What am I talking about this time: Superman #42
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Cover by: Patrick Gleason
Variant cover by: Jonboy Meyers
Written by: Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi
Overall Review: 4 out of 5 Bizzaroworlds
Is it worth $2.99? Yes, sir!
Spoiler Free Review:
I ain’t gonna lie, I love me some Bizarro. In a world of “anti” characters, this, Frankenstein-like, the exact opposite of Superman has always stood the test of time. Does that make me biased? Well, maybe, but the comic speaks for itself, standing on its own without me propping it up. I will admit, every once in a while, I have a hard time with the Bizarro-speak, the “am not” and opposite words sometimes get a little confusing, and I find myself re-reading a dialogue bubble to decipher its meaning. But, something kinda special happened this time around, the Bizarro-speak became quite poetic. There isn’t much in the way of standard comic “action” in this issue, but it moves fast, and a lot happens in the span of just 20 or so pages. There are some genuinely creepy panels, with some even bordering on scary. The Superman family dynamic is fun and full of heart. The art is nothing short of incredible; the detail on the Bizzaro family’s faces is intricate, the facial expressions and angles are varied. The tone smoothly shifts from poetic, to humorous, too scary, all very easily and very quickly.
Read it… it’s gooooooood!
Ketchup: Not much needed here. This arc is a solid jumping off point for readers. Superman’s family lives in Metropolis after moving there from the country. Superman’s kid, Jon, likes to sneak back to visit a girl his age named Kathy, whom he obviously has a little crush on. Kathy is from another world, has powers and special tech of her own, and seems to return Jon’s feelings. Bizarro is an imperfect duplicate of Supes and does everything backwards. That pretty much sums it up.
Wa-happens: Bizarro Superman stands over a grave, we don’t know whose it is, though his backwards-speak hints that it is his son. The scene, however, seems to be reminiscent of Superman’s rebirth (the 143rd one, after he combined with the 52 Superman and mourned his death. Yeah, I know). After that, Bizarro rips open his shirt and flies off. When we rejoin Super Bizarro, he’s on his worm farm dealing with a fire. His son looks on displeased. Relaxing, BS (Bizarro Superman) tells his wife, Bizarro Lois, to get him a beer. She punches him and they begin to fight. Bizarro Jon runs off only to be attacked by a… ummm… I THINK it’s a zombie Bizarro Hawkgirl? I’m not exactly sure of her decomposition status, but I am sure she is scary AF.
That’s when Jon and Kathy show up in a purple bubble, apparently using alien tech, peering into other dimensions… Jon and Bizarro Jon touch through the purple bubble and shock each other.
From here, the POV of the story shifts and now we are following Jon. He had a great time with Kathy, but he has to bolt because…
Lois and Superman have come home. The family dynamic, the banter, all of it is the tops!!! THE TOPS!!! Jon forgot to take out the trash and Lois is maaaaad. They eat dinner, grill Jon about Kathy, and, as Jon heads off to bed, Lois and Clark binge watch some TV. Just as Jon is drifting off, Bizarro Jon crashes through the window screaming, “Goodbye” (Translation: Hello). Even though it’s predictable, the art sells the hell out if. I loved it.
Bits and Pieces:
It looks like the letter K is visible on the gravestone… but I wouldn’t bet my copy of Action Comics #1 on it, not that I have one, but if I did, I still wouldn’t make the bet. That said, I think there’s a letter K on it.
The images behind Bizarro are hilarious references to the backwards Supes stuff he does.