Bizarro is a doppelgänger of Superman.
Due to a somewhat disjointed continuity, several versions of Bizarro have appeared in DC comic books, all of them inversions of Superman with gray or chalk-white skin, a twisted sense of logic which typically manifests as a superficial "opposite" of anything Superman would do or say and a resultant speech pattern ("Me am going to kill you" would mean "I will save you" in Bizarro speech). Due to his imperfections, Bizarro is frequently a foe of Superman, but sometimes finds himself in the role of hero (in this case, an anti-hero).
It has been suggested by both comic book fans and anthropologists that the Bizarro character, who is the opposite of Superman and all he stands for, was a metaphor for the Soviet Union at a time when Superman was seen as the embodiment of the United States in the 1950s.
The original Bizarro was created when Superman was exposed to a "duplicate ray." In accordance with the science fiction concepts of Superman stories of the era, Bizarro relocated to "the Bizarro world," a cubical planet called Htrae which operated under "Bizarro logic" (it was a crime to do anything good or right) and which Bizarro populated with inverted versions of Superman’s supporting cast and other DC heroes.
The 1986 event Crisis on Infinite Earths rewrote DC’s continuity, eliminating Htrae. Since then, two Bizarro characters have appeared, one of them a flawed clone created by Lex Luthor. The second, longer lasting Bizarro, was an idea of the Batman villain the Joker, brought to life by the cosmic trickster Mister Mxyzptlk.
Bizarro has been a consistent enemy of Superman since his first appearance. Faithful adaptations of Bizarro appeared in the animated series Super Friends and series in the subsequent DC Universe. Also, doppelgängers of Superman with some attributes of Bizarro appeared in live action adaptations.
Bizarro and the Bizarro World have become somewhat well known in popular culture, and the term Bizarro is used as to describe anything that utilizes twisted logic or that is the opposite of something else.
Bizarro has chalky and sometimes rock-like skin, a pale complexion, and a misshapen face. While the original Bizarro costume was identical to Superman's, he later changed it to one with a reversed S-shield so he could be even more imperfect; subsequent modifications to the costume have included a dented belt buckle and poorly fitting boots, although these modifications weren't consistent between stories. Bizarro wears a medallion that says "Bizarro #1", in order to distinguish himself from the other Bizarros on Htrae.
Unlike the original Bizarro, the "Emperor Joker" Bizarro is not chalky and angular. Instead, he has a light greyish skin-tone, yellow and red eyes, an overly muscular body, and a maniacal smile. Bizarro has a purple and indigo uniform, and the logo on his chest is inverted, so the "S" is backwards. The current Bizarro has the classic "Bizarro #1" engraved stone amulet.
Bizarro and the other inhabitants of the Bizarro world used an odd but predictable form of English. The most notable characteristics were:
- The lack of nominative case when using pronouns; Bizarro replaces pronouns that should be nominative with their analogues in the accusative case. Bizarro might introduce himself by saying "Me am Bizarro" instead of "I am Bizarro," for example.
- The lack of proper verb conjugation; Bizarro only uses the first person conjugation for any verb. For example, the verb "is" is always conjugated as "am", leading to sentences like "This am great".
- Speaking the opposite of what is really meant in a situation. Thus, "This am great" would mean that the thing isn't great at all. The exception would be "Me am Bizarro", which would actually mean what was said.
Post-Crisis Bizarro adopted all of the linguistic idiosyncrasies of his Pre-Crisis self, but also negated every possible word in the sentence. Though the usage was slightly inconsistent, this usually included:
- Negating verbs.
- Replacing adjectives with their opposite.
- Replacing certain nouns with their opposite.
The ultimate end of this caused sentences to frequently have double and triple negatives. Combined with the fact that Bizarro's logic is already flawed, this caused some of his dialogue to be very difficult to follow.
As of Action Comics #845, Bizarro has learned how to speak more normally by watching television for thirteen months. As a result, he no longer negates the meaning of every possible word in the sentence and now speaks almost exactly like his Pre-Crisis self.
The original Bizarro was created in a laboratory accident. A scientist was demonstrating his newly invented "duplicating ray" to Superboy, testing it on a radium pellet and a jewel. However, the duplicated radium was non-radioactive and the jewel melted. The scientist then stumbled and knocked the machine, inadvertently creating an imperfect Superboy. Although the scientist insisted the duplicate was not alive, it nonetheless escaped from the lab. Although Bizarro wanted to be accepted, his appearance and erratic behavior scared people, especially since he had no idea of his own super-strength. He was befriended by a blind girl, shortly before Superboy realized the remains of the machine would act as Kryptonite to him. Bizarro headed straight towards Superboy, having somehow realized that the shockwave from his destruction would cure his friend's blindness.
