Friday, November 9, 2012

Cool Character: Bizarro


First "Official" Appearance of Bizarro appeared in Superboy #68 (1958). However, in Superboy #67 the above ad ran - notice the "B" instead of an "S" or backwards "S".

Clipped from Wikipedia: Bizarro debuted in Superboy #68 (Oct. 1958), writer Otto Binder casting the character as a Frankenstein's monster pastiche that possessed all the powers of Superboy. Shunned for his grotesque appearance, the teen version of Bizarro only appeared in a single comic book story.

The adult version, however, followed soon after, debuting in the Superman daily newspaper comic strip, featured in Episode 105: "The Battle With Bizarro" This storyline also introduced the strange speech patterns that became synonymous with the character, with all of Bizarro's comments meaning the opposite (e.g.. "bad" means "good").
Me not not not even animal! Me unhappy! Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong — good and evil!
The newspaper version also wore a "B" on his chest, as opposed to the distinctive "S". Writer of the strip, Alvin Schwartz stated:
I was striving, you might say, for that mirror-image, that opposite. And out of a machine which would reveal the negative Superman, came the mirror image — always remembering that in a mirror everything is reversed... The times were such that one-dimensional characters, your standard superheroes, even in comics, seemed rather simplistic, like paper cut-outs. What was demanded was the full dimensional personality — a figure that carried a shadow, if you like. I was certainly inspired to some degree also by C.G. Jung's archetype of "the shadow" — and Bizarro certainly reflected that, as well.
Binder revised the character, this time wearing an "S" in Action Comics #254 (July 1959)

Bizarro was reintroduced into the DC Universe in The Man of Steel #5 (Dec. 1986). After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Lex Luthor orders his scientific team to create a clone of Superman. However, wrongfully starting from the assumption that Superman is a human with metahuman abilities (his alien origin had not yet been publicly revealed), the process results in a flawed copy, which Luthor sneeringly dubs "Bizarro" and orders disposed. The monstrous clone survives and, although mute and possessed of only limited intelligence and vague memories of Clark Kent's life, attempts to mimic Superman; he kidnaps Lois Lane and is finally destroyed when colliding with Superman in mid-air. 

Yet another version was introduced during the "Emperor Joker" storyline in Action Comics #769. The version of Bizarro currently depicted in DC's mainstream continuity possesses all the abilities of Superman but with a childlike mentality and method of speech. He is created by Batman's arch-foe the Joker when the villain steals the powers of the fifth-dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk. Creating a twisted version of Earth called "Jokerworld" — a perfect cube with Joker's image on each facet — the villain designates Bizarro to be the planet's greatest hero and leader of a reimagined "JLA" (the "Joker's League of Anarchy"). When Mxyzptlk regains his powers, the imp allows Bizarro and several other beings to remain on the restored Earth

Bizarro's Abilities

"freeze vision" instead of heat vision
"flame breath" instead of freeze breath
"vacuum breath" instead of super breath
"Bizarro telescopic vision" which allows Bizarro to see a "short distance behind his head" rather than a "long distance in front of his head"
"Bizarro microscopic vision" which makes objects "actually smaller to everyone" rather than merely "appear to be bigger to only the user"
"Bizarro X-ray vision" which allows Bizarro to "only see through lead" rather than the ability to "see through anything except lead"

Bizarro's Weaknesses

Bizarro is vulnerable to blue kryptonite, as opposed to green kryptonite, which is lethal to Superman. Bizarro is actually strengthened by green kryptonite.

Television Appearances

Bizarro appears in the Challenge of the Super Friends, voiced by William Callaway. He is seen as a member of the Legion of Doom. 

Bizarro appears in the Superboy series, played by Barry Meyers, and is, to date, the only live-action appearance of the traditional version of the character, complete with angular white features.

A clone of Superman analogous to Bizarro appears in Lois & Clark played by Dean Cain. Created by Lex Luthor for the purpose of replacing Superman, the clone does not have Bizarro's distinctive appearance, and is visually indistinguishable from Superman, as well as possessing all the usual powers and weaknesses of Superman. Although he does not speak backwards, he does appear childlike and slightly simple-minded, and Lois refers to him at one point as seeming "bizarre".

Bizarro later appears in Superman: The Animated Series, voiced by Tim Daly (who also voiced the title character). Unlike other versions, his S-shield is not reversed. His origin is the same as the Post-Crisis Bizarro from the comics, and his appearance, along with the typical traits, also bears resemblance to Frankenstein's monster. Homage is paid to his angular featured design in the first few seconds of his arrival. He is kindhearted and childlike, and although he has trouble distinguishing good, evil or harm, he wishes to protect innocents in the same way as Superman. 

Bizarro appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ultimatum" voiced by George Newbern. He is attracted to Giganta and fights Wonder Woman for her when they try to break Gorilla Grodd from prison. Later on, Bizarro starts to both speak and comprehend things backwards, a nod to the comic version. In later episodes, Bizarro appears as a member of Gorilla Grodd's Legion of Doom. Noticeably, Bizarro is seen sporting a scar across his forehead indictaing Bizarro's mind was altered that he did anything Luthor commanded, as in backwords logic.

A villain nicknamed Bizarro appears in Smallville, played by Tom Welling. However, this version differs significantly from comic book versions of the character, being neither unintelligent nor "backwards", and appearing as a perfect duplicate under most circumstances (though he wore a blue jacket and red T-shirt, in contrast to Clark's usual red jacket and blue T-shirt). This version of Bizarro was once a Kryptonian experiment turned into a wraith, trapped in the Phantom Zone until Clark accidentally released him. It was revealed that this wraith burned out its human host bodies within 24 hours, killing them, and that it needed a Kryptonian body in order to sustain its life. He is able to steal Clark's cells, and becomes a carbon copy of him. However, whereas the yellow sun of Earth powers Clark, it turns the phantom's skin into a jagged stone-like appearance, as it possesses Clark's powers while its power source is inverted, drawing power from kryptonite but being weakened by sunlight. Clark returns, and finds that the phantom's true weakness is Blue Kryptonite, which reduces Clark to human-level strength when he is exposed to it. Lana is able to get the Blue Kryponite close enough to Bizarro to cause his strength to grow exponentially, resulting in his body apparently imploding due to the scale of the power being channelled into him.

An animated fan film also starred Bizarro.

Dork Note: By far my favorite version of Bizarro was in the Superman, Animated Series -especially with the inroduction of "Krypto"- Click To Watch

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