I had this awesome crossover dream in which Charlie Brown was Superboy. It was a secret at the beginning but then Sally and Linus found out. They became his support team or sidekicks, I guess. Snoopy was Superdog.
There was a cartoon tiger for a bad guy. He was some sort of mad scientist who lived in a haunted house. Superboy kept having to stop him from enacting these evil schemes that destroyed the town and threatened the Peanuts gang.
It made a surprising amount of sense for dream with so many disparate elements. I woke up thinking it would make a fantastic Peanuts special, but sadly I know it would never get made.
It got me thinking about Charlie Brown, Superheroes, and secret identities. I make no bones about the fact that I think most secret identities are rooted in fallacy. The hero acts as if he’s “protecting” loved ones by not telling them the truth, but it’s almost always the same loved ones who end up in danger.
Charlie Brown is written to be a perpetual screw-up. He’s awkward, bumbling, sweet, and usually the butt of a joke in the Peanuts comics. Cartoon specials show him the same way, but since the specials are also written to be complete stories, Charlie Brown usually succeeds in some way by the end.
To use one of the most widely recognized examples, his attempt to host a Thanksgiving Feast for his friends in It’s Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown upsets Peppermint Patty (who invited herself in the first place) and Charlie Brown loses track of time. He forgets that he’s due at his grandmother’s house for the family’s Thanksgiving meal. But then, his grandmother invites all of the Peanuts to her condo for the holiday.
All of that is well and good, but what if Charlie Brown’s bumbling, good natured awkwardness was really a cover for Superboy?
What if he missed Lucy’s football time and again because, if he kicked it too hard, it might reveal his secret?
Could it be that Charlie Brown is more than he appears?
What if Charlie and Sally Brown were both from Krypton, both adopted by Ma and Pa Kent. Then we’d have an AU version of Superboy and Supergirl, and Snoopy still acting as Krypto, the Superdog.
What kind of world would that be? What kind of comic strip would that make?
And perhaps most importantly–is SuperSnoopy’s Red Baron shooting Kryptonite bullets?