Iggy the Stray Dog
It was published in JOJO magazine 2022 SPRING and released on March 19, 2022. A hardcover novelization of the story was released on May 19, 2022. It is a prequel of Stardust Crusaders set in 1980's Downtown New York City and features the battle between Iggy and Muhammad Avdol.
Arriving at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Muhammad Avdol collects his luggage and enters a taxi to the Speedwagon Foundation building located in Midtown Manhattan. While in the taxi, Avdol notices the driver using his wipers to remove sand from the windshield and that sand was covering the backseat window. Glancing at him through the rear-view mirror, the driver explains that yellow sand has been blowing through New York for almost six months. After learning that Avdol is from Egypt, the driver tells him that the song "Walk Like an Egyptian" is very popular in the US these days. However, Avdol responds saying that he had never heard of the song before.
The driver never would've guessed that the tourist's purpose for visiting the country was to capture a stray dog. According to a report by the Speedwagon Foundation, a small male Boston Terrier dog who likes eating coffee-flavored chewing gum was first spotted ransacking a small corner store in the city. When the owner went to remove the dog from the store, the dog jumped on his head, biting out his hair before finally farting in his face. Since then, there had been numerous incidents of a stray Boston Terrier dog spotted targeting stores that sell coffee-flavored gum within Manhattan. There have even been reports of tourists having gum snatched out their hands. Due to the many complaints that the city received, several wildlife removal specialists were hired to eradicate the problem. However, the Boston Terrier would always escape as sand would get in the eyes of the men as they tried to capture it. Another sand-related incident occurred during a gunfight between rival mobsters that broke out in upper Manhattan. A single shot was fired, but no subsequent shots were heard as all the mafia members' guns were mysteriously clogged with sand. As it turns out, a Boston Terrier was spotted peacefully napping nearby.
After reading the report at the Speedwagon Foundation, Avdol concludes that the dog must have the ability to manipulate sand. Avdol was able to enter the Speedwagon Foundation building without being stopped by any guards, which he presumes is because they were already aware he would be coming. A staff member tells Avdol that the dog seems to cause all the incidents on his own without allies, but they have gotten reports that several female dogs would wait for him. It also seems as if all the other dogs have caught on to how exceptional he is, as there is one shopkeeper who owns a large dog that barks a lot, but it gets scared whenever the Boston Terrier passes by, despite the Boston Terrier being much smaller. Thus, people have begun calling the Boston Terrier the "King of the Strays". Avdol read another report that detailed the encounters the dogcatchers had with the dog. While a man working in wildlife removal was taking a smoke break, he suddenly heard a noise like falling sand. He was about to investigate, but realized that a pile of sand had already been covering up to his ankles, and quickly rose up to his neck. His truck then shook by some kind of impact, leading to all of the dogs he captured suddenly escaping from their cages and running off.
Avdol is given additional documents displaying a pedigree and a certificate of registration showing the name of the dog's former owner. The dog used to live in a wealthy man's mansion in Brooklyn, but ran away. The dog's master called him Iggy. The Speedwagon Foundation has also been trying to seize the dog, but hasn't been successful. They are mostly worried about whether Iggy will fall into DIO's hands. Avdol met DIO several days earlier in Egypt but ran for his life upon hearing DIO's intoxicating voice. He hasn't returned back to his hometown since then. Avdol leaves the Speedwagon Foundation building and hails a taxi to bring him to his hotel. The drive only takes about ten minutes, but the taxi driver attempts to scam Avdol and charges him $75, pointing to his meter as proof. Avdol then uses his ability to raise the heat inside the car, igniting the meter's circuits which shuts off the LCD screen. Avdol mentions that the man's meter was broken, which is why it showed an incorrect cost. He gives the driver what he thought would be an appropriate fare, but the driver no longer seems interested in the money. Avdol feels no sympathy for him, since the man would have scammed several other tourists afterward so he got what he deserved. As the man takes out a cigarette, Avdol squeezes its tip and lights it using only his fingers, shocking the driver. Avdol tells the man to lead an honest life from now on, before grabbing his belongings and heading to his hotel.
Avdol admires a hot sandwich from a corner store and then heads to the suburbs by subway to assist with catching Iggy. He enters an office for a company known as Reliable Pest Control Service (RPCS), who the Speedwagon Foundation had hired to help them capture the dog. A large, middle-aged Spanish man greets Avdol, allowing him to watch them work as long as he doesn't get in their way. He introduces Avdol to his four rough-looking team members, who are playing poker. A large white man in the team, who reminds Avdol of a rugby player, argues that Avdol being there with them would be bothersome. Avdol mentions that he'll just be shadowing them, but the man complains that he would take up space in their van. The Spanish man calms him down and takes Avdol away from the others, explaining his team's rudeness as them just being fed up after all the times the Boston Terrier escaped from them.
