Tag Archives: Bizarro

Superman 306 – Bizarro’s new powers

sup_306_001

Bizarro is back with a vengeance as his team-up with Toyman continues in Superman 306 (Dec. 76), by Pasko, Swan and Oskner.

sup_306_002

Superman manages to get away from the Toyman, although Bizarro is still hot on his tail.  But Superman is able to calm him down enough to find out why he is back on Earth.  Bizarro believes that he has seen his world destroyed, and so has come to Earth to destroy Superman’s world and friends as well.  Or make new Bizarros.  He doesn’t seem to mind which.

sup_306_003

But Superman has to show Bizarro that the duplicator ray at the museum that he intends to use is a fake, a mock-up.  Bizarro takes this as a personal insult, and uses his heat vision to…freeze Superman?

sup_306_004

Bizarro then kidnaps Lois (gee, how retro) and bring her to the Fortress of Solitude where he can use her to make a new Bizarro Lois.  Superman follows, furious, as Bizarro made no effort to protect Lois against the elements and speed, and almost killed her.  Bizarro now has flame breath, instead of cold breath, and Superman begins to put all the pieces together.

sup_306_005

In an action I am certain would not work, he takes Bizarro back to his landing place, and hits him really hard, which reverses his flight to Earth. It was, indeed, Bizarro who crashed into the Coliseum, not Superman.  And the meteor impact that gave Bizarro the hallucination that his world was destroyed has also permanently altered his powers.

The Toyman, now all regretful and depressed over his murders, once he learned that Bizarro was the one who trashed his stuff, turns himself in.

Looking at this story now, I see so many many plot holes, but as a kid it was my introduction to Bizarro, and I just loved it.

Advertisements

Superman 305 – the tragic return of the Toyman

sup_305

Marty Pasko, Curt Swan and Bob Oskner bring back Winslow Schott as the Toyman in Superman 305 (Nov. 76).

sup_306

The story opens as we see what appears to be Superman destroying the Metropolis Coliseum.

sup_305_001

This occurs after Superman convinces Schott to donate all his toys to a display there, and Schott believes that Superman set him up.  Furious that his life’s work has been destroyed, he is out for blood.

sup_305_002

In Schott’s last appearance, in Action Comics a coupe of years earlier, he had worked with Superman to bring down Jack Nimble, the new Toyman.  In this story, he takes more permanent steps with Nimble, killing him in a creepily amusing way.

sup_305_003

Then he goes on the attack, manning a giant robot of himself, which is powerful enough to give Superman a hard time.

sup_305_004

But as the story has progressed we have watched another Superman emerge from a lake, and make his way to the battle zone.  As the issue ends, this is revealed to be Bizarro, not seen since the late 60s. Bizarro helps the Toyman take down Superman, and is ordered to kill him.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Superman 174 – Clark Kent imagines he is Superman, and Mr. Mxyzptlk becomes a hero

sup_175

An interesting cover image on Superman 174 (Jan. 65), and the story, by Hamilton and Plastino, lives up to it.

sup_174

Clark Kent is stunned when a man walks into his office, claiming to be Superman, and demonstrating his abilities.  He is even more shocked when he discovers that he himself has no powers at all.

sup_174_001

Clark calls on Batman, wanting someone to confirm that he really is Superman, but Batman treats him as though he were just a snooping reporter.

sup_174_002

Clark challenges the Superman claimant’s memory, getting Lana Lang involved as he recounts an event from Superboy’s life, but the “impostor” knows everything that Clark does.  Doubting his own sanity by this point, Clark heads to a psychiatrist.  After some discussion, the psychiatrist believes that Clark began fantasizing that he was Superboy because of him being a lonely and weak teen, and that the delusion has simply grown over the years.

sup_174_003

Sadly, this story opts for a quick and easy “out,” as the Superman claimant turns out to be one of his robots, gone renegade.  The robot impersonated Batman, and also planted a red sun device in the heel of Clark’s shoe, to remove his powers.

sup_174_004

Mr. Mxyzptlk switches sides in this story, by Siegel and Plastino.

sup_174_005

He decides to become Super-Mxyzptlk, and follows Superman around, jumping ahead of him whenever there is trouble, and using his magic to save the day.  For a change, he is genuinely not trying to be a pest – but he is anyway.

sup_174_006

I do enjoy the ending, in which Bizarro pops up, joining others in a celebration of Mr. Mxyzptlk’s heroism.  He builds a statue of the imp, but of the Bizarro version he knows – Kltpzyxm.  Mxyzptlk is taken aback by the statue, which he considers insulting, but in reading the inscription gets transported back to his own dimension.

