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Superman #44 Review

The Bizarro story gets even weirder in this penultimate issue in the story arc.

Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
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The Bizarroverse story continues this week and Boyzarro is our heroes’ only hope! Superman has been drawn into a great battle as he sends himself to Htae to smack some reason into Bizarro Superman. Can this comic save the day with all its backwards talk and backwards characters?

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“BOYZARRO RE-DEATH” part three! Gathered together from the cosmic recesses of the universe are the most powerful forces of bad ever assembled! Now the Super Foes face the Legion of Fun–and the only heroes who dare to stand against this intergalactic threat of the Bizarroverse are Superman and son!

Why does this matter?

Doug Mahnke is on pencils this issue offering up a heavy dose of details line work that helps fill out the panels and pages with a ton of characters. We’re talking opposite Justice League members and villains galore!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

What a weird place.

This is an action packed issue as Superman fights Bizarro in a satisfying story about a backwards world’s final moments. Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi do a good job with the dialogue even if it makes your brain hurt. In one brain busting bit of dialogue Lex Luthor says, “Don’t patch the Legion of Fun’s computer into the Power Grid! Then don’t reverse the red energy!”

The plotting keeps you on your toes too as you won’t see where this is going and the finish suits the Bizarro narrative even if it’s tragic. By the end you’ll be wondering where we go from here (and if the creators are bold enough to continue to use a certain character) leaving the story changed and the adventure meaningful.

The cameos are quite fun in this issue. Bizarro Robin, Hawkgirl, and Batman (with a smiley face emblem) are just a few of the highlights. The supervillain characters (or are they heroes in Bizarroworld) are quite good too.

Mahnke fits a lot into every page and there’s quite a few visual gags to go along with it. You’ll note fun things like Bizarro Flash and his donut necklace, or a smiley face that shoots out of Bizarro Sinestro’s ring. It’s a loosely sketched issue, but it’s detailed enough to make even the smallest of panels fun.

What is she going to do with that cat?

It can’t be perfect can it?

There are bits of dialogue where I was confused as to what the characters were saying either because Superman is going in and out of reversing the negative on his statement to communicate with Bizarro or because it doesn’t make much sense at all. That can be disorientating, which is of course part of the point of a Bizarro World story, but it’s still flummoxing.

Is It Good?

As a penultimate issue in the story arc focusing on Bizarro characters I had a lot of fun with this issue. It’s zany, but some of Superman’s best stories are. It ends on a note that shows progress for a certain character and it’s nice to see Superman actually respect Bizarro even if he’s been a villain for a majority of his time on the comic page.

Superman #44
Is it good?
Zany, fun and out of this world.
Off the wall crazy with the dialogue and art
Boyzarro has a touching final few moments with his dad
The backwards dialogue can be hard to follow and also seems to break its own rules sometimes

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