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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Alley-Kat-Abra is a Murderer?!

Every Saturday, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at whether Alley-Kat-Abra is really a murderer….

Enjoy!

In Teen Titans #30 and #31, Geoff Johns did a clever parody of Infinite Crisis by having a comic-within-a-comic depicting a grim and gritty version of Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew (the comic-within-a-comic was even drawn by Zoo Crew co-creator Scott Shaw!) that begins with the death of one of the Zoo Crew, Little Cheese.

In the end, it is revealed that the killer is one of the members of the Zoo Crew, the magical cat Alley-Kat-Abra…

Now this comic was obviously intended just as a parody, but it led to a Zoo Crew mini-series by Bill Morrison and Scott Shaw!, and in the mini-series, they decide to treat the Teen Titans story as Zoo Crew canon, leaving them with the task of explaining away Alley Kat-Abra’s actions, and here is what they came up with…

The series ended with her as a member of the team and in their only appearance since then she has been a member of the team, so I guess they accepted her story!

Thanks to Andy N. for the suggestion!

28 Comments

You could feature this story in your Easter Egg column since it appears to have several eggs. Turning Yankee Poodle into a puppet “in a flash” was a reference to the classic Flash #133 starring Abra Kadabra. “Wicked Wanda” was a reference to the just completed “Avengers Disassembled” storyline. Escaping a nether world via the Metaphysical Flies of Fago sounds like a Dr. Strange story. Etc.

Couple things:

“a clever parody of Infinite Crisis ”
1) the comic in a comic thing is not a spoof of Infinite Crisis as you say, but of Watchmen. It took place during Infinite Crisis and the results of the second series aided the Monitor in Final Crisis.

“they decide to treat the Teen Titans story as Zoo Crew canon”
2) it’s been clearly established for a long time that CC&HAZC is a comic/cartoon in the Post-Crisis DCU, much like the Earth-2 were comics in Earth-1, so likely anything that takes place in the DCU via the comics is canon, regardless.

Glad it was undone (or rather, explained away), as Alley and Cheese never had problems. Not a fan of the American Eagle character, but he was a logical addition.

@Rob – “Magic Wanda” was the name of Alley’s magic wand since her first appearance. “Wicked Wanda” is a logical extension.

Besides being a Dr. Strange-style incantation, the “Metaphysical Flies of Fago” is also a reference to Vince Fago, an artist who worked on funny animal comics for Marvel in the ’40s.

Squashua.

I thought it was a spoof of Identity Crisis.

It could be both, Squashua.

Spider Jerusalem

January 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

There’s some terrible panel-to-panel continuity here. Is it Monday or Wednesday?

randypan the goatboy

January 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

how is this a “clever parody of infinite Crisis”? i have read and re read infinte crisis and i am not getting the reference. please explain…

i second the notion that this story also belong s in the the easter egg colum . mostly from the homage to that flash story and abra cat escaping ala doctor strange. and always though surely a member of the zoo crew would not kill another that the story had to have a twist. though a pity that that story is the last adventure of captain carrrot and crew in print .

I have the trade of this. I adore the CC and the Zoo Crew, but the whole story ended up having such a weird and downer ending. Maybe there was a follow-up I missed that takes place after the gang landed the ark?

@united. the Zoo crew briefly appear in the final issue of Final Crisis.

This is the moment I started to doubt Geoff Johns.

Was it a parody of Watchmen, Identity Crisis and such? Yeah, kinda. But this is really more of an example of how all of DC’s comics have trended darker and “more realistic” throughout the 2000s, even to today with the New 52. As a fan of the original Captain Carrot series back in the 80s (and where the hell is my Showcase edition, DC?), this story left a bad taste in my mouth. And even if this is just a collection of funny animal drawings with ink on paper, I’m glad it was over-turned.

@Wesley, I thought DC had done a Capt. Carrot Showcase volume. Or was that one that got put off and didn’t come out?

You could consider “Wicked Wanda” as a reference to the Penthouse version of Little Annie Fanny. Um, no, I will NOT say how I know that!

I’m going to send Brian an email about this, because I think there was more to this story (Capt. Carrot getting grim ‘n’ gritty).

how is this a “clever parody of infinite Crisis”? i have read and re read infinte crisis and i am not getting the reference. please explain…

The whole point of the beginning of Infinite Crisis is that the DC Universe had gotten progressively darker (leading to Alexander Luthor, Golden Age Superman and Superboy Prime to return to the DC Universe). In the issue of Teen Titans that the pages came from, the whole issue was reacting to Wonder Woman murdering Maxwell Lord, which kicked off Infinite Crisis.

Part two wasn’t actually drawn by Scott. DC actually LOST his pages and it was too late to get new ones by the the time the issue had to hit the stands. They didn’t even bother printing the originals when they recollected it in the recent trade of the mini.

