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Me hate Bizarro. Or is it “Me like Bizarro”? Or do I even care? – Superman #379

March 3, 2011

I liked Bizarro when I was a kid. Now, as an adult, I can’t stand him. Reading that “Bizarro-speak” makes my brain hurt, giving me a headache that threatens to have a Scanners-style finale. Not only is the verbiage vexing, but the rules of the Bizarro World are also maddeningly inconsistent — as Elaine Benes once said when Jerry was explaining how Bizarro says “hello” when he wants to say “goodbye”: “Shouldn’t it be ‘bad-bye’?”

Plus there’s the Bizarro version of the Justice League, a seen on this cover and briefly at the outset of the inside story — here’s a bit from the first part of our tale, which I’ll deal with in a moment:

While I appreciate that the “Bizarro-Yellow Lantern” has adopted a candle for his symbol, aren’t we dealing with a double negative here? You know how when you multiply -1 by -1, you get 1? At least, that’s what it was when I learned my ‘rithmetic. Same here, right? A Bizarro-Yellow Lantern would be Green Lantern. Right?

I feel one of those Scanners headaches coming on.

On a lighter side-note, while Bizarro-Aquaman should perhaps be called Bizarro-Landman under the whacked logic on display, I personally have always thought of the real live Joe Frazier as an actual flesh and blood Bizarro-Aquaman, as evidenced by his near drowning in the swimming portion of the old ABC show Superstars:

You watch that and almost hope that Jim McKay throws down his microphone, strips down, jumps in and drags poor Joe to safety. You can’t punch water, champ!

All right. Enough stalling. I’m going to try to sum up this story. If I make it through to the end of “The Bizarro-Buster is Loose!,” by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt, then you’ll know that my head hasn’t done this:

As you can see from the earlier image, all is not well on Bizarro’s (square) planet. Everybody’s blowing up and disappearing, including his coworkers:

“Molekule Narrowcasting.” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Bizarro isn’t a complete moron, as evidenced by a rapidly-reached solution to this quandry:

There’s then a brief little interlude on Earth at the Global Broadcasting headquarters, where Morgan Edge is escorting some contest-winner kid around the offices and introducing him to the various TV personalities, whom he (the kid) backhandedly insults without fail. I get the feeling there might have been a similar occurence in the real DC offices, one that forced Bates to vent his spleen in this forum. Maybe not. Whatever the case, Clark Kent tears ass out of there before he falls in front of this little snot’s acid tongue, and when he reaches the greatest man-cave on Earth (sorry, Batman) he finds his robot guards destroyed. The list of suspects that could do that is pretty short, and he soon comes across the culprit:

Bizarro is then consumed in short order by the creature behind the Bizarro-genocide, which is one of the goofier looking monsters you’ll ever see:

It’s true — you are what you eat.

Superman tracks the monster back to Bizarro-World, but there’s another bunch of baddies there, green things that look like the goobers that latched onto people’s backs in the “Operation — Annihilate!” episode of Star Trek. They don’t get along with the Bizarro-eater:

Maybe there’s some Scrubbing Bubbles in them, too.

Supes makes one of those snap command decisions of his, and decides to side with the Bizarro-eater (rooting for the underdog and all that). He helps it defeat the goobers, but then:

All the Bizarros are back — we can rejoice. But who was responsible for all this nonsense?:

So Bizarro-Lex is a good guy — makes sense. I wonder if he and the elder Alexander Luthor from the Crime Syndicate-infested Earth-3 ever got together to compare notes? Anyhoo, this Lex created a way to pool the collective energies of all Bizarros so that they could better combat these invaders that he had spotted through his telescope. Bizarro-Lex — he’s a hell of a guy.

Finally, Superman has his fill, and I’m utterly sympatico with his departing thought:

I need my Bizarro doses to be very — and I mean very – limited. I understand his honored place in Superman’s sometimes odd roster of villains, and I don’t begrudge him it — there’s perhaps no better symbol of the Silver Age of Superman, and I normally have a soft spot for villains that are mirror images (Reverse-Flash, anyone?) of their opponent heroes. But that backwards baby-talk crap (which is all-too reminiscent of those horrific Superbaby stories) drives me up the wall after about ten seconds. Nails on the chalkboard, you know? Me am very happy. Now I’m doing it! Dammit!

Also, I have a minor quibble with the ever-dependable Swan, whose art on the Super-titles was constant as the northern star. Bizarro’s “Bizarro #1” medallion appears and disappears at a couple of points in the story, an upsetting lack of continuity that seems easily avoidable. It gives a sloppy appearance to one of DC’s preeminent titles, and upsets me to no end. Lord knows I make enough typos on just this blog, but I curse myself every time I come across one that makes it out. I expect more from Julius Schwartz and his boys.

Then again, maybe I’m just in an easily annoyed mood, and there’s no need to get all in a twist. That’s possible.

Thanks, Bizarro. Now you’ve got me pissed at Curt Swan. Of all people. See what you’ve done?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2011 1:48 pm

    Love the Superstars bit for personal reasons. I remember in the late 1970s ABC canceled the Superstars show and a reporter contacted Sean McManus, a young NBC sports VP to see if that network would pick it up. “We’re not interested in junk sports,” was the response. Why was that so amusing to me? Because Sean McManus was the son of Superstars announcer Jim McKay. I knew McManus from a college program in London that we were both enrolled in, and met his dad there.

    McManus has done well for himself; he’s currently the president of CBS sports and news. Does a terrific job on the former, although he’s had trouble with the news end since inheriting it after Dan Rather’s implosion on the Bush National Guard story.

    • March 9, 2011 7:29 am

      I’m very familiar with McManus — know the name, know his work, and my love of college sports and the NFL (and even golf) means I have a steady diet of CBS on my lazy weekend afternoons. I can’t say that I disagree with his assessment of Superstars, though it seems like the very definition of sport when compared to the Howard Cosell-hosted Battle of the Network Stars.

      I’m very envious of your meeting McKay — such a sports broadcasting legend.

  2. March 9, 2011 7:58 pm

    What I never understood was why the Bizarro characters always talked like 3 year olds…

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