My heroes have always been mice. And dogs.

So Victor and I just had a discussion about which superhero we would be if we could and it quickly escalated into a giant disagreement about who was considered a superhero and who wasn’t.  Specifically, we almost went to fist-city over whether Mighty Mouse and Underdog are superheroes.  They are.  Victor says they aren’t because “they’re crappy”.

me: Underdog is a totally a superhero.  He fights crime.

Victor: No one thinks a damn dog is a hero.  If you think a dog is your hero you’ve made pretty poor choices in your life.

me:  I bet the people he’s saved think he’s a hero.

Victor:  No one thinks that dog is a hero.  They’re happy they got their stuff back but they don’t want to grow up to be a dog in a cape.  And that’s the difference between characters and real superheros.

me:  I think anyone can be a superhero.  It’s all about intent to solve crime and superhuman abilities.

Victor: What about Garfield?  He has super-human abilities.

me:  What’s he fighting?  Mondays?  Lasagna?

Victor:  What about Rocky and Bullwinkle?

me:  Huh.  Dammit.

Victor:  AHA!

me:  Wait.  They fight super villains so I’m gonna say yes.  Superheroes.

Victor: Indiana Jones.

me:  Um…he’s a hero, but not a superhero. “Super” implies supernatural or superhuman strength.

Victor:  He’s immortal.

me:  He’s not immortal.

Victor: You haven’t seen him die yet, have you?

me:  By that logic, I’m immortal.

Victor:  Okay…Batman.  No superpowers.  Major superhero.  BAM.

me:  Shit.  Well…he has…superhuman wealth?

Victor:  So Richie Rich is superhero?

me:  His job is not to solve crime.

Victor:  He stops robberies all the time.

me:  Of his own money.  Doesn’t count.

Victor:  Captain Caveman?

me:  Well…he’s got a cape.  Um…yes?

Victor:  Fred Flintstone?

me:  What superpower does Fred Flintstone have?

Victor:  No one else can eat like him.

me:  It’s about intent, Victor. Intent to solve crimes that don’t benefit you.

Victor:  Casper the Friendly ghost.  That guy was always stopping robbers.  Not a superhero.

me:  Agreed.  But his intent wasn’t to go find robbers.  His intent was go hit on Wendy and be friendly.  Stopping robbers is just a side effect of being  nice.  Besides, he was already dead so he wasn’t risking anything.

Victor: Scooby doo.

me:  Ooh….good one.

Victor:  Exactly.

me:  Well, he solved crimes, but he didn’t want to solve crimes.  And I wouldn’t say he’s superhuman.  So, no.

Victor:  He’s a talking dog who eats sandwiches. Is that normal dog behavior?

me:  All dogs eat sandwiches.

Victor:  He MAKES sandwiches.  But fine…Doctor Who.  

me:  Ooh.  Hmmmmmmmmno?  He’s superhuman and super awesome, but his intent is really just to explore and have fun and then he finds himself having to save the universe while he’s doing it.  But he doesn’t purposely go out looking for crime.  Although the TARDIS sort of does, but I think still no.

Victor:  So Scooby Doo and Doctor Who are the same.  

me:  Bite your tongue.

Victor:  If neither are superheroes then by your logic, the Doctor is one heart and a big sandwich away from Scooby Doo.

me:  Blasphemy.

Victor:  Tony the Tiger?  He’s an seven-foot-tall talking tiger who helps kids with nutrition.

me:  That’s not a crime.

Victor:  When kids don’t have a good breakfast everyone suffers.

me: Seriously?

Victor:  I mean, I don’t think he is either.  I’m just showing you all the holes in your logic.  Because they’re huge.

Point?  I’m not sure which of us is right and now I’m questioning my own sanity for even having this conversation.  So help me out and give me your opinion.

381 thoughts on “My heroes have always been mice. And dogs.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Is that one Wonder Twin a hero because she transforms into an animal, or is she a hero before then? Because at least MM and UD have some more useful powers than she does (and especially her brother…form of WATER!).

    I vote yes though. Even WonderDog was allowed to be in the Hall of Justice with Wendy and Marvin.

  2. Obviously, you’re right.

    But I do enjoy that with Victor’s logic we are all immortal. Kickass.

    Also, the Doctor probably doesn’t even like sandwiches. Fish fingers and custard forever!

  3. They’re superheroes because they fight crime and dress like superheroes That’s the most important part. You are correct- it’s about intent, but it’s the intent to be a superhero not the intent to fight crime.

  4. Super powers = super hero. They are. However, my preschool-aged son informed me that Batman is NOT a super hero…following this logic. He’s just a sleeve. And if you’ve never heard of the Justice League you’ll be as puzzled by that declaration as I initially was.

  5. Underdog and Mighty Mouse are totally superheroes… and secret identities. A secret identity is a big indicator of superhero status.

  6. Mighty mouse and Underdog were two of my favorite superheroes as a kid. They should have their own comics. I would definitely buy them.

  7. What about Popeye? Eats spinach, gets huge biceps, beats the crap out of Brutus and saves Olive Oyl. Superhero. Duh.

  8. Victor seems a little argumentative today. I’m calling Underdog…with a sandwich

  9. Hello? Anyone who has to change into a special outfit to fight crime is a superhero. Both count.

  10. Intent is a decent indicator. So is “four-color” to group comic book and animation characters together. Dr.Who is not a “four-color” superhero, but neither is Scooby-doo or Astro, they’re comic sidekicks. Underdog: yes, Mighty Mouse: of course. Rocky and Bullwinkle: nope, they along with the Jetsons and Flintstones were not intended to be superheroes and do not intend to be themselves. Space Ghost: yes. Jonny Quest: closer call but no. Batman yes from author’s and his own intention, plus publication history.

  11. Jesus fucking christ – it’s super hero – two words. Hero is a doer of heroic deeds. This means Richie Rich is not a super hero. Super denotes something extraordinary, something super, such as powers or skills, like Batman’s brain and training. He is, indeed, a super hero. To that end Underdog and Mighty Mouse are super heroes. They both have special abilities and do heroic deeds. Scooby Doo is not a super hero because he may fight crime (unwillingly, usually) it is not done as a heroic deed, much like the thankless job of our police officers.The “power” to eat everything in sight isn’t something one can really use to fight crime. Rocky & Bullwinkle aren’t super heroes because, despite Rocky’s ability to fly they don’t really do heroic deeds, despite fighting Boris and Natasha (and a few other petty criminals). The real question is whether or not Hong Kong Phooey is a super hero or if he just thinks he is.

  12. Wikipedia says: Mighty Mouse is an American animated anthropomorphic superhero mouse character created by the Terrytoons studio for 20th Century Fox… So bam he is a superhero. I also learned he was originally named super mouse. Who knew?

  13. I had an Underdog board game. The dog had his own BOARD GAME! They don’t just give board games to any regular dog. Also, where does Felix the Cat fall into the equation?

  14. Scooby would totally screw up the Tardis, and get the Dr high. But that might be interesting to watch. On reflection, the Dr might already be high, or we are. They should do that show.

  15. Underdog and Mighty Mouse are .. minor superheroes. They’re gateway superheros. First you get addicted to them, then progress to (the heavier, more powerful) human/alien superheroes.

    Underdog and Might Mouse are the marijuana of the superhero world.

  16. The first “Book” I learned to read at about age 3 was a Mighty Mouse comic book – I think he was having an undersea adventure. Teaching a 3-year-old to read is a useful superpower!

  17. I would vote yes. I would also say Doctor Who counts as a superhero. He’s not that different from Superman. An alien who travels to earth and spends his time saving humanity.

  18. Yes they are, because if they were human beings I think everyone would concede they’re superheroes without a fight. Don’t discriminate against non-humans, man. That’s just a good rule.

  19. And Wikipedia strikes again: “Underdog was an anthropomorphic superhero. The premise was that “humble and lovable” Shoeshine Boy, a cartoon dog, was in truth the superhero Underdog” It is so, wiki has spoken.

  20. But part of the Doctor’s intent is to protect people, and that implies fighting crime. He totally purposefully goes up to aliens and stares them in the eye and is all “this planet is defended”.

  21. Mighty Mouse and Underdog are absolutely Superheroes. They fly and fight crime. And since Superman also flies and fights crime and is called a superhero, it stands to reason that Mighty Mouse and Underdog are superheroes too.

  22. Mighty Mouse’s theme song clearly states “Here I come to save the day” – superhero.

  23. I think you guys forgot that costumes are a big part of being a super hero! Scooby Doo and Casper and Garfield don’t wear costumes. I think super heroes are crime fighting+super power/super gadgets+costume.

  24. I don’t have an opinion, but your hair does look great! Garfield is a super-hero. He carried a teddy bear and felt no shame!

  25. This is one of my favorite posts ever, just because it reached the point of “all dogs eat sandwiches” while discussing superheroes.

    Underdog is DEFINITELY a superhero. Was my favorite as a kid, actually. Now it’s the Tick.

  26. Mighty Mouse? Seriously? It’s right there in his theme song: Here I come to save the day! BAM! Superhero. All other arguments are invalid.

  27. And so are Hong Kong Phooey! And Super Chicken! What, you think he’s not super-human? That’s because he’s SUPER-CHICKEN!

