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The Zoo Crew is a superhero team that consists of anthropomorphic animals residing on a parallel Earth Earth-C.
The origin of the team came about when Superman was investigating a strange phenomenon causing the citizens of Metropolis to begin acting like their primate ancestors. He soon found a ray streaking at him from a strange barrier surrounding the Earth, which prompted him to use a meteorite as protection. When the ray struck the meteorite, Superman and the meteor's fragments were sent from Superman's native dimension into Earth-C. There, Superman met several of the world's residents, who had gained superpowers when they were struck by the various meteor fragments.
The animals and Superman soon teamed up to stop the source of the ray (which was also causing the denizens of Earth-C to behave like their non-anthropomorized animal ancestors), which turned out to be the old Justice League villain Starro, who was launching his de-evolution assault from the Earth-C universe's Pluto. After defeating the villain, the animals decided to stick together and form the Zoo Crew, and Superman returned home.
The Zoo Crew met the JLA (Just'a Lotta Animals) when super-villains from both Earth-C and Earth-C-Minus joined in an interdimensional conspiracy. Aquaduck, Batmouse, Crash, Green Lambkin, Super-Squirrel, and Wonder Wabbit helped to defeat Armadillo, Shaggy Dawg, Feline Faust, Dr. Hoot, Digger O'Doom, and Amazoo.
Zoo Crew Returns
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Zoo Crew were lost to obscurity. Wherever they landed, their story turned tragic, with the murder of Little Cheese. After Chester Cheese had publicly revealed his secret identity as Little Cheese, he became a defense attorney. But his actions spurred public to demand for the rest of the Zoo Crew to reveal their identities as well. Only Alley-Kat-Abra complied.
Yankee Poodle was outed and eventually falsely arrested for an assassination attempt of President Mallard Fillmore. The others went underground. As for Captain Carrot, he killed the Armordillo in retaliation for the murder his partner, Carrie Carrot, then turned himself in. He was acquitted of the crime by Chester. Regardless, when Chester was murdered, the evidence implicated Cap. Yankee Poodle escaped from Pelican Bay prison and recruited Pig Iron and Rubberduck to investigate Cheese's death and clear their former leader. Alley-Kat-Abra declined their invitation to rejoin, but they were trailed by new ally, the American Eagle, who eventually found Captain Carrot in his civilian guise of Rodney Rabbit.
American Eagle convinced Rodney to eat the special carrot that transformed him into Captain Carrot once again. They joined with the rest of the Zoo Crew. They note that inter-species relations have grown more volatile in their world and that in reassembling, the Zoo Crew might stand as an example of unity. Yankee Poodle deduced that President Fillmore knew who killed Little Cheese, and the team left in search of their most powerful member: Alley-Kat-Abra. To their horror, they discover that Felina was the murderer. She had taken money from the President to expose the Crew's identities. Then when Fastback discovered this, she zapped him into the future. She tried to frame Rodney for the murder and hired the Armordillo to kill him. In her confession, she said that for all her efforts, there was no fighting instinct: cats would always hate mice.
Afterwards, the Crew accepted American Eagle as a member and set out to rescue Fastback from the future.
The Final Ark
After their absence from the limelight, the Crew found it difficult to reestablish themselves as credible crime fighters. Their appearance at a pop culture festival drew little fanfare. But it was here that their old foe, the Salamandroid, struck again. The villain was sent by Starro, who had masterminded a new conspiracy. Starro was allied with the diplomat "Vicuña Pacos" of Nepal — who was, in fact, the nefarious Rash Al Paca. Their goal was to drown the Earth and create strife between land- and sea-dwelling peoples.
Next, they sent Frogzilla to attack Gnu York. In subduing this giant beast, the Zoo Crew inadvertently freed the real Alley-Kat-Abra from a mystical prison. Felina explained to her teammates that she'd been duplicated by Feline Faust. The doppelganger, Dark Alley, was the one who killed Little Cheese. The Crew were still wary of her and allowed her to join them on a probationary status. The added might of Alley's powers were not enough to stem the oncoming catastrophe — Al Paca activated a satellite that melted the planet's icecaps. And most especially the Zoo Crew had lost their powers.
The planet soon flooded and the Zoo Crew decided to try to contact Just'a Lotta Animals. To do so, Rodney created a full comic book starring the JLA. (The sale of this comic constituted "unlawful manufacture," which prompted the JLA's lawyer to intervene.) The plan worked, and the Animals arrived to help the Zoo Crew herd people onto Barton Boa's Ark. The Ark was intended to shuttle refugees to Earth C-Minus, but an intervention by the New Dogs caused the Ark to be diverted to Earth-0. On Earth-0, the once fully sentient animals manifested as normal Earth-0 animals. This drew the attentions of the Justice League, and Zatanna adopted Captain Carrot to be her stage rabbit. All the animals on the Ark remain on Earth-0, unable to communicate their predicament.
- A DC Comics character introduced in the 1990s, Stargirl, wears a costume that resembles Yankee Poodle's; Stargirl's creator, Geoff Johns, is said to be an avid fan of the Zoo Crew. In JSA #81, a younger Courtney is seen watching a Zoo Crew cartoon, lending credence to the theory, and later in Teen Titans vol.3, #30-31 (also written by Johns), Zoo Crew comics are referenced
- In Birds of Prey #100, a kid's meal glasses featuring Zoo Crew characters are shown.
- Mike and Carole Curtis of Shanda Fantasy Arts approached DC for permission to use the Zoo Crew for their own comic, but DC refused on the policy that they never allow other companies to publish their characters. The Curtises resorted to reviving Atomic Mouse instead.
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