Bizarro World

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Bizarro World
Biazrro world.jpg
Bizarro with a number of denizens of Bizarro World at his version of the Fortress of Solitude. Art by Ibraim Roberson.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Action Comics #263
(April 1960)
Created by Otto Binder (writer)
Wayne Boring (artist)
In story information
Type Planet
Notable people Bizarro
Yellow Lantern
Batzarro
Bizarra
Bizarro-Flash

The Bizarro World (also known as Htrae) is a planet in the DC comics universe. Introduced in the early 1960s, Htrae is a cube-shaped planet, home to Bizarro and his companions, all of whom were initially Bizarro versions of Superman, Lois Lane and their children and, later, other Bizarros including Batzarro, the World's Worst Detective.

In popular culture, largely influenced by the Seinfeld television program, "Bizarro World" has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite of expectations.

History[edit]

In the Bizarro world of "Htrae" ("Earth" spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!" In one episode, for example, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: "Guaranteed to lose money for you". Later, the mayor appoints Bizarro No. 1 to investigate a crime, "Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together". This is intended and taken as a great compliment.

Originally a normal planet, Htrae is now cube-shaped. This is due to the intervention of Superman, who - after being convicted of doing something perfect on Htrae, which would normally be a capital offense - pointed out that the planet was shaped like a normal spheroid and agreed to cube it if his sentence were commuted.

Later stories introduced Bizarro versions of Superman's supporting cast, including Bizarro-Perry White, Bizarro-Jimmy Olsen, Bizarro-Morgan Edge, Bizarro-Lucy Lane, Bizarro-Lana Lang and Bizarro-Krypto, created by using the duplicator ray on characters other than Superman and Lois Lane, as well as the children of Bizarro and Bizarro Lois. There was even a Bizarro-Justice League and Legion of Super-Heroes: the Bizarro League and the Legion of Stupor-Heroes. Bizarro-Batman sported a Futility Belt full of cigarette butts and chewed gum and other such priceless Bizarro treasures. Yellow Lantern had no power from his powerless Ring, was vulnerable to the color green, and was the most easily-frightened being in the universe. Bizarro-Aquaman could not swim. There is even a Bizarro-Marilyn Monroe, the ugliest of them all.

Despite their differences, Bizarro and Superman have teamed up on occasion. One notable example happened in Superman #379 when a strange creature appeared to be devouring Bizarros. Fearing he would end up alone Bizarro tried to steal Superman's duplicator ray. Superman convinced Bizarro he would be better off trying to stop the monster before making any more Bizarros. The creature eventually devoured Bizarro, but Superman soon figured out that the creature was not trying to kill the Bizarros, but using their combined strength to defeat another creature which was trying to destroy Htrae. The first creature was created as part of a plan developed by none other than the Bizarro Lex Luthor, who Bizarro referred to as a "punk hero."

"Tales of the Bizarro World" became a recurring segment in Adventure Comics from 1961 to 1962. Animated Blue Kryptonite golems once erupted from the Htrae surface, bent on defeating the Bizarros and were cheered on by the Bizarro Loises.

In the imaginary story, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, which served as an ending to Silver Age Superman continuity, Bizarro #1 (the original Bizarro and the world's leader/greatest hero), was influenced to bad ends by the now evil Mr. Mxyzptlk. Realizing that to truly fulfill the Bizarro Code he should stop being an "imperfect perfect duplicate" of Superman and be a "perfect imperfect duplicate" of Superman. To that end, Bizarro #1 destroyed Bizarro World, reasoning that if Superman's homeworld (Krypton) was destroyed in an accident, Bizarro must destroy his own world on purpose.

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Superman: Man of Steel miniseries rebooted Superman continuity. The editors and writers did not reintroduce Bizarro World in the reboot. Later, in Superman (vol. 2) #87, the second Post-Crisis Bizarro clone creates a "Bizarro World" which is a warehouse made to look like a surreal Metropolis.

