Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bizarro Meets Frankenstein!

Those wacky Bizarros! They sure messed with Superman’s head on our vacation stop in Hollywood.

It’s all right there in Superman 143, cover-dated February 1961.

Of course, you know those goofy Bizarros, right? They were created by a “duplicating ray” that was only good enough to produce IMPERFECT duplicates. A new, improved duplicator ray made it possible for them to simply aim the ray at a TV image and instantly come up with a bizarre – err, Bizarro version of their target.

In this way they populated a whole planet with themselves. And all the Bizarro Superman have Superman’s powers, too, along with their grade-school intellect and predilection for wanting to do the opposite of earthly things.

So when Bizarro #1, chief of ’em all, and his family, see a TV ad for the latest in scary movies, he decides he just has to be scarier than those chumps. So he decides to head to Earth and Hollywood to make sure and get his fair share of screams.

Anyway, Bizarro #1 arrives on Earth and decides to eliminate the competition by scaring up some fun. His first gig is in the Himalayas, where he goes up against the Yeti and wins the ugly stick.

Next stop, Hollywood! So he dashes into the dressing room of the actor who’s made up to play the Frankenstein monster, and tosses him out the window.

You don’t have to worry, this story wasn’t written by Alan Moore. Nobody dies in it, unlike “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Superman, swooping by, catches the (unnamed) actor and realizes he’ll need to keep an eye on his duplicate until he figures out what’s up.

Next, Bizarro decides to terrorize some beauteous actresses. But the gals have seen him fly in, and figure that he’s the real Man of Steel in disguise, and smother him in smooches. Hmm, that didn’t work, Bizarro!

OK, how about those cowpokes over there? Maybe Bizarro can put them on the run!

Err, not so much … They decide to pull their six-shooters and make the “tenderfoot” dance! After the baffled Bizarro retreats, Superman swoops to the rescue, discovering the westerners have accidentally chewed loco weed instead of mint leaves. No wonder they weren’t cowed!

But now Superman knows why Bizarro is on Earth. And he figures he’d better make sure the super-thing gets that scare soon, before somebody really gets hurt!

Next, Bizarro crashes a movie set where a freak show is setting up, and he sets his sights on creeping out a couple of youngsters there. But, since it’s a friggin’ FREAK SHOW, the kids figure this nice man fits right in.

Whoops, no scares here, either.

So when Bizarro arrives on the Frankenstein movie set and starts tearing it up, the extras and crew figure it’s just crazy ol’ Superman cutting up, until …

Bizarro pauses in mid-smash at the sudden glorious sound of people screaming, and the marvelous sight of the hair standing up on the heads of the film crew. Success at last!

Finally placated, his scary creds reestablished, Bizarro #1 heads home after snagging something to REALLY scare his kids.

Meanwhile, Superman lets us in on how he made the film crew seem petrified. Then he lets them and those luscious actresses in on the joke – it wasn’t good-natured Superman they encountered at all … it was grisly ol’ Bizarro!

Next week … Well, check back and see!
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© by Mark Alfred