Animal Superheroes

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Some heroes, such as Batman, Spider-Man and Wolverine, name themselves after, or have powers based on, a member of the animal kingdom. Others actually are members of the animal kingdom, or at least the Funny Animal kingdom.

The result of bringing together the most popular action-cartoon genre with the most popular comedy-cartoon genre. Usually come in one of three flavors. One is a Funny Animal comic that is a direct parody of superheroes, and likely to consist of bad animal puns. Usually considered non-canon in most comic "universes." Another type often features Animal Sidekicks and even superhero's pets, and this often is canon, though unlikely to play a very important role.

And the last type, possibly the best known, are straight-up superheroes who just happen to be animals, often of the very anthropomorphic type. You can thank the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for this type being so ubiquitous.

Will often have Alliterative Names. Not to be confused with an Animal-Themed Superbeing.

Examples of Animal Superheroes include:


Anime and Manga


Comic Books

  • DC Comics' Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, from "Earth-C" (for "cartoon") in The DCU: Rubberduck, Alley Kat Abra, Pig-Iron, Fastback (a turtle, natch), Yankee Poodle, Little Cheese, and Cap himself.
  • Marvel Comics' Peter Porker, Spider-Ham, and many others appearing in his universe (Deerdevil, Captain Americat, Hulk Bunny, the Fantastic Fur, Ducktor Doom.... the list goes on and on).
    • Comic book people sure love animal puns, don't they?
    • There's also the puntastic Marvel Apes series along with the Prime Eight spin-off. Just a small sampling: Spider-Monkey, Iron Mandrill, Nick Furry (same name as the funny animal in the Spider-Ham stories, oddly), Silverback Surfer, Doc Ook...
    • Does Black Panther turning into a literal anthropomorphic black panther in Earth X count?
  • Boris the Bear, an ultraviolent ursine Anti-Hero who's made it his life's mission to destroy every other anthropomorphic animal superhero in existence, starting with the TMNT, except for Droopy.
    • Not really. That was only in his first issue. Still, the fact that this exists shows you how popular, almost tediously so, this trope was in the wake of the Turtles.
  • Extinctioners - an indy comic featuring an entire planet of super-powered, human created "humanimals".
  • A few stories had Tom Strong meet his Funny Animal counterpart, a rabbit named Warren Strong along with his wife Patience, daughters Topsy, Turvy and Fluffytail (a Shout-Out to Peter Rabbit) and archenemy Basil Saveen (a fox version of Paul Saveen, possibly named after Basil Brush).
  • Rex, The Wonder Dog. He killed dinosaurs with atom bombs.
    • And he wasn't even anthropomorphic!!
  • Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, in which Team Pets from across the Marvel Universe band together without their humans getting in the way.
  • The DC version of this (in the Silver Age, at least) was the Legion of Super-Pets, set up in the 30th century (even though most of the members came from the 20th century!) as an adjunct to the Legion of Super-Heroes. The LSP consisted of Krypto the super-dog, Streaky the (sometimes) super-cat, Comet the super-horse, Beppo the super-monkey, and Proty, a shape-shifting blob of protoplasm that the similarly-powered Chameleon Boy had as a pet. Proty (and his successor Proty II) was the only Super-Pet native to the 30th century; just as well all those super-animals could travel through time, wasn't it?
    • And then there was the Space Canine Patrol Agency, an LSH-like team of super-powered dogs that Krypto encountered on one of his romps through space and joined, sharing a few adventures. They don't quite qualify for this trope, though, as all the members were depicted as life-like dogs rather than anthropomorphic animals; that was left for the villains! We will mercifully pass over the Space Cat Patrol Agency, who also appeared in one panel of the first SCPA story...
    • As Silver Age flavour slowly creeps back into comics, Krypto has returned as Superman's loyal if unpredictable pet.
    • And we have a new animal Sociopathic Hero to boot, Red Lantern Dex-Starr!
    • There's also Detective Chimp, a genius (by human standards) chimpanzee who can communicate with animals.
    • DC also has at least two gorilla supervillain, Gorilla Grodd, an Evil Genius mind controlling gorilla who gained his powers from a crashed alien ship or a meteor, and Monsieur Mallah, who gained his superhuman intelligence from a Mad Scientist's experiements.
  • Marvel's " Power Pachyderms", an Affectionate Parody of their own X-Men.
  • The aforementioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of course.
  • DC also has Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, a lapine version of the original Captain Marvel. Hoppy's "hero" name is Captain Marvel Bunny.
  • Disney's Donald Duck and Goofy each have superhero alter egos.
    • At least in Italy (but probably, elsewhere), it's easier to list characters that have not a super identity. Donald Duck and Goofy are the most prominent, but even Goofy's nephew, Daisy, José Carioca (actually, a parody of superheroes), Gyro, and many others. It's good to know that at least once the Beagle Boys have been supervillains (with the X-Men powers).
    • These stories are now published for the English-language market by Boom Kids as Disney Hero Squad: Ultraheroes.
  • Nedor Comics' Black Terror (now a Public Domain Character seen in Tom Strong: Terra Obscura and Project Superpowers) spawned a Funny Animal counterpart called the Black Terrier. Since the Terror's real identity was either Mark Benton or Bob Benton, the Terrier was Bark Benton.
  • DC One Million had Justice Legion Z (for Zoomorphs), which was descended from the Legion of Executive Familiars, which in turn was the even-futher-future counterpart to the Legion of Superpets. The JLZ membership included Proty One Million, a version of Comet the Super-Horse and Mastermind, presumably a heroic descendent of Mr Mind, the World's Wickedest Worm. The Executive Familiars were Krypto-9, Wormhole, the Sun Dragons, and Octo the Eight-Dimensional Cephalopod.


Film

  • Bolt, which is in fact, a subversion in several ways.
  • Cats and Dogs features superspy felines and canines, including Siamese "ninja", the Russian Blue (a cat assassin with a Russian accent), and Tab Lazenby Voiced by George Lazenby himself.


Literature

  • In the world of Soon I Will Be Invincible, it's stated that the thousand or so superpowered beings include three dogs, four cats, and a bird, as well as more unspecified aquatic superbeings, which may or may not be human.


Puppet Shows


Tabletop Games

  • The Worlds of Freedom sourcebook for Mutants and Masterminds features a Funny Animal version of the Freedom City setting called Furrydom City. The Furrydom League includes Captain Thunderkat, Bunny Liberty, Duck Daedalus, Sea Otter, Johnny Rabbit, Bowmoose, and Dr Metropomouse.
  • The "Supertoon" setting for the Toon role-playing game.


Video Games


Webcomics


Web Original


Western Animation