A Bizarro World appeared in Adventure Comics vol. 2 #1. There Bizarro demands that a technician at a SETI like installation broadcast his diary. Having no choice, the technician looks over the diary, which retells the story of the classic cube-shaped backwards Bizarro World. Superman accidentally finds himself there and, to allay people's fears of him,[1] goes on a "constructive rampage." The original Bizarro, aka Bizarro #1, goes to Earth and attempts to stop Superman with the help of his friends. However, when the other Bizarros try to kill Superman, #1 stops them, saying that killing is the earthly thing that they must, above all, do the opposite of. Realizing that, however strange Bizarro World might be, its inhabitants are safer and happier than those of Earth thanks to Bizarro #1's leadership, Superman apologizes. To show his sincerity he hides a copy of the Bizarro Code where nobody will ever see it. The people hold a parade in #1's honor and with his loving wife Bizarro Lois #1 and their son, Bizarro Junior #1 at his side, Bizarro cries saying "Me am ... happiest creature in universe." When the technician finishes reading the story, he sees Bizarro is gone and, horrified, asks - what if the journal itself is no exception to the Bizarro Code? Elsewhere, the truth is revealed; Bizarro, who has no home and has no family and is held in contempt by Superman, weeps because he is the most miserable thing in the universe.

The distinctive cube-shaped Earth of Bizarro World briefly appeared in the pages of Infinite Crisis alongside the other Earths in space. A close-up, labeled Earth-0, is seen wherein a smiling Bizarro is strangling a smiling Bizarro-Lois, with Bizarros Hawkman, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White standing alongside and laughing.

A cube-shaped planet, populated by assorted Bizarros, was discovered orbiting a blue sun by a Thanagarian patrol ship.

Bizarro captures Jonathan Kent and takes him to the cube-shaped world, prompting Superman to follow him.[2]

The DC Universe Halloween Special 2009 features several stories showcasing Bizarro World. The opening shows Bizarro reading a comic book to a large audience of Bizarro men and women clad in halloween costumes. All of the audience members are bound and gagged, implying that they are being read to against their will as opposed to the traditional practice of gathering around to hear a story. Another tale reveals that Halloween in Bizarro World involves trick-or-treaters giving fruit to the houses they visit. The final story also reveals that Bizarro works at a Bizarro version of the Daily Planet, and also shows Bizarro versions of staff members like Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant.

Superman #695 has Bizarro fleeing from Mon-El after a battle. In Bizarro-speak, Bizarro informs the hero that he is retreating to Bizarro World, and claims that he will soon return with a Bizarro Mon-El in order to help him defeat the original. This story was never followed up on, as Mon-El was sent into the Phantom Zone shortly after this encounter.

Bizarro World was seen again several months later in Supergirl #55. In it, Bizarro Supergirl (not the one accidentally created in Superman #140) recounts her origin, revealing that she was bound, gagged and locked inside of a spaceship sent from the cube-shaped world to Earth after it was attacked by a being known as the Godship. The issue ended with the modern Supergirl, Kara Zor-El, heading toward the Bizarro World to liberate it from the Godship.

Bizarro World's final pre-Crisis appearance was in DCCP #99 where it was imploded by the actions of the now all-powerful and deranged Mr. Mxylptlk. All of its people are killed, tho Bizarro #1's head lands on Clark Kent's desk and addresses him before his simulated life ends. The Bizarros act unusually insane in this account, Bizarro #1 rocketing his son to the core of the collapsing planet so he would be sure to die!