The later Bizarro was created by Lex Luthor, who used the "duplicating ray" on the adult Superman and hoped to use the duplicate to attack Superman. However, this Bizarro did not cooperate and instead tried to emulate Superman. Unfortunately, his attempts to match the original's heroics were clumsy and destructive, and he kidnapped Lois. This was resolved when Lois created a Bizarro-Lois for Bizarro using the "duplication ray". Feeling rejected by the people of Earth, they moved to the world of Htrae, which had ancient advanced technology which was used to populate the planet with other Bizarros created in the same manner. Almost everyone on Htrae looked like an ugly Superman (and possessed super powers) or an ugly Lois Lane. On Superman's first visit to Htrae in Action Comics #264 (May 1960), he was arrested for being normal, but he plea-bargained a proposal to change the shape of the world into a cube (thereby making it imperfect) for his release.
Bizarro's only weakness is blue Kryptonite, created by using the same machine to duplicate green Kryptonite. Though Bizarro acts in what he believes to be the best manner, his Bizarro logic often causes him to act for evil.
Originally Bizarro's abilities were the same as Superman's but he was hit by a meteorite which reversed his powers: flame breath, ice vision, microscopic vision that actually increased the size of things, X-ray vision that could only see through lead, etc. Superman had to deal with these new powers in Superman #333 (1979) when Bizarro says he is going to save Lois Lane (meaning in Bizarro logic, he is going to kill her). Superman manages to trick Bizarro into thinking he has 'saved' Lois and returns to Bizarro World.
The Bizarro World
In the Bizarro world, a cube-shaped planet known as "Htrae" (Earth spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code, which states that it is a crime to do anything well or to make anything perfect or beautiful.
Later stories introduced Bizarro versions of Superman's supporting cast, including Bizarro-Perry White and Bizarro-Jimmy Olsen, 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, as well as a "Bizarro-Kltpzyxm".
"Tales of the Bizarro World" became a recurring segment in Adventure Comics from 1961 to 1962.
On one occasion, Keith Giffen portrayed Htrae itself as being sentient - "Me am the Bizarro World. Planet Earth not think... therefore, me do" - and its only sane inhabitant was the Bizarro Ambush Bug.
In the new comic books, Bizarro lives in a Metropolis graveyard he calls "The Graveyard of Solitude."
In Superman #423 & Action Comics #583, Alan Moore wrote the final Superman story for the Pre-Crisis era (though subsequent writers have retconned it into being an alternate reality). In the beginning of Superman #423, Superman had his final encounter with Bizarro, who had gone on a killing spree.
Superman had been off the Earth, doing research for the government. When he returned, he found complete city blocks horribly destroyed, and was told Bizarro had gone berserk, smashing buildings and injuring innocent people.
Confronted by Superman, Bizarro told him, "This am part of genius Bizarro self-improvement plan." Bizarro tells Superman that he had destroyed Bizarro world, as Krypton had been destroyed.
"Bizarro? Come on out and show yourself! I want an explanation for this!"
"Ha! That easy! It am part of genius Bizarro self-improvement plan! See, me suddenly realize that me am not perfect imperfect duplicate! Maybe me not trying hard enough. Example: when your planet Krypton blow up by accident, you am coming to Earth as baby... so me decide to blow up whole Bizarro world on purpose and come to Earth as adult!"
"The Bizarro World? Blown up?!"
"Th-that's right! Ha ha! Pretty imperfect, huh?"
"Bizarro... what's happened to you? I can't believe you've really destroyed your homeworld!"
"Ha! That am only the beginning! Next, me realize that Superman never kill, so me kill lots of people! Them very grateful! Scream with happiness!"
"Killed people? Oh, merciful Rao..."
"...But then me finally understand what me need to be perfect imperfect duplicate: it am little Blue Kryptonite meteor that me carry in lead case for good luck!"
Bizarro holds the Blue Kryptonite before him.
"See... you am alive Superman... and if me am perfect imperfect duplicate, then me have to be... h-have to be..."
Bizarro staggers and collapses to the floor.
"Uh... everything, him go d-dark... Hello, Superman. Hello."
Not much later, Superman's secret identity was exposed and all the members of his rogues gallery attempt to kill him and everyone associated with him. Superman later discovers that Mr. Mxyzptlk is the villain orchestrating the attacks, and was most likely also the one responsible for Bizarro's strange(r) behavior.
