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Bizarro as depicted on the cover of Action Comics #785 (January 2002).
Art by Ed McGuinness.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperboy #68
(October 1958)
Created by (based upon Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster)
In-story information
Alter egoEl-Kal/Kent Clark
SpeciesKryptonian clone ("Bizarro")
Place of originBizarro World
Team affiliations
Notable aliasesBizarro #1

Reverse versions of Superman's powers:

  • Kryptonite empowerment
  • Ice, x-ray, telescopic, and microscopic vision
  • Fire and vacuum breath

Bizarro (/bɪˈzɑːr/) is a supervillain or anti-hero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Otto Binder and artist George Papp as a "mirror image" of Superman, and first appeared in Superboy #68 (1958).[1] Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books (1956 – c. 1970), the character has often been portrayed as an antagonist to Superman, though on occasion he also takes on an antihero role.

In addition to appearing in the company's publications, he has also appeared in adapted media and tie-in products, such as animated and live-action television series, trading cards, toys, and video games.

Publication history[edit]

Bizarro debuted in Superboy No. 68 (published in August; cover-dated October 1958),[2] writer Otto Binder casting the character as a Frankenstein's monster pastiche that possessed all the powers of Superboy.[3] Shunned for his unenviable appearance, the teen version of Bizarro only appeared in a single comic book story. An adult version appeared around the same time in the Superman daily newspaper comic strip written by Alvin Schwartz, debuting in Episode 105: "The Battle With Bizarro" (strips 6147–6242: August 25, 1958 to December 13, 1958). According to comics historian Mark Evanier, Schwartz long claimed that he originated the Bizarro concept prior to the character's appearance in Superboy.[4] The newspaper storyline introduced the strange speech patterns that became synonymous with the character, with all of Bizarro's comments meaning the opposite (e.g. "bad" means "good"). The newspaper version wore a "B" on his chest, as opposed to Superman's distinctive "S".[5]

Schwartz stated:[6]

I was striving, you might say, for that mirror-image, that opposite. And out of a machine which would reveal the negative Superman, came the mirror image – always remembering that in a mirror everything is reversed... The times were such that one-dimensional characters, your standard superheroes, even in comics, seemed rather simplistic, like paper cut-outs. What was demanded was the full dimensional personality – a figure that carried a shadow, if you like. I was certainly inspired to some degree also by C. G. Jung's archetype of "the shadow" – and Bizarro certainly reflected that, as well.

Binder introduced the adult version of the character into the Superman comic book, this time wearing an "S", in Action Comics #254 (July 1959).[7] Bizarro proved popular, and eventually starred in a Bizarro World feature in Adventure Comics for 15 issues, running from issue #285–299 (June 1961 – August 1962),[8] as well as in a special all-Bizarro 80-Page Giant (Superman #202, December 1967/January 1968). The character made forty appearances[9] in the Superman family of titles – Action Comics, Superman, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane, Adventure Comics, Secret Society of Super Villains, and DC Comics Presents – from 1959 to 1984, prior to a reboot of the DC Universe, as a result of the limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths #1–12 (April 1985 – March 1986).

Bizarro was reintroduced into the DC Universe in a one-off appearance with characterization similar to his original Superboy appearance in Superman: The Man of Steel #5 (December 1986). He was later revived in the "Bizarro's World" serial that ran through the Superman titles in March and April 1994, and in Action Comics Annual #8 in 1996. In 1997, Bizarro appeared in Superman: The Animated Series, wearing a purple version of Superman’s costume which has become Bizarro’s usual outfit in the comics.[10] An unrelated four-issue limited series titled A. Bizarro (July–October) was published in 1999.

Yet another version was introduced during the "Emperor Joker" storyline that ran in September and October 2000. Remaining in DC Comics continuity, this Bizarro continued to make semi-regular guest appearances that firmly established the character as part of the Superman mythos.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis Bizarro[edit]

General Zod's Bizarro Army[edit]

General Dru-Zod had originally created bizarro duplicates of himself to dominate the planet Krypton. The Bizarros had no power because they were not under a yellow sun, but they were soldiers ready to kill and die without hesitation. This was the reason why Zod was banished to the Phantom Zone for 25 Krypton sun-cycles.[11]


Some 12 years later, totally oblivious to these facts, a scientist on Earth is demonstrating his newly invented "duplicating ray" to Superboy, and an accident causes the ray to duplicate the superhero. The copy, quickly labeled "Bizarro", is a flawed imitation as it possesses chalky white skin and childlike erratic behavior. Shunned by the people of Smallville, Bizarro befriends a blind girl named Melissa, and loses all hope when he realizes that the girl did not shun or flee from him because she was blind. Superboy is eventually forced to "kill" the "less than perfect" clone, using the remains of the duplicating machine, which acts like blue kryptonite (as opposed to green kryptonite, Superboy's weakness) on the copy. The whole business proved unexpectedly easy as Bizarro deliberately destroyed himself by colliding with the duplicating machine's fragment. The ensuing explosion miraculously restores Melissa's eyesight.[12]