Known inhabitants[edit]

  • Bizarro - The Bizarro version of Superman.
  • Bizarro Amazo - The Bizarro version of Amazo.
  • Bizarro Big Barda - The Bizarro version of Big Barda.
  • Bizarro Black Manta - The Bizarro version of Black Manta.
  • Bizarro Brainiac - The Bizarro version of Brainiac.
  • Bizarro Catwoman - The Bizarro version of Catwoman.
  • Bizarro Computo - The Bizarro version of Computo.
  • Bizarro Doomsday - The Bizarro version of Doomsday.
  • Bizarro Jimmy Olsen -
  • Bizarro Joker - The only sane person in Bizarro World.
  • Bizarro Justice League - The Bizarro version of the Justice League.
    • Batzarro - The Bizarro version of Batman. He is the "World's Worst Detective."
    • Bizarra - The Bizarro version of Wonder Woman.
    • Bizarro Aquaman - The Bizarro version of Aquaman.
    • Bizarro Blue Beetle - The Bizarro version of Blue Beetle.
    • Bizarro Booster Gold - The Bizarro version of Booster Gold.
    • Bizarro Flash - The Bizarro version of Flash.
    • Bizarro Green Arrow - The Bizarro version of Green Arrow.
    • Bizarro Hawkgirl - The Bizarro version of Hawkgirl.
    • Bizarro Hawkman - The Bizarro version of Hawkman.
    • Bizarro Ice - The Bizarro version of Ice.
    • Bizarro Martian Manhunter - The Bizarro version of Martian Manhunter.
    • Bizarro Robin - The Bizarro version of Robin.
    • Yellow Lantern - The Bizarro version of Green Lantern.
  • Bizarro Krypto - The Bizarro version of Krypto.
  • Bizarro Lana Lang - The Bizarro version of Lana Lang.
  • Bizarro Legion of Super-Heroes - The Bizarro version of the Legion of Super-Heroes who were created by Bizarro Superboy II.
    • Bizarro Brainiac 5 - The Bizarro version of Brainiac 5.
    • Bizarro Chameleon Boy - The Bizarro version of Chameleon Boy.
    • Bizarro Cosmic Boy - The Bizarro version of Cosmic Boy.
    • Bizarro Invisible Kid - The Bizarro version of Invisible Kid.
    • Bizzaro Lightning Lad - The Bizarro version of Lightning Lad.
    • Bizarro Mon El - The Bizarro version of Mon El.
    • Bizarro Saturn Girl - The Bizarro version of Saturn Girl.
    • Bizarro Ultra Boy - The Bizarro version of Ultra Boy.
  • Bizarro Lex Luthor - The Bizarro version of Lex Luthor.
  • Bizarro Lois Lane - The Bizarro version of Lois Lane.
  • Bizarro Lois Lane Jr. - The daughter of Bizarro and Bizarro Lois Lane.
  • Bizarro Lucy Lane - The Bizarro version of Lucy Lane.
  • Bizarro Jr. - The son of Bizarro and Bizarro Lois Lane.
  • Bizarro Mister Kltpzyxm - The Bizarro version of Mister Mxyzptlk. He lives by the opposite of the Bizarro Code by fixing things up.
  • Bizarro Morgan Edge - The Bizarro version of Morgan Edge.
  • Bizarro Perry White - The Bizarro version of Perry White.
  • Bizarro Shaggy Man - The Bizarro version of Shaggy Man. He only sits and thinks.
  • Bizarro Superboy I - The Bizarro version of Superboy. Professor Dalton's imperfect Duplicator Ray had zapped Superboy and created the Bizarro version of him. He was accidentally destroyed by Superboy.
  • Bizarro Superboy II - The second Bizarro version of Superboy.
  • Bizarro Supergirl - The Bizarro version of Supergirl that was created by Bizarro Jr.
  • Bizarro Titano - The Bizarro version of Titano.
  • Bizarro Toyman - The Bizarro version of Toyman.