Post-Crisis appearances of Pre-Crisis Bizarro
Though Bizarro was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, his character later to be reimagined and reintroduced, the original Bizarro was able to make a few appearances. For instance:
- In Animal Man's Deus Ex Machina storyline, Psycho Pirate, while in Arkham Asylum, recreates characters removed from continuity, exposing the fourth wall to the protagonist. Bizarro appears as he did pre-Crisis.
Bizarro World was erased from the history of the DC Universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Since then, two Bizarros have been created by Lex Luthor. However, in the post-Crisis version, the imperfections in the duplicates are eventually fatal. The first Bizarro created Post-Crisis appeared in Man of Steel #5 (1986), and made several attempts to "be" Superman, including wearing a jacket and glasses over his costume, although leaving it visible. He was apparently not capable of speech. As his non-living matter was continually flaking off, he was destroyed when he and Superman smashed into each other (the flakes of his body restoring Lucy Lane's vision, in homage to the original story).
Luthor later recreated Bizarro to see if it would offer insight into how to stop the "Clone Plague". This Bizarro escaped, and kidnapped Lois Lane, taking her to "Bizarro World"; a warehouse set up like a surreal version of Metropolis. He subjected her to danger, so that he would be able to rescue her from it. She managed to escape, and Bizarro was recaptured by Lexcorp, where it subsequently died.
These Bizarros were similar to the original in appearance and abilities, although the second was less angular. While the first did not speak, the second had the speech patterns of the original.
The current version of Bizarro has a very different origin, having been created by the Joker by the use of the powers of Mr. Mxyzptlk; his first appearance was in Superman vol. 2, #160, and he seems to be the longest lived Post-Crisis Bizarro yet.
Originally created as the greatest hero of a twisted world created by the Joker, Bizarro was one of a number of characters Mxyzptlk saved from that world. He was subsequently captured by the Pokolistanian dictator General Zod, who used to torture him for months, apparently just for the pleasure of beating someone who resembled Superman.
After escaping from Pokolistan with Superman's help, Bizarro recreated his Jokerworld headquarters, the Graveyard of Solitude, and at erratic intervals emerges to help or hinder Superman; the decision as to which being seemingly random, and the same amount of trouble caused either way.
To decide whether or not to join the new Secret Society of Supervillains, Bizarro challenged Zoom to a race (obviously meant as a homage/parody to the Superman/Flash races). However, due to Bizarro's complicated speech patterns, Zoom and Cheetah were not sure which end result of the race would convince Bizarro to join. Also, Zoom soon grew frustrated since Bizarro wouldn't run in a straight line (Bizarro would just zig-zag across the planet).
The current Bizarro (probably unknowingly) became a killer in Infinite Crisis #1 (Oct, 2005) while a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains. After the Human Bomb killed Doctor Polaris, Bizarro, commenting that he liked the flashes of light that the Human Bomb's powers created, attacked the Bomb, hammering his face to produce more colorful explosions. Lincoln's body was pulped by the brutal beating received, his explosive nature not harming the impervious Bizarro. The explosions stopped even though Bizarro continued punching, indicating that the power ended at the instant of death.
During the Battle of Metropolis at the conclusion of the storyline, Bizarro was quickly defeated by Superman and Kal-L, the two Supermen making quick work of their 'twin.'
Bizarro's new attitude
During the publication of the Infinite Crisis limited series, the majority of DC Comics' superhero line advanced one year. One year later, Bizarro is a captive of Lex Luthor and has been watching television in a small room for thirteen months. As a result, he is much more angry and violent than before.
Originally, this Bizarro's abilities were the same as Superman's, but in homage to his Pre-Crisis counterpart, this Bizarro also developed reversed powers as well as adding things like "x-ray hearing" and "spotlight vision." Instead of possessing heat vision and freeze breath like Superman, he has freeze vision and flame breath, the latter recently shown in Batman/Superman #22 (Loeb, McCGuinness, Vines) He has also been discovered to be physically more powerful than Superman, but the nature of his fractured mind leaves him unable to access that potential.
Post-Crisis Bizarro has encountered Blue Kryptonite on two occasions. The first was pre-Infinite Crisis Batzarro presented him with a ring set with a stone of it (Batman/Superman #25). The ring caused Bizarro to speak normally and act rationally, as well as granting him a 12th level intellect. The effect seems to be the opposite of the expected outcome. Instead of killing this Bizarro, it has the imperfect effect of making him intelligent. Still, he feared the ring. The ring appeared to have no effect on Batzarro since he is a Batman clone. Post-Infinite Crisis Luthor created a version of Blue Kryptonite that affects Bizarro just like Green Kryptonite affects Superman (Action Comics Annual #10).