Bizarro #1[edit]

Years afterward, Superman's arch-foe Lex Luthor recreates the "duplicating ray" and uses it on the hero, hoping to control the duplicate that became known as Bizarro #1. The Bizarro that is created, however, is confused, stating: "Me not human... me not creature... me not even animal! Me unhappy! Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong – good and evil!"[6] Luthor is arrested by Bizarro for re-creating him, but forgotten as Bizarro attempts to emulate Superman, creating havoc in the city of Metropolis and almost exposing Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent. When Bizarro falls in love with reporter Lois Lane, she uses the duplicating ray on herself to create a "Bizarro Lois", who is instantly attracted to Bizarro. In addition, he also used the duplicating ray on himself to create "New Bizarro" who later dies from exposure to green kryptonite. The Bizarros leave Earth together, determined to find a home where they can be themselves.[13]

Superman encounters the couple once again, discovering that Bizarro – now called Bizarro #1 – has used a version of the duplication ray to create an entire world of Bizarros, who now reside on a cube-shaped planet called "Htrae" (Earth spelled backwards).[14] Bizarro #1 and Bizarro-Lois #1 also give birth to a child who, while super-powered, appears to be totally human. Considered a freak by Bizarro standards (out of resentment for the way he was treated by Earth humans, Bizarro #1 made a law that they must act the opposite of humans, causing no end of lunacy), the child is the catalyst for a brief war between Htrae and Earth.[15] Blue kryptonite is also invented during this war, as well as the temporary existence of Bizarro-Supergirl. Bizarro also has a series of adventures on Htrae, aiding a normal Jimmy Olsen when he is accidentally trapped there,[16] preventing an invasion of blue kryptonite statues,[17] and stopping the Bizarro version of Titano the Super-Ape.[18]

Bizarro's influence is also felt on Earth: Jimmy Olsen is inadvertently turned into a Bizarro for a while,[19] and a new teen version of Bizarro travels to the 30th century and attempts to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. When he is rejected by the Legion, the Bizarro teen creates his own Bizarro version of the Legion, which Superboy eventually persuades him to disband.[20]

When Bizarro encounters Superman once again, his powers are now the opposite of Superman's (such as freeze vision as opposed to heat vision and heat breath rather than freeze breath), and he attempts to kidnap Lois Lane.[21] Bizarro also temporarily joins the Secret Society of Super Villains to battle the Justice League of America and Captain Comet.[22][23]

Bizarro appears in the Alan Moore-scripted "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", in Superman #423 (September 1986). Bizarro goes berserk and destroys the Bizarro World and all of its inhabitants, then travels to Metropolis and wreaks havoc before abruptly committing suicide. This and many other deaths turn out to be the machinations of Mister Mxyzptlk, who had become evil and begun a rampage of crime. Superman is unable to undo the deaths, but kills Mxyzptlk and then uses gold kryptonite on himself.

Bizarro's final Pre-Crisis appearance was in DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986), which was also the final issue of that series. After being empowered by a hideously disfigured Phantom Zone sorcerer, Mr. Mxyzptlk destroys Zrfff and then causes the Bizarro world to implode, killing all its inhabitants. Bizarro's severed head crashes onto Clark Kent's desk and addresses Clark Kent before his simulated life ends. Bizarro does not appear in Crisis on Infinite Earths, apparently because of this story's events.

This story directly contradicts a World's Finest story where it is revealed that sometime in the future, Htrae is transformed into a more normal world (egg-shaped rather than cubical) by the radiation from an exploding celestial body. The Bizarros are changed into normal people without powers, but still retain vestiges of their Bizarro laws (curtains hung outside the windows of a house, etc.).[24]

Post-Crisis Bizarro[edit]

Project Changeling[edit]

After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Lex Luthor orders his scientific team to create a clone of Superman that was part of "Project Changeling". Incorrectly starting from the assumption that Superman is a human with metahuman abilities (his alien origin had not yet been revealed), the process results in a flawed copy, which Luthor dismissively refers to as "...this bizarre – Oh, forget it", before ordering for the subject to be disposed of. The clone survives and, although mute and possessed of only limited intelligence and vague memories of Clark Kent's life, attempts to mimic Superman. He kidnaps Lois Lane and is finally destroyed when colliding with Superman in mid-air.[25] Each time he exerted himself, the clone crumbled slightly. When Lois Lane's sister, who had been blinded in a terrorist attack, is exposed to Bizarro's dust, she regains her sight. While Superman had not expected this effect, he speculated that Bizarro heard the sister explain her partial recovery and may have deliberately allowed himself to be killed to cure her.[25]

Bizarro II[edit]

A second Bizarro, able to speak and think better due to genetic engineering by Luthor, appears in a 5-issue substory in the clone plague story-arc titled "Bizarro's World" (beginning in Superman (vol. 2) #87). Before he died, this Bizarro seriously injured Dr. Sydney Happersen, kidnapped Lois, created a ramshackle dummy version of Metropolis in a warehouse (to parody Superman's frequently rescuing Lois, he deliberately exposed her to and "rescued" her from one lethal danger after another), abducted Lana Lang, proposed to Lois and finally died in Luthor's labs.[26] During this period, Superman also had to cope with an unending increase in his powers due to exposure to "purple kryptonite" in the climax of the Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen story-arcs.[27]