  28. All I can think of is the conversation between the kids in the movie Stand By Me..who would win a fight between mighty mouse and…superman? Wait. It was superman, right?

  29. Mighty Mouse (Here I come to save the day!) and Underdog (Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob and plunder) are both totally superheroes!!! Didn’t Rocky and Bullwinkle just barely manage to keep the Cold War in its frigid stillness by messing with the hapless Boris and Natasha? Seriously, the two of them, left to their own devices, would’ve just blown themselves up. It would have been a far more permanent solution than anything accomplished by the moose and squirrel. I’m so very afraid of my own brain.

  30. They say that Batman does not have superpowers, but in the animated versions, he is always doing backflips and landing 12 feet higher – clearly something no normal human could do. He also seems to have the superpower to avoid bullets aimed at him.

  31. Well Tony Stark isn’t superpowered (although he is super rich), but he’s a Super Hero. And I think Doctor Who is indeed a superhereo: saves the world (multiple times), wears costumes (hello, bowties are cool!), has a super gadgets (Sonic Screwdriver and Tardis) and is essentially immortal. Superhero.

    What about Sam and Dean?

  32. “No one thinks a damn dog is a hero.” I’m going to say that a lot of patients and PTSD people with therapy dogs would disagree. But I am with the secret identity thing for SUPERhero status.

  33. I think the problem is Victor is assuming that crappy superheroes aren’t superheroes. Mighty Mouse and Underdog are just crappy superheroes.

  34. Not to be pedantic. Aw hell, who am I kidding. I love being pedantic. The Doctor can’t be a superhuman. He’s not human. He’s not a Super-Gallifreyan either. He’s just odd. Which is why I love him. So, technically, Superman isn’t a super hero because he’s an alien, too?

  35. I agree Mighty Mouse and Underdog are superheroes, and arguments could be made that Batman is not really a superhero because he has no powers and sometimes goes by detective. Though I think the costume and Justice League membership give him the title of superhero.

  36. I totally screwed up my reply. I meant to say what kind of world do we live in where people believe Mighty Mouse and Underdog aren’t superheroes?

  37. I’ll just point out that Rocky was a flying squirrel, which is an actual thing (although they really glide more than fly), so his flying is not a super power. Underdog and Mighty Mouse, though– that’s some super power stuff right there.

  38. Finally, a Bloggess post that I can talk to my husband about without him giving me “that look”. (He doesn’t like taxidermy and the Beyonce saga did not amuse him like it did EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET.)

  39. You’re definitely right, but you’re forgetting a key component to superhero-dom: the secret identity. I think if you factor that in it will tighten up your argument. Richie Rich, Scooby Doo, et al. – no secret identities.

  40. See, Underdog is CLEARLY a superhero. He flies, he has a cape, and, most importantly, he has a theme song. As does Mighty Mouse. I mean “here he comes to save the day!” See? Superhero. Plus I agree with the commenter who mentioned the outfit change – superhero connection.

  41. Tony the Tiger is not a super hero… he’s not teaching kids about nutrition, he’s peddling crap-in-a-box. ;o)

  42. Can Heroes be a sub catagory of Superheros? It’s all about intention, Superheroes intend to stop crime and evil villians, Heroes just want to have fun (Doctor Who), but end up finding themselves in situations that require them to do something heroic. Underdog and Mighty Mouse had intention.

  43. I would pay money to see one of those vintage Scooby Doo mashups (like they did with the Harlem Globe Trotters or Batman) but have him inadvertently end up a temporary companion to the Doctor. Doctor Who and Scooby Doo, it even rhymes. That’s it. Somebody make this. Make this now. My son would go ape shit, since he is a giant fan of both Doctor Who and Scooby Doo. In fact, if you threw in Indiana Jones it would probably be his ultimate dream come true. But Indiana Jones doesn’t fit the rhyming scheme, so probably just stick with the Who-Doo combo.

  44. Okay, I’m gonna have to go with a big ol’ FUCK VICTOR (literally, if you want, he’s your guy) on this one. How dare he say Mighty Mouse is a crappy superhero?! From Wikipedia:

    “As with other imitations of Superman, Mighty Mouse’s super powers include flight, super strength, and invulnerability. In various films he has demonstrated the use of X-ray vision, and has used a form of telekinesis that allowed him to command inanimate objects and turn back time (The Johnstown Flood and Krakatoa).” –

    Superman doesn’t have any damn telekinesis. That means, not only is Mighty Mouse superhuman, he’s superKRYPTONIAN. And he’s a damn mouse who saves mice! He only needed to be supermurine (thanks again, Wikipedia, I’m feelin’ real good about that $10 donation I made two years ago).

    To quote the beloved storyteller/artist Andrew Hussie, Victor “Basically Understand(s) Whipping Bugwinged Fuckall About Even The Most Elementary” aspects of what makes a good superhero.

  45. I once went to a superhero themed party–a girl came as “Super-Boundary Babe” she came with side-walk chalk…I think her gig was “Ridding the world of co-dependency, one f*cked up relationship at a time”…where are my superheros when I need them?

  46. Ummm. . .When I saw “superhero,” I immediately thought of Hong Kong Fooey. Where does he fit? The cat always did the true saving, but he does have a disguise, a cape, and he is a talking dog who is also a janitor.

  47. when I was 7, I had a blue hoodie with Underdog screenprinted on the back. I was torn between Mighty Mouse and Underdog, but the t-shirt place only had Underdog, so that settled it. Underdog is here to save the DAAAAYYYYY!

  48. I had this big long reply about how The Doctor can’t possibly be Scooby Doo. Remember Handy from the end of Series 4? He’s not Scooby Doo when he eats at Subway. And Batman trained with The League of Shadows. And he can beat up Superman. And speaking of Superman, The Doctor can’t possibly be superhuman because he’s Gallifreyan. He’s an alien JUST LIKE SUPERMAN. Ask him if Iron Man is a real hero. Because according to Tony Stark, Captain America isn’t a real hero because everything special about him came out of a bottle.

  49. And Corageous Cat and Minute Mouse are super heroes too.

    And The Doctor (only the ill informed call him Doctor Who) is the greatest super hero of all time.

  50. Wade Garrett from Road House is MY hero!! (even though he died……but up until he died, he was my hero) T:)

  51. We have proof that the Doctor is not a superhero. He may be super, and he may solve/prevent crimes, but we know his intention is ‘fun’. “State your name, rank, and intention.” “Doctor, doctor, fun.” It’s clear-cut! What is Victor thinking???

  52. Have to admit, while I voted #1, was leaning towards #4. You two belong on the Internet.

    BTW, you must have BOTH super power and fight crime to be a Superhero. You can, however, fight crime without superpowers, and be JUST A HERO. Oh, and Batman has a superpower. Gadgeteer. He makes the gadgets that allow him to fight crime.

    Guess I belong on the internet too.

  53. Fighting crime with a kick-ass theme song should be enough super-hero confirmation.

  54. I’ve sadly never heard of underdog. But, Mighty Mouse and Danger Mouse were favourites of mine. Also, I’ve just realised that while I read all the comments to this post, I’ve been humming the theme to The Greatest American Hero which will now be stuck in my head all day!

  55. The scary thing here is how your arguments strangely mimic the type of arguments I have with my husband.

  56. You guys are way too young to know most of those cartoons. I recently made a Saturday morning cartoons reference that my 14 year old son didn’t get, and I collapsed in shame for being such a bad parent.

  57. I have to disagree with Victor. A dog can be a Superhero. K-9 officers, bomb sniffing dogs in the military. The dog who alerts his owner to a house fire or a break in. The dogs who help find missing persons.

    Besides..Dog is God spelled backwards. ;P

  58. this right here, this is my favorite part:

    me: He’s not immortal.

    Victor: You haven’t seen him die yet, have you?

    me: By that logic, I’m immortal.

  59. As someone who grew up in a very comic book and superhero heavy household, as as one who has these sorts of conversations with my husband rather often (much to his amusement), I feel like I can help you out here. Superheros are defined by superhuman abilities and/or extraordinary talents (to help out with the Batman argument) and the general doing of good. Mighty Mouse and Underdog totally fall into this category. As do Atom Ant, the entire Zoo Crew, and Spider-Ham. My superhero loving father (more comic books in our house growing up than in many small comic stores) loved Underdog and would regularly wake us up with a yell of “Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog, just little old me, Underdog!”

  60. Tony the Tiger doesn’t help kids with nutrition, his cereal isn’t good for you…too much sugar. It’s awesome, just not nutritious.

  61. Jess (comment 55): Sam and Dean have superpowers because they’ve been killed off too many times and come back to be considered anything but super-human. Also, let’s not forget Sam’s bout with demon blood and then the leftover grace and being strong enough to be vessels for Lucifer and Michael and now Dean has the mark of Cain…

    Plus, they’re just so pretty. So, so pretty.

  62. Sadly, I’ve never heard of Underdog. But I do remember Mighty Mouse being a favourite superhero. I’ve also just noticed that while I read all the comments to this post, I was humming the theme to The Greatest American Hero, which will now be stuck in my head all day 🙂

  63. If you like superhero mice, what about Danger Mouse? The guy was basically a smaller, more furry (excluding Connery), less alcoholic James Bond. And he had Penfold as a sidekick. All the best superheroes have sidekicks.

