Posts tagged ‘Bizarro’

Action 388 – Sgt. Rock fights Superman over Lois Lane


Bates, Swan and Roussos attempt to re-capture the joyous insanity of the early 60s Superman stories in Action 388 (May 1970).


The story, such as it is, has Superman come back to Earth after a mission in space, and find that everything has turned crazy.  Sgt. Rock is his romantic rival for Lois Lane.  Every panel holds bizarre details, which are occasionally humourous.  There are also a few cameos – note Enemy Ace flying by in the last panel above.


Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bizarro all appear in the tale, though none are the villain of the story.


The Legion make a cameo, in probably the most serious couple of panels, as Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl warn Superman that Lois Lane is an idiot.


There is an explanation, of sorts. Superman has wound up on a weird mirror-world, thanks to a bumbling scientist.  They both return to the real Earth at story’s end.

It’s not a bad story. It’s not as funny as they would have liked.  If anything, it shows what an achievement the early 60s Superman stories were.

Action 366 – Superman substitutes, and Supergirl meets Alpha and Beta


Dorfman, Andru and Esposito conclude the Virus X storyline in Action 366 (Aug. 68).


Superman is found by some flame beings in the sun.  He has been cured of Virus X, thanks to the white kryptonite thrown at him by the Bizarros.  That killed the virus, and the sun healed his injuries.


Returning to Earth, he finds that no one realizes he has been gone, and that there are versions of himself fighting crime all over the place.  He checks Kandor, and the Phantom Zone, but no one is missing.


The Supermen are actually his fellow Justice Leaguers, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter and Aquaman, working alongside Supergirl.

This story was really highly regarded at the time.


Cary Bates and Kurt Schaffenberger introduce a pair of alien villains for Supergirl in this story.


Alpha and Beta are on a mission, and want one of the Stanhope students.  They seal off the campus, which actually helps protect Supergirl’s identity, as her Linda robot is at class.


Not much is explained in this action-packed tale, which concludes next issue, but those bug eyes merited inclusion.

Action 365 – along the flight to cremation


Action 365 (July 1968) contains the penultimate chapter of Dorfman, Andru and Esposito’s Virus X saga.


Sadly, there is little that actually happens in this issue.  It begins by recapping the story so far, and then turns into a reviewof Superman’s life, as it all passes through his mind as he travels through space.  We get Jor-El and Lara sending him off from Krypton, and teh Kents finding and raising him.  Lana Lang is introduced, and the origin of LexLuthor retold.

As Superman’s body passes Lexor, the people rise in revolt against Lex for killing Superman.  Ardora tries to get the mob to calm down, but I expect she had some rough days ahead of her.  In fact, we do not see Ardora again until the 80s, although Lexor appears in World’s Finest tale in the mid-70s.


Superman recalls his time with the Legion of Super-Heroes, and later Batman and Robin, and the Justice League.  Lori Lemaris, and then his time at the Daily Planet, with Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane.


Brainiac, Kandor and Supergirl get a page devoted to their tale.


He passes Bizarro World, and they shower him with all the forms of kryptonite.  Just before he plunges into the heart of a star, Supergirl flies out Lois, Lana and Lori, to watch and mourn.


Action 336 – a Phantom Zone ex-con, and Supergirl with melty face


There is a really great story in Action 336 (April 1966), but it’s not the one on the cover.


Superman is the titular star of this story by Hamilton, Swan, and Klein, but the real star is Ak-Var.


As a youth, back on Krypton, Ak-Var had stolen the sun-stone as a prank.  But he was captured, and sentenced to thirty years in the Phantom Zone.  In the intervening time, Krypton exploded.  Superman comes to Kandor as Ak-Var is released, having completed his sentence.  Phantom Zone regulars Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox all cameo.


Ak-Var wants to stay on Earth, and use his powers, just like Superman.  But the rules are that anyone released from the Zone must take up residence in Kandor – although the Kandorians are none too pleased to have him around.  In fact, the story almost seems to imply that Ak-Var is one of the only people ever released.  He does run into his old gang, and his former girlfriend, all of whom have aged, while he stayed ageless in the Zone.


This story gives a lot of detail about life in Kandor.  Van-Zee, the double of Superman, takes a liking to Ak-Var, and introduces him to his niece, Thara.


Ak-Var former gang friends launch a crime spree, and frame Ak-Var.  Being only recently released from the Zone, no one believes him innocent, except Superman, Van-Zee and Thara.


Together, they expose the gang members as the real criminals.  Ak-Var becomes Van-Zee’s lab assistant.

Van-Zee is not seen again for a decade, returning for a story in World’s Finest Comics.  Ak-Var and Thara have to wait even longer, coming back in the Nightwing and Flamebird series in Superman Family in the late 70s.


Supergirl comes back to Earth with her transformed face in the concluding half of this Binder and Mooney story.  Superman tries to help restore her features, but with no success.  Comet doesn’t care about her looks (he’s a horse after all), but notices her way of thinking has changed, and doesn’t like that.


She feels like a freak, and takes off for Bizarro World, thinking to fit in there.  Wanting to fit in on Bizarro World is a pretty dumb idea.


Linda is stuck wearing a mask over her real face, but discovers that , somehow, her original appearance returned.  She learns that the man who caused it was so grief stricken by his actions, that he changed her back.  And so she ends, happily dancing with Dick Malverne.

An easy out.


Action 264 – Superman transforms Bizarro World, and Supergirl gets adopted


Binder, Boring and Kaye conclude the introduction of Bizarro World in Action 264 (May 1960).


The execution is put on hold when the bell rings to call an end to the work day, and rescheduled for a week later.  Superman dreams that he gets turned into a Bizarro, and has big problems when he returns to Earth (as per the cover image).  The Bizarros make him battle other prisoners in a gladitorial arena while he waits out the week.


