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Author Topic: Why were the Bizarro stories popular?  (Read 9584 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2006, 02:09:33 PM »

Yeah, that's what it was like for me...a Jimmy Olsen story would have a seriously unlikely scenario, but the Bizarro scenarios seemed unlikely and pretty dumb, sort of like "must invade Metropolis -- people dance 'round Christmas trees, Bizarros have Christmas rocks!"... Cool
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2006, 02:24:01 AM »

No one ever said they were subtle


 :wink3d:
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2006, 02:41:12 AM »

Yeah, that actually brings me back to the original question of what kind of humor were they going at, TV like Milton Berle and silly comedians like Jerry Lewis?

All in all, the Bizarros were fine with me, I just think that they could have been better used as story "spoilers" to add a twist than to focus on their "sort of" reversed homeworld thinking...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2006, 10:29:52 AM »

Personally, I suspect the reason for "Tales of the Bizzaro World's" popularity is that Bizarros could behave antisocially and get away with it. The kids disobeyed their parents instead of obeying them, for instance. Bizarro HELPS perform crimes. It's such a reversal of norms that it's easy to see why it would appeal to the brains of children. On Bizarro world, their parents want them to MIS-behave!

Bizarros are rude, dirty, and like bug-loving kids, Bizarros find interesting strange things. Bizarro and the Hulk are popular for the exact same reason: they act out.

(Drive in L.A. or Miami for more than 40 minutes and tell me you wouldn't want to bust out, Hulk-style, shredding your shirt and saying "GRAAAH! GET REVENGE ON WORLD!").

Plus, those Bizarro critters were a laugh-a-minute. The paperboys shout "YESTERDAY'S NEWS! DON'T read all about it!"

My favorite Bizarro stories were the ones done in the 1970s by Martin Pasko, which features Bizarro No. 1 in team-ups, duped by villains - he comes across as a very sympathetic monster. There was also the way Pasko reversed his powers, so he had Vision that shrunk faraway objects, and his eyes fired cold.

As for the Silver Age Bizarro tales, they gave a chuckle, but ultimately they gave me headaches. For one thing, there was the introduction of the Bizarro Legion of Super-Heroes! All of them took an oath to disrespect the law, and so forth...but the thing is, wouldn't "disrespecting the law" actually be OBEYING the law on Bizarro Earth? Then again, as they're self-respecting Bizarros, wouldn't they NOT keep their oath?

OH NO! I'VE GONE ALL CROSS-EYED!

Strangely, Bizarro isn't that much of a backwards Superman. To quote Elaine from SEINFELD: "Does he live underwater? Is he black?"

If Bizarros were popular though, it didn't last; didn't "Tales of the Bizarro World" get edged out by the Swan/Shooter Legion in ADVENTURE COMICS?

My one problem with the existence of the Bizarro World is the exact same problem as I had with the "universe dedicated to evil," Qward as seen in the John Broome GREEN LANTERN: you can't really construct a world you can believe in this way.

Qward, at least according to Broome, was a super-scientific society dedicated to evil. Now, setting aside for a moment arguments about the existence of absolute evil...the thing is, evil isn't an end in and of itself: evil men are entirely practical. A world dedicated to lawlessness couldn't exist, because any society, even very nasty ones, work according to RULES.

(Later on we'd see Steve Englehart's take on Qward, and how of all the people involved, he was most successful in making the Qwardians real nasty pieces of work, but not something as unrealistic as dedicated to an abstract concept of Evil).
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2006, 04:55:27 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Bizarros are rude, dirty, and like bug-loving kids, Bizarros find interesting strange things. Bizarro and the Hulk are popular for the exact same reason: they act out.

(Drive in L.A. or Miami for more than 40 minutes and tell me you wouldn't want to bust out, Hulk-style, shredding your shirt and saying "GRAAAH! GET REVENGE ON WORLD!").

Plus, those Bizarro critters were a laugh-a-minute. The paperboys shout "YESTERDAY'S NEWS! DON'T read all about it!"

My favorite Bizarro stories were the ones done in the 1970s by Martin Pasko, which features Bizarro No. 1 in team-ups, duped by villains - he comes across as a very sympathetic monster. There was also the way Pasko reversed his powers, so he had Vision that shrunk faraway objects, and his eyes fired cold.


I agree that the act out nature might have been a way to go,  and the laugh-a-minute lines don't really work as funny...especially as the notion of what is "reversed" is almost always arbitrary and, well, kind of dumb...

Actually, the Pasko take sounds much more inventive -- like a mutated Jimmy Olsen, a Bizarro element has a lot of potential to put a twist on an otherwise "normal" story
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2006, 03:28:33 PM »

Tales of the Bizarro World had a relatively short run for a Mort series.  Probably due to the reasons listed here.  They were funny at first but eventually became tiresome.  And I think they were running out of ideas.  So Mort switched to the Legion because of their connection to Superboy and that they had more potential for stories.

When you read the Bizarro World stories all back to back the flaws in the series become more apparent.  I think that Mort realized this.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2006, 04:35:55 PM »

Yeah, I agree...they did get bumped fairly quickly, and probably for the reasons people are talking about...what I was wondering is why they got started, what brand of humor or hook were they trying to tie into that made it seem like a good idea?
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2006, 10:47:43 PM »

I think Mort actually ditched Aquaman and Green Arrow for the Bizarro World series.  I guess it sounded like a good idea at the time, being connected to Superman, but I suspect even Mort realized that people were seeing the same thing over and over again.
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