  64. “Here I come to save the day.” When “save the day” is in your theme song, you’re a superhero, even if you’re a mouse. Frankly, the world needs a good superheroic mouse about now.

  65. I already said this on Twitter, but you left out Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy! Add to to that Inch High Private Eye (no wait, he’s not one, or is he?)

  66. The key to a superhero is the secret identity thing. They fight crime in their identity masking costume then return to their real life. If you fight crime as your regular self you are a detective, a policeman, or a well intentioned citizen. All three of which may be heros in the eyes of the oppressed.

  67. I love Mighty Mouse and Underdog, too. Both superheroes.

    And I can bet you anyone who has ever had a dog love them unconditionally will tell you that they are, 100% real-life superheroes. My dogs save me – never judging, always happy, and filled with so much joy.

  68. All dogs are superheroes. And if they ever figure that out we are all doomed. They already have us feeding them and cleaning up their poop. If they get any smarter we’ll all be shipped of to the chew toy factories and snausage mines.

  69. They have capes and catchphrases,so yes. I loved Underdog! “Have no fear, Underdog is here!” Rocky & Bullwinkle, Scooby-Doo and the Gang (I used to collect SD stuff) are heroes with certain sets of skills, like the Green Arrow or Aquaman. If Aquaman qualifies, so does Scooby-Doo and Captain Caveman, who could point his club and fly. BTW, thanks for steering through my wheelhouse! 🙂

  70. Total superheroes. Superheroes written for kids are still superheroes regardless of whether or not we want to grow up to be a mouse or dog. I don’t want to grow up to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but I doubt many would debate their superhero status! Besides Wiki has a whole category about animal superheroes… I’m sure the exclusion of Underdog was just an oversight.

  71. Considering Underdog, he was living in a world full of 2 legged walking dogs. He had a job. He was the dog version of Superman, so he counts. Mighty mouse was a flying mouse with a cape and tights.. so yes, he is too. Why didn’t you mention Atom Ant? Or is he a super spy?

  72. Come to think of it, I had a Mighty Mouse doll as a child, therefore he is a super hero. (Invoking the doll/action figure rule for super heroes.)

  73. If it’s about intent, Hong Kong Phooey is totally a super hero.
    Plus there’s the cape, and the rabid fan. Super hero!

  74. My first superhero love was Underdog. I had an Underdog bulletin board in my bedroom when I was a child. Now that I think about it he is what set me down this path of being a complete fangirl. Of course both Underdog and Mighty Mouse are superheros. They have capes (though that isn’t necessarily a requirement), they have theme songs and they SAVE PEOPLE! Yes, the what makes someone or something a superhero is a complex equation that involves multiple factors. A superhero doesn’t have to have all of the factors, just enough to determine eligibility. If Victor doesn’t understand the equation, that is just because he doesn’t understand the science required and he needs to leave that to those of us with a better understanding. So if he brings it up again, the answer is Hell yes, why because SCIENCE.

  75. Not to be overly grammatical about the whole thing, but in the phrase “superhero” “super” modifies “hero,” not “power” or any other implied condition. The word “super” is generally defined as “exceptional” or “outstanding.” etc. “Hero” is generally defined as something like ” A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.” Thus, “superhero” means something like “An exceptionally outstanding person noted for feats of courage or nobility….”

    Okay, with that in mind it seems easy.

    Batman is both a hero, and an exceptional one at that – thus, superhero. Tony the Tiger is not a hero.. he is shill for a breakfast food company. He is not even an exception shill… he is sort of average I think, in the same league with Wendy the Snapple Lady.

    There is no doubt that WonderDog and Mighty Mouse fit those definitions perfectly EXCEPT for the “person” part. The question of whether or not they are superheros devolves to the question of whether or not you think dogs and mice are people too. My dogs are people. I’m not sure about those two!

  76. Here’s the thing: I don’t really care about superheroes, since they are fictional. Not that I don’t read fiction. They just don’t matter in the real world.

    Super heroes are moms and dads, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers, friends and others (like nurses and doctors and maybe artists and others I just haven’t thought of in this minute) – people like that, who make life the wonderful thing it can be, or love you or care for you in a way that makes the world seem not too scarey. They see what you need and step right up to give it.

    But that’s not really my point either. I guess what I scrolled all this way down to write was that, if you and Victor really have conversations like that, then I am not sure why I married my husband. Or maybe the question is why he married me. I can’t even imagine having such fun talking, even if you two exasperate each other.

  77. As long as we aren’t talking about the crappy Underdog movie of a few years back, He is totally a Superhero, in his world. Same with Mighty Mouse. They (like all superheroes really) exist in a world similar but separate from our own.

  78. Of course Mighty Mouse and Underdog are superheros – they both fly. Whoever saw an ordinary dog or mouse fly? This is also why all of Victor’s arguments are invalid. If they fight crime, they’re a “hero”. To be a “SuperHero” they have to do something unatural (like flying) while fighting said crime.

    PS: bonus points to Victor though for knowing Dr Who has one more heart than Scooby Doo

  79. Victor is utterly wrong about Dr. Who, partly because Dr. Who isn’t even human (of course, neither is Superman). But beyond that, Dr. Who’s intent is to explore different planets and eras. And if he happens across something very wrong, he does his best to make it right. Scooby’s intent is to mooch food off of the crappy people who own him and get high on Scooby Snacks. His owners just coincidentally happen to be amateur sleuths (or maybe professional ones, that detail is foggy). Scooby couldn’t care less about that. He’s just in it for the food and will gladly run away from any dangerous situation should the opportunity arise. Totally different. Meh.

  80. Duh! I would also add Grape Ape to that list… I’m headed to a party in the near future where the requirements include dressing as a super hero or rock star. I chose Jem, as in Jem and the holograms, because let’s face it- she’s a super hero AND rock star.

  81. “Tony the Tiger? He’s an seven-foot-tall talking tiger who helps kids with nutrition.”

    El oh el 😛
    Tony the Tiger is the mascot for Kellogs Frosties (which I LOVE) and are basically…cornflakes covered in a wall of frosted sugar. Pretty sure helping kids with nutrition isn’t giving them frosted sugar flakes.
    He’s probably more of a super villain.
    “They’re GRRRREAT! (but will give you diabetes)”

  82. I shall not today attempt to further define the kinds of fictional characters that fit within the description of superhero, and perhaps I could never intelligibly do so. But I know ’em when I see ’em; Underdog and Mighty Mouse definitely qualify.

  83. Superheroes have superpowers. Mighty Mouse and Underdog both have superpowers. Mighty Mouse has super-strength and can fly. Underdog can also fly. Hence the “super.” As in “supernatural,” not as in “the way they fight crime is just super.” Batman is a hero but he isn’t a superhero because his powers aren’t supernatural.

    I don’t see why Victor is having such a hard time accepting this. I don’t even read fucking comics and I know this.

  84. Superheroes are heroes that are super because when they show up people say, “SUPER! Help is here!”. So…duh…Scooby doo is not a superhero because everyone calls them those meddling kids and so…not super. Mighty Mouse and Underdog are totally superheroes because …again…”YAY, Underdog is here…that’s SUPER!” So Batman…yes. Doctor who is NOT a superhero because when he shows up it’s all “WTF and badwolf, why is the world ending?” So…again…NOT super. It’s totally OBVIOUS.

  85. Victor, victor, victor. Mighty Mouse? NOT a superhero? I can’t even believe you HAD to have this conversation.

  86. Wikipedia is very clear – both their entries label them as superheroes. Therefore it must be true, because wikipedia.

  87. Why aren’t there any cat superheroes? A cat superhero would be great. She could have awesome powers like SuperShedding and SuperNapping.

  88. I had a major crush on Mighty Mouse when I was about 4 years old. He was so MANLY, for a mouse! Those bulging muscles. Wow.

  89. Victor, as usual, is wrong. They are totally superheroes.

    As for Doctor Who, he’s not really a human, though, right? Isn’t a Time Lord, like, a different species?

  90. Sorry but I believe Doctor Who would be superhero. He named himself The Doctor because he fixes situations which usually involve stopping intergalactic crime in the name of the Shadow Proclamation (which sounds like a league of Superheroes). Definitely a superhero.

  91. This is the first conversation you’ve posted (which I’ve read) that makes Victor seem like the wacky one.

  92. Fred Flintstone may not be a superhero, but his ability to get his car going with just his feet is pretty super-human.

  93. I think your super power is recording conversations like this for posterity. The world is a better place for it.

  94. Um, the capes and spandex suits are a dead giveaway. Superheros! And by the way, I would have loved to grow up to be Underdog when I was 5. BAM! Someone has to save Sweet Polly Purebread.

  95. Oh Victor, usually you try to represent reason but you are so wrong here. A cape automatically makes you a superhero. And don’t make me break out YouTube videos of police dogs and dogs serving in the military. I’ll bring out the big guns if I have to but I know you are one of the good ones and will come around and admit they are heros.

  96. Something tells me variations of this conversation are going to be happening in households ALL OVER THE WORLD today. And most likely at my knit night tonight as well. I voted yes, cause duh – super-heroes have super-hero names. Boom.