Not the greatest story, but it’s neat to see Bizarro defeating Mxyzptlk, even accidentally.

Superman 169 – Mr. Mxyzptlk gets lockjaw, Sally Selwyn returns, and the Bizarros invade

sup_169

The cover of Superman 169 (May 1964) announces “The Bizarro Invasion of Earth,” as well as “The Great DC Contest.”  But guess what, the two are really one and the same!

sup_169_001

But first, Siegel, Swan and Klein open this issue with a Mr. Mxyzptlk story, in which the imp comes down with a case of lockjaw.  Unable to speak, he figures this is the perfect time to head to Earth and pester Superman.

sup_169_002

But there is nothing much to this tale.  Simply Superman’s attempts to overcome the lockjaw.  Eventually Superman resorts to a disc that makes thoughts audible, a pretty extreme way to get out of the situation.

sup_169_003

Siegel also brings back Sally Selwyn in this issue, with art by Al Plastino.  The story recaps the romance she had with Superman while under a red kryptonite spell of amnesia, but also introduces a new character into the mix, a man who has hated Superman since they were teens, and who got plastic surgery in order to resemble him, so he could impersonate Superman for criminal benefit.

sup_169_004

Since this man looks like Superman, he also looks like Clark Kent, and Jim White, the name he adopted under the red kryptonite spell.

sup_169_005

So Sally runs into the criminal, and thinks he is really Jim.  The guy is confused, but Sally is rich, and his mob cronies are hunting him, so he goes along with her assumptions.  But he acts nothing like Jim did, and Sally begins to get concerned.

sup_169_006

Then she runs into a really confused Clark Kent, and also assumes him to be Jim.  Her kisses prove extremely potent, as they restore Superman’s memory of their time together.

sup_169_007

Finally Clark has a woman who loves him for himself, and he decides to ditch Lois and Lana and marry Sally.

sup_169_008

But then the bad guys attack him, thinking he is the criminal guy.  Lots of confused fighting, but the bad guy dies, extracting a promise from Superman to tell Sally that he really was Jim White.  So Superman, being too noble for his own good, goes along with it, and tells Sally that Jim White has died.

While the narration at the end of the story hints that more is to come with this star-crossed couple, as it turned out, this was Sally Selwyn’s final appearance.

sup_169_009

Siegel and Plastino close out the issue with the Bizarro story, which is also the big contest.

sup_169_010

The story itself is pretty bland for a Bizarro tale, as he and some others come to Earth to “fix” things.

sup_169_011

The beginning and end of the story insist that something is unique about this tale, but frankly, it’s all but impossible to spot that the story avoids using the letters “d” and “c.”  The contest element is explained on the letters page, that there are one of each letter that did make it into the story, and readers are meant to write in when they find it, with prizes drawn from the entrants.

 

Superman 150 – remembering Krypton, Lois vs Lana to the death, and everyone forgets Superman

sup_150

It’s Superman – the attention hog on the cover of issue 150 (Jan. 62).

sup_150_001

Siegel and Plastino open this issue as many characters observe a memorial day, marking the anniversary of Krypton’s destruction.

sup_150_002

Krypto builds himself a Doghouse of Solitude in outer space.  This has nothing at all to do with the main story, but it is the first time we see this location, which will pop up periodically over the next couple of decades.

sup_150_003

After building the doghouse, Krypto joins Superman and Supergirl in the Fortress, where they remember the destruction of Krypton, and their origins.  The Kandorians in the bottle participate as well, recalling how Brainiac shrunk and captured them.  The Phantom Zone prisoners are shown, with Superboy’s enemy Dr. Xadu having a cameo.

sup_150_004

Bizarro and Bizarro Lois are shown on their world, joining in on the festivities to mark the cataclysm.

sup_150_005

Superman, Supergirl and Krypto head into space, and gather up enough material to build a full scale replica of Krypton.  Then they populate it with androids of everyone who had died, including their parents.

