Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Year With Marvel: Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Dogs improve everything they touch, and Marvel comics are no exception. The Marvel Universe sports a small but powerful assortment of awesome canines (or canine-type people), my favourites among them being:


Two comics panels, one beside the other. In the first, a man in a gold helmet says, 'Look, I've been through some stuff recently. Reached the end of the universe, met space zombies, that kind of thing. You're kind of... taking my freak to a whole new level.' The second panel featuress Cosmo, a brown dog in a space suit. He replies, 'You have seen end of universe, and met space zombies, and talking dog is what freaks you out? Bozshe moi.'
From NOVA (2008) #8

Cosmo is my favourite psychic Russian space doggie, because that’s a category I rank. He operates out of Knowhere, a space station located within the disembodied head of a dead god (just to keep things cheerful). In his capacity as chief of security, Cosmo breaks up fights, liaises with newcomers, and runs the teleportation field that helps sanctioned individuals easily enter and exit the station sans spaceship.

Cosmo excels in his role because he can get along with just about anyone who is not a racoon, from space pirates to would-be superheroes to Skrulls in disguise. He’s totally adaptable, far more easy-going than his grumpy exterior indicates, and willing to forgive you for being surprised he can talk--provided you make it up to him with a good ear-skritch.

He first appeared within the pages of NOVA (2008) and has had a presence within Marvel Cosmic ever since as a helper to the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Annihilators, and various other space-dwelling types. He hasn’t had a huge on-page presence these last few years, but does crop up in the pages of NOVA (2013) as one of young Sam Alexander’s newfound space allies.

Two comics panels, one atop the other. In the top panel, a word balloon sticking out of a space structure reads, 'I can't believe I'm talking to a dog.' In the lower panel, Cosmo walks through a tubular corridor with Nova, a boy in a black and gold superhero costume, behind him. Cosmo says, 'You wear magic helmet. Cosmo thinks maybe you surprise too easy.' Nova replies, 'My helmet's not magic. I think.'
This happen to Cosmo a lot. From NOVA (2013) #15

Cosmo also had a walk-on role in the recent GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY film, so he’s, like, totally famous.


A single comics panel. Lockjaw, a massive bulldog with a tuning fork on his hand, stands still with his chin upraised so a brown girl in a blue, red, and gold superhero costume can hug him. She says, 'Who's a good dog? Who's a good bizarro doggie?' A caption to the right reads, 'Because when you decide not to be afraid, you can find friends in super unexpected places.' Lockjaw wears a sign around his neck. It reads 'Hello my name is Lockjaw I like hugs.'
From MS MARVEL (2014) #8

Lockjaw is my favourite ginormous teleporting doggie, because that’s another category I rank. He hangs around with the Inhumans, a race of Kree-engineered superheroes who gain their powers after exposure to the Terrigen mists. Lockjaw is particular friends with Crystal, Queen Medusa’s elementally-empowered younger sister, but he steps in to aid every member of the Inhuman royal family as the need arises. He’s also the founder of the Pet Avengers, and has recently become good friends with Kamala Khan in his capacity as the bridge between her human and Inhuman heritages.

Lockjaw’s sentience is a longstanding debate, but it’s clear he’s more than an average animal. He can follow complicated instructions, make on-the-spot decisions, and assemble superhero teams. He also has definite preferences. Like hugs! And don’t you even try to give him a bath without a direct (albeit nonverbal) order from King Black Bolt. Lockjaw is not a bath person, and his teleportation powers make it super easy for him to squirrel out of the ordeal.

Lockjaw, alas, hasn’t made his big screen debut, but he’ll surely be a key part of the upcoming Inhumans movie. He’s also appeared in a handful of Fantastic Four cartoons over the years.

And he's met Cosmo, because the only thing better than one psychic dog is TWO psychic dogs!

A single comics panel. Lockjaw licks the top of Cosmo's head. Cosmo lays on his back. A battle rages in silhouette behind them. Cosmo says, 'Mmmrhh..? Are you god?'

Pizza Dog

Two comics panels, side by side. In the first, Pizza Dog, a mutt who looks vaguely like a golden retriever, tilts his head to the side, one eye closed. in the second, he presses a paw over his eye, a squiggly question mark above his head.
From HAWKEYE (2012) #11

Listen, individual taste is important and you’re allowed to like or dislike whatever you want to like or dislike, but if you dislike Pizza Dog you are a very wrong person who has no soul. Just saying.

Lucky, aka Pizza Dog, has a hefty presence in HAWKEYE as Clint Barton's (and Kate Bishop's) pet. He used to live with some maybe-Russian mafia types who were super nasty and abusive, but Clint got him out of there, adopted him, and renamed him because his original moniker, Arrow, was a bit too on the nose.

Pizza Dog doesn’t have any powers. He’s a regular dog who enjoys eating pizza, being around Kate Bishop, and smelling everything in the entire apartment building with the help of his trusty sidekick, Mitzi. And he’s still awesome, because dogs don’t need to be telepathic or possessed of teleportation abilities to prove their worth. They just have to exist, and Lucky is so good at existing. He also excels at such essential tasks as taking naps, sniffing things, growling at bros, and being cute.

He hasn’t yet appeared on film, but he’s got his own action figure and HAWKEYE #11 is told entirely from his POV.

Intro to Hawkeye 11. It reads: lucky, a.k.a. pizza dog became the dog of the greatest sharpshooter known to man, hawkeye a.k.a. clint barton after being rescued from his tracksuit-wearing, bro-using, vaguely eastern-european, completely abusive, owners. this is what he does pretty much every day because he is a dog.
From HAWKEYE #11

A single comics panel. Pizza Dog sits before a brown wood door. A small, blonde dog trots past him, nose and tail raised. Pizza Dog looks down at her as she passes.
One more picture, because cute. From HAWKEYE #11


  1. PIZZA DOG. It was everything in my life when Kate Bishop and Pizza Dog came back. I missed them so much when they were gone.

    1. YES. And how Pizza Dog had the boomerang arrow. It was beyond perfect.