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Monday, November 5, 2007

Reading List: Tales of the Bizarro World

Siegel, Jerry and John Forte. Tales of the Bizarro World. New York: DC Comics, [1961, 1962] 2000. ISBN 1-56389-624-9.
In 1961, the almost Euclidean logic of the Superman comics went around a weird bend in reality, foretelling other events to transpire in that decade. Superman fans found their familar axioms of super powers and kryptonite dissolving into pulsating phosphorescent Jello on the Bizarro World, populated by imperfect and uniformly stupid replicas of Superman, Lois Lane, and other denizens of Metropolis created by a defective duplicator ray. Everything is backwards, or upside-down, or inside-out on the Bizarro World, which itself is cubical, not spherical.

These stories ran in Adventure Comics in 1961 and 1962 and then disappeared into legend, remaining out of print for more than 35 years until this compilation was published. Not only are all of the Bizarro stories here, there are profiles of the people who created Bizarro, and even an interview with Bizarro himself.

I fondly remember the Bizarro stories from the odd comic books I came across in my youth, and looked forward to revisiting them, but I have to say that what seemed exquisitely clever in small doses to a twelve year old may seem a bit strained and tedious in a 190 page collection read by somebody, er…a tad more mature. Still, ya gotta chuckle at Bizarro starting a campfire (p. 170) by rubbing two boy scouts together—imagine the innuendos which would be read into that today!

Posted at November 5, 2007 02:28