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Bizarro Bizarro

Bizarro is a fictional character who is a failed clone of Superman. The original Bizarro was created by an unsuccessful attempt to duplicate Superboy, in a story written by Otto Binder.

Pre-Crisis Bizarro
The later Bizarro was created by Lex Luthor, who used the "duplicating ray" on the adult Superman and hoped to use the duplicate to attack Superman. However, this Bizarro did not cooperate and instead tried to emulate Superman. Unfortunately, his attempts to match the original's heroics were clumsy and destructive, and he kidnapped Lois. This was resolved when Lois created a Bizarro-Lois for Bizarro using the "duplication ray". Feeling
CONTENTS
Pre-Crisis Bizarro
Appearance
The Bizarro World
Linguistics
Criticism
Death
Post-Crisis appearances of Pre-Crisis Bizarro
Post-Crisis Bizarro
Appearance
Abilities
Linguistics
Batzarro
Other Bizarro characters
In Other Media
Superfriends
Superboy
Lois & Clark
Superman The Animated Series
Justice League Unlimited
rejected by the people of Earth, they moved to the world of Htrae, which had ancient advanced technology which was used to populate the planet with other Bizarros created in the same manner. Almost everyone on Htrae looked like an ugly Superman (and possessed super powers) or an ugly Lois Lane. When Superman visited, he was arrested for being normal, but he plea-bargained a proposal to change the shape of the world into a cube for his release.

His only weakness was blue Kryptonite, created by using the same machine to duplicate green Kryptonite. Though Bizarro acts in what he believes to be the best manner, his Bizarro logic often causes him to act for evil.

Originally Bizarro's abilities were the same as Superman's but he was hit by a meteorite which reversed his powers:flame breath, ice vision, microscopic vision that actually increased the size of things, X-ray vision that could only see through lead, etc. Superman had to deal with these new powers in Superman Vol #1 #333 (1979) when Bizarro says he is going to save Lois Lane (meaning in bizarro logic he is going to kill her.)

Appearance
Bizarro has chalky and sometimes rock-like skin, a pale complexion, and a misshapen face. In addition, his version of Superman's famous S-shield is usually backwards. Bizarro wears a button that said "Bizarro #1", in order to distinguish himself from the other failed Superman clones on Htrae.

The Bizarro World
In the Bizarro world, a cube-shaped planet known as "Htrae" (Earth spelled backward), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code, which states that it is a crime to do anything well or to make anything perfect or beautiful. Predictably camp lines abound. In one episode, for example, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling "Bizarro bonds. Guaranteed to lose money for you". Later in this episode, the mayor appoints Bizarro #1 to investigate a crime, "Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together". This is intended and taken as a great compliment.

Later stories introduced Bizarro versions of Superman's supporting cast, including Bizarro-Perry White and Bizarro-Jimmy Olsen, created by using the duplicator ray on characters other than Superman and Lois Lane, as well as the children of Bizarro and Bizarro Lois. There was even a Bizarro-Justice League and Legion of Super-Heroes.

"Tales of the Bizarro World" became a recurring segment in Adventure Comics from 1961 to 1962.

On one occasion, Keith Giffen portrayed Htrae itself as being sentient - "Me am the Bizarro World. Planet Earth not think... therefore, me do" - and its only sane inhabitant was the Bizarro Ambush Bug.

Linguistics
Bizarro and the other inhabitants of the Bizarro world used an odd but predictable form of English. The most notable characteristics were:

  • The lack of nominative case when using pronouns; Bizarro replaces pronouns that should be nominative with their analogues in the accusative case. Bizarro might introduce himself by saying "Me am Bizarro" instead of "I am Bizarro," for example.
  • The lack of proper verb conjugation; Bizarro only uses the first person conjugation for any verb. For example, the verb to be is always conjugated as "am", leading to sentences like "This am great".

    Criticism
    The Bizarro World stories were certainly not to everyone's taste. Some see them as simply silly and irritating. Others see the concept as foreshadowing the enormously successful surrealistic school of farce that includes Monty Python. Just the fact that male Bizarro babies possess super powers, while little girls do not, dates the concept severely (though this is ostensibly because male Bizarros are copies of Superman, who is a Kryptonian and thus has super powers, and female ones are copies of Lois Lane, a normal human). There are also hints of poking fun with the handicapped.