As of Action Comics #845, Bizarro has learned how to speak more normally by watching television for thirteen months. As a result, he no longer negates the meaning of every possible word in the sentence and now speaks almost exactly like his Pre-Crisis self.
Other Bizarro characters
While the Superman-like Bizarro is the predominant one, anyone with milky-white or crystalline skin (depending on the artists' design) and who speaks with Bizarro's odd linguistic pattern can be considered to be a Bizarro in the DC Universe.
A Bizarro version of Batman debuted in World's Finest Comics #156. Jeph Loeb introduced a Bizarro-Batman, Batzarro, into the DC universe in Superman/Batman #20 (June 2005). His origin is unknown, but his speech patterns are almost identical to those of Bizarro. According to Bizarro, "Him no come from same place as Bizarro #1. That am why we am so different." This can be taken to mean that they come from the same place, which is why they are so similar. Unfortunately, because of Bizarro's twisted logic and grammar, this may very well be incorrect.
In DC One Million, for example, there are references to a future Bizarro epidemic where the condition spreads like zombism. In JLA: The Nail, the Justice League encounters Bizarro duplicates used as henchmen.
Many Bizarro duplicates would break down and disintegrate after enduring a relative amount of stress. This was attributed to the imperfect nature of the duplication process, originally unable to deal with Superman's extraterrestrial nature.
A Bizarro-Superboy was created by Project Cadmus, when they used Luthor's process in their attempts to clone Superman. It was also used to create a Bizarro-Harley Quinn after Bizarro developed a crush on Quinn. Similar processes to Luthor's were used by Two-Face to create a Bizarro-Supergirl and Brainiac 5.1 to create a post-Crisis Bizarro-Legion. There was also a miniseries by Steve Gerber and M.D. Bright, A. Bizarro, about a Bizarro who was the duplicate of an ordinary man who happened to look like Superman.
In Teen Titans the Superboy clone Match has been redesigned to resemble Bizarro. Ironically, Match was initially introduced as an improved duplicate of Kon-El.
In Superman Family a non-living duplicate of the Earth-Two Superman's villainous alter ego, the Flying Tiger, was created with similar powers to his living template. This copy manifested a weakness to green kryptonite, unlike Bizarro's weakness to blue Kryptonite, and was phased out of existence by the same device that created him.
In May of 2005, a fake news website set during DC's lost year reported that the Kentucky Derby had been won by a talking horse named Bizarabo, who won the race by running backwards. The horse went on to give the website a quote: "Me hate carrots because they am so tasty".
In Superman: Red Son, Bizarro was an imperfect clone of Superman created by Lex Luthor. His costume resembled that of the "normal" Superman, but his monogram was a shield with "U.S." printed on it. He had red hair and odd-looking skin with blisters and distended veins. He sacrificed himself to save London from a nuclear missile.
In the Frankenstein pastiche, The Superman-Monster, Viktor Luthor's Creature originally resembles Bizarro, although he sloughs off the chalky skin later in the story.
DC produced an anthology, Bizarro Comics, featuring offbeat and irreverent stories by alternative comics writers and artists featuring various DC Universe characters. The anthology's chief conceit was that all of its contents (aside from the framing sequence) were created by Bizarro himself. A second, conceptually similar, anthology entitled Bizarro World has been released.
In Amalgam Comics, one of Spider-Boy's enemies in a Cadmus Project DNAlien called "Bizarnage", an amalgam of Bizarro and the Carnage symbiote from Spider-Man. In Unlimited Access #4, Access visits a number of alternate Amalgam Universes, one of which is a version of Bizarro World, inhabited by numerous imperfect Spider-Clones.
In the pages of All-Star Superman, Bizarros are the workforce used by the P.R.O.J.E.C.T.. They reside in a world with great gravity called the Underverse, and they speak the same as the regular Bizarro. In #7, the Bizarros organize and form a square, alternate Earth before attacking Earth. At first, they appear as emaciated, grey huamnoids with hollow eye sockets and pale, lumpy skin. When they touch a person, they take on their form only done in Bizarro style, and the person they touch lose their facial features and start to think like a Bizarro. One Bizarro touches Superman, and it takes on the appearnce of the regular Bizarro. They hate sunlight, and people who take steroids and performance pills are immune to their touch. In their world, only one out of billions is born with the mental abilities of a normal human being. This person is called Zibarro.
