Real Name: Mike Mouse
Identity/Class: Anthropomorphic rodent mutate
Affiliations: Pearl Pureheart, Mitzi (both damsels in distress); The League of Super-Rodents, Scrappy
Enemies: Oil Can Harry
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: Super Mouse
Base of Operations: Mouseville
First Appearance: The Mouse of Tomorrow (Terrytoons, October 16th 1942)
Powers/Abilities: Mighty Mouse can fly, and is superstrong and invulnerable. He has X-ray vision, and has occasionally demonstrated a form of super-hypnosis which allows him to control inanimate objects and turn back time.
History: "Mighty Mouse
Mister Trouble never hangs around
When he hears this Mighty sound.
"Here I come to save the day"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on his way.
Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right
Mighty Mouse will join the fight.
On the sea or on the land,
He gets the situation well in hand."
(The Mouse of Tomorrow) The cats of the city are terrorising the mice who live there. After a narrow escape where he was nearly eaten, Mike Mouse (unnamed in this cartoon - see notes) hides out inside a large supermarket. Tired of living in fear, he sets out to remake himself, Charles Atlas style. Removing wares from the shelves, he washes using Super Soap, eats Super Soup, gnaws down Super Celery, then jumps head first into a piece of Super Cheese, to emerge transformed into Super Mouse. No longer will he run around on all fours; now he will stand tall on two legs, dressed in a cape and costume similar to Superman's. Using his new powers he gathers up all the cats and dumps them on the moon, before returning to a hero's welcome.
(Mighty Mouse and the Pirates) In operatical mode, Mighty Mouse has his first encounters with his new girlfriend Pearl Pureheart, and his soon to be arch nemesis, the cat Oil Can Harry.
(Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures) We discover Mighty Mouse's secret identity, and he runs into Scrappy, a young mouse orphan who becomes his close friend.
Comments: Created by Isadore "Izzy" Klein and Paul Terry.
Izzy Klein originally proposed a character called Super Fly, but Terrytoons boss Paul Terry didn't like that idea, and vetoed it. A little later Terry took the same basic idea, changed it to a mouse, and passed it off as his own, original idea. The character was originally called Super Mouse, and his costume was initially very similar to Superman's, even down to the colour scheme (it would eventually change to the yellow version at a later date). Super Mouse's first cartoon was prepared for theatrical release for October 1942, but before it was released (and during the production of the second story), it was discovered that an ex-Terrytoons employee had gone to work for Nedor Publishing Co., which was now about to publish it's own Super Mouse comic, due out with an October cover date too. Rather than promote another company's character, Paul Terry decided to change the Terrytoon character's name to Mighty Mouse. The first cartoon however ended with the narrator saying "Thus ends the adventure of Super Mouse...he seen his job and he done it!", although they would later redub the name on re-release.
He got into the comics in 1945, in Terrytoon Comics, which went through a variety of publishers. He got his own title in 1946, which ran until the 1960's. In 1990 Marvel published a short lived series for him. He also appeared in the British nursery comic Bimbo circa 1968, in what appear to be brand new stories created for the pre-school readers of that title. I don't know exactly when the strip began or ended, but he's not in Bimbo at the start of December 1967, is present by February 1968, and is still there in July 1968.
Some of Mighty Mouse's early cartoons were operas. He is also one of the few superheroes to be nominated for an Oscar, for the cartoon Gypsy Life in 1945. Terrytoons sold it's library to TV in the fifties, and Mighty Mouse became the first cartoon character ever to appear on Saturday mornings, appearing on CBS on December 10th 1955 as part of "The Mighty Mouse Playhouse" (which ran for eleven years, which broke another record - it's the longest lasting Saturday morning cartoon series). Through this run his voice was provided by Roy Halee.
He's been through a range of cartoons and production companies since then, but it wasn't until Ralph Bakshi did a version in 1987 that Mighty Mouse gained a secret identity (Mike Mouse) and a larger supporting cast than just his girlfriend (Pearl Pureheart was joined by Scrappy, for example).
Thanks to Neil Beck for identifying his home town.
Chuck Turai remembers a slightly different origin for the character: "there was another version where he was just a mouse and he gained his powers by taking vitamins starting with Vitamin a then b.c.etc until he reached the final jar which was a large jar labeled XYZ, when he emerged from jar XYZ he was Mighty Mouse." At this time I'm unable to confirm if there are two versions of Mighty Mouse's origin or not.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Supermouse, a Nedor super-powered rodent.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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