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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Superman #379 - Jan. 1983

sgComics Weekend Meet Bizarro Aquaman!

I always found the Bizarro World concept to very creepy and disturbing. Bizarro by himself was a goofy, fun idea, but when it was expanded to a whole planet, it took on a whole nightmarish type of feel, at least to me.

Eventually, the Bizarro World concept kept getting developed, to the point where a Bizarro Justice League was introduced, which leads us to this comic, which featured the first appearance of Bizarro Aquaman!

The story, by Cary Bates, Curt Swan, and Dave Hunt, is titled "The Bizarro-Buster Is Loose!" and opens with Bizarro meeting with his fellow Bizarro Justice Leaguers:

Bizarro Batman talks of reports of things blowing up all over the planet for no good reason. He determines those reports are exaggerated, just as Bizarro Flash explodes immediately to his right.

Then the rest of them follow suit:
See? Horrifying.

Unfortunately, from here on in, Bizarro Aquaman doesn't make any more appearances in the story (why should the Bizarro Aquaman be any different from the original version?), so I'm not going to spend a lot time talking about the rest of the story.

Basically, Bizarro heads back to Earth, to steal Superman's Duplicator Ray so he can start making more Bizarros before they're all gone.

Superman is actually okay with this, but then he sees a bizarre creature made of orange smoke following Bizarro, who seems to suddenly become weak, and collapses into dust.

The creature metamorphoses into a different form:
...I know I've said before, I'm not a big fan of Curt Swan's work, but I gotta give him credit--that is one disgusting creature. *shudder*

Superman follows the creature back to Bizarro World, defeats it, and all the previously exploded Bizarros re-form:
...sadly, Bizarro Aquaman doesn't get an appearance here, even in this group shot. *sigh*

Turns out all of this was an accident, caused by...Bizarro Lex Luthor! Bizarro Luthor, of course, is a good guy:
...I love Superman's bewildered thoughts in the second panel. Let me get the heck out here!

Bizarro Aquaman did make a return appearance, his last, in DC Comics Presents #71. Maybe I'll pick that issue up to see if he gets any more to do that time around.

Years ago, I read that Alan Moore had worked up an idea for mini-series set entirely on the Bizarro World. He wanted to deal with some of the most mundane aspects of living on a square planet--how do you live on the corners?, and such.

Since I find the Bizarro World a creepy concept even under the gentile hands of Cary Bates and Curt Swan, I can't imagine what nightmares would've awaited us if DC had let Moore go ahead with it.


Anonymous said...

I was never a fan of Bizarro storylines. I really enjoyed Superman Family comics I think it was for 60 cents you get something like 2 feature stories and about 3 short stories.

So I take it that Bizarro Aquaman can't swim?


Anonymous said...

Yep, Bizarro-Aquaman was afraid of water, and Yellow Lantern's ring wouldn't work because Bizarro-Superman didn't make a duplicate of the power battery. The Bizarro-JLA HQ was a submarine (naturally) and Bizarro-Green Lantern was Bizarro World's biggest hero because he was a coward and had no powers.

Yeah, I read too many comics as a kid.

Anonymous said...

A fun story, from the period where it all really Works for me:

-the best of Golden/Silver Age concepts, before they were all raped away by countless silly reboots

*but presented with*

-the slightly more mature Art & Writing of the Bronze Age.

Umm - umm.... GOOD comics...!

Great week,
-Craig W.

Dixon said...

Wow. That mutating, multi-eyed creature rendered by Curt Swan is absolutely hideous! You're not alone, Rob! I think I'm going to have nightmares after this story.

Bubbashelby said...

I really like Loeb and McGuinness' take on a Bizarro Batman (Batzarro) from Superman/Batman #20.

I'd love to see a more fleshed out Bizarro-Aquaman character and story. Maybe I'll draw him myself to satiate the pangs.

Anonymous said...

If only DC stories were still this much fun!