    Underdog – Superhero name – YES
    Mighty Mouse – Superhero name – YES
    Fred Flinstone – regular name – NOPE

  97. I’m shocked that no one mentioned yet so I’ll help out: “The Doctor” is his secret identity – his real name has never, and possibly will never be revealed. Superheroes all ’round, includes the Winchester’s and The Tick! 🙂

  98. When I was 5 years old I wanted to marry Mighty Mouse. Not sure what that says, but it is what is.

  99. MILF Runner~ I can’t find an explanation of what ‘just a sleeve’ means through a Justice League prism. Care to enlighten?

  100. The Doctor can’t be superhuman since he is not human. Would he qualify as supergallifreyan? He seems to be able to do what other Gallifreyans could not. And he loves a mystery, detests evil (he put away Satan himself) and always runs towards danger. I would say that he is a superhero.

  101. Someone should tell Victor that dogs can be heroes. What about Police and military dogs? Not to mention, the countless family dogs who pull small children or cats out of burning buildings.

  102. My 11 year old on is a super hero expert, and he says that super hero status isn’t based on powers. It’s based on the heroes ability/skill or effectiveness. His example: “Police officers are heroes, Hawkeye/Shield Agents/More advanced cops are the next level, then Batman is a super hero.” He is slightly biased with Batman, but I suspect he puts the other super heroes at that level. When I asked about the Wonder Twins, he just said they were sad jokes. HOWEVER he will not put Underdog at the same level as Batman. He says that Underdog is a hero, not a super hero. I disagree, however.

  103. I love that you had so many votes on your superhero poll. And yes, I voted, and yes you are right.

  104. Isn’t someone a super hero if someone sees them as such? I mean, scooby doo and the doctor are heroes if you look up to them as such.

  105. The cape comments have me stuck in The Incredibles – “NO CAPES NO CAPES!! Thunderbolt sucked into a vortex”!

  106. Other superhero dogs:
    Hong Kong Phooey. It even says so in his theme song. “Number one super guy!”
    Dynomutt. Yes, he’s actually a robot, but still… He counts. And he ran around with the Blue Falcon.
    And other animals can TOTALLY be super heroes! I mean, look at Gleek! Sure, he’s a blue monkey, but still! He’s a blue SPACE monkey! And speaking of space monkeys, how about Blip? He helped out Space Ghost, so doesn’t that count?

  107. My DOG’s are my SUPERHERO’s! They don’t have to work. They can lay around as much as they like. That is what I want to do for a living, and they live in a super nice house that I work for them to live in.


  108. Well I think El Kabong is a super hero! Cape, mask and crime fighting. Yup super hero.

  109. All this talk of the Doctor being a superhero made me visualise Sylvester McCoy in primary-coloured Lycra and a cape, running round punching people. I feel a bit dizzy now.

  110. I’m going to be a party pooper and say that while Underdog and Mighty Mouse are technically super heroes, I was never impressed. My dad took me to see the Blue Angels at an air show, and once I saw those pilots control those roaring beasts of jet power, I only liked Wonder Woman in her invisible plane and some kind of stop action marionette show with Captain Scarlet.

  111. “Why aren’t there any cat superheroes? A cat superhero would be great. She could have awesome powers like SuperShedding and SuperNapping.”

    Pretty sure all cats have those powers already. At least my two do.

  112. What about Krypto The Superdog?? He’s a dog and i can’t see how he’s not a superhero. He saves people and animals with his superpowers. Whilst wearing a cape.

  113. Maybe having the superhero claim that they are superhero has to be in there. Mighty Mouse definitely claimed to be a superhero, Scooby Doo, not so much.

  114. Mighty Mouse was my sister Mary’s first crush–she still loves to be saved. Mine was Big Boy–I still love to eat. We both loved Dudley DoRight who was quite beautiful by cartoon standards but only a hero by default since he was an idiot. Mighty Mouse and Underdog were heroes ALWAYS (unless they had been hypnotized.)

  115. I love you guys… but you are totally right and Victor is way wrong… oh and you forgot Atom Ant!

  116. Capes/costumes? Check. Secret identity? Check. Fighting crime? Check. Special powers or gadgets? Check. Really, it’s a simple formula. I fail to see why Victor had such a difficult time with this basic concept.

    Underdog, Mighty Mouse and Hong Kong Phooey — superheroes.
    Fred Flintstone, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Tony the Tiger (a bandana is NOT a cape or costume), Indiana Jones and Scooby Doo (dog collar is also not a cape or costume) — not superheroes.

    And my dog wants me to tell you he would really like a sandwich now. All this talk of dogs and sandwiches just made him hungry.

  117. Unfortunately the action-figure argument has been broken … wonderfully so… there are now action figures for Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, Annie Oakley… and my personal favorite… “The Librarian”.
    Boo yah! says a former library worker.

  118. Mighty Mouse and Underdog are totally superheroes. The outfits show their intent to be superheroes. Just like Super Chicken. Super Chicken even had a secret identity and a sidekick and a Super Coupe.

  119. They are superheroes. Mighty Mouse particularly has an alliterative moniker, has super strength and wears a cape. He might be a mouse, but most of the people around him are anthropomorphic mice or cats too, so he’s no different from Superman in his reality.

    Something like that, anyway. You’re right, basically.

  120. Batman = hero, but not super. Scooby Doo = super (cartoon physics in a non-cartoon-physics world) but not heroic (unless you have a hero sandwich handy). Unfortunately, non-movie Scrappy Doo is a superhero. Ugh. That turns my stomach.

  121. You must have a court reporter in your house at all times or an AMAZING memory, because every once in a while my husband and I are funny like this once in a great while, but it’s like trying to remember a dream, or your parallel life when a giant beetle was on your back, I would never be able to write it all down as accurately as this. You have a gift. Hey, you ARE a superhero! Queen of the Amazing Memory of Near Arguments. You save the world from having to think we are the only ones having arguments about imaginary things…

  122. Mighty Mouse was definitely a super hero and so was Underdog. Rah, I thought I was the only one who remembered Krypto and Super Boy! My mother threw out my Superman, Superboy collection. 🙁

  123. What we need to remember is that superherocity is on a scale or spectrum. There are your SUPER superheroes, like Superman (obviously, since “Super” is part of his name). These are the people who are BORN superheroes. Then, down the scale, you have the folk who are made into superheroes by freak accidents (like the Hulk). Often times they are pissed about being a superhero until they harness their power and feel the rush that only saving mankind can give you. Then there are those who basically make themselves into superheroes , like Batman or Ironman. Then you’ve got your superhero animals. Finally there are those people who are good guys (or gals) and end up kicking the ass of any douchebag they encounter, but they don’t have a costume, secret identity, or really any kind of super power. But really, they are the biggest superheroes of all, because they fight crime and save their fellow man WITHOUT the secret identity to hide behind, WITHOUT the superpowers to keep them safe. It’s nice, because if we just set our minds to it (and brush up on our martial arts) WE could be that kind of superhero! It’s a more attractive option than taking a swim in radioactive goo!

  124. I’ve always thought Batman wasn’t really a superhero. All he’s got are some really awesome gadgets. He himself has no powers.

    I love Underdog. Speed of lightning, power of thunder, fighting all who rob or plunder…
    Great theme song, too. Whereas Batman….nananananana Batman! How lame are those lyrics?

    And Mighty Mouse is, similar to superhuman, he’s supermousian! Or whatever the word for mice is. I dunno, they’re not canine, feline, bovine… that’s the kinda word I’m looking for.
    I should go now…..

  125. I struggled to get past Fred Flintstone. DUDE COULD PROPEL A CAR WITH HIS FEET!!! He wasn’t fighting crime so doesn’t fit your super hero def………… still.

  126. I am so glad someone else has conversations like this in their house. And yes, anyone whose voice is lip synched by Andy Kaufman and says “Here I am to save the day” is superhuman. And really? there is an argument about Underdog? I think Wally Cox is going to come back from the grave and haunt Victor for the rest of his life for even implying that Underdog is not a superhero!

  127. I was leaning on the fence about The Doctor not being a Superhero as he has no alternate/secret identity until someone higher up in the comment chain reminded me that “The Doctor” is the name he chose, and not his given/birth name, which no one else knows. (River Song being the exception, but anyways…) His abilities (mostly mental) may be typical for a Timelord, but are exceptional/super in comparison to human abilities. Also, those who argue against The Doctor (and other non-humans) because he is alien are automatically disqualifying Superman, and no one in their right mind would say Superman isn’t a superhero for that reason. I would argue that you cannot use the species of a hero to determine hero or Superhero status. You most certainly can have a Superhero that is of a different species, and I would also include non-humanoid species… like Dogs or Mice. Ergo, Underdog and Mighty Mouse ARE Superheros by (my) definition.

  128. I woke up my dog laughing at this. He was displeased. And, after a quick conversation, he found out that he is also not a superhero. So now he’s going to go back to sleep, awash in shame, and it’s all your fault for making me howl so louldly when I was supposed to be doing serious writing!

  129. This reminds me of the superhero debate in Mallrats about whether Superman and Lois Lane could have a baby. :). LOVE your conversations with Victor!

  130. As others have said, Wikipedia defines both of them as “anthropomorphic superheros” and we know that Wikipedia can’t lie mwahahaha.

  131. I generally can see Victor’s logic in your arguments and he’s usually the voice or reason but, in this case?? He’s ALL WRONG! I would just have to walk away from that conversation shaking my head with the ridiculous ideas he’s throwing out.

