Wonder Dog (Super Friends)

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Wonder Dog
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Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuper Friends TV series
"The Power Pirate"
First comic appearanceSuper Friends #1 (November 1976)
Created byE. Nelson Bridwell
In-story information
Full nameWonder Dog
SpeciesDog
Supporting character ofSuper Friends
Teen Titans

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Wonder Dog is a fictional canine superhero from the original Super Friends television series. The character appeared in both the animated series, as well as the comic book of the same name, but was not incorporated into the DC Universe until 2008.

History[edit]

Super Friends TV series[edit]

In the Super Friends animated series, Wonder Dog is portrayed as the pet/sidekick of Wendy and Marvin. He appears in all 16 episodes of the original television series voiced by Frank Welker.[1]

DC's superhero comics were aimed at an older audience than the Super Friends Saturday morning cartoons, and Hanna-Barbera was careful to present a bland, inoffensive version of the comics' sometimes violent approach. In the book Saturday Morning Fever, writers Timothy and Kevin Burke cite the inclusion of Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog as examples of the Hanna-Barbera aesthetic's intrusion into the superhero narrative:

Wendy and Marvin were the ultimate degenerate form of the kid sidekick, about as useful to the Superfriends as a burst appendix. They existed primarily to be rescued and to help illustrate the moral message of the week... Wonder Dog was a Fred Silverman-inspired dog sidekick, part of a shameful lineage which would eventually result in a later incarnation of Spider-Man being burdened with a little white yap-yap dog. (Silverman and other kidvid producers had an idée fixe that the presence of a dog inevitably made a cartoon attractive to kids.)[2]

Super Friends comics[edit]

Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog were first introduced in DC Comics with the January 1976 tabloid comic Limited Collectors' Edition presents: Super Friends #C-41, in which the newcomers are welcomed to the Hall of Justice to meet the entire Justice League of America, including characters who didn't appear on the show. Their story was mostly a frame to bookend reprints of older Justice League comics, but each character got their own spotlight. Superman tells Wonder Dog about Krypto, the Dog of Steel, to reassure him (and the readers) that there's a precedent for canine superheroes adventuring with the Justice League.[3]

Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog then appeared in the first nine issues of the Super Friends comic book series (November 1976 to December 1977). In issue #7 (Oct 1977), their on-screen replacements, the Wonder Twins, were introduced in a story called "The Warning of the Wonder Twins!" The cover showed the new characters literally pushing the old trio to the side, shouting, "Your time is past, kids -- this is a job for the new Super-Friends!" The three-part adventure ended in issue #9, with Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog retiring from the team to go to college, as the Wonder Twins are accepted as new members of the team.[4]

Modern DC Comics[edit]

Wonder Dog makes his first appearance in the mainstream DC Universe in Teen Titans.[5] He appears to be just a stray dog that finds his way to Titans Tower, and is named Wonder Dog by Miss Martian. Wonder Dog soon transforms into a gigantic dog beast, kills Marvin and viciously attacks Wendy, leaving her paralyzed.[6] Wonder Dog was a hellhound used by Ares' son, King Lycus, whose goal is to destroy Wonder Girl. With every innocent death, Wonder Dog grows stronger; the Titans soon destroy him.

In 2016, another version of Wonder Dog appeared in the Scooby-Doo Team-Up comic book, in issue number eighteen.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ultimatum", a team of superheroes created by Project Cadmus called the Ultimen is featured and are a nod to the Super Friends. While investigating, the Ultimen spot a huge, hulking beast that throws itself against the bars of its cage. Dwayne McDuffie later confirms that the beast is a reference to Wonder Dog.
  • Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog appear in the episode "Be Kind, Rewind" of the Adult Swim series The New Adventures of the Wonder Twins. In that episode, they are seen in a video store that the Wonder Twins are hanging out in. Wendy and Wonder Dog's appearance is quite brief, but Marvin has a fairly significant role in the episode.

Film[edit]

  • Wonder Dog makes a cameo in The Lego Batman Movie. He appears as DJ at the 57th Annual Justice League Anniversary Party.
  • Wonder Dog also appeared in the animated movie JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time.

Video Games[edit]

  • Wonder Dog appears in DC Universe Online.

References[edit]

  1. Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Metuchen, New Jersey & London: The Scarecrow Press. p. 276. ISBN 0810815575. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. Burke, Timothy; Burke, Kevin (1998). Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up with Cartoon Culture. St. Martin's Griffin Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0312169961. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. Franklin, Chris (December 2012). "The Kids in the Hall (of Justice): A Whirlwind Tour with the Super Friends". Back Issue!. 1 (61): 24–28. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  4. Rovin, Jeff (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Prentice Hall. p. 286. ISBN 978-0132755610. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. Teen Titans #62 (August 2008). DC Comics.
  6. Teen Titans #66. DC Comics.


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