    Death
    In Superman #423 & Action Comics #583, Alan Moore wrote the final Superman story for the Pre-Crisis era (though subsequent writers have retconned it into being an alternate reality). In the beginning of Superman #423, Superman had his final encounter with Bizarro, who had gone on a killing spree.

    Superman had been off the Earth, doing research for the government. When he returned he found complete city blocks horribly destroyed, and was told Bizarro had gone berserk, smashing buildings and injuring innocent people.

    Confronted by Superman, Bizarro told him, "This am part of genius Bizarro self-improvement plan." Bizarro tells Superman that he had destroyed Bizarro world, as Krypton had been destroyed.

    "Bizarro... what's happened to you? I can't believe you've really destroyed your homeworld!"
    "Ha! That am only the beginning! Next, me realize that Superman never kill, so me kill lots of people! Them very grateful! Scream with happiness!"
    "Killed people? Oh, merciful Rao..."
    "...But then me finally understand what me need to be perfect imperfect duplicate: it am little Blue Kryptonite meteor that me carry in lead case for good luck!"
    Bizarro holds the Blue Kryptonite before him.
    "See... you am alive Superman... and if me am perfect imperfect duplicate, then me have to be... h-have to be..."
    Bizarro staggers and collapses to the floor.
    "Bizarro!"
    "Uh... everything, him go d-dark... Hello, Superman. Hello."
    Bizarro dies.

    Not much later, Superman's secret identity was exposed and all the members of his rogue's gallery attempt to kill him and everyone associated with him. Superman later discovers that Mr. Mxyzptlk is the villain orchestrating the attacks, and was most likely also the one responsible for Bizarro's strange behavior.

    Post-Crisis appearances of Pre-Crisis Bizarro
    Though Bizarro was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, even before his character was reintroduced in a reimagined form, the original Bizarro made a few appearances.

  • In Animal Man's Deus Ex Machina storyline, a villain in Arkham asylum recreates characters removed from continuity, exposing the fourth wall to the protagonist. Bizarro appears as he did pre-crisis.

    Post-Crisis Bizarro
    Bizarro World was erased from the history of the DC Universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Since then, two Bizarros have been created by Lex Luthor. However, in the post-Crisis version, the imperfections in the duplicates are eventually fatal. The first Bizarro created Post-Crisis appeared in Man of Steel #5 (1986). A Bizarro-Superboy was created by Project Cadmus, when they used the same process in their attempts to clone Superman. It was also used to create a Bizarro-Harley Quinn after Bizarro developed a crush on Quinn. The current version of Bizarro has a very different origin, having been created by the Joker by the use of the powers of Mr. Mxyzptlk; his first appearance was in Superman Vol. 2 #160, and he seems to be the longest lived Post-Crisis Bizarro yet.

    Appearance
    Unlike the original Bizarro, the Post-Crisis Bizarro is not chalky and angular. Instead, he has a greyish skin-tone, yellow eyes, an overly muscular body, and a maniacal smile. Bizarro has a purple and green uniform, and the logo on his chest is inverted, so the "S" is backwards.

    Abilities
    Originally this Bizarro's abilities were the same as Superman's but in homage to his Pre-Crisis counterpart this Bizarro also developed reversed powers as well as adding things like "x-ray hearing" and "spotlight vision." He has also been discovered to be physically more powerful than Superman, but the nature of his fractured mind leaves him unable to access that potential.

    Post-Crisis Bizarro has only encountered Blue Kryptonite on one occasion, when Batzarro presented him with a ring set with a stone of it. The ring caused Bizarro to speak normally and act rationally, but he was still afraid of the ring. The ring appeared to have no effect on Batzarro since he is a Batman clone.

    Linguistics
    Post-Crisis Bizarro adopted all of the linguistic idiosyncracies of his pre-crisis self, but also negates every possible word in the sentence. Though the usage is slightly inconsistent, this usually includes:

  • Negating verbs.
  • Replacing adjectives with their opposite.
  • Replacing certain nouns with their opposite.

    The ultimate end of this causes sentences to frequently have double and triple negatives. Combined with the fact that Bizarro's logic is already flawed, this causes some of his dialogue to be very difficult to follow.