    Also? your hair DOES look amazing today =)

  132. captain caveman is most definitely a super hero, mostly because of the amazing theme tune. super heroes need good theme tunes

  133. How can he say underdog isn’t because he’s a dog but say scooby is because he solves crimes? I also bet scooby dreams of being Underdog so there goes the “no one thinks a dog is a hero” argument.

  134. Yeah, obviously a superhero needs a power mere mortals don’t possess. So: Batman is not a superhero (wealth is not a superpower), but Underdog clearly is.

  135. As soon as Victor said this: Victor: No one thinks a damn dog is a hero. If you think a dog is your hero you’ve made pretty poor choices in your life. Your reply should have been “I picked you, didn’t I?” END OF ARGUMENT. YOU WON.

  136. Am I the only one who thought you should have told him ” I married you.” when he said about your having made poor choices in life?

  137. Of course they are! At least your husband will debate you about it, I asked my husband and he said (and I quote), ” There are no such things as superheroes.” Can you imagine?!

  138. I’m on Victor’s side here; though technically you are right. They are TECHNICALLY superheros in that they fight crime, have supernatural abilities, have capes, fly around – all the cool things that make a good superhero. But they’re shitty.Like extra shitty. Really shitty superheroes. if I were going over a waterfall in a barrel and one of them flew down and saved me, I would thank them profusely. But as soon as they flew away, I would deny everything or tell my friends they had bad b.o.

  139. The Doctor is unequivocally a super hero. He does go out of his way to protect Earth and humans, and his super power is wisdom, intelligence, and incredible kindness.

  140. My husband, after listening to me read this entire blog to him, says “I definitely don’t care”. It saddens me since he is the reason I have such a love for a lot of geek things. I’d think he would have some strong feelings on the subject, he did not.
    So I told him to stop being so selfish, your hair is totally amazing and he needs to tell the world!

  141. What about Hong Kong Phooey and his cat Spot? I mean he was a mild mannered dog janitor in a police station. If he’s a superhero than Underdog deserves to be one too. I mean his car transformed! So yeah Underdog yep. Mighty Mouse saved people too. So yeah.

  142. To answer a question earlier… Thunder Thunder Thundercats Ho Ohhhhh!

    Ann Castle | January 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm
    “Why aren’t there any cat superheroes? A cat superhero would be great. She could have awesome powers like SuperShedding and SuperNapping.”

    Pretty sure all cats have those powers already. At least my two do.

  143. So where does that leave The Tick? And American Maid? And Der Fledermaus? And Sewer Urchin? Tell me that?!?

    Arthur doesn’t count really, cause he just dresses up as a moth and is a sidekick.

  144. Trick question. They are actually “furries” and I for one am a little disappointed that we’ve managed to skirt the real issue of which Furry you most identify with… 😉

  145. By Victor’s logic, Krypto the Superdog, Streaky the Supercat, Comet the Superhorse and Beppo the Supermonkey (collectively known as the Legion of Super Pets, because they were the pets of Superboy and Supergirl) aren’t really super heroes. I take exception at that.

    Seriously. I’m not making this shit up.

  146. Let’s not forget the (superheroes by proxy) kids from Captain Planet. You know, where Sauron from LOTR gets tarted up in spandex and green body paint and gives his rings of power to a politically correct, rag-tag group of youngsters in exchange for total environmental allegiance?

    Good times.

  147. Captain Caveman was a superhero because he was always able to pull out whatever was needed to protect his friends, solve the crime, etc out of his fur – and there was no size limit. Josie and the Pussycats were not superheroes. Super Grover always wins, but that doesn’t make him a super hero.

  148. “If you think a dog is your hero you’ve made pretty poor choices in your life.”

    Them’s motherfucking fighting words! My dogs rouse my butt out of bed and shove their cold noses in my face every time I feel blue. They’re not just my heroes. They’re my superheroes.

    Pistols at dawn, sir. I won’t actually bring a pistol. A few dogs. They won’t bite either. Maybe lick and beg for snacks. Kinda like Scooby Doo. HEROIC SCOOBY DOO BECAUSE DOG.


  149. My husband and I once had a serious conversation about which superheroes/mutants would be useful in the zombie apocalypse. (Mostly Marvel, I’m a Marvel girl.) Sometimes when we’ve run out of things to talk about we revisit that conversation. It’s always good and interesting.

  150. Underdog and Mighty Mouse are SO super heroes. Also in this category according to my heathens (yes we discussed this and made a list):

    -Batman (I will fight this to the death. I adore Batman)
    -Dr Who (dude saves Earth… and most of the known universes all the time! Plus, sonic and TARDIS)
    -Sam and Dean Winchester (they have stopped the apocalypse how many times now? My oldest son swears Dean’s super power is ‘powered’ by pie.)
    -Tony Stark
    -Black Widow
    -The Punisher
    … we could go on, we are a geeky/nerdy group

    NOT on the list:

  151. Okay, so, in order.

    #1. Victor is right, because he always is.
    #2. Mighty Mouse and Underdog are superheroes. This does not invalidate #1. Yes, they are kind of crappy.
    #3. Scooby-Doo is not superhuman, because humans can talk and make sandwiches. He’s supercanine, because non-animated* dogs can’t talk nor make sandwiches. At least, not very good ones.
    #4. Boobies. Because boobies. Four of them.
    #5. Phantom is best superhero, because The Ghost Who Walks is many men, which if not superhuman is at least supernumerary. And he drinks milk. Because, boobies.

    You’re welcome.

    *As opposed to inanimate dogs, which can’t do anything, really.

  152. I love you guys. Seriously. I’m on a very I hate people thing right now and I so don’t want to ever leave my house but I have to because I’m an adult and I have commitments. I seriously think I that I would make an exception for ya’ll for a bit at least.

    For the record, my favorite super heroes are the Avengers. I LOVE Thor, the superhero and the Norse god, but that’s a completely different post, right? 🙂

  153. You could have won this after Victor’s first retort:

    Victor: No one thinks a damn dog is a hero. If you think a dog is your hero you’ve made pretty poor choices in your life.
    You: I married you.

  154. I KNEW I was immortal.

    Also, I know a lot of animal heroes. I know of a cat that woke her humans up to get them all out of a housefire. Also, dogs put up with humans. That feels more and more heroic every damn day.

  155. Victor’s logic is flawed in that Scooby Doo is not a superhero but a detective. Just cuz he’s a talking, walking, sandwich-making dog doesn’t put him in that category. Superheroes are those characters who have a special power or ability (or supermoney) that permit them the ability to fight for the greater good. Mighty Mouse flies and has superman like abilities to come and save the day therefore superhero. And batman may not have superpowers but he’s a well trained ninja with special technology that he uses to defend his city. Superhero.

  156. Indiana Jones it totally immortal – he drank from the chalice at the end of “the Last Crusade”

  157. You need to lock Victor in a room with The Incredibles on a loop until he GETS IT. (A cape does not a superhero make.) Heavens. In the immortal words of Sheldon, ” I couldn’t become Green Lantern unless I was chosen by the Guardians of Oa, but given enough startup capital and an adequate research facility, I could be Batman.” And of COURSE the Doctor isn’t a superhero. Duh.

  158. I answered “what the hell is wrong with you two” because YOU’RE BOTH WRONG. The qualification is intent to save/help people AND epic scale. Therefore, Doctor Who is a superhero BUT Scooby Doo (what?!) is not. Mighty Mouse and UnderDog DO qualify, because talking animals are epic and they want to HELP YOU. 🙂

  159. I don’t know who either of them are. I guess I’m a decade too young or was a tv deprived toddler. Or they don’t have them in Australia. But I’m gonna vote that you were right, out of loyalty.

  160. Lots of regular dogs are heroes. Does Victor not read the internets? Dogs are always saving people from fires and stuff. Underdog, however, can FLY, which makes him a superhero.
    Now, I’ve not heard of any mice dragging people out of a burning house, but Mighty Mouse can fly and has an awesome chest, so he’s a superhero, too.

  161. Well obviously mice and dogs can be superheroes! If I were going to invent a superhero it would be sentient cheese. In a cape. But that’s an argument for another day.

  162. My husband just said when he was a kid he wanted to be Underdog…that makes victors argument null and void. 🙂

  163. Confession: I used to watch Underdog, and I’m trying to picture him now without the aid of the Interwebs, but all I can picture is Hong Kong Phooey. I wonder if he qualifies as a superhero. A spazzy one, but still. Saving stuff. And Karate chopping, which is super cool.

  164. You forgot Dudley Do Right! His superpower was untying knots while a train was coming.

    There’s no need to fear, UNDERDOG is here! That right there is a superhero’s slogan.

  165. Tony the Tiger is TOO a superhero. But I’m from Battle Creek, so I may be slightly biased. Slightly. (Cap’n Crunch can kiss my Pink Panther Flakes [yes, they were a real cereal–Post, 1972-74].)

    I’ve always considered Mighty Mouse a superhero–even when I was little and I thought they were singing, “Here he comes—to save the dame!” whenever he flew into action to untie Nell from those train tracks. To tell you the truth, when I learned that they were singing, “…save the day,” I was somewhat disappointed, because that is so common. “Dame” would have a cool 40s, noirish vibe to it, which would be fitting, as MM originated in 1942. He can fly and beat up thugs who are way bigger than he is. Hello? Superhero.