In other media
Bizzaro and dooplogangsters with some attributes of Bizarro appeared in live action movie and animated movie adaptations.
In Superman III, Ross Webster orders his employee, Gus Gorman, to create a synthetic chunk of Kryptonite, perceiving Superman to be a threat to his plans after he thwarts a manmade hurricane created by the fictional Vulcan weather satellite. Ross orders Gus to program the same weather satellite to locate Krypton's former coordinates to analyze the exact chemical composition of Kryptonite. Although Kryptonite is composed of several known elements, 0.57 percent was deemed "unknown". Glancing at the "low tar" printing on his cigarette pack, he changes the unknown element to "tar" as a substitute.
Superman accepts the synthetic kryptonite from Gus Gorman at a ceremony being held for Superman in Smallville, Gorman - disguised as an Army general - presents the Kryptonite to the Man of Steel as a gift. Gorman leaves and Superman begins to surreptitiously undergo a unique change. Rather than killing him, the Kryptonite slowly corrupts him. After being alerted to a nearby accident, Superman elects to attempt to seduce Lana Lang instead of rushing to help, arrogantly claiming that he always arrives on time. After arriving late to the accident, a jackknifed sixteen-wheeler dangling over a bridge, Superman's inhibitions diminish completely. In Italy, Superman straightens the Leaning Tower of Pisa. At the Olympic Games, Superman blows out the torch carrying the Olympic Flame just as the runner reaches the cauldron. Radio reports conclude that a record number of countries have decided to censure Superman, with only Colombia abstaining, much to the approval of Ross Webster. Webster, who has his eyes on controlling the world's oil supply, orders all tankers to group at a point in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. After one tanker refuses to comply, Superman is coerced by Webster's sexpot girlfriend, Lorelei Ambrosia, into rupturing the tanker's hull, spilling oil into the ocean. Superman then hurries to Lorelei's penthouse, where they presumably spend the night together.
Later on in Metropolis, a crowd is gathered outside a bar. Superman, feeling sullen and guilty, is witnessed downing shots of scotch while using his great strength to flick peanuts at the bottles behind the bar, shattering them. The bartender objects to this, but doesn't intervene. Superman, seeing his dirty, unshaven reflection, uses his heat vision to warp the mirror behind the bar. Lana Lang and her son Ricky show up in a cab as Superman exits the tavern. Realizing Superman has changed, Lana holds Ricky back, but Ricky begs Superman to recognize him (the uncorrupted Superman recently rescued Ricky from a wheat thresher during a picnic with Lana in Kansas). Superman flies away, but Ricky's words ring in his ears.
Superman then shudders in mid-flight and lands in a junkyard. A surge of energy pulses through Superman's head and he lets out a primal scream, splitting into two different personas. Although this evil Superman was based on Bizarro shared some similarities to his original comic book appearance, he was not exactly called the name Bizarro in the film nor possessed any linguistic problems. However, he appeared closer in personality design to the comic book Villain Ultraman. Despite being an equal match, Clark Kent managed to kill this incarnation of Bizarro at the climax to their junkyard brawl.
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
In scenes that were ultimately deleted from the original theatrical release of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, a being known as the Nuclear Man was created by Lex Luthor using a strand of Superman's hair. In terms of the film's continuity, this was the predecessor of the Nuclear Man that appeared in the final theatrical cut. This first Nuclear Man had a somewhat inhuman appearance and spoke in a stilted manner similar to the speech pattern usually associated with Bizarro. This Bizarro-like Nuclear Man did appear in the novelization and comic book adaptations of the film. Warner Brothers has confirmed that this and other "lost" footage from Superman IV has been found and are included as "deleted scenes" in the 2006 DVD reissue of the film.
In Superman: Doomsday, Lex Luthor creates a clone of Superman from the blood left behind by Superman at the scene of his death. Luthor began harvesting an army of Superman clones to eventually take over the world. Before the full crop could be developed, however, the first Superman clone began to rebel against Luthor and his programmed behavior pattern, eventually killing villains instead of merely putting them in jail. Although the clones were created with a lead shielded Kryptonite bomb inside the two hemispheres of their brains, the Superman clone was able to remove this bomb before Luthor could detonate it. Superman's clone is constantly being compared to Bizarro. In the scene in the hair salon, he stands in front of a large mirror, making the "S" emblem appear backward. A news reporter considers the clones behavior to be "bizzare". Near the end of the movie, a bolt of lightning washes out the color of the clone's skin, making him resemble Bizarro. While Superman had only killed Toyman, the city was already rebelling against him and it wasn’t long before the real Superman returned from the grave to take out the clone once and for all. Despite the clones intentions to rid the city of evil, doing so without Superman’s moral center proved too brutal and the evil clone was taken out with a Kryptonite bomb, stuck to the clone’s chest with tar and detonated by the real Superman’s heat vision.
