The Battle of the Super-Pets really does happen in the Supergirl story in Action 277 (June 1961), but first, the Superman tale.
Bill Finger, Curt Swan and John Forte pull off one of the best Lex Luthor tales from the era in this story.
Luthor escapes from prison, and heads to his own version of the Fortress of Solitude, Luthor’s Lair, located in an abandoned museum, complete with trophies, a lab, monitoring devices and statues of his heroes.
Luthor’s Lair will return in a number of stories in the next few years.
Luthor announces his plans to rob Fort Knox, luring Superman there. Luthor has a machine that shoots out a variety of coloured kryptonite balls. Sadly, despite the colours, none of these have any of the effects of true coloured kryptonite. The fourth dimensional arm he uses to steal the entire fort is impressive.
Luthor rejoices over his triumph, especially because the kryptonite balls were fakes. But all that turns sour when he finds out that he did not defeat Superman, just one of his robots.
Infuriated, Luthor returns Fort Knox and all its gold, and even goes back to prison. Defeating Superman is the one and only thing that really matters to him.
Siegel and Mooney have a lot of fun finally fulfilling the long-delayed promise to pit the Superman/Krypto team against the Supergirl/Streaky team.
Trouble starts when Krypto saves Supergirl from being adopted (oh, no!) and Streaky gets jealous when Supergirl thanks him.
Powering himself up, Streaky attacks Krypto. Their masters get involved, and even pit the animals against each other to see which will win. Because of the potential for peripheral destruction, Supergirl takes the animals to a far-off planet to compete in a series of tests.
Each competition gets interrupted by bizarre and unusual events.
Supergirl discovers that the planet was set-up by Mr. Mxyzptlk, and none of the odd things that happened were actually attacks. Although no winner is proclaimed, one sequence did see Streaky come to the rescue of Supergirl and Krypto, when they believed themselves endangered by kryptonite, which Streaky is immune to.
The story ends as Beppo, the Super-Monkey, shows up. Beppo was recently introduced as a pet sidekick for Superbaby, this marks his first appearance in the “present.”
You gotta love Streaky’s reaction “Gaaa! ANOTHER rival!”