Points of Interest[edit]

  • Daily Htrae -
  • Fourtriss uv Bizarro -
  • Mutropolis -
  • Dali Planit (also spelled Dayli Planet) -

Other versions[edit]

All-Star Superman[edit]

Outside mainstream DC continuity, All-Star Superman #7-8 featured the return of Htrae and Bizarro, in which the sentient cubic Htrae attacked Earth until Superman interfered. Manifestations of Earth inhabitants attacked en masse, killing and absorbing many. The duplicates have a weakness against steroids; they cannot absorb people who use them. Superman believed that Htrae was a manifestation of an entity called a 'planet eater'. Superman attacks Htrae, unfortunately experiencing loss of his abilities due to the super-heavy gravity pull of Htrae as it retreats back to its own realm, as well as Doppler shift which replicates the effects of red sun radiation, eroding his superpowers. On this revisionist Htrae, Superman encounters Bizarro duplicates of Jor-El ("Le-Roj") and an imperfect clone of Bizarro himself (Zibarro, who is essentially a powerless, rational human). Superman also encounters Bizarro versions of his fellow heroes, such as Bizarro Green Lantern (whose ring allows him to create anything he thinks of, which he doesn't), Bizarro Flash (who is extremely slow and appears to take an entire issue to get to a certain point), Bizarro Batman (who was shot by his parents) and Bizarro Wonder Woman (who is an ugly fat woman that turned to clay). The area Superman lands resembles a destroyed city. There is also an imperfect duplicate of the Statue of Liberty visible in the background, although unnamed. Htrae vanishes back into the Underverse, a newly discovered dimension, at story's end.[3]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Bizarro World is depicted in several episodes of Super Friends: "The Revenge of Bizarro" from 1980, "Bizarowurld" from 1981, and "The Bizarro Super Powers Team" in 1985.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Bizarro's World", Bizarro finds the Fortress of Solitude where he interacts with Brainiac and discovers his "origin". Soon he creates his own Krypton on a section of Metropolis and uses a theater as the House of El. Later, Superman gives Bizarro his own world to protect, a moon with vegetation and a green sky showing a Saturn-like planet, and several other moons. Bizarro is astute enough to realize he may be set up when he complains "This crummy planet! How can me be protector when no one here to protect?" However, Superman states he thought of that issue and allows Bizzaro to adopt one of the endangered species from the Fortress, whom Bizarro aptly names "Krypto". The episode is based on the comic book Superman (vol. 2) #87. In a follow-up episode, "Little Big Head Man", Bizarro had populated his world with mannequins he made of boulders and twigs, and pretended to "protect" the populace. In his own "Fortress of Solitude", there are twig mannequins of his "mama" and "dada" holding a large cube-shaped boulder, a crude mirror image of Superman's statue in the Fortess of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van holding up a globe of Krypton. Mr. Mxyzptlk appears and tricks him into returning to Earth and attacking Superman. Bizarro is eventually returned to his world with his new sidekick Mxyzptlk (who had been temporarily stripped of his powers until he does one good deed by the end of 90 days) who helps to make life on Bizarro World interesting for Bizarro.

In popular culture[edit]

The concept of "Bizarro" has been ingrained in popular culture where it has come to mean a weirdly mutilated version of anything, not confined to characters in DC Comics publications[4] and as such, so has the concept of Bizarro World.

Seinfeld[edit]

The concept of "Bizarro World" is a fundamental element in "The Bizarro Jerry", the 137th episode of American sitcom Seinfeld. In the episode, Elaine makes a new group of friends who represent inverted types of the normal Seinfeld gang. Jerry labels them a Bizarro world. These characters are kind, considerate, curious about the world around them, and good citizens. Though Elaine is initially attracted to their friendly ways, she is ultimately turned off by the formality and lack of simple camaraderie which she enjoys with her old, selfish, shortsighted group. A second reason for her leaving the Bizarro group is the fact that she is "normal" Elaine. Conceivably, her Bizarro version would be ladylike. If you look in the background of the Bizarro apartment you will see a Bizarro figure on a shelf, just as a Superman figure sits on a shelf in Jerry's apartment. You can also see a unicycle hanging from the wall instead of a bicycle, and images of horses instead of cars.

Buffyverse[edit]

The character Cordelia Chase from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel referenced the concept on several occasions.