This planet, later called Rokyn, did return a few times.

sup_150_006

The feud between Lois Lane and Lana Lang reaches a breaking point in this story by Bernstein and Schaffenberger.

sup_150_007

The sparring between the two women gets physical, and they publicly challenge each other to a fight to the death.  They even recruit Jimmy Olsen as the referee.  Of course, they do not really plan to kill each other.  They intend that Jimmy will use his watch to signal Superman, who will come to end the fight, by announcing which of them he chooses.

sup_150_008

But Superman suspects that the women are up to something, so he uses robots of Lois and Lana, making each of the women think that they actually had killed the other one.

sup_150_009

When Superman brings the two together, they turn on each other, and the fighting begins anew, taking both over a parapet – but these are just robots as well.  The women guessed that Superman guessed that they were up to something.  Oh, my.  The weird and twisted games these people play with each other for our amusement.

sup_150_010

Siegel, Swan and Boring conclude the issue with the cover story, in which no one remembers Superman.  Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White all know who Clark is, but not Superman.

sup_150_012

Superman tries to show off his powers, but finds rocket jets on his belt, and springs on his shoes.  Of course, this is really all that is needed to indicate that Mr. Mxyzptlk is behind it – as he was in the 1940s story this is adapted from.

sup_150_013

Once Mxyzptlk’s role is revealed, the story reverts to the name game.

 

Superman 145 – Lois learns Superman’s secret identity, the Interplanetary Circus, and the Night of March 31st

sup_145

Superman is facing some elemental danger on the cover of Issue 145 (May 1961).

sup_145_001

Lois’ sister Lucy Lane, who had been introduced the previous year in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, and already become a regular supporting cast member there and in Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane.  Siegel, Swan and Kaye have her try to help her love starved sister in this story.

sup_145_002

Lucy asks Jimmy Superman’s secret identity, and Jimmy decides to test Lois’ ability to keep a secret.  He lies to her, and tells her it is noted science fiction writer Rock Stirling, clearly meant to be The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling.  Lois swears to keep the secret.

sup_145_003

The remainder of the tale shows how bad she is at it.  Lois talks about Superman being Rick Stirling in her sleep, next to a live microphone, to her dentist while under sedation, and finally on live television.  Superman has to go into action to save Stirling from vengeful hoods.

Lois admits at the end of the story that she isn’t yet able to keep a secret.

Rick Sterling does return, in a story in Action Comics in the late 70s, along with other men accused of being Superman.

sup_145_004

The cover story, by Bernstein and Plastino, is not bad.  Pure alien action. Lois Lane and Clark Kent go to cover a new circus in Metropolis, which claims to have interplanetary performers.  Although Lois, and the other patrons, see this as a simple theme, Superman realizes that it is true.

sup_145_005

The ringmaster of the circus has come to force Superman to join his troupe, threatening to send out a plant monster to destroy Metropolis if he refuses.  Superman figures out that the plant creature needs sunlight, and causes an eclipse, which paralyzes it.  The circus packs up before Superman can tar and feather them.

sup_145_006

Siegel, Swan and Moldoff craft a much loved puzzler in this issue.  After writing a normal diary entry, Clark Kent goes to bed, waking up the next day.

sup_145_007

He finds that the world has gone crazy.  Perry White looks like a Bizarro, Streaky and Krypto behave as if they are the pets of Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.  Lois is dating Mr. Mxyzptlk.

sup_145_008

Lana Lang attacks Superman with the bottle city of Kandor.  Luthor, Bizarro and Brainiac show up to save him.

sup_145_009

The villains are happy to admit that they know his secret identity, they read it in the comic book.

The bottom half of the last page, printed upside down, points out that if the story opened the night of March 31st, then the events from the rest of the story took place on April Fool’s Day, and the whole story was a big April Fool’s joke.

Superman 143 – Bizarro tries to scare people

sup_143

Bizarro gets to star in the cover story from Superman 143 (Feb. 61), by Binder, Boring and Kaye.

sup_143_001

It is the forerunner of the Bizarro World series, opening with an explanation of Bizarro World, and the backwards way they do things.  Bizarro and Bizarro Lois now have two children, so apparently Bizarros age at a much faster rate than humans.

sup_143_002

They are shown to watch television shows from Earth, but react in very different ways.  When Bizarro sees an ad for a Frankenstein film, he is enraged that the creature is considered the scariest thing on Earth, and heads there to prove he is the most terrifying.

sup_143_003

But Bizarro heads to the film studio, and everyone he encounters assumes, for one reason or another, that he is not what he appears to be, and no one gets frightened.  Superman observes much of this from a distance.

sup_143_004

Because Bizarro is getting increasingly upset at not scaring people, Superman causes an electrical discharge, making peoples hair stand up, which Bizarro takes as a sign of fear and leaves happily.  He brings with him a Superman puppet, which is considered scary by his kids.

A really solid tale for a Bizarro story.