Superman #44 – Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Writers; Doug Mahnke, Artist; Jaime Mendoza, Inker; Wil Quintana, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Corrina: Not Fun
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Superman #44 is the conclusion of Tomasi and Gleason’s “Bizarroverse” storyline, and the penultimate issue of this incarnation of the series (not counting next month’s double-sized special). Unfortunately, I have to say this particular story has been an unmitigated failure. From the first issue, when the story began with multiple pages of Bizarro complaining about his family in Bizarro-speak, it was hard to read and unpleasant. Now, Superman, Jon, and a group of allies including Kathy and Maya Ducard have joined a mission to Bizarro World to reunite Boyzarro with his father. That leads to a massive battle scene where the heroes go up against an army of Bizarros, all speaking in Bizarro-speak and attacking the heroes and each other. It’s not all that much of a story and the dialogue quirks make the issue overly difficult to read.
That’s not the big problem, though. The big problem is that this issue’s take on Bizarro is probably the most out-of-character, toxic version I’ve ever seen. He’s a miserable, nasty man who hates his wife and son for no reason other than that they’re cramping his style. Bizarro Lois isn’t much better – a harpy who harangues him and also doesn’t seem to care about her son. Bizarro’s actions are leading to the destruction of his world, and he doesn’t particularly care – even scheming to escape the world and leave his son behind to die. After seeing this story play out, I don’t see how Bizarro can ever be a remotely likable character again. I did like seeing Superman show compassion to Bizarro’s poor abandoned son, but overall this story didn’t work. There have been great stories with Bizarro, from comedy takes to more dramatic takes, but he’s never come off nearly as villainous as he does here. And it’s not a good take at all.
Corrina: Me am not confused by Bizarro World. . Me am happy by what may happen next.
If reading that frustrated you because you can have to flip to “yes, I’m confused and not happy with this story” just think of what translating Bizarro-speak is like for the whole issue.
Which is to say: a little of Bizarro-speech is fun. A lot of Bizarro-speech and even stranger Bizarro-logic will drive the reader nutty.
But, more than that, the ending is a horrible downer, with supposedly a benign (if confusing to read) Bizarro leaving his son behind to die because…he’s a villain? He does the opposite? I’m not sure but it’s depressing to read.
Bizarro stories should be fun. Me am amused. (Translation: This is not fun.)
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.