Krypto the super dog’s first appearance in March 1955 must have been a success, because just a few months later readers were introduced to Batman’s canine comrade, Ace the Bat-Hound. Robin made a mask for the dog to cover a distinguishing mark on his forehead—but should he have even bothered? If the citizens of Gotham City weren’t clever enough to realize Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Ace looked exactly like Batman, Robin, and Bat-Hound, would that little mark really have given him away?
Bat-Hound was nowhere near as popular as Superman’s pet pooch though, and was prominently featured in only a handful of stories. It could have been that readers weren’t as interested in Batman’s dog because he lacked super powers. More likely, it stemmed from the fact that Krypto’s thought balloons revealed him to be a rational being with a personality, while nobody ever knew what regular dog Bat-Hound was thinking.
Ace popped up occasionally for almost 10 years but when a new editor took over in 1964, Batman’s supporting cast took a hit. Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Robin made the cut but Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite, and Bat-Hound were all shown the door.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Next: Robin, the Boy Wonder!