Ace the Bat-Hound

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Ace the Bat-Hound
Batman092.jpg
Ace's first appearance in Batman #92, July 1955.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #92, June 1955
Created byBill Finger
Sheldon Moldoff
In-story information
Alter egoAce
SpeciesCanis lupus familiaris (Dog)
Breed: German Shepherd Dog
Place of originEarth
Supporting character ofBatman
Robin
Alfred Pennyworth
Notable aliasesDog (post-Crisis)
 
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Ace the Bat-Hound
Batman092.jpg
Ace's first appearance in Batman #92, July 1955.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #92, June 1955
Created byBill Finger
Sheldon Moldoff
In-story information
Alter egoAce
SpeciesCanis lupus familiaris (Dog)
Breed: German Shepherd Dog
Place of originEarth
Supporting character ofBatman
Robin
Alfred Pennyworth
Notable aliasesDog (post-Crisis)

The comic book character Ace the Bat-Hound was the canine crime-fighting partner of Batman and Robin in DC Comics of the 1950s and 1960s. Ace debuted in Batman #92 (cover-dated July 1955).[1] Ace's creation was inspired by the success of Krypto's debut in Adventure Comics #210 (March 1955),[2] and by German Shepherd Dogs from detective films and serials, such as Rin Tin Tin and Ace the Wonder Dog. He was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Ace was a German Shepherd originally owned by an engraver named John Wilker. He was found by Batman and Robin after his master was kidnapped by a gang of counterfeiters. Batman used Ace to try to locate Wilker. Because he had already placed a large number of "lost dog" announcements for Ace in his civilian identity of Bruce Wayne, he was concerned that anyone recognizing Ace (who had a prominent star-shaped marking on his forehead) might make the connection between Bruce Wayne and Batman. To forestall that problem, he hastily improvised a hood-like mask for the dog that incorporated the bat emblem as a dog tag dangling from Ace's collar. Ace was subsequently christened "The Bat-Hound" by a criminal he helped Batman to apprehend.

Wilker later took a new job that made it difficult for him to take care of Ace, so he left the dog to Bruce Wayne.[3] Wilker was never aware that Ace was the Bat-Hound or that Bruce Wayne was Batman.

At one point, Ace acquired super-powers thanks to Bat-Mite but this was short-lived.[4] He did have his own training. For example; his specialized radio collar, when activated told him to don his own mask (via a hands-free device) and track down Batman and Robin.[5]

Ace disappeared from the Batman comics after Julius Schwartz took over as editor in 1964,[6] and made only very occasional comic book appearances in the years afterward.

Post-Crisis[edit]

A version of Ace is seen in the cosmic realm Limbo when the hero Animal Man takes a trip through it.[7]

A modern-day version of Ace was reintroduced in Batman #462 (June 1991), although he has been rarely seen in recent years. This version was originally a guide dog belonging to a blind Native American named Black Wolf, who called him "Dog". The dog assisted Batman in fighting criminals from Black Wolf's tribe. Following Black Wolf's death, Batman adopted Dog, renaming him Ace.

He did not wear a mask, nor was he ever referred to as Bat-Hound, and has the appearance of a beagle-pug crossbreed (which exists in the real world as a puggle) with a bat-shaped dark patch on his flank. Ace has at times helped Batman on cases [8] and is depicted to be very affectionate towards his owner and vice-versa.

After Batman is disabled by the villain Bane, Azrael takes over the role and ejects Ace, Nightwing, Robin and Harold Allnut from the Batcaves. Harold, a trusted confidante of Batman, takes in Ace; they live in a part of the caverns Azrael is unfamiliar with.[9] To keep busy, Ace enjoys playing with a robotic mouse built by Harold.[10]

Ace disappeared without explanation after the events of the No Man's Land storyline in the late 1990s. He cameos in Ambush Bug: Year None.

A traditional Ace was seen in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D. He is in limbo with other "forgotten characters", such as Gunfire, Geist, Hardhat of the Demolition Team and Merry Man of the Inferior Five. Merry Man explains everyone is here where no stories exist because nobody is writing about them. Despite this, Superman and his allies work to rescue all the residents of Limbo, who then help assist in the battle against the cosmic threat of Mandrakk.[11]

The original Ace appeared in a flashback scene in Batman Inc. #4, thus making the current canon status of the Post-Crisis Ace unclear. In this story, Ace is trying to play with Robin who is fuming over Kathy Kane, Batwoman, and her influence on Batman. [12]

The New 52[edit]

In Batman and Robin Vol 1: Born to Kill, Bruce is seen purchasing a black Great Dane from a kennel. He later gives this dog to his son Damian who names him Titus, though writer Peter Tomasi stated in an interview that he considered naming the dog Ace.[13]

Other versions[edit]

In Mark Waid's and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come miniseries, Ace is portrayed as the giant winged steed of the Fourth World Batwoman. Ace is also mentioned in Howard Chaykin's Batman/Houdini crossover. During a seance attended by Bruce Wayne and mystic debunker Harry Houdini, Ace was referred to as Bruce Wayne's childhood pet. In the Frankenstein pastiche Castle of the Bat, Dr Bruce Wayne tests his theories by creating a literal Bat-Hound: a dog with some of the attributes of a bat. A version of Ace appears in multiple issues of Tiny Titans, a comic created for younger readers.

Pre-Crisis, Superman's Batman-like identity of Nightwing included a Kandorian counterpart to the Bat-Hound, a telepathic dog named "Nighthound".[14]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Ace in the 2005 cartoon series Krypto the Superdog.

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ace the Bat-Hound at the Grand Comics Database
  2. ^ Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Once Superman had a dog, Batman got one too, in "Ace, the Bat-Hound!" In the story by writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff, Batman and Robin found a German Shepherd called Ace." 
  3. ^ Shutt, Craig (1994). Baby Boomer Comics: The Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Comic Books of the 1960s!. Krause Publications. p. 98. ISBN 0-87349-668-X. 
  4. ^ "Batman" #158 (September 1963)
  5. ^ Daniels, Les (2004). Batman: The Complete History. Chronicle Books. p. 86. ISBN 0-81184-232-0. 
  6. ^ "Batman" #162 (1964)
  7. ^ "Animal Man" Vol. 1 #25 (July 1990)
  8. ^ "Batman" Vol 1. #471 (November 1991)
  9. ^ "Batman" #500 (October 1993)
  10. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 4. ISBN 9780345501066. 
  11. ^ "Final Crisis Superman Beyond 3D" #1-2 (October 2008)
  12. ^ "Batman Inc." #4 (October 2012)
  13. ^ Newsarma article
  14. ^ "World's Finest" Vol. 1 #143 (August 1964)
  15. ^ Ross, Alex (2003). The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0375422409. 

External links[edit]