Challenge of the SuperFriends
Bizarro's first non-comics appearance was in the animated series Challenge of the SuperFriends. In this series, Bizarro was depicted almost as an outright villain, and part of the Legion of Doom.
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians had a more faithful depiction as a well meaning bumbler. In the episode "The Bizarro Super Powers Team", he made Bizarro clones of Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Firestorm, and even a Bizarro-Mxyzptlk who goes by the name Kltpzyxm.
Superman: The Animated Series
In Superman: The Animated Series, Bizarro is a combination of Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, and original material; he was voiced by Tim Daly, who also provided Superman/Clark Kent's voice. As seen in his first episode "Identity Crisis", Bizarro is a creation of Luthor's, although he was never intended to be what he became. Rather, Luthor wanted to make an exact Superman clone, one whose only difference was that he followed Lex's orders which explains why his powers are exactly as those of Superman, instead of having opposite powers such as ice vision and heat breath. He took samples of Superman's DNA (gathered from blood left from his Kryptonite-induced weakness during "A Little Piece of Home") and grew Superman clones, the first of which to be released looked and acted exactly like Superman, down to the do-gooding, yet he does not seem to be aware of his alter ego Clark Kent when he rescues the real Kent from falling off a cliff. The duplication breaks down, though, and Bizarro's form and costume changes (as angular as Pre-Crisis, but coloured like Post-Crisis). This version has washed-out colors on his costume with a deformed (but still forward) S-shield, pale skin, and his posture suggests that his limbs are twisted. After his sudden confusion, he asks "what am me?" only to be teased by Mercy Graves replying "Bizarro! that's what you am", which established this to be his name in later episodes.
Closer to the original Superboy character, or the post-Crisis Luthor-created Bizarros than the more familiar versions, Bizarro's logic does not follow a purposefully opposite pattern; his "Bizarro logic" is resultant of his atrophied Superman mindset. Instead of doing bad because Superman does good, Bizarro is distinctly trying to do good but can't understand what he sees. For example, he sees a bridge folding up to let in a boat and thinks the bridge is breaking, causing him to push it together again and seal it with heat vision, failing to recognize what the boat was doing there. Also, he tried to save an elderly woman from being run over by a bus by punching the bus, unaware that the bus contained passengers. Bizarro, as far as he knew, was Superman, so the appearance of the real Superman confused him, and he tried to maintain the idea within his own mind that he indeed was Superman with the real Superman being an impostor ("Me am Superman! Me am hero!"). This dissipated when he saw Superman saving Lois Lane; since he associated saving Lois with being Superman, he realized the truth and then, apparently sacrificed himself so that Superman and Lois could escape the explosion that destroyed the lab where he was created ("Me am not Superman. You am Superman... Superman always save Lois...). Despite a few gags at his expense, the animated series attempted to portray Bizarro as a tragic figure - cursed with Superman's powers, fragmented parts of his mind, memories, feelings (such as the attraction to Lois) and even Superman's desire to use his powers to help people, but lacking the intelligence to do so properly.
"Bizarro's World", his next episode, highlighted the next step in Bizarro's confusion. Now aware that he is not Superman, he wanders for months before accidentally stumbling on the Fortress of Solitude, where the Fortress' computer mistakes him for Superman and tells him that he is Kal-El, explaining his Kryptonian heritage. Now with a new mistaken identity, Bizarro sets out to recreate Krypton in Metropolis, and then his faulty logic presumes that he needs to toss a missile at "Krypton" to destroy it again. Superman stops him, and gives him an alien moon which he can call home. Bizarro remains pleased with this until "Little Big Head Man", where Mr. Mxyzptlk convinces Bizarro to attack Superman because he and his friends were supposedly making fun of him. This is a lie, of course, and at the end, a de-powered Mxyzptlk is stuck on Bizarro's moon as his "friend."
Justice League Unlimited
There seems to have been a change in Bizarro's mind by the time Justice League Unlimited rolls around, though, because in "Ultimatum" he returns, now in confused love with Giganta (even though she's just using him to break Grodd out of jail):
Bizarro: Bizarro do anything for woman he loves! Even break her boyfriend out of jail!
Wonder Woman: So what happens to you after that?