  • In the Buffy Season 2 episode "Reptile Boy", Cordelia tells Xander Harris that his being accepted into a fraternity of rich and powerful men would only happen "in the Bizarro World."
  • In the Buffy Season 3 episode "The Wish", an alternate reality is brought about by a wish made by Cordelia. After learning that the AU vampire versions of Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg are partners, Cordelia exclaims "No way! I wish us into bizarro-land, and you guys are still together?! I cannot win!"
  • In the Angel Season 5 episode "You're Welcome", Cordelia awakens from a coma to discover that Spike has regained his soul and Angel is working for Wolfram & Hart. Cordelia remarks to Angel "OK, Spike's a hero, and you're CEO of Hell, Incorporated. What freakin' bizarro world did I wake up in?!"

Buffy Summers also referenced "Bizarro World" in the season 6 episode "Gone." Following an argument with her then lover Spike, Buffy walks home grumbling to herself "I don't believe this. He threw me out. Did I, like, fall into some backward dimension here? Is this Bizarro World?"

Saturday Night Live[edit]

In the early 1980s, Saturday Night Live did a series of sketches with a humorous depiction of life on Earth taking place on the Bizarro World in an opposite manner. Inhabitants of Bizarro World would do things such as turn up the air conditioning to warm up and quench their thirst with glasses of sand.

Other references[edit]

"Bizarro Land" is referred to by Captain Hero in the episode "Gay Bash" of animated series Drawn Together, as is a Bizarro Captain Hero who is never given any name except Bizarro Captain Hero. Though it is not the same place it maintains many of the same features as Bizarro World except that the speech is normal. Captain Hero in "Drawn Together" believes he was in Bizarro Land, rather than a public restroom at a bus station that sells Bizarro Land postcards, when he had a sexual encounter with his Bizarro duplicate.

In "I Am Furious Yellow", an episode of the thirteenth season of The Simpsons, Comic Book Guy receives a less-than-friendly visit from Marvel Comics executive Stan Lee. As Lee exits the shop, Comic Book Guy utters, "Stan Lee insulted me! But in Bizarro World, that means he likes me!". He also splutters "What is this, Bizarro World?" in the season twelve episode Worst Episode Ever when given advice he disagrees with.

DC paid tribute to Bizarro World in Cartoon Network Presents issue #12. The main story had Peter Potamus and So-so visiting a version of Bizarro World, inhabited by reverse versions of other Hanna-Barbera characters, where Yogi Bear would rather clean up Jellystone Park than steal picnic baskets, Mr. Peebles does not want to sell Magilla Gorilla, and Wally Gator wants to stay at the zoo. This version of Bizarro World was later visited by Elroy Jetson in The Flintstones and The Jetsons #19. In both comics, the Bizarro World is shaped like a pyramid instead of a cube.

Episode 17 of Sealab 2021 features "Bizarro" versions of all of the main characters that hold the crew of Sealab hostage. These Bizarro counterparts include Captain Murphy with an eyepatch and Debbie DuPree with a robotic arm and pink hair.

UK celebrities Katie Price and Alex Reid have been referred to as the Bizarro version of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

In the White Collar episode "Bottlenecked," Peter talks about Neal's Bizarro. Tim DeKay, who plays Peter, also played the Bizarro Jerry in Seinfeld.

In How I Met Your Mother Season 3 episode 6 "I'm Not That Guy", Barney refers to the Ted Mosby porn star as the "bizarro Ted."

WWE commentator Jerry Lawler oftens calls Canada, Bizarro World, when WWE Raw broadcasts from there due to the audience typically respond opposite of what is expected.

In Season 1, Episode 11 of 'Friends' ("The One With Mrs. Bing"), Ross says that kissing Chandler's mom is 'No big deal', to which Joey agrees that it is not a big deal "In Bizarro World!"

References[edit]

  1. ^ This is not the first time Superman is the terror of Bizarro World. In a 1961 story, when Bizarro #1 goes to Earth and brings back a Superman doll as a souvenir, the children are terrified.
  2. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #855 (October 2007)
  3. ^ All-Star Superman #7-8 (June–August 2007)
  4. ^ Don Markstein's Toonpedia: Bizarro

External links[edit]