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Zoo Crew

Official Name
Zoo Crew
Team Aliases

Status
Status

Team Identity

Alignment

Universe

Base Of Operations

Organization
Team Leader(s)

Current Members

Enemies
Armordillo; Digger O'Doom; Doctor Hoot; Frogzilla; King Kone

Place of Formation


First appearance

Contents

History

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! is a DC Comics comic book about a team of funny animal superheroes called the Zoo Crew. The characters first appeared in a special insert in The New Teen Titans #16 (February 1982), which was shortly followed by getting its own series, which was published from 1982 to 1983. The Zoo Crew characters were created by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw. Although the series, which was the last original funny animal property created by DC Comics, proved short-lived (lasting only 20 issues), it is still fondly remembered by various comic fans, and the characters still appear occasionally in cameos in the mainstream DC Universe.

A Showcase Presents reprinting of the entire series is slated for September 2007. In October 2007 a three-issue series called "Captain Carrot and the Final Ark" began publication.

The various members of the Zoo Crew lived on a parallel Earth that, during DC's pre-Crisis Multiverse system, was named "Earth-C." Earth-C consisted of a world where various anthropomorphized talking animals existed; the series featured a lot of pun names for real-world aspects. For instance, the Zoo Crew operated out of "Los Antelopes, Califurnia," a parody of Los Angeles, California; similar puns included places with names such as "Gnu York" (New York City), "Tallahatchee" (Tallahassee, Florida), "Cornada" (Canada), and the "United Species of America" (United States of America).

The president of Earth-C's version of the U.S. was "Mallard Fillmore" (a reference to 19th century U.S. president Millard Fillmore); other famous figures of Earth-C included "Liz Whaler" (Elizabeth Taylor), "Marlin Brando" (Marlon Brando), and "Byrd Rentals" (Burt Reynolds)---the latter of whom became a member of the Zoo Crew.

Historical figures and events on Earth-C included the "Second Weird War" (World War II; Earth-C's version featured the U.S. and the Allies fighting the "Ratzis" (Nazis) and President "Abraham Linkidd" (a goat, Earth-C's version of Abraham Lincoln), who was immortalized in the nation's capital ("Waspington, D.C.") at the "Linkidd Memorial."

Earth-C's population also consisted of the various "funny animal" characters that appeared in DC Comics over the years, particularly those in such Golden Age and Silver Age DC titles as Funny Stuff, The Dodo and the Frog, Real Screen Comics, and so forth. Indeed, several characters from these series made cameos during the run of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew.

Eventually, readers (and the Zoo Crew) were introduced to the parallel Earth of "Earth-C-Minus," which turned out to be the home of "Just'a Lotta Animals" (a parody of the Justice League of America) and whose world was an all-animal reflection of the mainstream DC Universe.

After the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was stated that Earth-C and Earth-C-Minus were actually "alternate dimensions" rather than parallel Earths, and thus were spared from the effects of Crisis. More recently, the miniseries The Kingdom presented Earth-C as a Hypertime reality. In the current series, Countdown, the Monitors include one who has a neck and head that appears to resemble a giraffe's. There is an equivalent of Earth-C in the newly reestablished DC Multiverse, currently designated "Earth 26," although no further details are forthcoming.

Origin

The origin of the team came about when Superman was investigating a strange phenomenon causing the citizens of Metropolis to begin acting like their primate ancestors. He soon found a ray streaking at him from a strange barrier surrounding the Earth, which prompted him to use a meteorite as protection. When the ray struck the meteorite, Superman and the meteor's fragments were sent from Superman's native dimension into Earth-C. There, Superman met several of the world's residents, who had gained superpowers when they were struck by the various meteor fragments.

The animals and Superman soon teamed up to stop the source of the ray (which was also causing the denizens of Earth-C to behave like their non-anthropomorized animal ancestors), which turned out to be the old Justice League villain Starro, a sentient starfish, who was launching his de-evolution assault from the Earth-C universe's Pluto. After defeating the villain, the animals decided to stick together and form the Zoo Crew, and Superman returned home.