Bizarro: Uh... (punched out by Wonder Woman)
He has also joined the Legion of Doom in the most recent season, now functioning under "Bizarro logic" as commanded by Luthor - Luthor says, "Superman is your best friend," and Bizarro immediately understands that he must kill him. The reason for this change in Bizarro's mindset is not explained in the episode, but producer Bruce Timm pointed out at Toon Zone that Bizarro is, in fact, a victim of brain surgery. He's been altered by Luthor specifically to do as he commands (coming full circle with Lex's original intention for Bizarro). The clue for this in the episodes where he appears is that Bizarro now has a big gray gash across his forehead - scarring from the operation.
It is worth noting that when Lex Luthor and the Flash switch minds in one episode, Bizarro notices something is amiss, though his thought process precludes his being helpful: "Ever since you use brain machine, you am acting perfectly sane and rational... am you Bizarro's mommy?"
The only true live-action appearances to date of the traditional Bizarro were in the Superboy TV series which aired from 1988-1992. He was played by Barry Meyers and appeared in 7 episodes. He was arguably the villian to have the fullest story arc, going from tragic villian to eventual ally of Superboy. Bizarro also had his own theme music, a variation of the Superboy theme, but creepier and with inverted notes. The first two-part story featuring Bizarro, titled "Bizarro the Thing of Steel" (part one) and "The Battle with Bizarro" (part two), was based on the first Bizarro story from the comics. In this version, Bizarro was created when Superboy jumped in front of a duplicating machine created by Professor Peterson (played by George Chakiris) after it was struck and activated by a lightning bolt. When Superboy and the professor both look in shock at the subsequent creation, Superboy comments "It is bizarre", prompting the creature to state "Bizarro? Me Bizarro", thus christening himself as such. Like in the comic, Bizarro was not truly a villain, but his backward ways of thinking led him to cause trouble and fight Superboy. Also adding to Bizarro's problems was sharing Superboy's corrupted DNA, which led him to believing he was Superboy as he wore a Superboy outfit, but he often caused trouble due to his limited intelligence. His angular facial features and chalky skin were frightening to civilians when going out in public, and Bizarro was subject to being fired on by police and military forces who considered him a villian. Other traits from the comics were referring to himself as "me Bizarro!" and using opposing words, such as paying a woman a compliment by saying she had a "very ugly dress". One unique aspect of this Bizarro, unlike most other comic adaptations, is that he changed from a Superboy outfit into civilian clothes in an attempt to blend in better with the population at large, thus a "Bizarro Clark Kent" identity. Despite Bizarro's destructiveness, Superboy was reluctant to do battle with him as they shared DNA, and sometimes Superboy even referred to Bizarro as a "brother" of sorts. This Bizarro was an unstable duplicate, meaning he would eventually spontaneously explode. Superboy and Professor Peterson attempted to "kill" the supposedly non-living being with green kryptonite, but this attempt failed. They then duplicated a chunk of kryptonite with the machine and created white kryptonite, which instead of killing Bizarro, actually stabilized his attitude and slightly increased his intellect.
In a later two-part story, entitled "Bride of Bizarro", Bizarro was manipulated by Lex Luthor into attempting to kill Superboy with the promise that Luthor would create a Bizarro female for him to love. Luthor eventually kidnapped Lana and created a Bizarro duplicate of her. This Bizarro-Lana prevented Bizarro from killing Superboy by convincing him that Luthor was an evil man, and that she could not fall in love with anyone who helps Luthor. This inspires Bizarro to help Superboy apprehend Luthor, then Superboy and Lana watch as their Bizarro clones fly off into the sunset.
Later still, in another two-part story ("To Be Human") Bizarro-Lana exploded due to the inherent instability in Bizarro duplicates, sending Bizarro into a deep depression. Superboy took Bizarro to a research lab where a scientist found a way to make Bizarro human by transferring Superboy's brainwaves into him. The transfer cleared up Bizarro's confused mind, making him think like a human, and removed his powers. He was made into the image of the scientist's deceased son through skin grafts. But the transfer process left Superboy's mind clouded and weakened his powers and he was injured and taken captive by a villain called "Chaos", who planned to kill him by throwing him off the tallest building in the city. The only one who could save Superboy was Bizarro (now going by the name Bill Zarro). But to do so, he had to reverse the transfer process and become Bizarro again. He saved Superboy at the cost of his humanity.
