Beppo on the cover of Superboy #76.
Art by Curt Swan.
|First appearance||Superboy #76 (October 1959)|
|Created by||Otto Binder
|Species||Kryptonian equivalent of monkey|
|Place of origin||Krypton|
|Team affiliations||Legion of Super-Pets|
|Abilities||Similar to Superman:
Strength, flight, invulnerability, x-ray vision, heat vision
Fictional character biography
Despite his resemblance to an Earth monkey, due to convergent evolution producing analogous species to fill similar ecological niches, Beppo is from the planet Krypton. He was originally one of Jor-El's test animals. Luckily for him, Beppo decided to stow away aboard baby Kal-El's rocket to Earth and was thus saved from its explosion. Upon landing, Beppo hopped out unseen and went off on his own for a period of several months. Beppo lived in a jungle for a while and handled himself quite well, since as a Kryptonian ape he had the usual array of super-powers.
One day Beppo, using his telescopic vision, spotted Kal-El, now a toddler living in Smallville with the Kents. Beppo quickly flew to Smallville and, being a monkey, secretly caused all sorts of havoc. Ma and Pa Kent initially blamed baby Clark for Beppo's super-powered monkeyshines, but they soon discovered the truth. The Kents fretted that Clark's secret might be exposed by the super-antics of the Simian of Steel but, as it turned out, their worry was needless. It wasn't long before Beppo accidentally set off some 4th of July fireworks stored in the Kent garage. The explosions spooked Beppo, who took off into space. The panicked Beppo kept on going when he saw a passing comet, which he thought was more fireworks chasing him. When Beppo failed to return, the Kents presumed he'd gotten lost out there somewhere. Beppo's origin is related in "The Super-Monkey from Krypton!", the cover story in Superboy #76 (October 1959). At the end of the story, which is told in flashback by teenaged Clark, the reader is informed that Beppo made his way back to Earth before too long.
Beppo was retconned out of existence following the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. The Monkey of Might made his first canonical appearance in more than twenty years in the fifth issue of the Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds series in September 2009. Before that, Beppo had been returned to existence briefly by the Psycho-Pirate during the earlier Infinite Crisis, as had Streaky.
Powers, abilities, and equipment
Beppo possessed the same powers and abilities as a Kryptonian adult, although his physical abilities were proportionate to his smaller size and species.
Beppo is one of the animals in Superman's artificial reality farm in Kingdom Come #1 (May 1996). He also appears in the out-of-continuity Tiny Titans, alongside Streaky the Super-Cat, as Supergirl's pet.
Beppo is referenced in "Monkey Fun", an episode of Superman: The Animated Series. Beppo is the name of Lois Lane's childhood toy, a stuffed monkey that played "Pop Goes the Weasel". The toy was also the favorite of Titano, a test chimp used by the space program. When Titano returns to Earth and grows to gargantuan proportions, he can only be calmed down by the sound of Beppo's song ("Pop Goes the Weasel").
On the Colbert Report, Stephen names God's chimp Beppo, of whom all chimps are made in His likeness.
In the animated online adventure Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom (a spinoff from the Smallville television series), the Ezra Small House (on the official Smallville website), and other online media related to the show, a character named "Christopher James Beppo" is the researcher and caretaker of the Ezra Small Prophecies, a set of cryptic writings made by the founder of the town of Smallville which foretell various events within the show and the eventual destiny of Superman.