Zoo Crew Returns

In Teen Titans vol.3, #30-31 (December 2005-January 2006), the Zoo Crew made their first return appearance in some time, in stories presented as excerpts from a comic book story—"Whatever Happened to Captain Carrot?"—that a character in the "real" DC Comics universe reads in #30. In these excerpts, the Zoo Crew is shown to have mostly disbanded and now live in a somewhat "darker" world than in their prior adventures. Little Cheese has been killed, Fastback has disappeared, Captain Carrot is in self-imposed retirement after the death of a former partner, the secret identities of Alley-Kat-Abra and Yankee Poodle are now public knowledge, and Pig-Iron and Rubberduck are operating as costumed heroes in secret. The story is a parody of the grim and gritty trend most often identified with late 1980s to early 1990s superhero comics, and it includes references to several of DC's own series (such as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen; in fact, the cover of the Captain Carrot comic actually bears a distinct resemblance to the cover of Watchmen #1). In the end, after sending Alley-Kat-Abra to prison for murdering Little Cheese (her motive revealed to be simply that cats hate mice), Captain Carrot and the remaining Zoo Crew members return to action with a new member, the American Eagle, on their way to retrieve Fastback from the future (where Alley-Kat-Abra had banished him).

The Zoo Crew returns in a Countdown to Final Crisis tie-in entitled Captain Carrot and the Final Ark! (October-December 2007). In the new DC Multiverse, the Zoo Crew now reside on Earth-26. They are rendered unable to use their powers due to a Collar I.D. Initiative, which requires superheroes to reveal their secret identities to the government (this is later revealed to be a sham, a way to strip heroes of their powers). Alley-Kat-Abra returns to the team, revealing that it was an evil duplicate, "Dark Alley", that had committed her crimes. The Zoo Crew face off against Starro and Rash Al Paca, who are attempting to flood the earth. The villains' plan succeeds, and the Zoo Crew have an ocean liner loaded with refugees that is transported off the planet by the Just'a Lotta Animals. The New Dogs then accidentally send the ship to New Earth via a Kaboom Tube. Hawkgirl, Zatanna and Red Arrow encounter the ship and land it safely, though all the passengers, including the Zoo Crew, are transformed into non-anthropomorphic animals.

Fortunately, during Final Crisis, Monitor Nix Uotan restores the Zoo Crew's humanity and powers.[1]

Members

Captain Carrot: Roger Rodney Rabbit of "Gnu York"; a rabbit. The leader of the team whose real name is Roger (or Rodney, as the latter comics named him to avoid confusion with the Disney film Who Framed Roger Rabbit) Rabbit. He would eat one of his "cosmic carrots" (as Rodney called them), Rodney would gain superpowers for roughly 24 hours although major exertion could exhaust the powers sooner, which include super-strength, endurance, heightened hearing and vision senses and a super-powerful leap. As such, he is the only member who has to constantly replenish his powers and keeps a pair of carrots holstered on his person for such a need in emergencies. The source of these carrots was initially a windowbox which he grew carrots in, which one of the meteor fragments had struck. Later he arranged a grow-op at the team headquarters to ensure an adequate continuous supply. In his alter ego, Rodney is the writer and artist of the comic book Just'a Lotta Animals. Alley-Kat-Abra: Felina Furr of "Mew Orleans" (a parody of New Orleans, Louisiana); a cat. A martial arts instructor and student of the mystical arts, Felina uses her "Magic Wanda" (a magic wand) to cast various types of spells.

Pig-Iron: Peter Porkchops of "Piggsburgh" (a parody of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); a pig. Struck by a meteor fragment, the diminutive Peter fell (along with the meteorite) into a vat of molten metal in the steel mill where he worked. The consequent chemical reaction transformed his now-enormous body into living steel, with strength and invulnerability to match. Peter was originally a character from an earlier series of DC "funny animal" comics. Pig-Iron was also nicknamed the "Swine of Steel" and "Porcine Powerhouse".

Rubberduck: Byrd Rentals of "Follywood, Califurnia" (a parody of Hollywood, California); a duck. Byrd, a movie star, was given the power to stretch his body into any shape and length when a meteor fragment struck his hot tub. Byrd Rentals' name is a parody of actor Burt Reynolds. Rubberduck was also nicknamed the "Malleable Mallard."

