Supermouse “The Big Cheese” was a popular humor superhero for publisher Standard/Pines/Nedor. The character first appeared in Coo Coo Comics #1 on October 1942 and continued for another 16 years (ending with Supermouse, the Big Cheese #45 Fall 1958). Supermouse’s October 1942 debut also happened to be the exact time Terrytoons introduced an animated character named Super Mouse (who they soon renamed Mighty Mouse). This ties them both for the first funny animal superheroes.
Supermouse’s origin began when two scientists created a “liquid distillate of lightning, thunder, concentrated sun atoms and a teaspoon of sugar” in a laboratory. Our hero mouse found the concoction and dunked his cheese into it – resulting in Supermouse’s powers of flight, super-strength (“the strength of 14,376 men and a boy”), super-vision, super-scent, super-hearing and super-teeth. Periodic consumption of super-cheese renewed his powers in order to fight crime and his arch-enemy Terrible Tom the cat.
Fun fact: Supermouse #1 (December 1948) is well known for containing the early works of Frank Frazetta who worked for Standard/Pines/Nedor funny animal books as early as 1947 (at age 19).
When Standard/Pines/Nedor folded in 1959 characters licenses were renewed by Popular Library, which was eventually bought out by Fawcett Books. When Fawcett went out of business, Popular Library was sold to Warner Bros.