Project Cadmus/S-01[edit]

S-01 coined "Bizarre-O" is the first of the Paul Westfield overseen attempts to clone a new Superman by him during the storyline "Fall of Metropolis". Known as the thirteenth and only success of Westfield's project Superboy was recalled to Cadmus to discuss the new information uncovered regarding his own origin. While the Cadmus directors and Dr. Packard discussed what went wrong with S-01 and Westfield's secrecy on the project Scrapper unknowingly leaned on the control panel for S-01's stasis pod causing him to be released. After breaking free of his stasis pod S-01 rapidly started deteriorating with his skin almost immediately taking on the chalky hue and ridged texture of other Bizarros.[28]

Dabney Donovan's Bizarro[edit]

One other Bizarro is created using Lex Luthor's clone process, by Lex Luthor's estranged wife Contessa Portenza and Dabney Donovan shortly after Superman regained his normal powers when he expended his electromagnetic ones. This Bizarro abducted Lex Luthor's baby daughter and intended to send her by rocket to another planet, emulating Kal-El's escape from Krypton. His pile of explosives and bombs, meant to launch the rocket, would have killed her instead, and Superman had to shield her when Bizarro threw the launch switch. Bizarro III, already self-destructing from a genetic booby trap encoded into him by his creator, perished in the explosion.[29]

Joker's Bizarro/Bizarro #1[edit]

Another version of Bizarro possesses all the abilities of Superman but with a childlike mentality and method of speech. He is created by Batman's arch-enemy the Joker when the villain steals the powers of the fifth-dimensional imp Mister Mxyzptlk. Creating a twisted version of Earth called "Jokerworld" – a perfect cube with the Joker's image on each facet – the villain designates Bizarro to be the planet's greatest hero and leader of a reimagined "JLA" (the "Joker's League of Anarchy"). When Mxyzptlk regains his powers, the imp allows Bizarro and several other beings to remain on the restored Earth.[30][31][32][33][34]

Bizarro suffers a setback when captured by the Pokolistanian dictator General Zod. Zod beats and tortures Bizarro, simply because the creature resembles Superman. The hero rescues Bizarro, and to help him adjust to the normal Earth rebuilds Bizarro's "Graveyard of Solitude" (the opposite of Superman's Fortress of Solitude).[35]

During the Infinite Crisis story line, Bizarro is tricked into joining the reformed Secret Society of Super Villains by the Flash's foe Zoom. In a battle with the Freedom Fighters Bizarro accidentally kills the Human Bomb, repeatedly hitting the hero to see the flashes of light that are produced from the kinetic energy of the blows.[36]

Bizarro becomes involved when Kryptonian criminals, led by General Zod, escape to Earth.[37] Wishing to create a home for himself, Bizarro travels into deep space to a solar system occupied by a blue sun. After creating a cube shaped planet, filled with distorted versions of various buildings and locations on Earth, Bizarro is still lonely. The blue sun, however, gives Bizarro a new ability called "Bizarro Vision", which allows him to create new Bizarros. When this fails, Bizarro kidnaps Jonathan Kent, Superman's adopted father on Earth. Superman rescues his father and helps Bizarro become his world's greatest hero.[38]

Bizarro eventually appears on the planet Throneworld, befriending and aiding Earth hero Adam Strange and allies Prince Gavyn, Captain Comet, and the Weird. Together they participate in the war between alien worlds Rann and Thanagar,[39] and against villains Lady Styx and Synnar.[40] Bizarro eventually visits the grave of a deceased Jonathan Kent, and is then sent (by rogue Kryptonians) with other Superman foes to the inter-dimensional prison, the Phantom Zone.[41]

Bizarro has a series of encounters with former Secret Society ally Solomon Grundy,[42] and during the events of Blackest Night, Bizarro confronts the Black Lantern version of Grundy. Bizarro destroys Grundy by driving him into the heart of the Sun.[43]

Later, while investigating an object that crashes into a Metropolis park and leaves a massive crystallized crater in its center, Dr. Light and Gangbuster discover a Bizarro-like creature that resembles Supergirl.[44] The Bizarro Supergirl takes the heroes hostage, but is defeated in battle by the real Supergirl.[45] It is revealed that the Bizarro Supergirl is a refugee from the cube-shaped Bizarro World, and was sent to Earth by her cousin after their planet was attacked by a being known as the Godship. Dr. Light attempts to take the Bizarro Supergirl to S.T.A.R. Labs, only to be violently knocked unconscious by Supergirl, who then absconds with her doppelgänger and her ship, hoping to stop the Godship and save the Bizarro World.[46] After taking Bizarro Supergirl back to the Bizarro World, Bizarro Superman is reunited with Bizarro Supergirl.[47]

The New 52[edit]

In 2011, The New 52 rebooted the DC Universe. Two versions of Bizarro first appear in the Forever Evil event.