Yankee Poodle: Rova Barkitt, also of "Follywood"; a poodle. Rova, who worked as a gossip columnist, was interviewing Byrd when they were both struck by meteor fragments. Rova gained the ability to project a repelling force (in the form of blue stars) with one hand and an attraction force (in the form of red-and-white stripes) with the other. Rova Barkitt's name is a parody of gossip columnist Rona Barrett.

Fastback: Timmy Joe Terrapin of the fictional "Okey-Dokey" (a parody of the Okefenokee) swamp in the American south; a turtle. While trying to catch a bus to "Kornsas City" (Kansas City, Missouri), Timmy was struck by a meteor fragment and gained the ability to move at superchelonian speed. Fastback was also nicknamed the "Reptilian Rocket." Timmy Joe is not the first superspeedster in his family. His uncle Merton McSnurtle was secretly The Terrific Whatzit, a crime fighter during the Second Weird War. One issue mentions McSnutle's participation in "Operation Overlard". (Battle of Normandy)

Little Cheese: Chester Cheese, a student at Follywood High School; a mouse. Chester had the ability to shrink from the comparable size of his teammates to a size of only a few centimeters, and was the only team member to not gain his powers from a meteor fragment (rather, he gained them from eating a piece of experimental cheese brought back from Earth-C's moon). American Eagle: Replaced Little Cheese on the reconstituted Zoo Crew after the latter's demise.

In the story in Teen Titans vol.3, #30-31, other deceased Earth-C meta-animals named include Carrie Carrot (a rabbit presumably with Captain Carrot's superpowers), Giant Giraffe, Marvel Bunny Jr., Ballistic Baboon, Snurtle McTurtle, Amazing Ant, and Power Panda. These may or may not have been former Zoo Crew teammates in that story's version of Earth-C.

Enemies

Dr. Hoot: an owl who used various scientific gadgets to commit crimes. A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C.: A Cabal Recently Organized Solely To Instigate Crimes, a secretive organization that plotted to over throw the American government. Jailhouse Roc: a giant flying vulture who had been in jail since the late 1950s until he was released to work for A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C.

Digger O'Doom: a mole who gained tremendous strength after eating one of Rodney's carrots.

Frogzilla: formerly Fennimore Frog, who was turned into a giant frog by A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C. as a means of seeking revenge against his old foe, Dunbar Dodo. Both Fennimore and Dunbar originally appeared in DC's "funny animal" title The Dodo and the Frog. Feline Faust: a cat sorcerer from Earth-C-Minus, and a counterpart of DC Comics villain Felix Faust.

Armordillo: A villain from the Lone Stork State of Taxes with "nine-banded armor". Kongaroo: A massive kangaroo from Australia who was transformed into a giant by A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C.

King Kone: Garrison Gorrilla, a disgruntled ex-employee ape of the Basset & Robins ice cream company who wore a refrigerated suit (a la Mr. Freeze), equipped with a gun that projected destructive blasts of ice cream.

Paraphernalia

Equipment: None known.

Notes

  • No special notes.

Trivia

  • A DC Comics character introduced in the 1990s, Stargirl, wears a costume that resembles Yankee Poodle's; Stargirl's creator, Geoff Johns, is said to be an avid fan of the Zoo Crew. In JSA #81, a younger Courtney is seen watching a Zoo Crew cartoon, lending credence to the theory, and later in Teen Titans vol.3, #30-31 (also written by Johns), Zoo Crew comics are referenced
  • In Birds of Prey #100, kid's meal glasses featuring Zoo Crew characters are shown.
  • Mike and Carole Curtis of Shanda Fantasy Arts approached DC for permission to use the Zoo Crew for their own comic, but DC refused on the policy that they never allow other companies to publish their characters. The Curtises resorted to reviving Atomic Mouse instead.
  • Fastback's uncle, the Terriffic Whatzit is a shell-less turtle who wears a costume which looks exactly like the one worn by the Golden Age Flash.

See Also

Links and References

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! article at Wikipedia

Footnotes

This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.

This article covers information about something that exists within the DC Universe, and should not contain out-of-universe material. Please remove all out-of-universe material, or include it in a separate section at the bottom of the article.

Complete list of out-of-universe articles


This article uses material from the "Zoo Crew" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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