    Batzarro
    A Bizarro version of Batman debuted in World's Finest Comics #156. Jeph Loeb introduced a Bizarro-Batman, Batzarro, into the DC universe in Superman/Batman #20 (June 2005). His origin is unknown, but his speech patterns are almost identical to those of Bizarro.

    According to Bizarro, "Him no come from same place as Bizarro #1. That am why we am so different."

    Other Bizarro Characters
    While the Superman-like Bizarro is the predominant one, anyone with milky-white or crystalline skin (depending on the artists' design) and who speaks with Bizarro's odd linguistic pattern can be considered to be a Bizarro in the DC Universe. In DC One Million, for example, there are references to a future Bizarro epidemic where the condition spreads like zombism. In JLA: The Nail, the Justice League encounters Bizarro duplicates used as henchmen.

    Many Bizarro duplicates would break-down and disintegrate after enduring a relative amount of stress. This was attributed to the imperfect nature of the duplication process, originally unable to deal with Superman's extra-terrestrial nature.

    Bizarro from Superman: Red Son.Similar processes to Luthor's were used by Two-Face to create a Bizarro-Supergirl and Brainiac 5.1 to create a post-Crisis Bizarro-Legion. There was also a miniseries, A. Bizarro, about a Bizarro who was the duplicate of an ordinary man who happened to look like Superman. Most recently, DC produced an anthology, Bizarro Comics, featuring offbeat and irreverent stories by alternative comics writers and artists featuring various DC Universe characters. The anthology's chief conceit was that all of its contents (aside from the framing sequence) were created by Bizarro himself. A second, conceptually similar, anthology entitled Bizarro World has been released.

    In Superman: Red Son Bizarro was an imperfect clone of Superman created by Lex Luthor. His costume resembled that of the "normal" Superman, but his monogram was a shield with "US" printed on it. He had red hair and odd-looking skin with blisters and distended veins. He sacrificed himself to save London from a nuclear missile.

    In Other Media

    Superfriends
    Bizarro's first non-comics appearance was in the animated series Superfriends. In this series, Bizarro was depicted almost as an outright villain, and part of the Legion of Doom; although the last season had a more faithful depiction. In the episode "The Bizarro Super Powers Team",he made Bizarro clones of Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Firestorm, and even a Bizarro-Mxyzptlk who goes by the name Kltpzyxm.

    Superboy
    The only live-action appearances to date of the traditional Bizarro were in the Superboy TV series which aired from 1988-1992. He was played by Barry Meyers and appeared in 7 episodes. The first two-part story featuring Bizarro, titled "Bizarro the Thing of Steel" (part one) and "The Battle with Bizarro" (part two), was based on the first Bizarro story from the comics. In this version, Bizarro was created when Superboy jumped in front of a duplicating machine created by Professor Peterson (played by George Chakiris) after it was struck and activated by a lightning bolt. Like in the comic, Bizarro was not truly a villain, but his backward ways of thinking led him to cause trouble and fight Superboy. This Bizarro was an unstable duplicate, meaning he would eventually spontaneously explode. Superboy and Professor Peterson attempted to "kill" the supposedly non-living being with green kryptonite, but this attempt failed. They then duplicated a chunk of kryptonite with the machine and created white kryptonite, which instead of killing Bizarro, actually cured and stabilized him.

    In a later two-part story, entitled "Bride of Bizarro", Bizarro was manipulated by Lex Luthor into attempting to kill Superboy with the promise that Luthor would create a Bizarro female for him to love. Luthor eventually kidnapped Lana and created a Bizarro duplicate of her. This Bizarro-Lana prevented Bizarro from killing Superboy by convincing him that Luthor was an evil man.

    Later, in the two-part story "To Be Human" Bizarro-Lana exploded due to the inherent instability in Bizarro duplicates, sending Bizarro into a deep depression. Superboy took Bizarro to a research lab where a scientist found a way to make Bizarro human by transferring Superboy's brainwaves into him. The transfer cleared up Bizarro's confused mind, making him think like a human, and removed his powers. He was made into the image of the scientist's deceased son through skin grafts. But the transfer process left Superboy's mind clouded and weakened his powers and he was injured and taken captive by a villain called "Chaos", who planned to kill him by throwing him off the tallest building in the city. The only one who could save Superboy was Bizarro (now going by the name Bill Zarro). But to do so, he had to reverse the transfer process and become Bizarro again. He saved Superboy at the cost of his humanity.