The Spanish man describes animal traps to Avdol and shows one of the posters they made of Iggy, which was offering reward money to anyone who reported sightings of the dog. The man also reveals that the three scars across his left eye came from his last encounter with Iggy. He fired a tranquilizer dart at the dog but it somehow was hit out of the air before Iggy jumped on him, ripped out his hair, and farted on his face. A bell in the office starts ringing, signaling a new sighting of Iggy that got reported. The employees quickly change into their uniforms and drive to the Harlem River, where the young tipster saw the dog stealing gum from a nearby grocery store. Avdol and the Spaniard head into the store, where the clerk explains how Iggy drooled all over a candy shelf. Avdol searches the surrounding area outside and finds the "rugby player" employee questioning a homeless man about the dog. The homeless man points to a wall, which seemingly appears ordinary. Avdol investigates it by touching the bricks with his fingers, only for his arm to plunge straight through it. The brick wall collapses into a pile of sand, revealing a hidden alley.
The employee follows Avdol into the alley, causing Iggy to summon his Stand. Iggy's Stand carries him, shoves the employee to the ground, traps Avdol in sand, and then quickly flees from the alley. As Avdol manages to break free, the RPCS team coordinates a plan on their walkie talkies to catch Iggy in a pincer maneuver. The team gathers together and finds Iggy nonchalantly crossing the road without paying any mind to traffic, forcing cars to brake in the middle of the road. The team then traps Iggy into a corner at the pier. As the Spaniard prepares to shoot with his tranquilizer gun, Iggy simply looks bored and scratches his ear, aggravating the Spaniard who thought the dog is making a fool out of them. In reality, the team realizes that they aren't actually standing on a concrete pier, but rather a huge sand structure that Iggy had built to mimic the real one. As the sand starts sinking, Avdol and the team struggle to escape. Avdol realizes that it's quicksand and warns everyone that they'll sink more if they keep struggling. He advises them to stay calm, since if they remain still then they would float on top of the quicksand before it eventually disperses into the Harlem River, allowing them to swim to the shore.
Avdol summons his Stand, Magician's Red, causing the sand to sizzle and vaporize from intense heat, and evaporating the water in the quicksand. Iggy is shocked upon seeing Avdol also having an ability, while the RPCS employees do not understand what is happening. Avdol doesn't know whether Iggy could understand human speech, but he attempts to bring the dog to his side, promising to offer all the coffee gum he could ever want. He also explains how Iggy would be safe with the Speedwagon Foundation, but the dog doesn't back down. Avdol creates footholds on the water with melted quicksand and runs to get closer to Iggy so that he could get within Magician's Red's range. When Iggy suddenly vanishes, Avdol speculates that he might have devised a way to hide underwater for long periods with his ability. Nearby tourists and the RPCS team are amazed after witnessing Avdol running across water, while Avdol merely tells them that he'll return tomorrow.
Avdol decides to explore Central Park in the afternoon. As he sits on a bench observing his surroundings, all of the sand reminds him of Egypt. He takes out his deck of tarot cards and shuffles them, picturing Iggy's Stand. The card he draws is The Fool, so Avdol decides that would be the name of Iggy's Stand.
While wandering Manhattan Island in search of Iggy, Avdol is approached by two men who hold him up at gunpoint, attempting to rob his golden earrings. Avdol calmly explains to them that it's real gold, burning their guns with his Stand at the same time. When they run away in fear, Avdol wonders if that's how he looked when he ran away from DIO. Back in Egypt, Avdol owned a shop in Khan el-Khalili when the vampire approached him. Avdol had learned about the man's identity from his American friend, Joseph Joestar, who warned him to run away if he ever encounters DIO. Although Avdol assumed he could stop DIO, he had no choice but to flee upon actually meeting the inhuman creature. He jumped from a window and managed to escape thanks to his familiarity with the souk's labyrinthine layout.
Avdol reminisces about his past. He was born in Cairo, Egypt. His father was a soldier and the second son from an ancient and noble family, whereas his mother was an astrologer who did readings on a street corner. When Avdol was young, his father sacrificed himself in the Six-Day War to shield a friend from a grenade, with only his arms remaining after the explosion. His mother then raised him using her own earnings and the survivor's pension from her husband. However, she also passed away before Avdol became an adult, shielding a young girl from terrorists who shot her in the head and back. The man saved by Avdol's father became a teacher, and the girl saved by his mother grew up to be a nurse, so Avdol took comfort in knowing that his parents' deaths were not in vain. Using the tarot-reading skills passed down by his mother, he made a living in the slums of Cairo, avoiding a life of crime by keeping the memory of his parents alive. In 1985, his fortune-telling skills attracted a wealthy woman who hired him as her personal assistant, leading to his first encounter with Joseph during a trip to the United Kingdom. At a party in London, Joseph attempted to woo Avdol's employer, but she wasn't interested and went to chat with other men. Avdol was with Joseph in a room and used his Stand to rekindle a dying fireplace, piquing Joseph's interest. Avdol is shocked to learn that Joseph could see his Stand, though Joseph didn't know what it was at the time.
