"The Pluto Syndrome": In the human world, Superman was trying desperately to stop a mysterious beam from the planet Pluto from attacking the earth. While using a meteor as a shield to press through a force field protecting Pluto, he was repelled, and the six fragments of the meteor broke off and

Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #1 is an issue of the series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 1982. It was published on December 24, 1981.

Synopsis for "The Pluto Syndrome"

In the human world, Superman was trying desperately to stop a mysterious beam from the planet Pluto from attacking the earth. While using a meteor as a shield to press through a force field protecting Pluto, he was repelled, and the six fragments of the meteor broke off and plummeted to earth. Unknown to Superman at the time, he had been teleported to an alternate universe at the moment he came in contact with the force field and the meteor fragments were falling to a planet of animals.

The fragments fell to different parts of the equivalent of the North American continent.

The first fragment fell into the windowbox garden of mild-mannered cartoonist Roger Rabbit (no relation), who was busy at work on his latest issue of the JLA (Justa Lotta Animals) comic book in his apartment in Gnu York. He was running behind schedule, as normal. Roger grew carrots in his window box to use as snacks. The fragment interacted with the carrots and when Roger grabbed one as a snack, he was incredibly shocked to find that he (normally being of very slight frame) was suddenly very muscular and had enhanced senses and invulnerability. Superman, disguising himself as Clark Kent, deducing that he was in a alternate universe, discovered that his "disguise" didn't allow him to blend in at all, being a human among animals. Clark was able to track the first fragment to Roger's apartment and convinced Roger, now realizing what his new powers offered him, to help him track down the source of the beam from Pluto and to track down the other meteor fragments. Captain Carrot, while not having the ability of flight, found that he could hop incredible distances and surprised even Superman with his ability to keep up over great distances. (Captain Carrot is unique in the Zoo Crew in that his own powers are only temporary and are obtained by eating carrots grown in his windowbox garden. Contrary to what one would assume, Roger sees this as an additional strength instead of a hindrance, although that difference does come into play in later issues of the comic.) Captain Carrot again surprised the Man of Steel when the two of them saved an airliner from Trans-Woof Airlines from crashing when it was attacked by the beam from Pluto (which rendered any animals it came in contact with back to their devolved forms). Superman, not yet fully recovered from his contact with the alien force field, became disoriented during the rescue, leaving Captain Carrot alone to save the airliner. Superman realized a kinship with the Captain when the Captain placed his own life in great peril to stop the airliner from crashing into the airport terminal, accidentally leaving two large paw prints in the front of the plane and digging two large bunny foot sized furrows in the ground. Superman was impressed that he was willing to do this not yet knowing the limitations of his new powers, but still willing to try. The two new friends left in search of the source of the beam and quickly came back into contact with the space barrier. Superman found himself caught and Captain Carrot, in attempting to rescue his friend, was bounced away and fell to earth.

Fortunately for the Captain, the second fragment fell in the city of Piggsburgh. Steel mill worker Peter Porkchops was busy dumping a bag of limestone into a vat of molten steel when a meteorite fragment struck him in the back of the head, knocking him and the bag of limestone into the molten metal along with the meteor fragment. Pig Iron was born. Peter (also being orginally of very slight frame) found that he now had a permanent body of hardened steel that was much larger than his original body and also had incredible strength and near invulnerability. He also quickly discovered the gift of his new powers by stopping a bank robbery shortly after obtaining his powers. Pig Iron, seeing the falling rabbit, was able to position himself under him and caught him before he hit the ground (although how landing in two metal arms was softer than landing on the ground was never explained). Pig Iron quickly joined forces with Captain Carrot and the two new friends devised a plan to seek out the others affected by the meteor (who had all made local headlines in the news) to aid in helping Superman and stopping the alien beam from wreaking havoc.

The next fragment had fallen in the city of Mew Orleans where it had come into contact with a tabbachi belonging to Felina Furr, a local Kat-Fu instructor, who was meditating at the time (contemplating her chalkboard, pointer, and naval...in that order). The meteor splashed Felina and her pointer with the liquid from the tabbachi pot, infusing her and her pointer (which she calls her "Magic Wanda") with magic powers. She and her wand together have formidable magic powers, although Felina can do limited magic without her wand. The beam again attacked during Mardi Gras and the three were able to limit the damage done and set off for the state of Kornsas using Felina's powers of teleportation.

After being teleported, they found themselves caught in the grip of a tornado and were quickly rescued by the super-speedy turtle known as Fastback. Fastback obtained his powers when he was chasing a city bus (if a turtle can actually chase anything). A fragment of the meteorite fell down the back of his shell, and he found that he now had the ability of obtaining incredible speeds. Captain Carrot, Pig Iron and Alley-Cat Abra teleported to Follywood while Fastback decided to run. Upon his arrival at almost the same time the teleportation was complete, he claimed that he could have beaten them there if not for his speeding ticket in Albu-turkey. The four friends found that the beam was attacking a large portion of the highway and set off to avert certain disaster. During the rescue, they were suddenly assisted by the two new heros, Yankee Poodle and Rubberduck. Yankee Poodle and Rubberduck had obtained their powers when she, local gossip columnist (er, "celebrity interviewer") Rova Barkitt, was interviewing the movie star Byrd Rentals. They were each struck by fragments of the meteor and Rova found she was able to emit beams of stars and stripes from her hands (knows as her "Animal Magnetism", which she could use for attack, defense, and transportation) and Byrd found that he had the ability of super-elasticity.

The newly formed Zoo-Crew, quickly realizing that the Captain was the natural leader of the group (at least for the moment), set off together to rescue the Man of Steel and stop the alien beam from creating further damage to the planet.

Upon arriving at the force field, the entire Crew was transported to Pluto to find Superman encased in kryptonite chains. The evil being that had been wreaking havoc was none other than Starro the Conqueror, a large intelligent starfish bent on ruling the universe. He had been defeated by the Justice League and blown to smithereens by Aquaman in a free-for-all that nobody remembers (those were Starro's words exactly). However, one of the smithereens fell through a space vortex and wound up in the Zoo Crew's universe and, like a normal starfish, grew into a new Starro.

The Zoo Crew immediately attacked, but not having yet meshed as a team, they were each quickly defeated when they attacked individually. With Superman coaching, they then listened to the Captain and all attacked at once, finding that working together, they could (and did) overpower Starro and freed Superman.

Superman congratulated the new team on their victory and returned to his own universe.

Appearing in "The Pluto Syndrome"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:





  • Roy Thomas is probably referring to Adventure Comics #451 with Starro being "blown to smithereens by Aquaman in a free-for-all that nobody remembers". However, this account of the fight is incorrect, because at the end of that tale Starro is merely defeated and later taken away by Green Lantern in one piece.
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