Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time (Spoilers)

Ace The Bat-Hound debuted in Batman #92 in 1955 and was created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff. following Krypto the Superdog's debut in Adventure Comics #210 the same year, as well as the increase in German Shepherd detective dogs in Rin Tin Tin and Ace the Wonder Dog. Originally a German Shepherd Dog owned by an engraver named John Wilker, he was found by Batman and Robin after his master was kidnapped by a gang of counterfeiters.  Ace, along with Batwoman, Batgirl and Bat-Mite, retired from the comic in 1964, when editor Julius Schwartz instituted a "New Look" Batman that shed some of what were seen as the sillier elements in the series.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman #92

It would be twenty years till he appeared again, is seen in the cosmic realm of Limbo when the hero Animal Man takes a trip through it, as part of a rather meta-story by Grant Morrison and Chas Doug.

A modern-day version of Ace was briefly reintroduced in Batman #462 in 1991, an English Mastiff guide dog belonging to Black Wolf, a blind Native American. It would be another twenty years until the original Ace appeared in a flashback scene in Batman Inc. #4 by Grant Morrison, a series caught up in another canon contradicting itself. it would be Morrison who would reintroduce a new dog, properly in Batman And Robin, as Bruce is seen purchasing a black Great Dane from a kennel for Damian, who names him Titus, named Titus.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1

In DC Rebirth, a different Ace was introduced in an Eisner-Award-winning story, "Good Dog" Batman vol. 3 Annual #1 by Tom King and David Fitch, in which he is depicted as a former guard dog of the Joker who fought Batman until Joker left him and the other dogs without food in a ditch to fight amongst themselves.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1

The dogs had card symbols on them, and the brown dog with an ace on it killed the others. He was sent to the Gotham Pound, and Alfred adopted him two days later.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1

In order to facilitate this, Alfred actually purchases the Gotham Pound, turning it into the Martha and Thomas Wayne Humane Society.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1

Alfred spends the next couple of months training the dog despite Bruce's objections, as he thinks Ace's wounds from the Joker's actions cannot be healed.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1

Despite this, Alfred manages to properly train him in time for Christmas, and Bruce starts bonding with the dog after getting injured during one of his night shifts.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1

He gets Ace a bat-mask for Christmas and calls him a "Bat Hound". Though the Gotham Pound owner described Ace as a female, Bruce and Alfred have called Ace a him, leaving the gender ambiguous. Titus and Ace are later shown sleeping in twin baskets, confirming that both dogs now exist in the same continuity.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman: Urban Legends #11

But now it is time for another go around in Batman: Urban Legends #11, The Trap by Mark Russell and Karl Mostert. Now Bruce Wayne is the one who saves Ace rather than Alfred. Bruce never lets Ace go to a pound and identifies Ace as male from the get go.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman: Urban Legends #11

And while Alfred is clearly involved in training him, so is Bruce, who gives it the personal touch. And finds his own way to bond without Alfred.

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time
Batman: Urban Legends #11

Will this one win an Eisner as well?

Rewriting Ace The Bat Hound's Origin One More Time

BATMAN URBAN LEGENDS #11 CVR B KARL MOSTERT VAR
(W) Various (A) Various (CA) Karl Mostert
Written By Vita Ayala, Mark Russell, Ram V, And Mohale Mashigo Art By Nikola Cizmesija, Karl Mostert, Anand Radhakrishnan, Trevor Scott, Arist Deyn, And Others BATMAN & ZATANNA: Vita Ayala and Nikola Cizmesija join forces to tell a story that will change Batman and Zatanna's relationship forever. Every year the two have to come together to defeat an evil curse. This year they fail, and the world is in peril because of it. HOUNDED: Ace the Bat-Hound, the goodest boy in the DCU, has his day in an epic story featuring many DC Super Pets, brought to you by Mark Russell and Karl Mostert. WIGHT WITCH: Catwoman tie-in/"Fear State" aftermath! Aftermath. The mysterious relationship between Ghost-Maker and Wight Witch is revealed in all its horrifying glory here.
Retail: $7.99 In-Store Date: 01/11/2022

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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