While a storm ensues in Manhattan, Avdol visits the Speedwagon Foundation to report his findings, such as the ability of Iggy's Stand and the name he gave it. The staff members show Avdol footage of Iggy escaping from a truck. After analyzing the footage, Avdol compares Iggy's traits to the characteristics he learned about Boston Terriers from his studies in Manhattan's libraries. Avdol is also given a report about Iggy's past, learned by the Foundation in one of their investigations.
Iggy was owned by a rich businessman in Brooklyn who owned dogs as status symbols. The man was nicknamed Mr. Electra or Mr. E due to his family business's logo featuring the Greek goddess Electra. Iggy's parents and siblings were normal dogs, but Iggy's presence in Mr. E's mansion coincided with several unexplained sand-related incidents. He once urinated in a sandpit and kicked sand over his waste to cover it, but some sand flew onto Mr. E's feet. Enraged, the man threw sand at the young Iggy, who stopped getting along with his owner after the incident. Iggy learned how to manipulate sand and used it to mess with Mr. E, filling his bed and teacups with sand. One of Mr. E's young Asian servants was assigned to watch Iggy. On one of her walks with him, she noticed Iggy was interested in coffee-flavored gum that a young boy spit out onto the road. She bought a pack from a nearby store for him, which led to Iggy constantly craving the flavor. He ran away from the mansion one day, took his collar off himself, and raided a gum shelf from a candy store. Mr. E didn't care about his disappearance and bought a replacement dog.
The pest control companies send reports that they are giving up on catching Iggy. The dogcatching team who Avdol was with earlier are also forced to quit by RPCS management, though this was secretly due to Avdol's request, who didn't want them to get involved in a Stand battle. Avdol doesn't have any luck finding Iggy, until Joseph sends him a letter through the Speedwagon Foundation office. Joseph explains that he is currently on a trip with his wife to Australia, but was able to use his Stand to mark the location of where Iggy should be hiding on a map of New York. Avdol remembers about how Joseph awoke to Hermit Purple a year prior. Joseph was constantly having premonitions of missing things, such as the location of his lost car keys. When he once saw a news report of a missing child, the image of the child under the floorboards of a house popped into his head. Joseph later learned that the boy's parents were arrested and the boy's body was found beneath the floorboards. Joseph's trip to Australia was actually to search for underwater natural gas and oil, since he and the Speedwagon Foundation had co-funded the creation of a company that researched underwater resources. Avdol examines Joseph's map, where a spot north of Central Park is circled. He was hoping Joseph could have used spirit photography to determine what kind of buildings are in that area, but he recalls that every time Joseph attempted to do such a technique, only a photo of DIO standing in darkness would be printed out.
Avdol uses a taxi to arrive at the spot Joseph had marked on the map, a deserted area full of crime where the residents of the old apartments had been evicted due to redevelopment plans. At the corner, Avdol sees a deteriorated apartment building, which was scheduled to be demolished. Magician's Red melts a chain to unlock the front door, allowing Avdol to enter. He activates his Stand's life detector, which uses six small floating flames to detect the heat energy of life. It reacts once Avdol moves to the second floor. Based on the sway of the flame being calm, Avdol assumes Iggy is sleeping. However, Avdol steps on singing sand, which produces a loud enough noise to wake up Iggy. Avdol extinguishes the life detector and brings Magician's Red close to him, preparing to capture Iggy. However, Iggy also summons The Fool and softens the sand Avdol is standing on, making his balance unstable.
The Fool shatters a wall and charges at Avdol. Magician’s Red manages to block and grab The Fool's attacking leg, demonstrating the unique ability of only Stands being able to interact with each other. Iggy yelps in pain from Magician’s Red's fiery grip, while Avdol tries warning him to stop resisting because he doesn't want to harm him. Despite Avdol's attempt at negotiations, The Fool retaliates with another kick, which Magician's Red blocks with a knee strike. The Fool dissipates into sand to escape from the bird's grip and returns back to Iggy's side in its original form. Avdol wonders if The Fool is a colony-type Stand since each grain of sand is an individual entity. Avdol observes the remnants of Iggy's temporary dwelling and attempts to understand the dog's perspective, recognizing that he doesn't bark much. He tries reasoning with Iggy, offering protection against potential threats. Yet, his negotiation breaks down as Iggy continues to attack him.