  166. I don’t have strong feelings about Underdog, but Mighty Mouse is clearly a super hero. Clearly. Cape–super hero. Initial of super hero name on chest–super hero. Flying, fighting crime, super strength–super hero. Plus, I can still sing his entire theme song 50 years later–if that’s not a sign of a true super hero, I don’t know what is.

  167. Underdog is so not crappy. Although I suppose a distinction should be made between comic superheroes and comedic superheroes.

    Victor should be forced to watch every episode of The Venture Brothers for taking The Doctor’s name in vain.

  168. Mighty Mouse gained his Super Powers by eating Super Food. UnderDog got his Super Powers after ingesting a Super Energy Pill “In the secret compartment of my ring I fill with a Underdog Super Energy Pill” He had to save Sweet Polly Purebread.

  169. Are you going to read all these comments and tally the results? Now THAT would be interesting, and give you more material to continue the conversation with Victor. You’re a lucky woman.

  170. I just wanted to say thank you for this post and I love you and VIctor so much. I was crying from laughter and I really needed a laugh tonight.

  171. I used to pretend that my teddy bear was Mighty Mouse. Anything that “saves the day” is a hero. But I also loved cats, and the cats were villains in Mighty Mouse cartoons. And, Mom caught mice in traps and threw them in the trash. I was a very confused little girl. Actually, Mighty Mouse might have been my first crush, which explains a lot. Also? Krakatoa Katie, she ain’t no lady, when she starts to shake her sarong. . . .

  172. Of course The Doctor is a superhero: He’s an alien (like Superman, etc.), he has the ability to regenerate into a new body when he’s about to die, he as two hearts and, apparently, the ability to know what color his kidneys are psychically (I don’t even know what color my kidneys are at the moment).

    Now, what about the Greatest American Hero- Superhero or Teacher With A Nifty Suit…?

    Lastly, is this where I admit when I was 10 years old, I had a crush on Matthew Starr from The Powers of Matthew Starr (alien/superhero), or am I the only person who watched that show?

  173. I read this with my hubby. We voted yes, and I had to show him your hair. But hubby wants me to add that Underdog was really just a drug addict looking for his next fix. You know that was speed he had in that little ring right?

  174. This is a direct quote from Wikipedia (and everyone knows that Wikipedia is ALWAYS right): “Underdog was an anthropomorphic superhero.” Take that Victor!

  175. Hi Jenny. Nothing important to add, but I am drunk so I just wanted to say I love you. I’m not like Lionel Richie, so I won’t call. Sorry.

  176. WTF is wrong with Victor? If they wear their underwear on the outside, they are superheroes. Sometimes they are superheroes even if they don’t. It’s like asking whether I’m a believer in miracles. You can’t look at my house, car, job, hairstyle, wardrobe, and tell me. You have to ask me. And if you asked Underdog, he’d say, “Yes, I’m a superhero, Victor. Make your wife a wine and Xanax slushie and rub her shoulders. And buy her a freaking taxidermied unicorn.”

  177. A. You’re right and B. I can’t believe that in all these comments, nobody mentioned CAPTAIN HAMMER?! (Bonus points for Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, though)

  178. This is some blog with an awesome difference, the conversation with your spouse blew mind and trying to understand the comments were even more intriguing. Now I have a headache wondering who is the superhero!

  179. This reminds me of the time my other half asked me what superhero power I would really like and in a panic and because I had just seen The Incredibles I said “the ability to swim really fast”. After spending a few second looking at me like I was a moron, he pissed himself laughing. Now (and for the last nine years) every single time someone mentions superheroes he turns to me, smirks and says “swimming really fast is soooo useful”.

    PS. I’ve never heard of Underdog (I’m British) and can’t really remember Might Mouse but have googled them and they have capes which means of course they are superheroes.

    PPS. I initially thought you meant Danger Mouse which was a cartoon in the UK in the 1980’s. It was fabulous and although he didn’t have a superpower, he wore an eye patch and had the BEST theme song ever. As “whenever there is danger he’ll be there”, he definitely counts too.

  180. years ago in nursing school i was sitting around with my clinical buddy waiting for women to not have babies on the maternity ward, and he says to me, in all seriousness, “If I were a superhero, I’d be the best superhero ever.” I couldn’t argue it, and that was the end of the entire conversation. It’s kinda haunted me ever since.

  181. What about The Little Mermaid? She doesn’t have a cape, but she has a tail…and she fights the evil Cruella Deville. Or do I have that all wrong?

  182. Mighty Mouse and Underdog yes because they wear capes so, obviously. Note that capes are not a requirement but an indication. I guess by that logic you would be a superhero and therefore you win, sorry victor, she’s got you this time. Also, had no idea by end of that post what the measurements were so, well done.

  183. So I didn’t read through all the comments – but I’d pose this argument on deciding who is/isn’t a superhero. (And hopefully I’m not reiterating someone else’s ideas – if so, they can have all the credit based on the rule of “FIRST!”)

    Defining “superheroness” is about whether the hero (be they human, alien, or animal) has powers that aren’t found in their species within the world/universe that they reside.

    For example, in Scooby Doo, all dogs can talk (Crappy Scrappy Doo for example) in their world – so Scooby, while a mystery solving sleuth – doesn’t have powers/abilities that differentiate him from other dogs in the Scooby Doo universe. Because let’s be honest, that universe is different than ours, because in our universe if the Three Stooges bought a carnival, everyone would go to it, I don’t care how scary a monster showed up to ruin the day.

    For Doctor Who, yes, he’s “superhuman” – but, he isn’t human. He’s a Time Lord, and within that context, he has the same powers/abilities as the rest of his timey-whimey people.

    Captain Caveman – definite superhero, because he could fly of his own accord – which wasn’t possible for other Cavemen in his universe.

    Now the problem with this argument comes down to Batman (doesn’t it always though?). By this definition, he’s not a superhero because he doesn’t have powers greater than other humans. He just happened to have the time, money, and determination to refine his skills and build awesome technology. But here’s the thing – Batman isn’t billed as a superhero. He’s a detective, the most badass Sam Spade that ever was. So while he’s definitely elevated his abilities – both through practiced study and nifty gadgetry – above other people, at his core, he’s a detective. So Batman logic hole filled.

    Underdog and Mighty Mouse, when compared to dogs and mice in their own universes, do have superpowers, and are therefore superheroes. While Yogi Bear, who is awesome at stealing pick-i-nick baskets, is not.

    Also, I may have had a drop too much coffee this morning. 🙂

  184. Righting the wrongs of an unjust society and / or the effects of a falling building= hero.
    And they both fly – right? Totally makes them Super.
    Step aside, Victor Jenny’s got this one.

  185. 5,600+ votes that mighty mouse and wonder dog are superheroes. Hahaha! What a great way to start the morning. Awesome…

  186. What about Atom Ant? He’s pretty super, right? And NO kid really wants to be an ant. Curve ball; What about Adam Ant? I think his superpower is looking bad-ass in eyeliner and feathers and that shit is not easy people. Not easy at all.

  187. Capes and flying constitute a super-hero no matter what the species. Which does indeed make Captain Caveman a super-hero because he does do that flying thing with his Caveman Club.

  188. This sounds like my boyfriend and I having seriously intense discussion about the timeline of the Marvel and DC universes. That was about a five hour “debate”…

  189. When criminals in this world appear,
    And break the laws that they should fear,
    And frighten all who see or hear,
    A cry goes out both far and near, for
    UNDERDOG! (Underdog!) UNDERDOG! (Underdog!)
    Speed of lightning! Roar of thunder!
    Fighting all who rob or plunder!
    Underdoooooog… Underdog. UNDERDOG!

    Point = Proven

  190. I have a serious question here…do you record your conversations or is your memory really THIS good, Jenny?? You two are a witty hoot! <3

  191. Underdog is a true superhero. A friend of mine says Mighty Mouse isn’t a superhero; he just beats up cats. Any cats. Even if the cat surrendered MM just kept pounding on him,

  192. If you want to know what the word “superhero” means, then go to the source. Stan Lee, who created most of the characters we think of as superheroes, said in an interview on “Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them — even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” No costumes necessary.

  193. There’s also a great 30-page pdf about what makes a superhero (Nick Fury? The Scarlet Pimpernel? Buffy the Vampire Slayer?) on WARNING: It’s a very academic-style analysis for hard-core geeks AND it ends with the question: WHAT DEFINES A SUPERVILLIAN?? (Can of worms, anyone?)

  194. What about Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn and the Road Runner?
    They are super heroes, with super abilities/powers, but no capes..

  195. I think my favorite part of this is the fact that Victor actually engaged in a long debate over the issue. Usually he’s a party pooper and just tells you to stop talking! Way to embrace the insanity Victor!

  196. “Victor: No one thinks a damn dog is a hero. If you think a dog is your hero you’ve made pretty poor choices in your life.”

    Clearly, Victor is unfamiliar both with the concept of Search and Rescue dogs and also with the superpowers that dogs, in fact, all get (super hearing, super scent, endurance, agility). Srsly. Dogs are heroes. Unsung and underappreciated heroes.

