Nothin’ but a Hound Dog

DETECTIVE COMICS #232: The Dog with the Martian Master

I’m just gonna say this is one of my favorite issues ever, and then dive right in.

J’onn one day is chasing a jewel thief, Andy Fletcher, across a bridge. As he does, some people are pointing to the water where a dog is drowning. J’onn, being a big hearted, kind gentleman that he is, decides he can worry about the thief later, and instead decides to save the doggy. Under the bridge, he uses another made up on the spot Martian power to walk on top of the water, then decides if he’s not wet when he carries the dog out of the river, well that might look suspicious.

Back at the station, he’s standing around in his underpants while the rest of his clothes dry. He tells the Sergeant to work on locating the dog’s master, then heads back out again to look for Fletcher.

At an iron works factory J’onn uses his martian hearing to listen carefully to the footsteps inside, sure that they might be Fletcher’s when suddenly the dog sneaks up behind him and starts barking! The sound startles J’onn and sends Fletcher looking for a new hideout.

J’onn says he’ll take the dog home and tie him up there until he’s done with this case. As he does, a man walks by smoking a cigarette and J’onn mentions how much he hates fire and how it weakens him.

This is pretty much a guarantee that the fire thing will come up again later. Almost every time it is brought up, it is to remind you so that in the next three pages when an oil lamp gets kicked over and a cigarette is haphazardly tossed into some dry brush, you’re not all crazy confused about why J’onn is laying on the ground, dying.

The dog tied up safely in his apartment, Detective Jones heads to the market where he finds Fletcher holed up in a flour warehouse. As he stands invisible on a ledge outside the window, the goddamn dog is back again! He leaps onto to J’onn’s invisible back and Fletcher turns and see a dog floating in mid-air. He damn near has a heart attack at this and makes for yet another different hideout.

Back at his apartment, J’onn does some more investigating: namely, how did the dog manage to escape. Oh it is quite the tale! Apparently the dog BROKE THE WINDOW to cut his leash, and then LEAPT TO A NEARBY ROOF TOP to get down. Holy shit are you kidding me? That is one crazy fucking dog.

This time J’onn decides he needs a doghouse, so he makes him one out of some old golf clubs. It looks more like one of those American Gladiator spheres people would roll around in, but the dog also has one of J’onn’s sweaters on. No that doesn’t make anything better.

After J’onn leaves, the dog starts yipping and manages to roll his cage all the way down the fire escape to the ground where it busts open.

J’onn has tracked Fletcher to the Bijou Theater. He turns invisible, ready to apprehend him. I don’t know why he thought he needed to be invisible to do it, but he was. As he grabs him, oh guess what! The oil lamp next Fletcher gets knocked over and immediately starts a HUGE fire. J’onn manages to drag Fletcher to the window where he throws him out of the building and tells the people outside to hold on to him. He’s still invisible. So it was just like…the voice of god to them or something.

Firefighters show up, but J’onn doesn’t have the strength to change into a normal form again and be saved. No one can see him, and crying out will give away his secret. But then!

Oh hurray!

The dog is there! And he pulls J’onn out of the fire and J’onn turns visible again and names the dog Jupiter and says they’re gonna be pals for a long time!

(We never see that dog again.)

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