    Lois & Clark
    In Vatman an episode of Lois & Clark, Lex Luthor creates a clone of Superman which he intends to kill the real Man of Steel and replace him with a Superman he can control. Even though the clone appeared identical to Superman in appearance, also played by Dean Cain, he clearly was the series version of Bizarro. The character was portrayed as immature and naive. In fact at one point Lois Lane confusingly says of the clone she is starting to suspect is not the real Superman "He's just... bizarre!"

    Superman The Animated Series
    In Superman: The Animated Series, Bizarro is a combination of Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, and original material; he was voiced by Tim Daly, who also provided Superman/Clark Kent's voice. As seen in his first episode "Identity Crisis", Bizarro is a creation of Luthor's, although he was never intended to be what he became. Rather, Luthor wanted to make an exact Superman clone, one whose only difference was that he followed Lex's orders. He took samples of Superman's DNA (gathered from blood left from his Kryptonite-induced weakness during "A Little Piece of Home") and grew Superman clones, the first of which to be released looked and acted exactly like Superman, down to the do-gooding, yet he does not seem to be aware of his alter ego Clark Kent when he rescues the real Kent from falling off a cliff. The duplication breaks down, though, and Bizarro's form and costume changes (as angular as Pre-Crisis, but colored like Post-Crisis). This version has washed-out colors on his costume with a deformed (but still forward) S-shield, pale skin, and his posture suggests that his limbs are twisted. Unlike either of his comic incarnations, Bizarro's logic does not follow a purposefully opposite pattern; his "Bizarro logic" is resultant of his atrophied Superman mindset. Instead of doing bad because Superman does good, Bizarro is distinctly trying to do good but can't understand what he sees. For example, he sees a bridge folding up to let in a boat and thinks the bridge is breaking, causing him to push it together again and seal it with heat vision, failing to recognize what the boat was doing there. Also, he tried to save an elderly woman from being run over by a bus by punching the bus, unaware that the bus contained passengers. Bizarro, as far as he knew, was Superman, so the appearance of the real Superman confused him, and he tried to maintain the idea within his own mind that he indeed was Superman with the real Superman being an imposter ("Me am Superman! Me am hero!"). This dissipated when he saw Superman saving Lois Lane; since he associated saving Lois with being Superman, he realized the truth and then, apparently sacrificed himself so that Superman and Lois could escape the explosion that destroyed the lab where he was created ("Me am not Superman. You am Superman... Superman always save Lois...). Despite a few gags at his expense, the animated series attempted to portray Bizarro as a tragic figure - cursed with Superman's powers, fragmented parts of his mind, memories, feelings (such as the attraction to Lois) and even Superman's desire to use his powers to help people, but lacking the intelligence to do so properly.

    "Bizarro's World", his next episode, highlighted the next step in Bizarro's confusion. Now aware that he is not Superman, he wanders for months before accidentally stumbling on the Fortress of Solitude, where the Fortress' computer mistakes him for Superman and tells him that he is Kal-El, explaining his Kryptonian heritage. Now with a new mistaken identity, Bizarro sets out to recreate Krypton in Metropolis, and then his faulty logic presumes that he needs to toss a missile at "Krypton" to destroy it again. Superman stops him, and gives him an alien moon which he can call home. Bizarro remains pleased with this until "Little Big Head Man", where Mr. Mxyzptlk convinces Bizarro to attack Superman because he and his friends were supposedly making fun of him. This is a lie, of course, and at the end, a de-powered Mxyzptlk is stuck on Bizarro's moon as his "friend."

    Justice League Unlimited
    There seems to have been a change in Bizarro's mind by the time Justice League Unlimited rolls around, though, because in "Ultimatum" he returns, now in confused love with Giganta (even though she's just using him to break Grodd out of jail). He has also joined the Legion of Doom in the most recent season, now functioning under "Bizarro logic" as commanded by Luthor - Luthor says, "Superman is your best friend," and Bizarro immediately understands that he must kill him. The reason for this change in Bizarro's mindset is not explained in the episode, but producer Bruce Timm pointed out at Toon Zone that Bizarro is, in fact, a victim of brain surgery. He's been altered by Luthor specifically to do as he commands (coming full circle with Lex's original intention for Bizarro). The clue for this in the episodes where he appears is that Bizarro now has a big gray gash across his forehead - scarring from the operation.


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