Review: Superman #42

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi

Artist: Patrick Gleason

 

Summary

“Bizarroverse” part one! It’s a bizarre, Boyzarro world—and we just live in it! When Superboy comes face to face with Boyzarro, the Son of Bizzaro, a strange transformation begins to take place. But that’s not all that the Kents have knocking on their door! Superman versus Bizarro round one am not just the beginning!

 

Positives

I love that Gleason and Tomasi prefaced their story of Boyzarro with a Bizarro version of their Superman #1 story. In case you didn’t notice, the first several pages of this issue were a panel-by-panel bizzarofication of the first issue. Plus, where the original story was titled “Son of Superman”, this one is reversed to “Father of Boyzarro.”

And this works amazingly well. Since that original issue served as a great introduction to the character of Superboy, the son of Superman, shouldn’t its reflection serve as an equally great introduction to Boyzarro, son of Bizarro?

And they even went so far as to include Bizarro credits for the story. For instance, instead the credits for the cover and variant covers are listed as the “back cover” and the “same back cover.”

There’s also some subtle nuances to the Bizarro logic expressed here. Where Superboy loves his life, Boyzarro hates his. But since Boyzarro, like his father, says things backwards, his sentiments sometimes come out the same as Jon’s: “This place is the BEST. I love it…”

 

I’m happy to see Jon spending some time back in Hamilton County with his friend and ex-neighbour Kathy Cobb. It’s good to see that their friendship isn’t being forgotten now that the Kent family has relocated to Metropolis.

Also, she appears to be wearing an outfit that looks a lot like a superhero costume. Given that she has powers and a costume, maybe she will also be taking up a super identity. I hope that she will continue to be a presence in Jon’s life, perhaps joining the Super Sons on some of their adventures.

 

Negatives

This story does leave me wondering about Bizarro’s back story in Superman’s restored history. Bizarro as shown in this issue doesn’t seem to jibe with Bizarro as he appears in Red Hood & the Outlaws? Are there two separate Bizarros? That seems the most obvious conclusion. But is either aware of the other? And how would Boyzarro and this other Bizarro react to each other?

 

Verdict

This was a fun issue, and makes me look forward for the following issues in the arc, while making me sad that there are only a few issues left of Tomasi and Gleason’s amazing run on the title.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.