Subject A-0[edit]

Five years ago, Lex Luthor, intending to create his personal army of Supermen, attempted to splice Superman's DNA with human DNA and injected it into a teenage test subject named Bobby. Instead, he transforms into a hulking white-skinned monster with cryonic vision, incendiary breath, and immunity to Kryptonite which is labeled "Subject A-0". Deducing his weakness, Luthor hits him with concentrated solar radiation that oversaturates his cells and kills him. Luthor then takes samples of the creature to continue his experiment, deciding to clone a purely Kryptonian body. Five years later, a capsule labeled B-0 is shown.[48]

Subject B-0[edit]

After the Crime Syndicate takes over the world, Luthor releases Subject B-0, though his transformation is only halfway through. Luthor commands B-0 to murder a security guard as a test. B-0 initially ignores the order but kills the guard after the guard threatens Luthor with a gun. Luthor realizes that B-0 will not commit murder but will protect Luthor as he seems to view him as a father figure. Luthor is pleased and decides to use the imperfect clone in his plan to take the Syndicate down.[49] Later, when Luthor and his team of villains pass through a tunnel, B-0 is revealed to be afraid of darkness. Luthor tries to comfort him with a story about his own fears, but ultimately wonders whether the clone was a waste of time; B-0 then speaks his first words, "Bizarro... try", much to Luthor's surprise.[50] Though initially doubtful, Luthor grows truly fond of "Bizarro", who proves to be a powerful asset throughout the event.

During the final confrontation against the Earth-3 invaders, Bizarro battles Mazahs, the alternate version of Luthor himself; although he initially has the upper hand, Bizarro is fatally wounded and left to die. Luthor desperately tries to fix him, to no avail, and they share a sorrowful goodbye. Enraged over the death of Bizarro, Lex Luthor murders his Earth-3 counterpart, avenging Bizarro. After the battle is over, Luthor restarts the cloning process; when one of his scientists states it should take about ten years to fully develop a perfect Kryptonian clone, Luthor corrects him by saying it will take only five years, revealing he truly intends to create a perfect copy of Bizarro.[51]

DC Rebirth[edit]

Bizarro with Red Hood and Artemis on the variant cover of Red Hood and the Outlaws (vol. 2) #22 (July 2018). Art by Guillem March.

In 2016, DC Comics implemented another relaunch of its books called DC Rebirth, which restored its continuity to a form much as it was prior to The New 52.

A clone of Bizarro is found inside of a tube in a train car stolen by Black Mask sometime after the Crime Syndicate of America incident. The Red Hood and Artemis jump aboard the train car attempting to steal a weapon, not expecting it to be a clone of Superman. Bizarro eventually joins the Red Hood's Outlaws.[52] During this time, Bizarro is stricken with a sickness which causes his cells to rapidly deteriorate. After saving his teammates in the Outlaws, he dies. Lex Luthor takes his body to try to resurrect him, on the condition that he be the property of Lexcorp. This results in Bizarro becoming extremely smart, surprising his teammates.[53]

Bizarro and Artemis briefly get trapped in a different dimension, but return to Earth. Bizarro becomes the ruler of Hell after killing Trigon, and plans to be the Ruler of Hell to make sure Earth is not in danger before saying goodbye to Jason Todd and Artemis.[54]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Generally, Bizarro's powers are identical to Superman with the most substantial difference being that are reverse versions of certain abilities.

  • “Arctic vision” unleashes twin beams of subzero light from his eyes which instantaneously freezes anything or anyone on contact; inducing frostbite and even hypothermia.
  • “Flame breath” allows him to exhale a superheated napalm-like substance which causes severe burns with minimal contact and even melt steel at maximum intensity.
  • "Vacuum breath" instead of wind breath, he can inhale large amounts of air to draw people and objects towards him.
  • "Bizarro telescopic vision" which allows Bizarro to see a "short distance behind his head" rather than a "long distance in front of his head".
  • "Bizarro microscopic vision" which makes objects "actually smaller to everyone" rather than merely "appear to be bigger to only the user".
  • "Bizarro X-ray vision" which allows Bizarro to "only see through lead" rather than the ability to "see through anything except lead".
  • "Spotlight vision" which allows Bizarro to project beams of light in the fashion of a spotlight from his eyes to highlight what he is looking at.
  • "X-ray hearing" which allows Bizarro to hear through everything except lead.

When operating within an environment under a blue sun, Bizarro gains the ability to replicate new lifeforms from his own body mass. Using this power, he cloned a cube-shaped planet that has become colloquially known as Htrae (Earth spelled backwards). This world is now populated by Bizarro versions of Superman, his family, friends, and enemies.[55] [56] [57] Similarly, Bizarro's weaknesses are reversed: green kryptonite has an empowering effect on him – healing and strengthening his body similar to the effects of yellow sunlight on Superman; while only blue kryptonite (an imperfect duplicate of green kryptonite) affects Bizarro adversely in the same manner that the former does with normal Kryptonians; i.e., causing him debilitating pain and diminishing his superpowers.

