The Man Of Steel Beats Up A Deadbeat Dad In Superman #43

by James Ferguson

Boyzarro has escaped from the Bizarro world and landed in ours, seeking out his duplicate, Superboy. Jon is supposed to be in bed, not entertaining guests from another dimension. Fortunately, his father knows how to deal with Bizarros and steps in to help. This could just be a fight between a few capes, but it quickly becomes a very different story as Boyzarro heads home.

While all this is great and we’ll get to that in further detail in just a moment, there’s a section of Superman #43 that deserves to be highlighted right off the bat. That’s the Bizarro version of Damian Wayne. Artist Patrick Gleason has outdone himself here. This kid swoops in on a green version of his massive pet and the first and perhaps only thing you will notice is his suave little mustache. Robzarro comes in like Errol Flynn, looking to knock Nobody off her feet.

As if this wasn’t enough, Robzarro reacts like he’s found a puppy when Boyzarro returns, embracing his friend and smiling. Together, they’re the Bizarro Boys. While Super Sons is easily one of my favorite titles on the stands now, I would easily throw down some money for a Bizarro Boys mini-series.

Now back to the main piece of Superman #43. Boyzarro is an interesting character in that he has the same setup as Jon, but things are flipped. The powers are one thing, however it’s the relationship at home that is very different. Jon has a loving, supportive set of parents while Boyzarro has the opposite. When he first sees Superman (in the mirror, which is a nice touch), Boyzarro lashs out and instantly starts a fight.

I love the thought that goes in to every scene with Boyzarro. He is the opposite of Jon in every way. Where Jon stands tall with a smile on his face, Boyzarro slouches while sulking. Even the powers are flipped, as the Bizarro boy has flame breath instead of ice breath.

Here on Earth, Boyzarro has found peace. This is what happiness looks like. He’s not used to it. This comes about after he witnesses Superman and his son save a helicopter in a blockbuster sequence. The two work together and communicate throughout the whole process to ensure that everyone is brought down safely and collateral damage is kept to a minimum. Gleason finishes it up with a gorgeous panel that has the Man of Steel grabbing the helicopter while Superboy pushes it up with his back, while propped up on a tilted stop sign.

Superman steps in to bring the lad home and have a word with his father. This leads to the showdown we expected when you put the Man of Steel and Bizarro in the same book. It doesn’t happen because of some villainous heist or something like that. It goes down because Bizarro is a horrible father and that’s the kind of thing that Superman just won’t let stand. You can fight adults, but when you verbally abuse your own son, you’re going to get punched to the moon. Yes, that is literally what happens. This right here is what Superman is all about. He stands up for the little guy, even if that’s a pale, deadly alternate version of his own son.

This arc has the most refreshing take on the extended Bizarro family I’ve seen in years. Writers Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi are firing on all cylinders with Superman. This issue was top notch and it leaves off on one huge cliffhanger that I can’t wait to see explored in the next chapter. As exciting as it is to have Brian Michael Bendis take over for this series, he’s going to have some big shoes to fill after this.

Superman #43 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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