Before they can carry out the sentence, Superman points out that their world itself is a perfect sphere, and offers to “fix” that.


So it is Superman himself who turns Bizarro World into a cube.  He is released from his sentence in gratitude.


Supergirl gets adopted, as the title of the story implies, in this Siegel and Mooney tale.


Under orders from Superman to not be adopted, Linda tries to make herself look unappealing, but a couple pick her anyway.


The father is a police officer, and the mother sits around knitting.  Linda finds the knitting boring, and uses her telescopic vision to watch her more dynamic father.  When he gets in trouble, she hypnotizes her new mom, and disguises herself as Superman to save him.


But when hoods almost kill Linda, we learn that they already had a daughter, who died at the hands of criminals.  They don’t want the same thing to happen to another daughter, so take Linda back to the orphanage.

Really?  They ought to have thought of that before adopting her in the first place.  Jerks.

Action 263 – Superman on the world of Bizarros


Bizarro returns in Action 263 (April 1960), in a great story by Binder, Boring and Kaye.


Bizarro and Bizarro Lois found an abandoned world, and decided to live there, refashioning their ruins into new habitation.  Lonely, Bizarro creates a perfect duplicator machine, and they use it on each other, to fill their world with identical duplicates.


Superman comes to check the planet out, and is puzzled by the insanity he sees all around him.  The Bizarro Code is first introduced, in which perfection is a crime.  Superman made the horrible mistake of fixing up some crumbling housing, for which he is arrested.


The other prisoners being held have also committed the crime of fixing or repairing things.  Superman tries to escape, but the Bizarro jailers have a gun that drains his powers.  The gun seems to work perfectly, but no one questions that.


Superman is put on trial, found guilty, and sentenced to be turned into a Bizarro.

The story concludes next issue.



Action 255 – The Bride of Bizarro, and Supergirl travels to the future


Binder and Plastino conclude the introduction of Bizarro in Action 255 (Aug.59).


Lois, not being a total idiot, realizes something is wrong with the Superman proposing to her.  Bizarro then winds up in battle with his own creation, for the love of Lois, who does not want either of them.


Bizarro tries to enlist Superman in the battle, but the second Bizarro dies in a cloud of kryptonite dust.  The second duplication returning that weakness.


Since Lois refused him as Superman, Bizarro decides to make a play for her as Clark Kent.  Superman has to act quickly to prevent him from giving away his identity.


Finally, Superman uses the imperfect duplicator on Lois Lane, creating a Bizarro Lois.  The two Bizarros act as iff they were made for each other, and fly away to find their place in the universe.

Bizarro returns the following year.


Supergirl is given a mission by Superman to test her skills, as he orders her to fly to the 21st century, in this Binder and Mooney story.


Supergirl finds a space orphanage, and hnags around after repairing the dome, helping out two boys, Tommy and Jik, who remain unaware of her presence.  Tommy does save Supergirl from some kryptonite, but really it was a fluke, as he had no idea she was around.


Supergirl arranges an adoption for Tommy before heading back to the present, and her orphanage.  We learn that the boy became Tommy Tomorrow.  So presumably he and Tim are not biological brothers.

Action 254 – Luthor creates Bizarro, Congo Bill vs Congorilla, and Supergirl cons people


Bizarro had been introduced in the Superboy comic the previous year, but the character died at the end of the story.  Otto Binder and Al Plastino bring the character back for good in Action 254 (July 1959).


Luthor has acquired the plans of the machine used in the earlier story, and with the help of his assistant,Vekko, he recreates it.


Luthor lures Superman, and uses the imperfect duplicator on him, creating a new Bizarro, who nonetheless has the memories of dying as the original.  But Luthor was expecting an obedient slave with Superman’s powers.  Bizarro runs amok right from the start.


His invulnerability is clear to see as the military does everything, including nuke him, trying to stop Bizarro.


Since Superman is in love with Lois Lane, Bizarro is as well.  He builds a ramshackle home for them, and brings Lois there to propose.  She rejects him, politely, insisting that she loves only Superman.


Bizarro than has probably the most complicated thoughts of his life, as he uses the imperfect duplicator on himself, creating a perfect Superman.  He sends this one to propose to Lois, while using kryptonite to keep Superman away (as per the cover image).

Vekko, incidentally, does not appear again until John Byrne’s reboot of Superman, where he returns as Luthor’s assistant during the creation of Bizarro.

The story concludes in the next issue.


Congorilla falls under the control of someone else in this Howard Sherman story.  A thief breaks into Congo Bill’s room while he is sleeping, and steals the ring, along with his watch and money.


The thief has read about the ring, though he didn’t realize it was Congo Bill’s room he was breaking into.  He tries it out, and is excited to be in the Golden Gorilla’s body, which he promptly starts using for crime.  Bill has to subdue the gorilla, in the thief’s body, and then try to capture him.


Fortunately, a rampaging gorilla is not that hard to find.  Bill wears an African mask as he hunts the gorilla-thief down.  I’m not certain why.  Who is he trying to conceal his identity from?


Despite her efforts to prove Linda Lee unworthy, Supergirl gets taken by a foster family in this story by Binder and Mooney.


They run a carnival sideshow, and plan to use Linda in the act, as a strong girl.  She figures that it’s  all just entertainment, so goes along with it.


When she is whisked away before the show is over, she gets suspicious, and uses her vision and hearing powers to learn that her foster parents are using her as part of their phony strength serum scam.


Linda uses her Supergirl powers to trick them into thinking the formula really works.  It’s easy when she just has to appear strong herself, more difficult when she has to make her foster father think it worked on him.  The couple fall for her scam, and bankrupt themselves on worthless serum.  No longer able to support Linda, they return her to the orphanage.

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