Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett looks at the world of dog comics.

Last week, while floating the idea of a Lockjaw movie (see “Confessions of a Comic Book Guy - Thanks For Giving”), I suggested that the premise of the heroic dog might be past its sell-by date, seeing as how it had been a while since anyone had tried to revive Lassie*.  Well, while waiting for my physical therapist to return, I picked up a random month-old issue of Forbes and in an article about yet another really rich guy, the writer mentioned he was somehow involved in a new Benji movie that was in the works.  A little Internet researching later and on the Movieweb site I find the article “Benji Reboot Begins Shooting, Blumhouse Shares First Photo.”

Blumhouse is “the studio behind the movies Paranormal Activity and Sinister,” as well as the much-reviled-by-fans-of-the-source-material and box office bomb Jem and the Holograms.  According to the article, “It has been promised that Blumhouse’s horror genre ways will not seep into this first reboot”.  Which is kind of a shame because when I found out Blumhouse was involved and figured out who they were, my mind instantly went to a horror movie hybrid where the loveable little dog would face off against an army of killer rats.  As in, you know, Benji Vs. Ben. Two revivals for the price of one.

I also wrote how back in the 50s both DC and Marvel had their own comics featuring “wonder” dogs (Rex the Wonder Dog and Blaze the Wonder Collie, respectively), but naturally, I forgot to mention the definitive, singular, actual article.  By which of course I mean Wonderdog from the Super Friends cartoon, of Marvin and Wendy fame (or infamy, depending on who you talk to).  And I really should have, seeing as how back in 2008 I wrote (see “Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Wither Wonderdog?”) how in the pages of Teen Titans #62, the affable dog transformed into a monstrous beast who viciously savaged his former partners, killing Marvin and paralyzing Wendy.  Since the DC Universe once again has rebooted itself, and Wonder Woman being so much in the public eye right now, maybe it's time Wonderdog got his own comic.

I really should have mentioned a couple of very recent comics, Astro City #47-48.  Series creator/writer Kurt Busiek has given us clever, modern twists on any number of superhero comic tropes, but in these issues, he takes on a long-neglected, much mocked one; the animal superhero.  In them, as the DC Comics website puts it, “a mystical amulet transforms petty thief Andy Merton and his Corgi, Hank, into the high-flying, half-canine superhero known as G-Dog.”  Admittedly, even with your suspension of disbelief working overtime, it’s a little hard to take the premise entirely seriously (though certainly the same could be said of superheroes in general).  But Busiek wisely marries all of the animal superheroics with the heartfelt story about the love between a man and his dog.

Of course, if I’m going to devote an entire column about comic book dogs (and it sure seems like I am),  clearly the king of the canines is Scooby-Doo who’s currently appearing in three very different DC titles Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo Team-Up and Scooby-Doo Apocalypse.  While I was never a big fan of Scoob and the gang growing up, as I’ve written here before, Scooby-Doo Team-Up is one of my favorite current comics, period.  Month after month it features incredible writing and art, but for me, the main attraction is, as the title would imply, Scooby teaming with various characters from the DC and Hanna-Barbara libraries. I was especially taken with a recent two-parter where he meets The Atom and Adam Ant.  Though, sadly, The Atom never meets Adam Ant; now, that’s a team-up I’d really like to see.

*Although Lassie, of course, has been around a lot longer, Millennials probably have a better chance of recognizing Benji.  The last time the collie was on the screen was 1994’s Lassie, while the last in the Benji series, Benji Off The Leash, came out in 2004.  The last time the genre was the basis of a feature film was the Disney animated effort from 2008 Bolt, though it used its familiar conventions to fuel a comedy about a canine actor who only believed he was a wonder dog.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of