    Seeing eye dogs and medical alert dogs and other stripes of service dog (mobility, autism) allow people with very limiting disabilities to have normal out-in-the-world lives without fear (or without the same kind of fear they’d have without that dog’s loyalty and support). Dogs alert children with airborne and ingested peanut allergies to the presence of such substances. Dogs alert their owners to fires and carbon monoxide leaks. Dogs help lost children not freeze to death at night. Dogs help other lost pets. Military Working Dogs detect personnel and ammunition and improvised explosive devices and save the lives of the humans they work with. Dogs save lives. Dogs change lives. Dogs are heroes.

    Victor is wrong. QED.

  197. Okay, so I don’t have time to go through and read all of the comments, but Doctor Who is an alien and in my mind, is a superhero. Scooby-Doo is not a superhero. And as far as I’m concerned, I don’t consider Batman a superhero, either. He is rich, has other people build his shit for him, and has an anger issue. Ironman is a superhero, on the other hand, because he builds his own shit. He is super smart, therefor, superhero! I really feel like I have a lot more to say on this subject because my husband and I also get into these conversations, but my brain is fried.

  198. I think I’m going to solve every argument with my husband by posting a poll on my blog. Brilliant!!

    And, yes, they’re super heroes. They FLY for cripes sake. What is that if not superhero stuff?

  199. My vote included a “yes & great hair” and a “what the hell is wrong with you two.” Thank you for letting that be an option.
    Tell Victor that just because there are, admittedly BETTER super heroes, that doesn’t mean that Mighty Mouse or Underdog weren’t.
    My personal fave was Hong Kong Fooey…and he was DEFINATELY a super hero because he had a secret identity. I believe that to be the qualifier (so…Batman gets a bye)

  200. What about Inspector Gadget?
    Solved crime/saved the day and was himself a giant gadget, but not a superhero.
    Brain & Penny helped him a little too much.

  201. They are totally super hero quality…for all the reasons posted but mostly because they have a theme song. Batman doesn’t have a theme song, also he is DC so that excludes him. He might be a Super Friend but not a Super Hero.

  202. He’s lucky you didn’t leave him after that whole Doctor Who and Scooby Doo comparison. Since that argument is flawed, the rest are too. So, you’re right, hands down.

  203. Victor’s wrong, again. (sorry, Victor) And he’s overthinking the whole thing. Besides, who is more heroic than a dog?

  204. The urge to choose all four answers was almost overwhelming – but I overcame it and went with the correct answer.

  205. Batman doesn’t have a theme song?

    What about the 60’s Batman tv show?
    da-na-na na-na Batman! Batman! Batman!

    All right, not the greatest lyrics of all time, but still…

  206. You guys are so damn funny. I love arguments….errr….I mean conversations like this. I would typically just agree with you because woman need to stick together sometimes (not always), that- plus my hubby makes me doubt my logic sometimes and that just pisses me off. He’s not allowed to be right, he knows that. Anyway- after reading through, or I should say laughing through this post I am going to agree with you…..I think. I’m more confused than I was when I started reading it, so I feel your pain. lol

  207. Since there are no PEOPLE in the worlds that Mighty Mouse and Underdog inhabit, but rather Mice and Dogs, Mighty Mouse and Underdog are most certainly superheros – they have superbeing powers, secret identities, and the adoration of the ladies. By the directives of the time they were written in, that makes them superheroes.

  208. please don’t forget letterman… and courageous cat…and minute mouse…all superheroes in my book.

  209. Of course Underdog and Mighty Mouse are superheroes. They have superpowers; both are super-intelligent (Sentient animals) and fly. Batman is also a super-genius, that’s his main power. But he’s also a psychopath due to having witnessed the murder of his parents. He’s kind of like Dexter, a psychopath who channels his illness so as to not harm the innocent.

    In a separate note, it is my belief that Dr. Who is in a class by himself. I think he’s mainly a sensualist in that he seems to be chasing experiences. But he’s got the genius thing going on and a multiverse of bad guys seemingly intent on denying him the experiences he seeks. So, of course, he must thwart their nefarious schemes. And you know the British, very self-effacing. He wouldn’t want to be called a superhero anyway.

  210. I don’t know if anybody else pointed this out yet, but both Mighty Mouse and Underdog have alter egos – just like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, all the superheroes.

    So, the answer is most definitely yes. And that’s why Scooby-Doo and Dr. Who aren’t superheroes.

  211. when I first read the title of this post I thought it said “My Herpes have always been mice and dogs” I was …puzzled but its the Bloggess, it doesnt have to make sense. BTW I have no opinion on the superhero thing.

  212. But what about anti-heroes? My faourite was the one in the original black and white, no-nonsense effects, Flash Gordon series. What was his name now?,.. Glub, was it? Anyway, he used to scare me rigid when I was seven. And I mean real ‘hide-behind-the-sofa’ scared. Or maybe it was Emperor Glob. Yeah, he was definitely a space emperor. Can anybody help me out on this? I expect I’ll have to Google it. Hey, it could even have been Emperor Google. Or Goggle, perhaps?

  213. My wife just had this conversation!
    My daughter asked me “Who is this Mighty Mouse character? He sounds like an urban legend started by people who see alligators in toilets or sewers or whatever.”

    Needless to say, i was aghast – kids today are so deprived – but i proceeded to explain the legend of Mighty Mouse -much to my wife’s dismay.
    “Mighty Mouse? He just flew into things! He was terrible!”
    Unfortunately, i can’t afford a divorce – and my wife has my heart, of course. She keeps it in a jar beside our bed…
    Keep fighting the good fight, Jenny. Mighty Mouse Rules!

  214. Jenny Lawson: YOU ROCK!!! I found a hardback copy of your book in the lobby of my now former NYC apt(long story as to why it is my former apt)…….it was with a bunch of other books another tenant left for people to take what they wanted I picked your book immediately because I love Augusten Burroughs and I figured you must be great if he digs you. I started reading your book two days ago and I have spent every free moment I have had reading your book. I have no problem whatsoever believing any of your stories about your your childhood/life….
    I am from the South too and my family was and what is left of it, still is CRAZY. I MEAN REALLY CRAZY. I have often thought the heat makes people who go crazy in thecSouth go a special

  215. The Doctor is always about protecting the earth, and he makes several heartfelt speeches to that effect. Since you seemingly don’t watch Doctor Who enough to know that, I won’t bother with finding and linking any. He’s ‘super’ in the same way Superman is super–endowed with abilities far beyond earth humans by nature of his alien birth.

  216. I had a hard time finishing writing my way too long comment. I love reading your book which turned me on to your blog. I have an acute anxiety/panic disorder and OCD. My boyfriend and I have arguements like this one ALL THE TIME. SERIOUSLY. I thank GOD we have these kind of arguements/disagreements as opposed to the kind “normal” couples have. . Anyway, I am sure you get all kinds of praise and compliments and thanks all the time and I don’t know if you will even be reading this and to anyone who is reading this and my previous botched comment,I apologize. I probably sound like a complete nut. Thanx for your book

  217. Oddly, I worked at a Starbucks where we each chose a super hero we related to. My super hero was MIGHTY MOUSE. I am little, I have a high voice, I am adorable, but mostly, I was the evening clean up shift. DUH. HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!

  218. My husband agrees that they are too, so really that’s another vote. And the only thing that is ‘wrong’ with you guys is that you are meant for each other. Any couple who can have a conversation like this is a special kind of awesome.

  219. I think Victor just likes arguing with you. CLEARLY they’re superheros. (Yeah. I said it. Superhero. One word.) Mighty Mouse’s theme song even says “Here I am to save the day!” You know who saves the day? SUPERHEROES.

  220. ” If neither are superheroes then by your logic, the Doctor is one heart and a big sandwich away from Scooby Doo” This made me laugh out loud. Which made my Great Dane bark.

    How can Doctor Who NOT be a super hero? I mean, nearly immortal time traveler. That’s pretty super.

  221. Underdog and Mighty Mouse are definitely superheros, especially Mighty Mouse. I had a huge crush on him when I was 5. Apparently I was having a species-identity crisis. I don’t care. He’s still awesome.

  222. Underdog and Mighty Mouse were animal versions of Superman. And just think of their theme songs! Underdog ripped off Superman’s “It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” and then made it funny for kids, “Not bird nor plane nor even frog. It’s just lil ole me, Underdog.” And Mighty Mouse literally said “Here I come to save the day!” Yeah, I loved cartoons as a kid… And superheroes. And they are definitely superheroes. And while I don’t really have anything against them, Ricky and Bullwinkle we’re not. They were do-good-ers, but they bumbled a lot and mostly got lucky.

  223. You guys have the greatest conversations…do you have to take notes while it is happening so you don’t forget or is it all by the seat of your pants? Love, love, love it!!

  224. Underdog and Mighty Mouse are on, what I’d call, the Superhero Cusp. It’s challenging for anything that can be considered a pet to be a “true” superhero. Also, they’re too Hanna Barbera from an animation standpoint. If you can’t have an actual human actor play you in a movie, you’re probably not a “true” superhero.

    Batman is a firm “yes”. He has given himself superpowers with technology (and training) and he fights crime. And, I’d argue that if you gave the average person Batman’s suit and all his gadgets, they would not be super. Most would probably lose an eye or break some bones.

