365 Reasons to Love Comics #101
Comics’ greatest monkey is today’s Ape-ril star!
101. Beppo the Super-Monkey
You bet your sweet Beppo!
Boy, I love this monkey. He’s easily the best “super-pet” out of the whole stable. You got your dog, your cat, your horse, your Proty II, but Beppo is the best. It’s not just because he’s a monkey with a cape, though that certainly factors in; but he’s such a fun character in comparison to the other Super-Pets. And he’s way better than that Bongo fellow.
Beppo first appeared as a nameless Super-Monkey in Superboy #76, seen above. His origin is fantastic– he was an experimental lab monkey Jor-El used to test baby Kal-El’s rocket flight! That’s just brilliant. And, rather than go down with the planet, our little Kryptonian monkey stowed away on Kal-El’s ship and made it to Earth. He must’ve found a way to keep himself busy, however, until he showed up in Super-Baby’s life in the issue seen above.
In contrast to the brave and obedient Krypto, Beppo was characterized as a cheeky little monkey, constantly causing trouble through his mischevious ways. He’s the trickster of the Super-Pet world, and he proved to be the most fun and interesting. In later issues, he took the name “Beppo” in honor of an organ grinder’s monkey he met.
Because he was such a pain in the butt, however, Clark kept trying to get rid of him, but Beppo kept coming back. For a while there, he was the jungle’s #1 crimefighter (sorry, B’Wana Beast), enforcing proper laws among the animals:
That first panel there is one of the greatest comics panels of all time. It’s not everyday you see a monkey with Superman’s powers beating up regular gorillas because they happened to be higher up on the food chain. Too bad the fight ended before Beppo got around to the super-poop-flinging. I bet he could throw his feces so hard, it’d put a whole through a guy. Or send a durable villain flying through a few walls. And you would never be able to clean it off.
Eventually, Superboy ditched Beppo in deep space, but he returned, years later, teaming up with Supergirl and becoming a founding member of the Legion of Super-Pets, along with Krypto, Streaky, Comet, and Proty II, everyone’s favorite gelatinous blob creature (sorry, Gloop and Gleep of the Herculoids. …actually, forget it, Gloop and Gleep are awesome. Sorry, Proty II. You’re the redheaded stepchild of the Super-Pet set).
Just don’t tick ‘em off:
I fear for Saturn Girl. (You’ll notice Proty II doesn’t appear, because Matter Eater Lad confused him for mashed potatoes. Okay, okay, I kid– I love Proty II. He doesn’t get enough respect).
Beppo only had about a dozen appearances Pre-Crisis, and has barely been so much as referenced Post-Crisis. He did, however, just recently appear in Krypto the Super-Dog #6, or so I’m told. Run out right now and pick it up! Beppo deserves your love.
I see no reason why Beppo cannot return to continuity. They brought back Krypto, they can bring back Beppo! He’s way cooler, because he doesn’t play by Superboy’s rules, and he mainly just causes trouble for everyone around him. This makes Beppo a total badass. If they ever dared let me write the Super-books, I would most certainly unleash the return of Beppo upon the world.
Heck, give Beppo his own series. I think Dial M for Monkey of Dexter’s Laboratory (had to find a way to mention this) proved it can be done.
At least we’ve got a Beppo action figure available! Admittedly, it only comes packaged with the Superman Robot. Wait. Let me put that another way: there’s a free Superman Robot figure with purchase of Beppo.
Let the cry echo throughout the land: bring back Beppo or the Proty II gets it! After all, Beppo is the only Super-Pet that Lord Byron wrote a poem about.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is why Beppo is comics’ greatest monkey. To close out today’s column, I will share a hilariously awesome picture I found on Dial B for Blog:
Oh, if only this existed.