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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #240

Well, since dogs are on the menu (I’m thinking there’s a better way to put that), it’s time for today’s love-in star! Send in the hounds. (Arf-chive.)


240. Rex the Wonder Dog

Rex 1.jpg

The world’s smartest German Shepherd may seem cheesy to you, but by God, he’s fantastic. Created by, believe it or not, Robert “the Bob” Kanigher and Alex “Awesomesauce” Toth, Rex managed to carry his own series for almost eight years in the genre-splosive decade that was the 1950s. Mostly, it was about Rex getting into wild adventures, rescuing hapless humans, and, on occasion, fighting Nazis.

After his stint in the war, Rex went to live with the Phillips family, and, of course, saved them from various menaces. Rex wasn’t any one man’s best friend– he was every man’s best friend! Except for bad guys, that is. After that, he teamed up with a scientist for a time, and had crazy sci-fi adventures. Because he could. Truly, he’s a “gud dog.”

Rex 6.jpgRex 3.jpgRex 5.jpg

Rex vs. a bear! Rex vs. a bull! Rex vs. Rex: Dog vs. a freakin’ Tyrannosaurus! And oh yeah, the Wonder Dog proved himself the toughest Rex of all.

And the above, my friends, is nothing. Rex has probably battled ever member of the animal kingdom, from lions to tigers to hawks to octopi to wild boars, usually several times over. Truly, Rex the Wonder Dog is the real king of the jungle, and prairie, and anywhere else.

Of course, he did make friends with animals, as well. Here’s Rex hanging out with dolphins and partaking in some horseback riding:

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As for the best Rex cover of them all, well, you can’t go wrong with the following. It’s one of the all-time greatest comic book covers:

Rex 2.jpg

Rex is the smartest dog in comics. He could do anything from swinging on vines to fighting tyranny and oppression. And heck, he wasn’t the only adventurer in his family– his brother was Pooch, a member of the WWII-era Losers.

Since his series ended, Rex has made various appearances and cameos. He’s shown up in Justice League and Flash, among others. Also, it’s recently been revealed that he discovered the Fountain of Youth, and shared its secrets with Detective Chimp. Seriously. Rex rules.

For more on the most wondrous dog who ever lived, hit up the Toonopedia entry, and look at this neat Absorbascon post.

Question Time!!!:

Who would be top dog in a fight: Rex the Wonder Dog, “Wonder Dog” from Superfriends, Dyno-Mutt, Golden Age Green Lantern’s dog Streak, Ace the Bat-Hound, or G’Nort? Yes, I left out Krypto. You’ll have to deal! I also left out our CSBG mascot, 1. That’d just be cheating.


Hey what about Barnabas from Sandman? May not be the most powerful but he’d keep the conversation lively.

Rex the Wonder Dog rules. For those who haven’t read it, the Rex overview post at scans_daily provides some examples of Rex’s derring-do.

[…] Born Eli Katz, the man who would become Gil Kane began working on comics when he was only a teenager, working for companies like MLJ and Timely. After serving in WWII, he returned to the States and began working on various DC titles: everything from All-Star Western to Strange Adventures to Rex the Wonder Dog (where he drew one of the best covers of all time, with Rex as an Indian Chief). ‘Twas in the late ’50s, however, that he became a titanic talent in the field by helping launch the Silver Age with his work on Green Lantern and the Atom, inked by guys like Joe Giella and Murphy Anderson. Check out his work in those lovely Showcase editions! […]

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