365 Reasons to Love Comics #159
Anthropomorphism Fortnight continues with a particularly marvelous rabbit. But first, here it is, your moment of archive.
159. Hoppy the Marvel Bunny
Here’s one you didn’t you’d see, eh? But no, Hoppy’s great. Created by cartoonist Chad Grothkopf (fantastic name) for Fawcett in 1942, Hoppy was what his name and appearance implied– a funny animal version of Captain Marvel. He was one of the first super-funny-animals, beating out Marvel’s Super Rabbit and several others by about a year, though he came after Mighty Mouse. Hoppy first appeared in Fawcett’s Funny Animals, a title he would be featured in throughout the entirety of its 82-issue run, but he also had his own title, which lasted 15 issues.
Much like Billy Batson, this Hoppy cried “Shazam!” to transform into Captain Marvel Bunny. Hoppy’s Shazam stood for different things, however. It went something like this:
Like most Golden Age heroes, Hoppy spent quite a bit of his time promoting the war effort:
Don Markstein informs us of Hoppy’s mysterious fate. When Fawcett folded, it sold Funny Animals off to Charlton Comics, but because of DC’s lawsuit, Captain Marvel Bunny couldn’t continue– so he became Magic Bunny. However, years later, with DC now exerting ownership over the Marvel Family, Hoppy returned! They couldn’t have technically owned him, however, because they hadn’t bought out Charlton yet. No one seemed to care, though. Dare I ask– was Hoppy unimportant?
Well, maybe. But we love him anyway.
Hoppy’s only appeared a handful of times since the Golden Age, including an issue of DC Comics Presents, where he suddenly appeared to rescue Superman and the rest of the Marvels from certain death. And of course, he teamed up with Captain Carrot at least once.
In the 90’s, our pal Jerry Ordway brought Hoppy into an issue of Power of Shazam for a not-quite-in-canon guest appearance, but I’m fairly certain that’s the last we saw of Hoppy. C’mon, comics! Aren’t there any Hoppy fans out there? No? Dang.
Well, it could be worse. Judd Winick could be writing him. (Ouch.)
Alright, alright, you’re all going to tell me today’s was a really lame column. They can’t all be winners, people! I am sleepy. These things happen. Regardless, I love the Marvel Bunny because he’s silly, wacky, and weird. The comics industry is a cyclical beast, so I’m sure, much like the cicada, Hoppy will return one of these days in an exciting new adventure. I can always hope.