With the hippity-hoppity holiday on Sunday, I thought it would be fun to list the top rabbits and bunnies and hares (oh my!) in comic book history. Now, the word “best” is completely subjective, so if you disagree, you can throw rotten eggs (couldn’t resist) at me in the CPG Forums here: https://comicspriceguide.com/forum/topic12129-easter-special–the-best-bunnies-in-comics.aspx
The big thing I did to keep this leporine list from lasting too long was to only include characters that ORIGINATED in comic books. So that means no Easter Bunny, Bugs Bunny, Roger Rabbit, Peter Cottontail, Peter Rabbit, Thumper, Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, Velveteen Rabbit, et al.
First Appearance: Star Wars #8 (Feb 1978)
Only the most hard-core Star Wars fans may have heard of Jaxxon, but he debuted while the first movie was still in theaters! Jaxxon is a member of a race of rabbit-like creatures called the Lepi. His ship is even shaped like a rabbit’s foot. He is one of six hired guns that Han Solo and Chewbacca bring on to help with a job protecting a village from a local gang. The quick-tempered Jaxxon was essentially the precursor to Rocket Raccoon. Despite the impressive pedigree of being created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Howard Chaykin, Jaxxon only made a handful of appearances before disappearing into that galaxy far, far away.
First Appearance: Stabbity Bunny #1 (January 2018)
Stabbity Bunny is a new series from Scout Comics that only started a couple months ago, but is already making a mark. Stabbity is a simple a plush animal whose owner is a child by the name of Grace. Her family has been hunted by magic forces for generations. Grace is kidnapped, and when her life is threatened, Stabbity lives up to his name. There is nothing like seeing a cute, cuddly creature cutting with culinary accuracy to convince the kid’s captors to capitulate. Stabbity is the brainchild of writer Richard Rivera and artist Dwayne Biddix (who originally self-published Stabbity prior to Scout picking it up) and is only three issues in if you want to catch up with the psychotic stuffed bunny.
7. Dumb Bunny
First Appearance: Showcase #62 (June 1966)
Dumb Bunny is a member of The Inferior Five, a group made up of the children of the World War II hero group The Freedom Brigade. The Brigade were parodies of the Justice League, including Dumb Bunny’s mother Power Princess, who was a stand-in for Wonder Woman. Her father is Steve (don’t call me Trevor) Tremor. The Inferior Five, as their name implies, are really bad at being superheroes. Dumb Bunny is the most powerful of the bunch, inheriting her mother’s strength, but none of her intelligence. Need an example? The entire reason she put on the bunny ears in the first place is because she thought it would give her better TV reception.
6. Super Rabbit
First Appearance: Comedy Comics #14 (March 1943)
When people think of Super Rabbit, they might think of the Bugs Bunny short from 1943 where he is essentially wearing a Superman suit. However, more than a year before Bugs donned the blue tights, Timely Comics (the predecessor to Marvel Comics) debuted a character by that name created by cartoonist Ernie Hart. Apparently, the publishing world was a lot less litigious back then! This Super Rabbit was really Waffles Bunny, a weak little rabbit, but when he rubs his magic ring he grows in size to become Super Rabbit. He is essentially invulnerable, except for a little spot on his head, where even the lightest impact could knock him out. Super Rabbit was the lead feature in Comedy Comics for over three years and had his own series for four years, but hasn’t starred in a comic book since 1952. Perhaps he has been frozen in ice and will thaw out soon like his Timely contemporary Captain America.
5. White Rabbit
First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up #31 (July 1983)
White Rabbit is a minor villain in Marvel Comics, but a fun one. Lorina Dodson was a 25-years-old gold-digger that married an 82-year-old millionaire, who she eventually killed off (OK, that part isn’t very fun). She was enamored with Alice In Wonderland as a child and decided to use the famous rabbit in that story as the basis of a career in crime just to have some fun. She has most often faced Spider-Man but also ends up going against another minor character – Frog-Man – oddly often. White Rabbit uses martial arts skills and gadgets that she has bought, and has worked for Black Cat, Arcade (who calls her Thumper), the Hood, and even had her own gang with all animal-themed villains called The Menagerie.
First Appearance: Fawcett’s Funny Animals #1 (December 1942)
You would think with a name like that, Hoppy would be a Marvel Comics property. Nope. He started at Fawcett Comics and was eventually purchased by DC Comics, ironically enough. Hoppy is a member of the original Marvel Family, meaning the CAPTAIN Marvel family, which everyone may know better as the family of Shazam. For a while back in the early days, pretty much everyone got the ability to yell a magic word and get super-powers, including strength, invulnerability, and flight. There was Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Junior, the Lieutenants Marvel (Tall Billy, Fat Billy, and Hill Billy), and even the villain Black Adam. Hoppy was simply the way for Fawcett to use the popular idea in their “funny animal” books. By the way, the ancient gods whose names make up the magic word SHAZAM for Hoppy are Salamander, Hogules, Antlers, Zebreus, Abalone, and Monkury.
First Appearance: Sam & Max: Freelance Police Special #1 (1987)
Max may be the rabbit that started with the least and ended up with the most. A self-described “hyperkinetic, three-foot rabbity thing,” Max was half of a dog and rabbit private detective team created as children by brothers Dave and Steve Purcell. Max’s first appearance with his partner Sam was in a Special for Fishwrap Productions, a comic company in name only. It was just the name creator Steven Moncuse made up when he self-published Fish Police, which is the only other book Fishwrap ever published. Sam & Max bounced around to a couple other comic book companies, including Comico and Epic, but eventually hit it big with a video game, an Eisner Award-winning digital comic, and a children’s animated TV series.
2. Captain Carrot
First Appearance: Preview insert in New Teen Titans #16 (Feb. 1982)
DC’s Earth-C (now called Earth-26) is the home to all the cartoon animals that the comic publisher has ever created. Roger Rodney Rabbit is a simple cartoonist until he eats his “cosmic carrot” and gains all the abilities of the original Superman, including his strength, bulletproof fur, and power to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Created by writer Roy Thomas (his second appearance on this list. Think he has a rabbit fetish?) and artist Scott Shaw, Captain Carrot is the leader of his earth’s premier super group The Zoo Crew.
First Appearance: Albedo #2 November 1984)
Stan Sakai wanted to do a comic book based on the life of Miyamoto Musashi, a legendary Japanese swordsman. One day he was doodling a rabbit and made the ears looks like they were tied up in a traditional samurai top-knot. Miyamoto Usagi (usagi being the Japanese word for rabbit) was born. After debuting in an anthology of other anthropomorphic animals meant for adult readers, Usagi quickly moved to his own long-running series Usagi Yojimbo at Fantagraphic Books. Usagi is a master swordsman and an ardent follower of the samurai practice of Bushido. He was the protector and confidant of Lord Mifune until his liege was killed in battle. Usagi then became a ronin, a wandering samurai with no master. Usagi has crossed over with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a number of times and was named one of IGN’s top-100 comic book characters of all time, all of which helped land him here at the top of my list.
So there it is. I hope you enjoyed this historic hop down the bunny trail, and maybe if you were really good this year, the Easter Bunny will leave some adventures of one of these rabbits in your Easter basket.
by Rob Otto