Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bizarro, Take II

Bizarro returned in Action Comics #254, July 1959. Lex Luthor happened to discover an old newspaper story about Superboy's initial encounter with Bizarro during a visit to Smallville. He steals the plans to Professor Dalton's duplicator machine, and recreates it. Then he lures Superman to his laboratory and beams the Man of Steel. Sure enough, Bizarro appears. However, much to Luthor's dismay, the creature is not controllable and indeed, brings him promptly to jail.

Bizarro also tries to do good deeds, but because he's imperfect, he makes mistakes which are misinterpreted. He soon finds himself under an all-out assault. Then in a surprising move he tells the generals to stop trying to kill him; he will do it himself. He tries flying into a mountain but of course with Superman's powers and invulnerability he just bores a tunnel through it. Jimmy gets a photo of the action, and Bizarro overhears Lois exclaiming what a great photo it is. He assumes that she's fallen in love with him, and of course falls for her.

He brings her to a shack he has constructed on an island and proposes, but she admits that she loves only Superman. Bizarro has an idea; perhaps if he focuses the duplicator ray on himself, it will create another Superman. It does, but this one talks as poorly as Bizarro himself (although Lois doesn't notice this at first). But when she realizes it, the New Bizarro reveals himself as conceited, unlike the humble Bizarro on whom he's based. Briefly Superman and Bizarro team up to fight the New Bizarro, who is eventually killed by Kryptonite.

But Superman and Bizarro continue to battle over Lois until she has a brilliant idea. She creates an imperfect duplicate of herself for Bizarro to love. He and Bizarro Lois Lane go off together to live on their own planet.

Bizarro's popularity is not hard to understand. Gee, tries to do good, but sometimes screws up because of not thinking things through? That wouldn't describe most adolescent boys, would it? Especially since it's understood that Bizarro's not evil, he's just misguided. In addition, he lets the reader feel a little superior: we may screw up but at least we recognize it. Bizarro never regrets anything.

Prior entry in the Bizarro series.

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