by Marc Drayer and Comickook
“Before I go,” continued Captain Carrot, turning to the provisional new member of the team, “I’d like to offer my congratulations, Stormwing! All of us agree that you’d make a great official eighth member of the Zoo Crew, if you’ll accept.”
“I’d be honored, sir!” said Terry Dactyl, nearly choking up.
The rest of the Zoo Crew gathered around the prehistoric predictor and welcomed him. Captain Carrot then cleared his throat and took an official tone.
“By unanimous consent, Stormwing is now an official member of the Zoo Crew, with all privileges thereof, including a key to the Z-Building, access to the library, and Yankee Poodle’s unlisted phone number.”
Yankee Poodle rolled her eyes at that. “I told you that will only get my answering service, dahling.”
Stormwing just smiled as Captain Carrot said he would be back in a moment, then took Alley-Kat-Abra to another room for some much-needed rest.
“That was quite a battle for all of us, Stormy,” said Rubberduck. “Now that that’s over for a while, I think introductions are in order. I’m really Byrd Rentals, the movie star.”
“Wow!” uttered Stormwing.
“And I am celebrity interviewer Rova Barkitt,” said Yankee Poodle.
“So that’s why you got nervous when I was reading that article you wrote,” said Stormwing.
“As fer me, I was once Peter Porkchops,” said Pig-Iron. “But that was a long time ago.”
“Timmy-Joe Terrapin here,” said Fastback with a nod of his head. “Mighty pleased ta have you on the team!”
“And I am Chester Cheese,” said Little Cheese.
“The son of Edam Cheese?” said Stormwing. “I once knew him.”
“Is that right?” said Little Cheese, his voice choking up slightly at the thought of his late father. “We’ll have to talk later.”
“And, of course, I am Roger Rodney Rabbit, and my indisposed girlfriend is Felina Furr,” said Captain Carrot, bounding back in just in time.
“Well, I never would have guessed…” said Stormwing, now in complete shock. “I read your Just’a Lotta Animals comics for a long time and got a lot of good ideas for being a hero from you, Captain. Of course, I already told you all that I am Terry Dactyl, former kid entrepreneur and present-day weatherbeast.”
Later on, Rodney Rabbit sat at the Z-Computer, preparing to type a new entry into Captain Carrot’s Facts-File, based on the information he’d gleaned from a more in-depth discussion with the Zoo Crew’s newest member. Felina was still sleeping after her long ordeal, so he had a lot of time to work on this.
Real Name: Terry Dactyl
Powers: Ability to control weather
Terry Dactyl is a weatherbeast who replaced Stanley “Stormclouds” Bruin when the bear started his villainous career as Solar Bear. His great love is meteorology, and his forecasts are more accurate than his predecessor, but sometimes he does miss.
One day, he became angry when a storm that he had failed to predict suddenly blew in, and everyone blamed him for ruining their weekend plans. Using his wings, he flew up into the skies and cursed the rain, shaking his fist, in which was a lucky meteor fragment that had been in his possession for a few years.
Suddenly, lightning struck, vaporizing the meteor and bathing the pterodactyl in its radiance. It served to activate the latent powers he had apparently inherited from a distant wizard ancestor. He discovered he now had the power to control weather. He realized that using it to make his forecasts more accurate would be cheating, so he swore to use his newfound powers for good and the betterment of animalkind. He spent some time practicing with his powers in secret before finally reaching the Z-Building to meet the Zoo Crew with the hopes of becoming a new member.
In his identity as a super-hero, Stormwing wears a dark blue suit and a blue mask. Emblazed on his chest is the insignia of a cloud with a lightning bolt striking from it. His large black wings finish the outfit, and when he is at rest with his wings wrapped around him, they look somewhat like a cape, giving him a spooky image that makes him look like somebody from an old Batty Lugosi movie, which he sometimes capitalizes on. He is very thin and tall, standing at about six feet, two inches tall — one foot and two inches taller than Pig-Iron — and he has a brown head and claws. He goes barefoot, which helps him to perch on high places. The shape of his head is like that of any pterodactyl, but don’t tell him he’s extinct.
Rodney looked at the entry carefully, particularly the history section, and he frowned for a few moments in thought. Then he began typing a special addendum to the file.
Based on the description of Terry Dactyl’s lucky meteor fragment and the timing of when he found it, it’s very possible that this was an unaccounted-for fragment of the same meteor that granted the original six members of the Zoo Crew their powers. However, since the meteor fragment disintegrated when Stormwing gained his powers, it’s impossible to verify this theory. But it’s worth noting that Superman’s vision was impaired by spots before his eyes when he saw the five meteor fragments fall to our Earth. He may very well have missed at least one or more fragments in the confusion. (*)
If true, however, this may mean that there are still other meteor fragments elsewhere that we have not yet learned about. Thus there may be other super-powered animals out there with the potential to be valuable new heroic allies, or dangerous new foes. Only time will tell.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “This Bunny Unbound,” The New Teen Titans #16 (February, 1982) and “The Pluto Syndrome,” Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #1 (March, 1982).]