The Fantastic Four Legged. The X-Men’s Best Friend. Alpha Dog Flight. Guard dogs of the Galaxy. A new meaning to the Howling Commandos. Okay, maybe not… or, maybe, just not yet. But nevertheless, puppies, both with powers and without, have been part of the pages of Marvel for years (ironically, pages of Marvel may have been part of the house-training of said puppies). Some have rolled over to the MCU, some have stayed, and some have em-barked on different adventures. Here’s but a taste of Marvel’s menagerie of mutts.
Lockjaw was introduced in the pages of Fantastic Four #45, and made his MCU appearance in the infamous Inhumans series, although it’s believed that all copies of the series are in the same pit as the unsold Atari ET the Extraterrestrial games. Lockjaw is the escort and protector of the Inhuman Royal Family, and has the ability to teleport himself and anyone touching him anywhere. The bulldog with a small, two-pronged antenna on his forehead is 5-foot high, 6-foot 8-inches long, and weighs in at 1,240 pounds. Egads. To paraphrase from Jaws: “You’re gonna need a bigger poop bag.”
The scruffy Soviet space pup, based on the very real Russian cosmonaut dog Laikaappeared in Nova #8. Sent out to test space exploration equipment in the 1960s, Cosmo ended up at Knowhere, where he became head of security thanks to telekinetic, telepathic, and psionic blast abilities he gained from traveling through cosmic rays. In Guardians of the GalaxyCosmo (Fred) is a piece of the Collector’s (Benicio del Toro) collection on Knowhere. Talk about not living up to your potential. Warning: probably best not to throw baby Groot (Vin Diesel) around in Cosmo’s presence.
Lucky the Pizza Dog
Lucky first appeared in 2012’s Hawkeye #1, a one-eyed, pizza-loving golden retriever owned by the Tracksuit Mafia that gets brutally beaten after jumping to defend Clint Barton. Clint keeps him as a companion after saving his life. In the Disney+ series HawkeyeKate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) runs into Lucky (Jolt), still a one-eyed pizza lover, while escaping from the mafia and takes the pup home with her. For those wondering, his favorite pizza is, obviously, pupperoni.
Bats, an 11-year-old basset hound and the first on the list not to have made an MCU appearance, came to be in the care of Stephen Strange in Doctor Strange #381. Strange enchanted Bats with a translation spell, allowing his barks to be interpreted as English. In a confrontation with the new Sorcerer Supreme, Loki, Bats tried to help, but his heart gave out and the basset passed away. You can’t keep a good boy down, though. Bats would return to Stephen as a spectre, with the ability to possess people. Not like Strange’s pet chicken, Cluckward, who returned as a poultrygeist.
A Marvel superhero that comes to life when his human host goes to sleep. Moon Knight, right? Nope. Sleepwalker, aka Rick Sheridan. Rambo is their faithful dog, who appeared in Marvel’s Sleepwalker #1, and has the ability to turn on the television when Rick wakes up. Priorities, right? He is expected to join the MCU in the upcoming film release Rambo: First Bloodhound.
Introduced in the pages of Defenders #122. Sassafras, aka Sassy, the Dog Filled with Fear, was a puppy that belonged to Hank McCoy, better known as the X-Men’s Beast, during his time with the Defenders. Rumor has it that they shared groomers, chased cars together, and fought over dog toys in the house.
Cerberus’ beginnings are in Greek Mythology, but his appearance in the comic books came first in Thor #130. The three-headed dog is famously used by Hades, God of the Underworld, to maintain order. The triple-headed terrier has crossed paths with Thor, Ghost Rider, the X-Men, Namor and Ka-Zar, and for a time was the property of Hela, the ruler of the Norse afterlife Hel. Hades regained ownership of Cerberus after Hela balked at the tripled vet bill.
The Earth-103173 “Mutt with a Mouth,” “Merc with a Bark,” or simply Dogpool, started off as stray dog Wilson in Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1. Wilson was a test subject for mascara-x, a regenerative one-time mascara application. Deemed a failure, Wilson was tossed into a dumpster and arose as Dogpool, who has the same powers as his Earth-616 human counterpart, recruited by Deadpool to join the Deadpool Corps. Somehow, it doesn’t seem much of a stretch to see Ryan Reynolds playing both roles should he show up in Deadpool 3.
Ms. Lion, Earth-97161, is May Parker’s small, white, male dog. Ms. Lion? Hey, no judgment here. Ms. Lion was originally created for the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series that ran from 1981 to 1983. In the comics, he would join the likes of Lockjaw, Throg, Lockheed, Redwing and Hairball in Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1 as a Pet Avenger. Because every superhero team needs a small, white, ankle-biter that’s comfortable with his sexual identity.
Eath-8311’s Thrr, Arfgardian Dog of Thunder, appeared in Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #5. Thrr wields Mjolnir, and as a result has the same power set as his human counterpart Thor Odinson. He is also a member of the Scavengers, along with (and you can’t make this stuff up) Ant Ant, Black Panda, Captain Americat, Iron Mouse, Pigeon, Quacksilver, Scarlet Pooch, Squackeye, and your friendly neighborhood Spider-Ham . Here’s hoping that Thrr gets unleashed in the MCU with the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.