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Subj: Get Along, Little Doggies
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 at 06:05:54 pm EDT (Viewed 46 times)
Reply Subj: Re: One for the Birds
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 at 10:55:14 am EDT (Viewed 44 times)
Quote:Do you remember the story about Superman meeting sentient dogs?
I DO, INDEED. It was "The Wreck of the Cosmic Hound", from Superman # 318 (Dec., 1977).
In this tale, Superman, while investigating a strange light in space near the planet Uranus, is weakened by a mysterious cosmic clouc then pulled into the light, actually a space warp. He arrives in the rim of space over a planet he identifies as being in another galaxy.
Landing upon the planet, he is set upon by a pack of sentient dogs, alien, but looking mostly like our Earth canines. They have been taking care of a female collector of animal specimens who crash-landed on their planet some years ago. The crash cost the female one eye and one leg, leading to her name of "Peg-leg Portia". The alien dogs used their psychic powers to help Portia deal with the physical pain and to sustain her over time.
Cutting to the chase, Superman flies Peg-leg Portia off the planet, to her own world of Aquaterra. Superman recognises this planet, too; all the inhabitants of this world were killed by a solar flare three hundred years ago. Portia admits that she fled the planet while it was still thriving. She was forty-seven years old then and dying of an incurable disease. She left to die on an uninhabited world.
She found the Planet of the Dogs, only too late learning that the canines were sentient. Their psychic powers couldn't cure her, but they kept her alive. Now, all Portia wants to do is die. Aiding that decision is the fact that, away from the alien dogs, her ageing has accelerated to her true 347 years.
The Man of Steel's first instinct is to save Portia. But, then, he recalls advice Pa Kent gave him when he was a Superboy:
"Son, for all that you love and cherish life, you must remember that death is a part of life. Remember, too, that despite all your power, you'll always be a man, not a god! There may come a time when you face a choice between life and death---and life may not be the answer. That decision is not yours to make."
Despite every impulse screaming to find a way to save Portia's life, Superman turns and walks away, leaving her fate to "the decree of a higher power."
Portia's last words are a barely audible "thank you".
An interesting but not particularly memorable tale. For all of of the plot with the dogs and Portia and the concept of euthanasia, probably the most notable aspect of this story is that it starts the new mythos development of Lana Lang becoming Clark Kent's co-anchor for the evening news.
Hope this helps.
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