Tuesday, April 10, 2018

That Darn Cat! (Part One of a Streaky Overview!) ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post!


The fifties and the sixties saw several super-powered animals introduced into the DC Comics universe. Super dogs, a super horse, a super mouse, a super monkey and several super-powered gorillas...!

But today I'm going to focus on a super cat.

Streaky the cat was so named (by none other than Supergirl, cuz he was her pet) because he had a streak in the shape of a lightning bolt on his side. Well, actually two streaks, one on each side. That was probably to make it easier for the artist. All he had to do was remember to draw a freakin' lightning bolt, no matter which side of the cat he was drawing. "Streaky" was not a very imaginative name, in my opinion, but then again, someone other than myself (probably my mom) named my first cat "Tippy" because the very tip of his tail was pure white. (I usually had more creative names for my pets. I even had a cat named "Shithead" in the early 1970s, a good three or four years before Steve Martin's dog Shithead in 1979's The Jerk.)

But I digress.

Streaky the supercat's first appearance was in the Supergirl feature in Action Comics #261, in a story entitled "Supergirl's Super Pet!"



Briefly: Supergirl, in her secret identity as Linda Lee, was living in an orphanage when she saw a stray cat and decided to keep him. As I mentioned above, she named him Streaky because of his lightning-bolt-shaped markings.

As it happened, Supergirl was experimenting with a small Kryptonite meteor, attempting to cure her vulnerability (as well as her cousin Superman's) to the mineral. When her goofy experiments didn't work, she discarded the tiny piece of green rock far from the orphanage.

Isn't it great that the orphanage has its own chemical laboratory?!?

Not far enough, it seems. Her cat found it while wandering around, and... ummm... it miraculously turned out that Supergirl's experiment had turned the Kryptonite into something new, which the story's writer (Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman) decided to call X-Kryptonite. And X-Kryptonite gave little Streaky super powers, just like those of Supergirl and Superman.


I have absolutely no idea why the powers the tiny meteor gave the cat were exactly the same as that of the super cousins. I mean, really! What were the odds of that?

Probably about as slim as the cat's banging into (and smashing) a Superman doll, after which the doll's cape all-too-conveniently attached itself to the cat's neck!

Also, I don't recall any other animal -- or any human -- ever getting powers from the X-Kryptonite in subsequent stories. Just the freakin' cat.

Anyway, fellow babies, Streaky had a series of little adventures in his initial outing. For example... 

I just love the wide-eyed, cartoony face artist Jim Mooney  gave Streaky!

...and Streaky even got to play with Supergirl for a while.

And don'tcha just hate it when people let their spools of heavy cable drift around in outer space?

Unfortunately, the effects of the X-Kryptonite wore off by the story's end.



That bottom caption spoke of later events because that panel
was from a reprinted version of the first Streaky story! Just sayin'.

And now for the good news: After all the lonnnng posts I subjected you to in the "They Might Be Giants!" series, I'm going to break off my little dissertation on the super-cat here, while the post's still relatively short (for me, anyway), and continue it next week.

Thanks for your time.

20 comments:

  1. They sure took some liberties with creating Streaky. But then the odds are 1 in millions, and someone has to be that 1. Having a pet named Shithead may make it hard to use the name when kids are about haha

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    1. I owned that cat when I was about seventeen or eighteen. There really weren't any children in my life at that time. The only one who was offended, albeit only slightly, was my mom. She called the cat "Mitzi," which I suppose was the closest she could get to "Shithead."

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  2. Well blow me! I had no idea Supergirl had her very own Supercat. But never mind that - I just love the idea of calling a pet cat Shithead! :)

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  3. The great thing about pets (and babies!) is that it doesn't really matter what you call them or say to them. If you gently stroke your cat and soothingly tell him "I'm going to chop your freakin' head off and feed you to the neighbor's Rottweiler, you stupid little ball of fur," he'll probably just purr in response. Isn't it great?

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  4. I'm really kinda fixated on Super Girl, now that you introduced me (us) to her. I can't say the same for Streaky, but she appears to have well more than 9 lives.

    Thanks for another fun dose of excitement here.
    Be well, SF.

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    1. There's actually a Supergirl television show on the CW Network. The stories are geared to a slightly older audience than the comic stories were when I was a kid, and the stories are also a lot less sexist than they were then!

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  5. I love superman,. always, I dont care supergirl hahah!

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    1. I liked her when I was a kid, and I was sad when they killed her off in the '80s... but they've brought out different versions of the character since then.

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  6. It’s strange I don’t remember much about Supergirl, but I know a lot about Superman. Why didn’t they just name the cat Lightning? I chuckled in regards to the work around drawing the cat. I knew they had a show Supergirl on TV, I think I watched it once. Christopher Reeve was great as Superman in my opinion. So sad about his fate:(

    Out of curiosity, what would you have called the cat?

    Have a nice weekend Silver!

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    1. I agree about Christopher Reeve. And I'm impressed that you wrote his name correctly. Way too many people called him "Christopher Reeves" (with a final S) because they get him confused with George Reeves (who played Superman on TV in the '50s) and even Steve Reeves (no relation to George), well-known for playing another muscleman, Hercules, in 1960s movies.

      What would I have called Streaky? Hm. As a kid in the 1960s? As an adult, writing for kids in the 1960s? Or even as an adult creating such a character nowadays? Food for thought.

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    2. Well, I guess Streaky was appropriate for the era. I still think Lightning would have been a better choice. Let's go with as an adult creating a character for today. What would you suggest? Since, the feline is female, I suggest Sharara, or Seaiqa. Ok, I know they are unique names, but they mean lightning. They also start with "S" haha.

      Any thoughts?

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    3. I just read your new post, so I know how you feel about names, but these aren't too outlandish.

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    4. I was never 100% sure if that cat was male or female, but as a comic book writer in today's world, I really like your suggestion of the name Sharara. And no, that's a unique name, but not just plain weird like some of those I wrote about in my other post.

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    5. I thought the cat was female representing a form of herself. Don’t ask me why?

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    6. There have been a few different "incarnations" of Streaky, some male, some female!

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  7. Ha! This has to be one of my favorite posts so far. Oh, Streaky . . . I love the fact that he's self-aware and has human-type superpowers as well as apparent supercat stuff.

    I enjoyed the commentary under the pictures, especially about the orphanage having its own chemical lab. Those were some fortunate orphans.

    Of all the unrealistic things, though, I think the kicker is when Streaky loses his superpowers and becomes confused and scared—and Supergirl is able to cradle him in her arms to rescue him. Uh huh . . . a scared cat will certainly hold still in your arms as you FLY, haha, and not claw the crap out of your face.

    Streaky was a great feature this week! Thanks!

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    1. All of the DC super-powered animals were self-aware. I guess that's a side benefit of having super powers. Ace the Bat-Hound was never "shown" thinking, to my knowledge.

      One good thing is that if Streaky had acted like a real cat, and panicked, he couldn't have injured Supergirl.

      And isn't it lucky they were close enough to Earth when Streaky lost his powers so he didn't immediately suffocate in airless space?

      Streaky Part Two-and-Final, coming up next Wednesday!

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  8. X-Kryptonite... I wonder if we could buy some of that stuff on Ebay. Somehow a cape doesn't look good on cats and dogs alike. Does the horse have a cape, too, I wonder.

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    1. Yes, he did, Blue. And the full story of Comet the Super-Horse is really kinda twisted, viewed through the eyes of an adult nowadays. I may do a post about that, too. Someday.

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