Real Name: Rover (as called by his master)

Identity/Class: Terrestrial animal (canine) (1950s era)

Occupation: Stray; former house pet

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His master

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Talking Dog" (in story title); "old fellow," "old pal" (as called by his master)

Base of Operations: Mobile; (originally) his master's house, somewhere in America

First Appearance: Marvel Tales I#133/4 (April, 1955)

Powers/Abilities: Rover was an unspecified breed of dog; he could speak English fluently.

Height: 2' (by approximation)
Weight: 40 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

(Marvel Tales I#133/4 (fb) - BTS) - (as recounted by Rover) - In prehistoric times, dogs were able to talk, and they taught early humans how to talk as well. After primitive men learned to speak, dogs felt there was no need for them to talk anymore, so they swore a sacred oath amongst themselves to never speak again, because it kept them from arguing or fighting with humans.

   And so dogs became man's faithful companion, to be petted, pampered and cared for by humans; mankind eventually forgot why it owed dogs a debt--they just knew that dogs were something special in the animal-world and had to be cherished.

(Marvel Tales I#133/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Rover is unrevealed, but he was eventually adopted by his master under unrevealed circumstances. Rover loved his master, for he gave him a warm and cozy home, and always treated him nicely.

(Marvel Tales I#133/4) - One evening, during a thunderstorm, Rover was having a bad dream while sleeping by his master's chair, so his master woke him up and made him a pan of warm milk. Rover lapped up the milk, then for the first time, he verbally complimented his master, affectionately telling him that he was "a wonderful guy," and "the best master a dog could ever have". Rover's master was flabbergasted at hearing his dog talk, so Rover explained to him about the history of the ancient bond between dogs and men.

   Rover's master was then struck with a money-making idea: He could become a millionaire by exhibiting Rover, and people would travel from the far ends of the Earth to hear his talking dog! But Rover refused to cooperate--he only let his master in on the dogs' secret and broke the sacred vow because his master had always been so good to him, but he refused to let any other humans learn the secret. Still, Rover's master was determined to find a way to make his dog speak to other people.

   The next day, Rover's master told some newspapermen that he had a talking dog--the reporters laughed, but thought there might be a story in it, so they went to his house. Rover's master had the two reporters hide behind a screen, then called for Rover. Although Rover smelled the concealed strangers as soon as he came in the room, he spoke anyway. But since the reporters were unable to actually see the dog talk, they figured Rover's master was just a ventriloquist doing a cheap publicity stunt, so they left.

   Afterward, Rover's master turned mean--he locked the dog in the dark basement, leaving Rover to starve until the dog changed his mind; but Rover refused to break his sacred vow. One day, when his master came downstairs and threatened the emaciated dog, Rover noticed that his master had left the cellar door open--seeing this as his chance to escape, Rover leaped past his master and dashed up the stairs, then ran out of the house, and kept running until he was far away.

   Rover wandered the streets, disconsolate--he couldn't even face his own kind with the knowledge that he had broken their sacred vow.

   Hours later, habit brought Rover back toward his master's home, where a crowd was gathered...and there was an ambulance parked at the curb. Then Rover saw a couple of men in white jackets forcefully dragging his raving master away--Rover's master was apparently suffering from a nervous breakdown, and the old man wouldn't say a word...he only barked.

   As his master was loaded into the ambulance and driven away (presumably to a mental asylum), Rover realized he was now a stray dog, and he had to find a new master...but in his heart, he knew he could never again find a master as kind or as good as his old master had once been; as he sadly walked away, Rover regretted ever letting his master know that he could talk...

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Bob Powell.

So if we are to believe Rover's account is truthful, then dogs in the Marvel Universe have the ability to talk (...which would explain Fuzzy and Fido)...

...unless Rover and the other talking dogs are actually alien shape-shifters (maybe Skrulls... or Xartans... or Dethans (one of whom--Ozak--once took on the form of a dog).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Rover has no known connections to:

Rover's unidentified master has no known connections to:

Rover's master

He was an old man (name unrevealed) who adopted Rover to be his pet, and he took very good care of his dog.

One night, he made Rover a pan of warm milk; after Rover lapped it up, the dog verbally thanked him and told him he was "the best master a dog could ever have".

After discovering Rover could speak, he came up with a money-making scheme to exhibit his talking dog, but Rover refused to cooperate.

The old man eventually turned cruel and locked Rover in his basement, in an attempt to force the dog to talk in public; but Rover managed to escape and ran away. 

Later, the old man apparently suffered from a nervous breakdown--he wouldn't talk...he only barked!

Rover eventually returned to witness his master being dragged away by some men in white jackets, locked in an ambulance, and presumably taken to a mental asylum.

--Marvel Tales I#133/4

images: (without ads)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p2, pan5 (Main Image - Rover talking to his master)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p1, pan3 (Headshot - Rover)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p2, pan6 (Rover talking to his master)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p4, pan7 (Rover walks off as ambulance takes his master away)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p2, pan4 (Rover's master reacts after hearing Rover talk for the first time)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p3, pan5 (Rover's master gets angry when Rover refuses to talk to other people)
Marvel Tales I#133/4, p4, pan6 (Rover's master gets taken away by ambulance drivers, as Rover watches (background))

Marvel Tales I#133/4 (April, 1955) - unidentified writer, Bob Powell (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 08/26/2020
Last updated: 08/26/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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