Superman #42 kicks off a new story entitled ‘Bizarroverse’. Bet you can guess where this is going, as Jon aka Superboy meddles in a universe he “doesn’t” want anything to do with.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“BOYZARRO RE-DEATH” 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!

Why does this matter?

Peter Tomasi and‎ Patrick Gleason have been crafting a great story that’s unique in that it explores a superhero family. Gleason’s art supports the story with a slightly cartoony look that gives the series a bubbly and easy to approach feel.

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

A sad hero…

This issue opens in Bizzaroworld introducing us to Bizarro and his point of view on being a hero. Quickly we learn his way of thinking is one of being heroic, even if it is in a backward way. The first 14 pages of the issue are set in this strange backward land and the creative team does a good job establishing the Bizarro Superboy. He’s an angry kid, practically a villain, and soon discovers there is another hero like him, only not backward. This sets up Jon’s big mistake of ever showing his face in the world.

The last seven or so pages focus on Lois and Clark’s marriage and the wholesome nature of the family unit. Jon is lucky to have such loving parents who quickly notice Jon may not have been doing his chores due to superhero adventuring. By the end of the issue Gleason and Tomasi establish Jon’s hope for a simpler life in the country and the family as strong and loving. It’s more than likely Jon and his family will have to face off against the Bizarro family soon, so all this established love will make a lot more sense.

Gleason’s art is strong, casting Bizarro in the shadows in the opening in a way to make him sympathetic and almost the opposite of hope. There’s an epic double-page spread of Bizarro leaping into action with a montage of adventures behind him that perfectly reveals his past exploits (including throwing cats into trees). The weirdness of Bizarroworld is also quite vivid and there’s a solid use of blur and color to make this place look topsy-turvy.

…but a hero nonetheless.

It can’t be perfect can it?

Since the issue is split between Bizzaroworld and then the real world the plotting seems a tad off. Chances are it’ll all read in a cleaner way when collected, but the split between Bizarroworld and then our world seems to be setting things up rather than delivering a cohesive story in this single issue. That said, I’m excited to see the creative team explore Bizarro’s family and have it juxtaposed with Superman’s wholesome perfect one.

Is It Good?

A good start to a Bizarro story you’ve never seen before. If you like your Superman comics weird and colorful give this a look.

Superman #42
Is it good?
A good start to a story that aims to explore Bizarro's family vs. Superman's.
The first half or so shows off Bizarroworld in great weird/detail
The wholesome nature of the Kent residence is genuine and pure
Reads more like the first chapter of a longer story setting up more than delivering its own tale

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