Other versions[edit]

All-Star Superman[edit]

The limited series All-Star Superman (January 2006 – October 2008) features Bizarro clones from an alternative universe called the "Underverse". They can "infect" a normal human and change them into a Bizarro clone by touch.[58] One of these creatures is called "Zibarro" and is unique in that he has intellect and a roughly human appearance, traits which he considered to be sources of scorn from his fellow Bizarros, resulting in a social isolation and loneliness he attempted to combat through artwork. When Superman was stranded in the Underverse, Zibarro helped him marshal the other Bizarros into building a rocketship that could send Kal-El home - Zibarro briefly considered taking Superman's place in the rocket, but realized he had no way of knowing he would find any more acceptance among humans than his kinsmen. Before leaving, Superman advised him that rather than an aberration, Zibarro may be evidence of increasing intelligence on the part of Bizarro-Home, and encouraged him to keep up his work; Superman had a segment of Zibarro's poetry preserved in Superlaminite within his Fortress of Solitude after returning home.[59]

Amalgam Comics[edit]

In the Amalgam Comics reality, an amalgamation of Bizarro and Carnage, Bizarnage was made through a botched experiment at Project Cadmus in an attempt to replicate alien DNA. The white, goopy creature they created went crazy and began destroying everything and everyone in its way. Then Spider-Boy arrived and battled him while Bizarnage wanted to be Spider-Boy, so he tried insanely to kill him, but was eventually defeated by getting tricked by Spider-Boy and sucked into an energy containment unit.

Superboy comics[edit]

Bizarro appears in an issue of the tie-in comic for the late-1980s Superboy TV show, in which he is duped into acting as a student's art project.[60] He also was featured in an issue of the Superman Adventures comic series that tied into Superman: The Animated Series in which he is brought to Earth by Lobo.[61]

Adventure Comics[edit]

A Bizarro fantasy akin to the Pre-Crisis version appears in the 1998 Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant by writer Tom Peyer and artist Kevin O'Neill. There, Bizarro demands that a technician at a SETI-like installation broadcast his diary. Having no choice, the technician looks over the diary, which tells the story of the classic cube-shaped backwards Bizarro World. Superman accidentally finds himself there and, to allay people's fears of him, goes on a "constructive rampage." The original Bizarro, a.k.a. 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 the 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 no family and is held in contempt by Superman, weeps because he is the most miserable creature in the universe.

Earth-Two Pre-Crisis[edit]

In Superman Family #219, Superman encountered an animated lifeless version of his Flying Tiger alter ego, which he used the previous issue to fabricate a criminal career and track down the supplier of Kryptonite to various crooks. Ascertaining that this Flying Tiger was an enlarged 3-dimensional version of a picture drawn of him in the Daily Star, Superman ensnared this Tiger in a trap whereby the demented duplicate was crippled by kryptonite radiation. Superman realized that this Flying Tiger not only had his abilities but also his weaknesses, and after defeating him he tracked down his creator, Funny Face. Although Funny Face transformed Lois Lane Kent into a 2-dimensional drawing, as he had done years earlier, Superman was able to restore her to normal and transform the fake Flying Tiger back into a drawing on a page.


In the 2004 graphic novel/miniseries Trinity by Matt Wagner, Bizarro was created by Luthorcorp's "Project Replica", and subsequently sealed in the frozen wasteland of Antarctica. He was later freed by Ra's al Ghul, who used him as a pawn in his plan to use nuclear warheads to decimate Gotham as well as destroy communication satellites, the end goal of his mission being to incite chaos and purge the Earth of the "cancer" that is civilization. After he is injured by Batman's use of a suit of armor and solar pulse lasers, Bizarro's hand is removed by Superman's heat vision before his template throws him into a volcano. This Bizarro is presumably deceased, however, his hand is turned into red kryptonite at the bottom of the ocean.[62]

Adventures of Superman[edit]

A story in the out-of-continuity digital-first anthology comic book Adventures of Superman from 2013 by Christos Gage and Eduardo Francisco reveals that Bizarro's penchant for opposites comes as a result of his imperfectly formed brain, a discovery which allows Superman and Professor Hamilton to make him talk and think like a regular person and pursue his desire to be heroic.[63]

Bizarro Comics[edit]

The 2002 graphic novel Bizarro Comics is an anthology of short comics by artists of the independent scene handling various DC Comics characters in humorous tales set outside of any continuity. All the stories are bookended by Bizarro Wars, a comic written by Chris Duffy with art by Stephen DeStefano in which Mister Mxyzptlk seeks the aid of Superman to save the fifth dimension from a cosmic conqueror named "A", but ends up with Bizarro (here introduced as a new character that neither Superman nor Mxyzptlk formerly knew of) instead. The other comics in the volume (including one short Bizarro World story written by Bizarro creator Alvin Schwartz) are presented as creations of the deranged mind of Bizarro himself.[64] The 2005 follow-up anthology Bizarro World features the character less centrally, but includes an introductory story in which the character runs an amusement park.[65]