Lois & Clark : The New Adventures of Superman
In the first season episode Vatman, Lex Luthor creates a clone of Superman from a lock of hair, which he intends to kill the real Man of Steel and replace him with a Superman he can control. Even though the clone appeared identical to Superman in appearance, also played by Dean Cain, he clearly was the series version of Bizarro. The character was portrayed as immature and childish(presumably due to his age of only a few weeks and being treated like a child by Luthor), and at one point Lois Lane, starting to suspect that the clone was not the real Superman, referred to him as "bizarre".
In the Smallville season 6 finale "Phantom", the last of the escaped Phantom Zone criminals requires a Kryptonian host to survive. The creature, who was consistently referred to as "The Phantom," or "the Wraith from the Phantom Zone," was designed and built on Krypton, using genetic modification, but was trapped in the Phantom Zone when it became dangerous. The creature bonds with Clark Kent's DNA and becomes an exact duplicate of the Kryptonian (though having a slightly deeper voice and wearing a navy-blue jacket and maroon shirt, as opposed to Clark's red jacket and blue shirt, for the sake of audio/visual distinction). Lionel Luthor attempts to use green kryptonite against the duplicate, but it only strengthens it. When Clark asks "What are you?" the duplicate replies, "I'm you, only a little more bizarre." A short time later the duplicate's face changes from an exact copy of Clark's to one resembling Bizarro's signature rock-like, misshapen face, as it does when exposed to sunlight and during any other moment of weakness. He also exhibits the ability to fly, unlike Clark himself. Clark was able to defeat Bizarro in the season seven premiere, entitled "Bizarro", when Clark uppercuts him towards the sun, and Martian Manhunter flies by and catches him, flying him to the sunny side of Mars and stranding him there.
In the episode "Gemini," Clark begins to behave unusually after his return from the Fortress of Solitude. At the episode's end it is revealed that "Clark" is actually Bizarro, while the real Clark is still in the Fortress trapped within a block of ice for his defiance in "Blue". During this time, in the episode "Persona", Bizarro appears to be settling smoothly into Clark's life and even begins a relationship with Lana Lang. In an effort to rid himself of his weakness to sunlight and effectively remain posing as Clark, he tracks down the recently rebooted Brainiac. As Brainac is still too weak to be of any real assistance, the Kryptonian A.I. remarked that the Kryptonian Scientist Dax-Ur could help. While visiting Chloe sullivan at the Daily Planet, Bizarro learns of an ancient shield that Chloe found some time ago, and believes it to be in Kara's possession. He journeys to the Fortress in search of Kara, only to be ordered by Jor-El to leave. Soon afterwards, Clark is freed in order to put a stop to Bizarro's plan. Going to Lionel Luthor (who is actually Brainiac in disguise) for advice, Clark discovers how to find Dax-Ur and that Bizarro can be destroyed by Blue Kryptonite, which he acquires during his visit to Dax-Ur. When Lana discovers she had in fact been involved with Bizarro, she is devastated, and frightened upon glimpsing his true form under sunlight. She leaves to find Clark and Bizarro tries to stop her, but not before Clark arrives. Clark tries to attack Bizarro with the Blue Kryptonite but is no match for Bizarro's super-strength and is knocked aside. Lana takes the rock from Clark and confronts Bizarro herself. Bizarro reveals his true feelings to Lana and tells her about how happy he is thanks to her, while scolding Clark for not being there when Lana needed him most. Lana agrees with Bizarro and the pair share a touching moment before Lana places the Blue Kryptonite in his hand. Shocked, Bizarro's body begins to disintegrate as the Kryptonite radiation overloads his body with power. Bizarro tells Lana that he loved her before Clark scratches his head-off and protects Lana from Bizarro's explosion.
In contrast to other versions of Bizarro, Smallville's take on the character does not have any linguistic troubles, and the traditional deformed visage of his comic counterpart only appears occasionally. He is portrayed by Tom Welling. Series creator Al Gough left the possibility of Bizarro's return in the future open, saying "There is ALWAYS a chance that this guy could show up".
Bizarro appeared in Superman 64 and will also in Superman: Man of Steel as a supervillain. Bizarro also appears as a villain in the Superman Returns video game. In Superman Returns: the video game, Bizarro escapes from Cadmas labs during a power outage in Metropolis along with several other mutant creatures. Bizarro and the creatures begin a rampage throughout Metropolis, destroying buildings and attacking citizens. Superman arrives and after defeating the mutant creatures that were with Bizarro, Superman and Bizarro battle it out. Though Bizarro is of equal might, Superman is a much more experienced warrior. Superman defeats Bizarro, but does not kill him because he knows that the poor creature is incapable of understanding his actions. Superman takes Bizarro and the other creatures back to the Cadmas Labs.