Iggy sends three lumps of sand toward Avdol, which Magician's Red punches, shattering the lumps into grains. However, the grains of sand move in the air and swarm toward Avdol, clinging to his skin and slipping into his eyes. Sand then enters Avdol's nose and mouth, making him unable to see or even breathe. The Fool rams into Avdol and he feels his bones creak, almost to the point of dislocating. Since Iggy couldn't control both the fine sand and The Fool's attack at the same time, the sand within Avdol stops moving so he regains his senses. Avdol gets up, but Iggy flees toward the stairs.
Avdol unleashes a powerful flame attack, Crossfire Hurricane, engulfing Iggy's escape route in flames. He confronts Iggy, asserting that he has control over the flames and will extinguish them if he's defeated. Magician's Red thrusts its fist toward The Fool's stomach, but Iggy is unharmed. The Fool transforms into sand to trap Magician's Red's arm, preparing for a decisive blow. Avdol, unwilling to be defeated, ignites his Stand in an explosion of flames, determined to burn every grain of The Fool's sandy form. The Fool releases Magician's Red and tries to retreat, but fails to escape. The flames burn part of its abdomen, including Iggy's. Avdol reflects on Iggy's disdain for humans and his desire for freedom. He equates Iggy's journey to that of "The Fool" from the Major Arcana card, suggesting that perhaps all Iggy needs is the liberty to find his own happiness, much like how Avdol's parents guided him. Despite understanding Iggy's past grievances with humans, Avdol hopes that Iggy will find a human companion to stand by him as an equal.
As the battle intensifies, the floor collapses and Avdol and Iggy plummet through an atrium. The sound as they hit the ground temporarily deafens Avdol. With the scattered debris and flaming fragments raining down, Avdol describes the scene as resembling Jahannam, a hellish realm. Iggy and Avdol are both severely bleeding, but they summon their Stands once more for a final confrontation. The Fool takes the shape of a dog and deeply bites the neck of Magician's Red. Magician's Red places its arm around The Fool's neck and tightens its grip, but The Fool escapes by turning back into sand. Avdol gets a bad feeling, since "The Fool" card of the Major Arcana is a trickster and the prototype of the Joker. Countless sand dust swirls around Avdol, which he attempts to quickly incinerate with Crossfire Hurricane Special but fails to diminish them all. When particles collide and create friction, it can trigger a massive flow of energy, which is lightning. The swirling sand triggers a bolt of lightning which races toward Avdol, precisely targeting him due to all the metal jewelry he was wearing. Avdol blacks out from the shock.
Avdol regains consciousness after a short period, noticing his golden earring had fallen off a short distance away from him. When The Fool bit Magician's Red's neck, the earring was nearly torn off. Avdol surmises that the earring might have absorbed the impact of most of the lightning while it was briefly separated from his body, which might be why he narrowly escaped death. Avdol finds Iggy wrapped around his right leg, wondering whether the dog passed out while biting him. Avdol picks him up and heads out of the apartment, hoping to immediately bring him to the Speedwagon Foundation so they can treat his burns. As soon as they leave, the apartment fully collapses from all the fire and repeated impacts to the walls and floors.
No longer a stray dog, Iggy is now under the care of the Speedwagon Foundation. After suffering burns, he received treatment at a research facility near New York, where his intelligence and Stand ability were closely examined. To pacify his sometimes volatile nature, the Foundation had exploited his weakness for coffee-flavored gum. Avdol visits Iggy and tries to pet him, but Iggy apprehensively summons his Stand. Offering him the gum he had brought to calm him down, Avdol introduces himself to try befriending him.
Before leaving New York, Avdol meets with the Spaniard from RPCS for a drink, who hadn't forgotten the deal they made since Avdol successfully captured Iggy. When asked how he accomplished this feat, Avdol bluntly responds that he used superpowers, making the group laugh. Later, Avdol relishes the beauty of Manhattan under a clear starlit sky as he strolls through Central Park.
The next day, Avdol goes to John F. Kennedy International Airport, ready to depart the U.S. Although he was originally from Cairo, he had been moving from one country to another to evade DIO. On the plane, he finds himself unexpectedly seated beside Joseph. Joseph expresses gratitude for Avdol's handling of the situation with Iggy. However, as the flight progresses, Avdol notices that Joseph looks perturbed. When pressed, Joseph reveals concerns about his family in Japan. He describes that his daughter had married a Japanese man, and her son, Joseph's grandson, is having an issue. Joseph asks Avdol to travel to Japan to meet his teenage grandson, covering all his expenses and even teasing the prospect of unlimited sushi. Intrigued by the thought of meeting another member of the Joestar lineage, Avdol finds himself agreeing. As the plane continues its journey, Avdol ponders his impending trip to Japan, using his tarot cards to get a glimpse into the future. He remembers the words the airport staff told him earlier, "Safe travels".
- The novelization refers to the title as "Stray Dog the Iggy" on both the cover and title page.