Greetings from the Odinson,
The Odinson is out of the office this week, so here’s one from the Vault.
Originally posted in 12/2017.
The Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Justice League are the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. Even their animal pals – the Pet Avengers and the DC Super Pets – are legendary for their acts of bravery. However, there are other members of the animal kingdom that heed the call to action. This pack of brave and selfless creatures is made up of furry, scaly, and blubbery heroes every bit is brave and courageous as their bipedal counterparts.
The Odinson’s Greatest Heroes of the Animal Kingdom
These legendary animals can be broken down into three distinct categories.
The first category features a list of critters that can be found in the real world animal kingdom.
Legends of the Animal Kingdom
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi – Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a mongoose that is adopted by a British family when they move to India. The family soon finds their garden infested and their household invaded by a pair of sinister cobras. It is only through the speed, cunning, and bravery of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi that the family survives the continuous assaults by these poisonous serpents.
Silver – Hi-Yo, Silver! Away! Known for his blazing fast speed and Herculean stamina, Silver is a majestic ivory steed whose name is just as legendary in tales of high adventure set in the Old West as the man he carries into battle.
Flipper – Just like other aquatic heroes like Sub-Mariner and Aquaman, this highly intelligent, super-fast bottlenose dolphin’s beat covers three-fourths of the planet. Whether fending off savage sharks, battling against modern day pirates, or rescuing a drowning child, the coastlines and ocean depths are patrolled and kept safe by Flipper.
Bigwig – Though this honor could have gone to either Hazel, a brave and cunning leader of the rabbits, or even his wise little brother, Fiver, with his prophetic visions and enduring council, it’s Bigwig that makes my list. Bigwig may be gruff, but he’s loyal and he is courageous almost to a fault. It’s Bigwig that stands his ground and battles against the superior foe General Woundwart for the fate of the warren.
Speaking of generals…
General – In the film Cat’s Eye, an anthology based on stories by Stephen King, we are introduced to an intrepid tomcat that hears the telepathic calls for help from a child. After the cat’s journey intersects with a couple of other harrowing stories, he finally makes his way to a family’s home where he is adopted by the child Amanda. However, Amanda’s mother is not a cat person and refuses to let the cat stay in the house. Unbeknownst to the parents, a sinister gremlin that lives in their walls comes out at night and steals Amanda’s life-force making the child sick. The creature’s actions would have eventually killed the child, but General, against all odds, makes his way back into the house and saves Amanda from the little monster.
Legends of the Animal Kingdom Hall of Fame: Lassie.
The second category of heroic beasts can only be found in the worlds of might and magic and super science.
Animal Heroes of Fantasy
Lady Amalthea – The sinister beast known as the Red Bull has hunted down the majestic unicorns to extinction. To save the last unicorn, a bumbling wizard uses his magic to transform her into a human woman. Now, Lady Amalthea struggles with this new bipedal body and these new sensations of human emotions, including love. Will Lady Amalthea choose to live out her days in the form of a human mortal, or will she embrace her destiny and face down her foe, the monstrous Red Bull, for the fate of all unicorns?
K-9 – This robotic companion of the Fourth Doctor is like having the encyclopedic knowledge of C-3PO and the versatile mechanics of R2-D2 in one mechanized hero. Throughout the years, K-9 has proven just as invaluable to the Doctor’s crusade for justice as those two droids did a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Smrgol – When the evil Red Wizard’s ambitions threaten not only the magical kingdoms but the real world of man as well, the benevolent Green Wizard recruits a band of heroes to go on a quest and put an end to the villain’s plot. One of these heroes is Peter, a normal man and scientist from our world, whose body and mind are accidently merged with that of a young dragon. Being a neophyte in such affairs, Peter is trained in the ways of the dragon by the veteran dragon Smrgol. However, when the group is attacked by a mighty ogre, Peter’s inexperience almost costs everybody their lives. Smrgol steps in and defeats the monster but succumbs to his wounds in the aftermath. It’s his Obi-Wan-like tutorship, bravery, and ultimate sacrifice for the greater good that has Smrgol making my list of heroes.
Einstein – Einstein is a genetically engineered super dog altered to have genius level intelligence. He escapes the laboratory that created him and befriends a former soldier. However, the clandestine agency that created him wants him back by any means necessary. Plus, a second experiment, a creature bread and engineered only for murder, has also escaped, and it wants Einstein and anyone that gets in its way dead.
Guenhwyvar – The dark elf ranger hero Drizzt Do’Urden uses a small magical figurine to summon forth his panther companion from the astral plane to fight alongside him against the forces of evil. Guenhwyvar is strong, agile, a fierce fighter, and completely loyal to her master. She is utterly fearless, even flinging herself against far superior opponents like dragons and arch demons. Together, Drizzt and Guenhwyvar have proven to be a powerful and legendary force for justice in the Forgotten Realms.
Animal Heroes of Fantasy Hall of Fame: Pegasus.
Our final category features those amazing animals with almost human-like qualities and attributes but abilities far beyond mere human capabilities.
Anthropomorphic Super Critters
Mighty Mouse – Here I come to save the day! With super strength, speed, stamina, and the ability to fly, Mighty Mouse has all the tools he needs to keep his city, Mouseville, and his best gal, Pearl Pureheart, safe from evil doers like the scheming Oil Can Harry and sinister Clutching Cat.
Underdog – There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here! When the mad scientist Simon Bar Sinister or the lupine gangster Riff Raff threaten Sweet Polly Purebred or his city, mild-manner Shoeshine Boy ducks into a nearby telephone booth and with a bolt of lightning transforms into the mighty hero Underdog! With the speed of lightning and the power of thunder, Underdog is an unstoppable force for justice!
Dynomutt – This mechanical sidekick to the stalwart Blue Falcon is one of the most versatile heroes in any heroic pantheon. A lot like Inspector Gadget, Dynomutt’s robotic limbs can extend and his metal body seems to contain just about any gadget, tool, and accessory needed for any crime-fighting situation. Unfortunately for the Blue Falcon, Dynomutt’s clumsiness and overzealous can-do attitude often collide and cause almost as much trouble for our hero as the villains do. But never fear, Dynomutt always comes through in the end.
Darkwing Duck – Let’s get dangerous! Like Mighty Mouse and Underdog are to Superman, Darkwing is an allegory for Batman. By day, Drake Mallard is an average citizen, but by night, he is Darkwing Duck, a masked crime-fighter armed with all the gadgets, vehicles, and combat skills needed to keep the city of St. Canard safe from the villainy of Bushroot, Quackerjack, and Negaduck!
Anthropomorphic Super Critters Hall of Fame: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell