Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Bizarro am Sucky- Bizarro is Awesome!
Batman has always had the best, most interesting group of villains in comics. Superman, even though he debuted before Batman and was, in fact, the reason anyone bothered to create Batman, falls a little short in the bad guy department. Oh, sure, he has Lex Luthor- the evil genius who uses his incredible and sinister intellect to outwit The Man of Steel. And yeah, he has Brainiac- evil genius super-computer in an android body and hot pants who uses his incredible and sinister intellect to outwit The Man of Steel (Hey, is there a pattern here?). And, of course, he has the Toy Man -the evil genius who uses his incredible and sinister intellect to outwit The Man of Steel... with toys. But Superman seemed to be lacking anyone who could go toe-to-toe with him in sheer superness. Enter Bizarro.
Bizarro is an imperfect duplicate of Superman who was created through an accident with a duplication ray. Although the ray reproduced Superman's costume perfectly (the "S" wasn't orignially backwards) it had a little trouble with Supes himself. Like a bad scan of a bad Xerox, Bizarro is a lumpy, angular mess of a guy, with a childlike intellect coupled with the powers of a god. He speaks a weird, broken English that would make Tonto blush with shame.
Bizarro does "everything" Superman would do, except "backwards". Let me explain. The writers insist that Bizarro and the Bizarro World (we'll get there-) do everything the opposite way we do on Earth. Sometimes this is a stretch. Eventually, unable to fit in on Earth, Bizarro turns the duplication ray on Earth and makes an imperfect copy of our planet. Superman makes the planet square instead of round to make the Bizarros happy-which, I guess would make them miserable?- (and it's not square, it's cubical-although the writers always call it "square") Officially referred to by it's inhabitants as Htrae (Earth spelled backwards) it is more commonly known as Bizarro World.
Bizarro World is populated entirely by bizarro copies of Superman and Lois Lane. The original Bizarro wears a big medalion which says "Bizarro #1" to keep it clear that he's the "real" Bizarro. Eventually, there is a bizarro Krypto (who wants to be ignored and neglected) and a bizarro Lex Luthor (who wants to do good). Bizarros throw away gold and jewels and prize trash. The sanitation workers spread filth all over the city. They go to bed at dawn and get up at sunset ( but not consistantly) They say good-bye when they greet and hello when they leave- you get the idea:
All this begs a few questions. When Bizarro pointed the duplicator at Earth how come Htrae didn't already come populated with bizarro copies of everyone on Earth?? If Bizarro thinks that ugly is pretty and bad is good, then why does he make such a point of talking about it to himself all the time? It's like he's really straining to remember the rules rather than following his (un)natural tendencies. Shouldn't Bizarro Lex Luthor be not only noble, but unbelievably stupid??
Anyway, Bizarro stories are always loads of fun and rank among my favorite Superman stories.