Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bizarro

 Bizarro has arrived on earth. Taking inspiration from a certain flying hero from Metropolis, Bizarro decides to become a superhero as well. But with his skewed ‘up is down- down is up' logic, Bizarro’s heroics has the city in near shambles.


   Taking inspiration from an idea of Clark Kent's, Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen decides to befriend Bizarro in hopes of taking him on a cross-country venture to what would be the would-be hero's new home- Bizarro America (Canada!) And if this results in a best-selling coffee table book, well it's a win-win for Olsen. Along the way, the new pair of ‘Worstest Friends Ever!’ encounter a chupacabra named Colin, a pair of Egyptian themed villains, an actual ghost town, not so secret agents, and much more bizarre insanity that will have Jimmy Olsen rethinking the whole crazy scheme!


  It's really hard to do Bizarro right or is it wrong? See to the quasi-hero, everything is backward. Good is bad. Bad is good. For example, if the car Bizarro was driving in broke down, he would proclaim “This am the best thing to never happen!“


   Only a few writers have ever gotten Bizarro imperfections just right. Creators Otto Binder and George Papp were the closest, with Curt Swan doing an admirable job as well. Series writer Heath Corson did a really great job on not just Bizarro but the whole series. I loved how not only does Corson capture the essence of Bizarro but he takes the character into areas that have never been explored such as having Jimmy and Bizarro switch personas a la a failed magic trick.


Yet after over 60 years none of the writers of Bizarro have ever got him 100% right. Because if everything is backwards to him wouldn't he introduce himself not as “Me am Bizarro” but “Me no am Bizarro” instead? Am I picky? Sure, but I am trying to stay true to the character folks… When something great happens, Bizarro should not respond with 'Awww-some!"


 While the buddy-cop dynamic between Olsen and Bizarro was a laugh a minute riot, they were overshadowed by a bit player. The minute chupacabra Colin dwarfs over the regular sized characters and guest stars that pepper this book. Saying not a word but “hiss,” Colin's body language speaks volumes and he's really funny. That's all thanks to the fantastic cartoonish renderings of artist Gustavo Duarte ( and a slew of guest artists extraordinaire like Kyle Baker, Francis Manapul, and the late Darwyn Cooke.)


   What with DC rebooting the DC Universe this summer and Bizarro to become a member of Red Hood's Outlaws, a sequel probably isn't on the horizon anytime soon. But to forget Colin would be a crime against all of comicdom. I hope we see him paired with Bizarro in the Outlaws book. Colin is that great of a character to be forgotten.


  Worth Consuming

  Rating: 10 out of 10 stars.

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