Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson hit the town with "Beasts of Burden" from Dark Horse Comics this week, a four-issue expansion of their Eisner-winning short story about a ragtag band of animals hell-bent on protecting Burden Hill from occult forces.

Could this housebroken band of brothers join the pantheon of great heroic animals in comics? Maybe. Before we knit them a cute hero sweater, though, let's take a look at some of the bravest animals in comics.

Who got the bad guy? Who got the bad guy? You did! You did!

Comet the Super Horse

When choosing a member of the Legion of Super-Pets, the knee-jerk is to pick Krypto or Streaky, with Beppo being reserved for those who think they're too badass and non-conformist for the rest of us (they're not). But one word sets Comet above the rest: trample. Regular horses can kick and stomp strong enough to turn Craig Venter into Lenny from "Of Mice and Men." Think about how powerful Comet's kick has to be, and the jagged shower of bone fragments and face jelly spewing forth from whatever goop remains of any bad guy's face. Supergirl should enter every battle with one objective: get villain to spook Comet. If Superman is powerful enough to reverse the Earth's orbit, Comet certainly has the strength to maim and retard at least a continent.

Bandit, Tinker, and Pirate from We3

These poor animals from "We3" have been cybernetically-augmented with razor blades, projectile weapons, and high-yield explosives. Despite all that destructive power, that which sets them apart from other super-pets is their freakish ability to choke up their enemies. Super-expressive eyes and sad, simple dialogue attack the emotion centers like a swarm of ants devouring a lollipop, teasing out wave after wave of tears, blinding their hapless, sobbing victim. Snf.


You might think it a stupid idea to give a chipmunk a power ring. You are correct. Ch'p hails from H'lven, a planet in space sector 1014 populated by creatures with remarkable resemblances to Earth rodents. Despite his diminutive stature, insatiable desire to gorge on birdfeeders, and severe case of storage pouch envy, Ch'p proved himself a mighty warrior and good friend during his tenure as Green Lantern. Until he was run over by a yellow tractor-trailer. Beats being eaten by a golden wolf. I think.

Rocket Raccoon

Up there in the black hills of Halfword lived a young law officer name Rocket Raccoon, Judson Jakes stole the Halfword Bible, hit young Rocket in the eye, Rocket didn't like that, said "I'm gonna get that boy." So he and the Hulk went go for broke, something something rocket skates, he must be riddled with intergalactic parasites, in space no one can hear you knock over garbage cans, harmonica, and then they found "Gideon's Bible," end on G7 to open C. The story of Rocket, da dah. Go remasters!

Ace the Bat-Hound

The original Ace was a German Shepherd, a proud, noble dog capable of sniffing out burglars and ripping out a man's throat. Post-Crisis, Ace was emasculated into a beagle-pug crossbreed: a "puggle." Now look here, DC Entertainment. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing a proud creature reduced to a four-legged joke, a thirty-pound poop machine capable of nothing more than five minutes of rowdy time and a permanently cute expression on its face. If there remains any justice in this foul, broken tooth of a world, when Batman returns from Cavetime, the real Ace will be waiting for him, mask on and returned to his rightful German Shepherd self, no matter what the odds that his ancestors tortured a few Jews. That's not on him. Like most things, it comes down to the looming Apocalypse: post-Rapture, a German Shepherd is a skilled hunter, loyal protector, and trusted friend. After Armaggeddon, all a puggle is good for is dinner. I bet they taste adorable.


It's no wonder this fella will be got his own miniseries, "Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers." Named after tetanus, endowed with the ability the teleport pretty much anywhere, and, thanks to the tuning fork implanted in his skull, blessed with perfect pitch, LJ is clearly the coolest canine to roam the Marvel Universe. At what must be 350 pounds of slobber and muscle, it's never been easier to your "Terrigen Mists" on the dog.