Red Son[edit]

In Superman: Red Son, Dr. Lex Luthor chose to create his own version of Superman through cloning to combat and overcome the original. Luthor decided to crash Sputnik into Metropolis which will bring Superman to the event and hopefully allow Luthor to gather genetic material of Superman. As planned, Superman arrived in time to stop the deadly crash. The United States government claims the probe with requisite DNA traces for Luthor to create a copy named "Superman Two", though he proves defective. Luthor sent Superman Two off to engage Superman who was attending a state party which Wonder Woman was also attending. Superman Two clashed with Superman over the English Channel and the two fight. Their battle was so aggressive it accidentally caused an American nuclear missile to launch. Superman Two proves himself to be a true genetic descendant of Superman as he sacrificed himself to save millions from the nuclear explosion. [66]

Earth 2[edit]

On Earth 2 as part of The New 52, Darkseid and Steppenwolf created a clone of Superman which they dub Brutaal.[67] After being snapped out of Darkseid's control by his wife Lois Lane (who in this reality inhabits the wind-manipulating robot body known as the Red Tornado), Superman and the Red Tornado leave for the Kent Family's farm.[68] After a protracted battle with Earth 2's superheroes, in particular Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and a younger Kryptonian named Val-Zod, he is revealed to be scaling and decomposing. Realizing he is a Bizarro-type clone and that his power is waning, the Superman clone is destroyed by Lois using a cyclone blast from her hand.[69]


On Earth-29 which is filled with Bizarros, Bizarro is a member of the Unjustice League of America. After the Unjustice League "saved" Metropolis from their world's Metallo, Superman arrived on Earth-29 and briefly fought Bizarro until it was interrupted by Metallo. Doomsday later appeared on Earth-29 and Bizarro destroyed it upon seeing it as a threat, though this caused Bizarro to become infected and transform into Doomzarro, who started to infect his world. Bizarro's will was strong enough to overcome Doomsday and flew into the sun to get the infection out of him. Surviving the sun, Bizarro returned to his Earth to win Lois Lane's "hate".[70]

Bizarro of Earth-29 later formed the Terribles consisting of Mister Terrible (a Bizarro version of Mister Terrific), Disposable Man (a Bizarro version of Plastic Man), Change-O-Shape-O (a Bizarro version of Metamorpho), and Figment Girl (a Bizarro version of Phantom Girl) in his plot to destroy Prime Earth's technology through time travel.[71]

Bizarro of Earth-29 and the Terribles are among the villains recruited by Lex Luthor to join the Legion of Doom in an all-out war with the Justice League.[72]


In Justice, a Silver Age Bizarro was created by Lex Luthor, in an attempt to use early cloning technology to find a means to kill Superman, he also retains the backwards power-set. Once fashioned, even Luthor was incapable of controlling Superman's would-be duplicate but still a part of Luthor's Legion of Doom.[73] [74]

Miscellaneous versions[edit]

Several alternative universe versions of the character exist: A Legends of the Dead Earth story set in the far future features a former media-star Bizarro who owns an amusement park and who fights against his own obsolescence.[75] The Elseworlds one-shot The Superman Monster (1999), essentially a Frankenstein pastiche, features a monstrous copy of Bizarro created by a Viktor Luthor based on the remains of the infant Kal-El, who died upon arrival.[76] In the limited series JLA: The Nail, having found Kal-El's ship (Kal-El himself was taken in by an Amish family years ago), Lex Luthor uses DNA samples to create Bizarro-like duplicates, which he disguises as the "Liberator" robots to hunt down the supposedly rogue metahumans.[77] While the Liberators possess Superman's powers in terms of strength and speed, their genetic structure proves to be unstable, to the point that they collapse after sustaining even minor damage in combat with metahuman foes; the League observe in the final battle that the "Liberators" relied on stealth and superior numbers to overwhelm their captives as they could never have won in prolonged combat.

In other media[edit]



