Action Comics #1062 sees Superman in a Bizarro World, but rather than across the universe, it’s all going down right in Metropolis! Even when it seemed that Bizarro was beaten, he still managed to tip the scales in his favor. Mxyzptlk would be proud of how much Bizarro has been testing the Man of the Steel’s limits and, of course, his patience.
John Timms continues to give us the best Bizarro illustrations during this era of DC with his covers. Bizarro has always seemed like a wild fusion between the Joker and the Hulk – the square, strong face that looks like you would break your hand if you tried hitting it is a menacing combo with an ear-to-ear grin. The novelty of opposite-speak for Bizarro was gold in the Silver Age when he was introduced and it’s still gold today.
Jorge Jimenez’s variant is the perfect counter to Timms’ with another simply breathtaking Superman illustration. Jimenez has done plenty of great pieces of Superman above the planet or roaming the solar system as if it were his local park. It’s fun to imagine he’s doing that perception trick that tourists in Pisa use when they take pictures with the Leaning Tower here but with the moon as he and his camera float through space. The lens flare effect with the sun is also impressively done.
Riccardo Federici brings back the more contemporary Bizarro design seen in Red Hood and the Outlaws. This series of variants needed a well-done photo-realistic piece and Federici delivers. What is cool and unique here is Federici’s take on the Bizarro emblem. It’s easy to invert the Superman shield, so it’s always welcome when artists take some subtle creative liberties.
There are also some other great variant covers by Babs Tarr and Paolo Rivera.
Before Superman was able to defeat him in the last issue, Bizarro used the magical power he supercharged himself with to cast a spell of his own – turning Metropolis into the world that he has repeatedly lost. Lois and the rest of the city all become their Bizarro selves while Superman manages to keep his inner Bizarro, the Bizarro, at bay as he becomes an outsider and pariah in his own home. In Bizarro culture, saving someone is just as bad as killing someone. As Clark tries to be everywhere at once in a city gone crazy, it all seems like one big joke on him.
It isn’t exactly clear how many days this went on or how far the Bizarro spell has spread to other cities. Even with magic experts like Constantine and Blue Devil on the case, as it worsens, Superman’s approach remains the same. Bizarro seems to taunt him using Lois as the mouthpiece for the mob every time he encounters them. However, if craziness created this mess then maybe craziness can clean it up. You aren’t going to believe what or rather who Clark turns to in the end.
Jason Aaron has been hitting a lot of notes with this Superman vs. Bizarro story that seems ridiculous at first glance. The previous issue dealt with Bizarro literally trying to get his world and life back which has been lost several times while this one deals with trying to help in a world where it’s seen as useless and frowned upon. It doesn’t put Clark through the wringer not physically but mentally with its cruel irony. Of course, all the super heroics also keep a reader on edge and anything but bored.
John Timms, with colors by Rex Lokus, turns Metropolis into a nightmare with Superman desperately trying to keep it all together. This is the kind of stuff that the Joker does to Batman and Gotham City but instead of gas and smiles, it’s pale skin and opposite speak. It’s not too often when Superman doing what he does best feels like it’s all in vain. The several reaction panels with no dialogue speak volumes.
Action Comics #1062 pits Superman against his greatest enemy – irony. Bizarro’s big comeback continues to be the wild ride it began as since the very first panel in the previous issue.