|A Sinister Shadow|
Joel's backstory is revealed.
Comic: "I'm Never Gonna Understand Humans" (click for full size)
|Number of Comics||15|
|Dates Published||April 27th - May 29th 2009|
|Fox, Fido, Joel|
The Continuing Adventures of Spot
A Sinister Shadow is the 19th arc in Housepets!.
It marked the introduction of the human Joel Robinson to the comic, and is also the first time that a human character's entire face and eyes are shown. It also marks the first appearances of several members of the K-9 Unit.
- Jeff (debut)
- Joel Robinson (debut)
- PETA (representing Joel's associate/superior at PETA, "the fat guy")
- Daisy's Mom
- Jill Sandwich
- Ralph (debut)
- Kevin (debut)
- K-9 Unit (used to represent other shown members of the K-9 Unit who have not yet been named)
- Terrance (debut)
- Joel's pets
- Police (used to represent other shown BGPD officers who have not yet been named)
Jeff answers the door at his house, and is greeted by Joel, who refers to himself as a member of PETA. Jeff promptly punches him in the face.
Back in a van, another fatter gentleman (whom Joel seems to regard as a superior) rambles on about how pets are slaves, even as images of the pets we know show the exact opposite. Joel is annoyed by what he is saying, but suggests they try a different approach. Joel's reactions to the growing extremity of the fat guy's views suggest he didn't fully realize what he was getting into with PETA. As they approach a dog park, the plan is to kidnap a dog. They end up targeting Fox, with the fat guy assuming he can't possibly have any powerful friends since he's reading a book.
Fox is chloroformed; stripped of his collar, book, bandana and dog tags; and thrown in the back of the van. When he awakens to find his collar missing, he quickly figures out he's been kidnapped again. He is not happy, and barks and growls at the humans incessantly. The fat guy is insistent on releasing Fox far away in the wild, but Fox does not want that. Joel quickly sours on the situation.
Before they can drive away, Bill shows up. The fat guy crawls into the back to silence Fox, leaving Joel to figure out a way to make Bill go away. He says a friend of his called about punching a PETA representative whose description fits Joel's. He then found out shortly after that his dog was kidnapped, and taken into a van that fit the description of the van his friend saw. Joel tries to peel off, but the van's engine fails to turn. Joel surrenders and is handcuffed, but the fat guy runs off. Joel sneaks away when Bill chases the fat guy.
Sergeant Ralph finds Fox unconscious, and wakes him up with a bucket of water. The fat guy had tried to smother Fox. While Bill succeeded in catching the fat guy, Fido is in pursuit of Joel, much to Spo's delight.
Joel considers giving up, showing he's already been in prison, and realizing he really doesn't stand a chance resisting arrest. While he considers surrendering, he is tackled by K-9 Unit officer Kevin. Fido catches up, and reads Joel his Miranda rights, which he is permitted to do under the Supreme Court decision Terryson v. Florida. Joel counters that pets don't get their rights read if they break the law, but Fido doesn't seem to care, since the fat guy tried to kill Fox.
Joel apologizes for what the fat guy did to Fox, and Fido expresses disbelief as to why Joel would go along with what PETA is doing. Joel, to the shock of those present, confesses he was kidnapped by his own pets once. He says his parents abused his pets, a dog and a cat, and they ran away, taking him with them. Eventually, they turned feral, and started mistreating him. Joel now believes all pets are no different than how his pets turned out. He did what he did because he doesn't want other pets ending up like his pets did.
Eventually, Joel and the fat guy are taken away by Ralph and his human partner. Ralph makes a smart remark about how a PETA operative could remain so fat, which makes both his partner and Joel stifle laughter.
- Joel Robinson is introduced. He would go on to be better known as King Milton.
- First appearance of Jeff; Maxwell and Bino's owner.
- First appearance of Ralph, Kevin and other members of the K-9 Unit.
- Fox is kidnapped for the second time in his life, the first time happening in Housepets Babies!. Though this is the first time shown in the comic.
- Joel's face is shown, marking the first time a human's face is seen in the comic.
- Joel and his accomplice are arrested, making way for his trial and eventual transformation in It's A Wonderful Dog's Life.