Tom Welling as Bizarro as he appears in his self-titled Smallville episode (2007).
  • Bizarro, based on the Silver Age comics incarnation, appears in Superboy, portrayed by Barry Meyers. This version was created after Superboy was exposed to an experimental, lightning-charged duplicating ray. After going on a rampage, the double adopts the alias of "Kent Clark" and falls in love with and becomes violently possessive of Lana Lang before being healed by duplicated Kryptonite. In subsequent appearances, Bizarro is manipulated by Lex Luthor into attacking Superboy via a duplicated Lang, who convinces Bizarro to thwart Luthor, and is temporarily rendered human through extensive plastic surgery and an experimental process meant to copy Superboy's brainwaves to his own brain before being forced to reverse the process to save the weakened Superboy.
  • A childlike clone akin to Bizarro appears in the Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman episode "Vatman", portrayed by Dean Cain. Similarly to the "post-Crisis" incarnation, this version was created and raised by Lex Luthor to challenge Superman. However, Lois Lane and Clark Kent help the clone realize his true nature. After a battle with Superman, the dying clone goes on to destroy Luthor's lab and the DNA sample used to create him before he dies in Superman's arms.
  • Bizarro appears in the sixth and seventh seasons of Smallville, portrayed by Tom Welling. Introduced in the sixth season premiere, this version is a "phantom wraith" who was created by a Kryptonian experiment and imprisoned in the Phantom Zone years prior until Clark Kent accidentally releases it in the present. Upon discovering it cannot survive outside of the Phantom Zone on its own, the wraith survives by possessing human hosts, though they only last for 24 hours before the host dies, forcing it to change hosts before then. The wraith continues this pattern for months until it steals part of Kent's DNA to give itself a proper physical form with all of his strengths and an inverted version of Clark's energy absorption ability, with Green Kryptonite strengthening it and Blue Kryptonite and direct sunlight weakening it. While Kent and the Martian Manhunter trap the wraith on the sunny side of Mars, it takes advantage of a solar eclipse to return to Earth, take Kent's place while he is being punished in the Fortress of Solitude, and enter a relationship with Lana Lang. While attempting to find a cure for its weakness, the wraith is destroyed by Lang, who overcharges it with Blue Kryptonite.
  • A Bizarro counterpart of Supergirl, also known as Bizarro-Girl,[78][79] appears in Supergirl, portrayed by Hope Lauren and Melissa Benoist. This version is the result of Maxwell Lord plotting to frame Supergirl as a public menace by locating a permanently comatose, unidentified brain trauma patient who closely resembles Supergirl, and altering her with Supergirl's DNA to gain both her powers and appearance. Throughout the episodes "Blood Bonds", "Strange Visitor From Another Planet", and "Bizarro", Bizarro-Girl attacks Supergirl, who joins forces with Alex Danvers to stop the former with Blue Kryptonite bullets; this results in Bizarro-Girl gaining chalk-white skin. Bizarro-Girl is taken into custody by Supergirl and transferred to the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO). Later she is put into an induced coma until she can be cured or helped. [80]
  • Bizarro appears in the second and third seasons of Superman & Lois, portrayed by Tyler Hoechlin while Daniel Cudmore portrays his armored form and Paul Lazenby motion-captures his monstrous form. This version was a celebrity from the Inverse World who suffers from a Kryptonite addiction that left him in a zombie-like state which resulted in him alienating his family. After cult leader Ally Allston takes over the Inverse World in an attempt to merge it with Earth, Bizarro dons a containment suit and travels to Superman's world, but is weakened by X-Kryptonite, which causes him to suffer seizures, painful headaches, intense visions, and fits of rage. Nonetheless, he successfully warns Superman of Allston's plans before he is killed by a X-Kryptonite-powered Mitch Anderson, with his body eventually ending up in the Department of Defense (DOD)'s custody before Intergang steals it amidst a raid on the DOD's facilities. While experimenting on Bizarro, Intergang revive him before Lex Luthor captures and experiments on him further, which causes him to mutate into the monstrous Doomsday. Luthor subsequently sends Doomsday to confront and kill Superman, ordering him to bring him Superman's heart.[81][82]



Video games[edit]


