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The Debut of Fawcett's Bulletdog in Bulletman #10, up for Auction

Bulletdog was arguably the first "superdog companion" of the Golden Age, setting the stage for Krypto and other superpets to follow.

In modern times, super pets have become a staple part of superhero franchises, and like those franchises themselves, the origins of such super animal companions can be traced back to the early Golden Age. Bulletman #10, featuring the first appearance of Bulletdog, a historically significant comic book due to its introduction of what is arguably the first "superdog companion" of the Golden Age, setting the stage for the popularity of canine characters Green Lantern's Streak the Wonder Dog and Superman's Krypto.  A fascinating footnote to Golden Age comic book history, there's a copy of Bulletman #10 graded Good by Heritage Auctions in the 2023 March 26-28 Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Comic Books Select Auction #122313.

Bulletman #10 (Fawcett Publications, 1942) featuring Bulletdog.
Bulletman #10 (Fawcett Publications, 1942) featuring Bulletdog.

Noteably, Bulletdog's unusual history actually begins in Bulletman #9.  In a story that issue called "The Amazing Case of the Canine Criminals," Bulletman and Bulletgirl faced a gang of dogs who were being forced to help commit robberies.  Eventually, a courageous puppy and its mother break free and help stop the man who was forcing the dogs to commit crimes.  At the end of the story, it is implied that the unnamed puppy and its mother will become police dogs.  In the lead story of Bulletman #10, it appears that Susan Kent (Bulletgirl) has adopted the puppy, who is now colored differently than he was in the previous issue.  Embarking on a new case, Bulletman refers back to the puppy's bravery in the previous issue and decides that he can help them fight crime on a regular basis.  He creates an anti-gravity collar for the dog using the same techniques used to create their helmets, and Bulletgirl declares him Bulletdog.  In Bulletman #11, the dog's real name was revealed to be Slug. However, this name was short-lived, as Bulletman #12 included a call for reader entries to rename Bulletdog. The winning name, "Tracer," was announced in Master Comics #39.

The creation of Bulletdog might be attributable to legendary writer Otto Binder, known for his contributions to Fawcett franchises with spin-off characters and villains like Mary Marvel, Uncle Dudley, Mr. Tawky Tawny, Black Adam, and Mr. Mind. Similarly, Binder is well-remembered today for co-creating Supergirl and Krypto for DC Comics in the Silver Age. While it's uncertain if Binder indeed created Bulletdog, his track record, and known work on the Bulletman title at this time make him a likely candidate.

With only 15 copies on the CGC census, the debut of Bulletdog in Bulletman #10 has never been an easy get. But there's a chance to get a raw copy of Bulletman #10 graded Good by Heritage Auctions in the 2023 March 26-28 Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Comic Books Select Auction #122313. There's a Bulletman #14 with another great Bulletdog cover available here as well. If you're new to Heritage Auctions, be sure to check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters. Please note that the weekly Select Auctions have been expanded to three days, with Comic Books (pre-1956), Pulps, Memorabilia, and Magazines Session 1 on Sunday, Comic Books from 1956-1969 Session 2 on Monday, and Comic Books from 1970-Present Session 3 on Tuesday.

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Mark SeifertAbout Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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