Smallville once again pays tribute to DC Comics mythology next month when a superpowered pooch finds his way into Clark Kent's life. Arf!

But unlike Krypto, Superman's comic-book canine companion, Smallville's pup will not arrive in a rocket ship wearing a red cape. Instead, when he shows up in the Feb. 16 episode, his strength is the result of nefarious experiments at Luthor Corp. Might these experiments involve meteor rocks?

"Hi, it's Smallville," laughs executive producer Al Gough. "Of course they do!"

Fine, but why give the role to a golden retriever — who bears no resemblance to Superman's short-haired white pet? "We had another dog that looked more like the Krypto you know," Gough says. "But he lied on his résumé and couldn't do the stunts."

By the way, although the dog will appear regularly as Clark's furry friend, he won't be named Krypto. "This is interesting," Gough notes. "Ironically, DC Comics said, 'You can't name him Krypto because Krypto is the dog that Clark has when he's an adult.' So at the end of the episode, they end up calling him Shelby, which is actually Clark's dog in the Smallville comic books."