  • Bizarro comics are referenced in The Sandman: A Game of You as "Weirdzos" comic books. While The Sandman series was published by DC Comics's adult-themed Vertigo imprint, the editors were reluctant to allow Superman-related characters to be featured in the latter.[citation needed]
  • Bizarro is referenced heavily in the Seinfeld episode "The Bizarro Jerry".[86][87]
  • In the Sealab 2021 episode "Bizarro", the series' main cast encounter and are harassed by Bizarro versions of themselves.
  • From 2009 to 2021, Six Flags Great Adventure changed the name and theming of the Medusa to Bizarro before eventually changing it back.[88]
  • In 2009, Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England was rethemed to reflect Bizarro.[89] The Bizarro theme lasted until 2015, when the roller coaster was reverted back to Superman The Ride.[90]
  • Bizarro appears in the Injustice: Gods Among Us prequel comic. This version was created by Lex Luthor to stop Superman after he becomes more violent and tyrannical. However, the clone escapes before the process can be completed, resulting in him developing gray skin and diminished mental capacity. After traveling to Germany and being mistaken for Superman by a civilian, the clone believes this to be true, dons a backwards Superman suit, and tries to establish peace. However, his lack of common sense and a basic understanding of human ways leads to him wreaking havoc and killing Weather Wizard and Heat Wave before the Trickster convinces Bizarro that they are friends and that the real Superman is an imposter and his enemy. Once the Regime learns of him, Superman meets with the clone, with Yellow Lantern naming the latter "Bizarro", but the clone escapes before the Regime can discover his origins. Following this, Trickster experiences difficulty in controlling Bizarro, which leads to the latter accidentally killing him. Not understanding what happened, Bizarro takes Trickster's corpse to the civilian he first met, but he calls for the Regime's help, leading to Bizarro returning to Luthor's lab. Fearing the clone will expose him as a double agent in the Regime working for Batman's Insurgency, Luthor sends Bizarro to the Fortress of Solitude, claiming the latter will find answers while secretly hoping his thrall Doomsday will be able to stop him. Bizarro and Doomsday's subsequent fight leads to Superman getting involved and Luthor eventually using Doomsday to kill Bizarro before the clone can reveal his secret. Incensed yet unaware of Bizarro's true nature, Superman takes his corpse to Luthor for study.
  • Warner Bros. Consumer Products collaborated with Livobooks to produce the interactive motion comic Superman and Bizarro Save the Planet.[91]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Mike's Amazing World of Comics". Archived from the original on 2014-10-03. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
  3. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
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  5. ^ "The Speeding Bullet". The Speeding Bullet. Archived from the original on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  6. ^ a b Conroy, Mike. 500 Comicbook Villains, Collins & Brown, 2004.
  7. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 27–31. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  8. ^ This material has been collected as Superman: Tales of the Bizarro World, DC Comics, 2000 (ISBN 1563896249).
  9. ^ "The Unofficial Bizarro Chronology". Dcuguide.com. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  10. ^ "Superman: The Animated Series" Identity Crisis (TV Episode 1997) ⭐ 8.2 | Animation, Action, Adventure, retrieved 2023-07-23
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  12. ^ Superboy #68 (November 1958). DC Comics.
  13. ^ Action Comics #254–255 (July–August 1959). DC Comics.
  14. ^ Action Comics #263–264 (April–May 1960). DC Comics.
  15. ^ Superman #140 (October 1960). DC Comics.
  16. ^ Adventure Comics #287 (June 1961). DC Comics.
  17. ^ Adventure Comics #290 (November 1961). DC Comics.
  18. ^ Adventure Comics #295 (April 1962). DC Comics.
  19. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #80 (October 1964). DC Comics.
  20. ^ Adventure Comics #329 (February 1965). DC Comics.
  21. ^ Superman #306 (December 1976); Superman #333 (March 1979). DC Comics.
  22. ^ Secret Society of Super Villains Special #1 (January 1977). DC Comics.
  23. ^ Secret Society of Super Villains #10 (October 1977). DC Comics.
  24. ^ World's Finest Comics #181 (December 1968). DC Comics.
  25. ^ a b Superman: The Man of Steel #5 (December 1986). DC Comics.
  26. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #88
  27. ^ This material was collected as Superman: Bizarro's World, DC Comics, 1996 (ISBN 156389260X)
  28. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) Annual #2
  29. ^ Superman Forever #1 (June 1998). DC Comics.
  30. ^ Action Comics #769–770 (September–October 2000). DC Comics.
  31. ^ The Adventures of Superman #582–583 (September–October 2000). DC Comics.
  32. ^ Superman (vol. 2) #160–161 (September–October 2000). DC Comics.
  33. ^ Superman: The Man of Steel #104–105 (September–October 2000). DC Comics.
  34. ^ Superman: Emperor Joker #1 (October 2000). DC Comics.
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  36. ^ Infinite Crisis #1 (October 2005). DC Comics.
  37. ^ Action Comics #844–846 (December 2006 – February 2007). DC Comics.
  38. ^ Action Comics #855–857 (October–December 2007). DC Comics.
  39. ^ Rann/Thanagar Holy War #1–8 (July 2008 – February 2009). DC Comics.
  40. ^ Strange Adventures (vol. 3) #1-8 (May–December 2009). DC Comics.
  41. ^ Superman #682 (January 2009). DC Comics.
  42. ^ Solomon Grundy #1–8 (May–November 2009). DC Comics.
  43. ^ Superman/Batman #66–67 (January–February 2010). DC Comics.
  44. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #53 (June 2010). DC Comics.
  45. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #54 (July 2010). DC Comics.
  46. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #55 (August 2010). DC Comics.
  47. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #56 (September 2010). DC Comics.
  48. ^ Superman (vol. 3) #23.1. DC Comics.
  49. ^ Forever Evil #2. DC Comics.
  50. ^ Forever Evil #3. DC Comics.
  51. ^ Forever Evil #7. DC Comics.
  52. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws (vol. 2) #2. DC Comics.
  53. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws (vol. 2) #14. DC Comics.
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  56. ^ Action Comics #856 (November 2007)
  57. ^ Action Comics #857 (December 2007)
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  59. ^ All-Star Superman #7–8
  60. ^ Superboy: The Comic Book #8 (September 1990)
  61. ^ Superman Adventures #29 (March 1999)
  62. ^ Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity #1–3
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  65. ^ "Bizarro World". 10 March 2012.
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  68. ^ Earth 2 #23. DC Comics.
  69. ^ Earth 2 #26. DC Comics.
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  77. ^ JLA: The Nail #3
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  85. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (1989). Science fiction, horror & fantasy film and television credits supplement: through 1987. McFarland. p. 598. ISBN 978-0-89950-364-6. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  86. ^ O'Connor, John J. (Oct 31, 1996). "Seinfeld, a Short Kvetch From Bizarre to Bizarro". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
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  91. ^ "Superman and Bizarro Save the Planet". www.livobooks.com. Retrieved 10 July 2014.

External links[edit]