    That said, Victor has really hurt his argument by discussing Scooby Doo. Really, Victor. Do you want to be taken seriously or not? 😉

  225. I think that the Doctor qualifies as a superhero. he saves space and time all the time – as long as it’s not Thursday, b/c he could never get the hang of them – he has the tragic backstory and everything. and you have to admit that 10’s coat was very cape-like. and Sexy is his sidekick, AND his batmobile AT THE SAME TIME. I would say that she was his Robin, but DC kept killing them off… And superhero canon is filled w/ aliens who aren’t super among THEIR race, but are among ours (wiki has a whole category for them: — and please note that Stitch from Lilo and Stitch is on here… i’m not sure how I feel about that).

    back to the point, yes the Doctor is a superhero. Yes MM & UD are also superheroes. and i’m still not sure about Stitch.

  226. I think we have to factor in the outfit in any discussion of superheroes. If stretchy pants, a mask or a cape are involved…along with the super powers, then definitely a superhero. If they have extraordinary resources above and beyond what a regular person has (Batman, I’m looking at you) and put them to use for the benefit of humankind, then yes, a super hero, and that probably goes for the Doctor and for Bill Gates. Not that I want to see either one of them in stretchy pants.

  227. You’ve just rocked my whole world. I would put Batman and Iron Man in the same category. Not really superhuman, just rich guys who save the world regularly. I still call them superheroes, absolutely. And of COURSE Mighty Mouse and Underdog are superheroes! I didn’t know anyone thought otherwise. The Scooby Doo thing blows my mind though. I’ll have to think on it.

  228. My Brownie girl scout troop is working on their Philanthropist badge tonight and I had a whole explanation worked out for Philanthropist. Thanks to this discussion, I have now reworked the entire thing to include superheroes and Stan Lee’s definition of hero. Now if I could just include Princesses, it would be the best Brownie meeting ever.

  229. So interesting you guys were having this talk because I just read in an interview for the new Hercules movie that Kellen Lutz referred to Hercules as a superhero. It kinda bothered me bceause isn’t Hercules a demigod? I would classify demigod completely separate from superhero… what’s your take on it?

  230. Underdog ROCKS! As well as Droopy Dog and Chilly Willy. On a similarly unrelated note, Mr. Peabody and Sherman have a new movie coming out soon. I think they should fall under the superhero category as well.

  231. So here’s the extension of this conversation that my boyfriend and I just had:
    Me; Well Batman- the dark knight- he’s always been right on the edge of super hero and super villain. All vigilantes are.
    Him: Deathwish. Charles Bronson is a superhero.
    Me: Taxi Driver.
    Him: Taxi.
    Me: Definitely. Tony Danza is a superhero.
    Him: I was thinking Andy Kaufman. HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!
    Me: And Andy Kaufman.

  232. I have seen printable conversation starters on Pinterest and I think you would make an excellent set of those! Or maybe a conversation of the month club, in which we pay you to randomly send a conversation starter, for instance a taxidermied bat wearing a bowl of fruit on its head!

  233. I have to vote that Underdog is totally a superhero because I would wrap a towel around my neck and pretend to fly like he does when I was a kid and that is the only qualifier any superhero needs.

  234. My sister edits my blog and I think that she is a super hero, no she doesn’t stop crime but in her efforts she stops me from looking like the illiterate idiot that I am all over the web. So it is kind of like she gives me the secret identity of someone who can write and no one knows it me in real life. Wait now I think I’m a super hero, or I should be given the great secret identity I now have. SHIT! You have confused me. I need direction but nothing is new there.

  235. I’m pretty sure it comes down to pants. Mighty Mouse, Underdog: pants. Bullwinkle, Scooby Doo: no pants. It’s just a theory in early form…but so far, it is air tight.

  236. My wife and her friends obsess over the Bloggess, I totally get it. I appreciate and find hilarious the conversations with Victor. I love her perspective, but always agree and support Victor in the end. I am team Victor.

    However, I also happened to have a masters level education in Superheroes and I hate to make this point, but Victor could not be more wrong.

    A superhero is first defined by the intent of the Artist and Wrighter who create them. This rule was created during the Modernist Era when Artist dictated what was art and who were Superheroes. It maybe hard for us Post Modernest minds to remove the audiences opinion, but this rule is grandfathered in. This is why Black Widow, Elektra, Hawkeye, The Punisher, Shang-Chi, Iron Man, Batman, Batwomen, Bat Girl, Robin, Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Ozymandis, Rorschach, The Question, ect…are considered superheroes (with or without capes).

    Victor makes the unfortunate differentiation in the heat of the moment, “And that’s the difference between characters and real superheroes.” Sorry Victor, they are ALL characters. It’s pretend, buddy…with the acceptation of those people, like the guy in Seattle, who actually suits up and is a vigilante. They are “real” superheroes…or so I choose to believe. You might want to consult a sociologist, not a Sequential Art major on that one.

    Note: To clarify, my professional assessment of the following should referee this argument. The only area I would feel comfortable stepping in on:

    Garfield: Cartoon, yes, but not a superhero, he is a cat.

    Rocky and Bullwinkle: Rocky has a strong case as a potential Superhero, but a cartoon flying squirrel is still a cartoon. Bullwinkle…no chance, even in satire as a superhero.

    Indiana Jones: Pulp adventure heroes are in the fundamental DNA of superheroes. The lines blur around Flash Gordon, Doc Savage and such, but Indy is firmly a reference to Pulp Action Adventure heroes and not Superheores.

    Richie Rich: possess the potential of an Iron Man or Batman with his resources (maybe after more personal tragedy and drinking). However, unlike the reality of sexual orientation, he has a choice to identify “superhero” or not. I think the choice is clear. Nope.

    Fred Flintstone: This cartoon drives a brontosaurus, bowls and has classic existential dilemmas of a husband. He is no superhero.

    Captain Caveman: On the other hand, Fred grew up watching his favorite Superhero on TV, CAPTIAN CAAAAAVVVEMAN! Superhero? Heck yeah!

    Casper : Hero of underappreciated lessons of civility, yes. Superhero? You don’t have to be super to be a hero. He is simply the Friendly Ghost.

    Doctor Who: Who is science fiction and so are Superheroes often…but Superheroes are a sub genre and Who ain’t part of it.

    Scooby Doo: Being a friend of Batman does not make you a Superhero. Just as being a friend of the Globe Trotters does not make you a trick hoop star.

    Tony the Tiger: There is your “crappy.” See Garfield.

    As to the real question:

    Mighty Mouse: He is somewhere in the teens of my favorite superheroes, above Batman and Superman (right bellow Wonder Women)…so yeah…Superhero and not “crappy.”

    Underdog: Not in my top 20, but respectable placed shortly after that. Not “crappy”. Yes, a superhero.

    My wife was right, I lost a little respect for Victor on this one. Not to fear, you will get it back.

    Geek over and out!

  237. I am excited that your poll let me choose both “Yes they are” and “What the hell is wrong with you two?”. Very fitting, and helps me express my opinion better. 😉

  238. they wear capes and CAN FLY. HOW can anyone question their status? Way more solid than Batman, and nobody questions him.

  239. I believe you need to have a traumatic event in addition to thwarting villians to be classified as a superhero. Apparently they are all angsty.

  240. I’m truly glad another couple out there has conversations like this. So either we’re not crazy, or you are crazy, just like us. 🙂

  241. This blog made my day! As somebody who obsessed over Scooby Doo as a kid to Doctor Who as an adult I believe that are all super heroes!

  242. The Doctor is completely a superhero. He fights crimes all the time, and wears cool hats and/or glasses while doing so. He saves the earth all the time even if its humans being stupid. Also, I would be River Song so I think my logic gets a bit iffy. River Song does her own thing but saves the Doctor from himself= double superhero-ness.

  243. This was not an option on the poll but “i dont have an opinion, i just really like to fill out polls. But your hair still looks great!”

  244. Shame Victor, Shame. The Doctor is MY super hero and PETER DAVISON SMILED AT ME YESTERDAY. I’m sorry I can’t say that without shouting.

  245. OMG. Not even stopping to read all the fabulous posts everybody else wrote. Just have to say that OF COURSE UNDERDOG is a Superhero!!! He has a cape! He has a Theme Song! He was my first…I guess that makes him a gateway superhero…

  246. I’ve been thinking a lot about what super power I would want to have if I could only have one. I mean, what would be most handy. If I could fly, then I could totally get the leaves off my roof and change the floodlight bulbs without worrying about a fwo story fall to concrete. But then laser vision would be great for dealing with poison ivy, just look at it and it’s vaporized! I’m kinda leaning toward super speed, cause then not only would my yard work all get done, but also I wouldn’t have to fix my sewing machine cause I could just do it all by hand, but I’m a bit worried I’d loose patience for things like candy making where you have to wait like two hours for the sugar to get up to 300 degrees. And that would be sad, cause I like candy.

  247. You should TOTES watch the Monty Python Penguin Sketch from the Flying Circus “Naughty Bits” episode! SAME LOGIC!

  248. My big problem with Victor? “No one thinks a damn dog is a hero.” Really, Victor, really? I noticed several people mentioned the REAL LIFE dog heroes above. Not only that, but there’s Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, and Benjy just to name a few. What sad little world does he live in? Sheesh. (For the record this is even coming from a CAT PERSON.) Good luck to you, Jenny, living with that level of sheer bizarreness. Bless you both! (Probably for different reasons.)

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