The other sad thing is they never bothered to have Scott and Bill finish the story they started in that mini and had Grant “fix” things in Final Crisis… which always bothered me because they didn’t bother to address why Pig-Iron turned into a real pig — Pig-Iron was stuck on Earth C-Minus when the rest of the Zoo Crew were transformed.

Then again I guess that’s all been retconned, so maybe Bill and Scott will finish their story one day?

I recall an issue of Wizard several years ago, that featured an article about an upcoming Crisis-like Captain Carrot story from Johns and Phil Jimenez. At the time I thought it was an April Fools’ Day joke (it was the April issue, after all, featuring some mock-up news and articles), so I’m surprised and glad to see Johns really did something with that, eventually.

The latter mini-series I actually remember from solicitations a few years back.

@TomerS: coughcoughcough *ahem* THAT was what I emailed Brian about. It WAS their April Fools issue, and a later issue had a letter from a fan disappointed that it was just a joke. Johns said something in the response to the letter to the effect that “if enough people are interested, maybe we’ll do something with it”.

Not all ideas are good ones….

Um, all of you are wrong…(pushing my glasses up on the bridge of my nose).

Regarding it as a spoof of Infinite Crisis – Little Cheese is playing the role of Blue Beetle. Underrated hero who tells the others he’s “onto something big” and then turns up dead before he can let them know what it is, and turned out to have been murdered by an ally of the heroes.

This AICN interview with Scott Shaw! Answers some of the questions posited here…

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51575

Xum

Glad you liked my suggestion, Brian. While I understand the darker approach and the whole cat-mouse thing, it did fly in the face of Alley’s normal characterization so I was quite happy to see her restored to glory. Ironic how a writer known for retconning away a hero-turned-bad story had the same thing happen to his own attempts at turning a hero bad.

Just noticed a typo in the column: it should be “Alley” not “Ally”. I hope the series gets relaunched. We need more strange stuff like this.

Eventhough I am DC-nut, I always strayed away from “funny animals”. I have never heard about this, thanks for sharing.

A few thoughts:

*That story in Teen Titans was a the first time (but sadly not the last) I was disappointed in Geoff Johns. He clearly had no grasp of what made the Zoo Crew such a great group of characters.

*I can understand the arguments for why people think the TT story was a spoof of Identity Crisis or Infinite Crisis, but I think it’s Watchmen all the way. Look at the cover of the issue in the kid’s hand. There’s a dark band down the side like the one Watchmen used. The close-up of a hand and a carrot alone is definitely a reference to the type of cover images on the Watchmen issues. An Identity/Infinite Crisis spoof would have had a more standard shot featuring heroes in costumes.

*To this day I am furious about the Final Ark mini and the fact that DiDio had it tie into Final Crisis. It should have been allowed to stand alone, Morrison and Shaw! should have been allowed to complete their story instead of leaving Earth C a destroyed wasteland, and although the brief resolution in the final pages of Final Crisis was better than nothing (although barely), there’s a huge continuity gaffe because Pig Iron was suddenly present with the Zoo Crew even though a large part of the Final Ark cliffhanger was that the team had been forced to leave him behind on Earth C.

as one person this was actually stated this from what I have seen but the Zoo crew story-line was originally an April fools joke it used to be that Wizard Magazine ever April would put a fake blurb f an up coming come that sounded like it would be really cool I remember looking forward to Geoff john North Star on going max series X In The City .
One of those gag advertisements was the return Zoo Crew and the death of little cheese along with a really cool pin up by Phil Jimenez . it was confirmed later

That craptastic Final Ark travesty was the final straw driving me completely away from DC Comics. After that I knew for certain that there was nothing they would not distort or pervert or betray, there was nothing too vile for them to stoop to.

They got those last three pages back – in shreds. I had never done that before, but I had never been so stone-cold FURIOUS before.

As for the “fix” in Final Crisis, there’s no on-panel proof, but I like to think that Nix Uotan retconned out and rewrote most of the third issue, so that the Zoo Crew and the Just’a Lotta Animals were able to stop Rash AlPaca before it was too late.

I also like to think that AlPaca turned out to be an escaped foe of Batmouse who had somehow been transported to Earth-C and decided to wreck it for a combination of Teh Evuls and indirect revenge against Batmouse.

Although only Ambush Bug knows what Flashpoint made of the whole thing….

As a Captain Carrot fan, how did I miss the A&F entry? A resounding yes to what everyone said about this story and the follow-up miniseries ending/non-ending. Curse you, DC.

Jennifer Pruitt

August 10, 2014 at 8:17 am

Loved Captain Carrot as a kid! I hope DC brings them back! With some new members along with the original!

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