee Poodle, Little Cheese, Rubberduck, Stormwing, Skirt Chaser, and the just-recovered Bunny-Goddess were free to pull a few well-timed maneuvers guaranteed to get the monsters fighting amongst themselves. While the monsters were doubly distracted by both What’s-Up-Doc’s holographic decoys and their infighting, Duck L’Orange cooked up enough super-turpentine to take all those monsters out of the running.


The Z-Building:

After the two super-villains had been put back into prison, Alley-Kat-Abra, What’s-Up-Doc, and Duck L’Orange finished pooling their mystical energies to undo what Doctor Hoot and Debbil-Dawg had done, including restoring the Z-Building to its original form. Then the Zoo Crew took their leave of their Looney Society allies and regathered at their headquarters.

Captain Carrot noticed how exhausted Alley-Kat-Abra was. “Hooo-boy, Abra — you, Doc, and Daf really did a great job against those two villains and their surrealistic shenanigans,” the heroic hare said in a gentle voice. “I don’t blame you at all for being tired. I mean, we’ve worked pretty hard today, too, but you three worked even harder, and it shows. I’ll bunny-hop you back to your quarters and let you get some rest.”

All the heroes present, even Yankee Poodle, acknowledged the extra-hard work of all three mystical heroes enough to refrain from making any innuendo-filled teasing remark such as, “Yeah, we all know you wouldn’t mind tucking her in for the night.”

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