How did Legion of Super-Heroes once turn to Bugs Bunny to save Supergirl from certain death, and how did Looney Tune save the day?
The crazy and wild characters of the Looney tunes They have some surprising connections to the DC Universe, with some notable figures from that franchise coming into absolute conflict with the DC heroes. But one of the most famous members of that cast of characters got a chance to prove himself to an entire era of superheroes by saving the life of a DC icon.
How did Bugs Bunny get a chance to save Supergirl’s life by joining the Legion of Super-Heroes? then defending against the whole team?
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When Sam Humphries, Tom Grummett, Scott Hanna, Steve Buccellato and Josh Reed’s “The Imposter Superboy” is released, it is revealed that Brainiac-5 is enraged inside his laboratory in the far future of the 31st century. A recent adventure has left him Supergirl on the brink of death with a fatal case of Rigel Fever, and there’s nothing she can do to combat it. Their only hope is a mysterious item known as Illudium Phosdex, and following a vision from Dream Girl, the Legion decides to recruit Superboy to find the item in the 21st century. However, they end up arriving in Smallville and instead of finding Bugs Bunny, they are busy at work tending a carrot farm. Computo, driven by jealousy over Brainiac-5’s feelings for Supergirl, decides to attempt to doom her by teleporting Bugs Bunny to the future instead of his intended goal.
Bugs’ general confusion over the situation leads to an involuntary fight between him and the Legion, who attempt to force him to help restore Supergirl. But Bugs’ Looney antics turn out to be too much for the Legion to follow. The fight is interrupted by the arrival of Validus, who announces his intention to finish off Supergirl. But Bugs reveals a handful of powerful carrots that he had been saving that contain Illudium Phosdex, which when eaten temporarily give Bugs Bunny Superman’s powers and abilities. Bugs can prevent Validus from reaching Supergirl and even uses his ultimate superpower-granting carrot to help revive Supergirl. Bugs returns to his life in the 21st century, and the Legion builds a statue of Bugs alongside Superman to commemorate his efforts to save Supergirl.
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Notably, this isn’t the first time that Bugs Bunny has used Superman’s abilities. “Super-Rabbit,” directed by Chuck Jones, was released in 1943 as an extended parody of Superman’s incarnation in the Golden Age, with Bugs consuming “super carrots” to gain powers. The cartoon was incredibly popular after its release, even leading to the US Marines Corp (which received favorable recognition from Bugs in the short) inducing Bugs Bunny. Other entries in the animated franchise, such as episodes of The looney tunes show – would also briefly turn Bugs Bunny into a Superman figure. But this story gives the classic cartoon character encountering a more absurd corner of the DC Universe, allows him to launch his antics against a host of heroes, and still remain an effective hero in his own right.
Bugs becomes well acquainted with his brief stint as a superhero, with his insane personality even in-universe helping to prevent Computo from forcing him into a heartbreak-filled monologue as he does the other Legion members. Show how effective a Looney Tune can be, even when taking on superheroes. It’s also a surprisingly heroic story for Bugs, who quickly adjusts to the situation and forgoes the opportunity to maintain his powers to save the life of someone he has never met and will likely never fully know. It’s the true moment that impresses the other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes and leaves them with nothing more to call Bugs than a hero.
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