Join Us / Login

Review: Bizarro #5

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
October 25th, 2015

T. Kyle King’s published work ranges from newspaper columns to film reviews and from short stories to law review articles. Most notably, he served as a site manager and staff writer at DawgSports.com, a daily weblog devoted to University of Georgia athletics, from 2006 to 2013, and he is the author of a book about the history of the college football rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers published by Clemson University Digital Press in 2013. Kyle is a lifelong comic book fan whose thoughts on comic books previously have appeared at ComicsVerse, Progressive Boink, and the Superman Homepage. Kyle is a Superman guy.

Review: Bizarro #5
Comics
67 Comments
Review of: Bizarro #5
Price:
Wonderful

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On October 25, 2015
Last modified:October 26, 2015

Summary:

Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte have created a series that is smart, funny, uplifting, adventurous, and fun.

Review of: Bizarro #5
Price:
Wonderful

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On October 25, 2015
Last modified:October 26, 2015

Summary:

Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte have created a series that is smart, funny, uplifting, adventurous, and fun.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte are sending Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro on a road trip to Canada, and their Silver Age-style buddy comedy continued in Bizarro #5. Our Superman writer, Kyle King, is along for the ride, and he reviews the mismatched twosome’s most recent adventure.

The penultimate issue of Corson’s and Duarte’s limited series sees our unlikely heroes traveling from Branson, Missouri, to Las Vegas, Nevada, to Area 51, and their trek causes them to cross paths with Chastity Hex, ARGUS agents, multiple aliens, Sam Lane, and one of General Lane’s daughters. It’s every bit as much fun as it sounds, but be forewarned: SPOILERS FOLLOW!

Synopsis

Agents Meadows Mahalo and Stuart “Chicken Stew” Paillard offer Jimmy and Bizarro $50,000 and an all-expenses-paid visit to Las Vegas if they will break into Area 51 so ARGUS can come in, clean up the resulting mess, and lay claim to the alien technology being hoarded there by the Army. Accompanied by Chastity and Colin the Chupacabra, they head to Sin City, where Bizarro answers a call from Jimmy’s publisher and learns that Olsen is only accompanying the flawed Superman duplicate to Canada so the Daily Planet photojournalist can write a coffee-table book about their escapades.

Once inside Area 51, the oddball team sparks a riot among the incarcerated aliens as part of a carefully orchestrated plan to get their hands on the Army’s storehouse of captured weaponry from other worlds. In a face-off with Area 51’s commanding officer, Sam Lane, Jimmy links in the general’s daughter and his Daily Planet colleague, Lois Lane, who threatens to expose her father’s illegal detention of alien visitors.

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

Rather than turn everything over to ARGUS, though, Jimmy and Bizarro give the technology back to the detainees and send them all home. Colin finds his otherworldly compatriots and returns to outer space with them following an emotional farewell. This leaves our heroes alone and gives Bizarro the opportunity to express his anger at Jimmy for deceiving him, after which he smashes Olsen’s automobile and flies away.

Analysis

I bought two books this week: Bizarro #5 and Superman/Wonder Woman #22. After the preview of the latter, I had serious misgivings about the latest installment in the Justice arc, and my fears proved well-founded. Fortunately, Bizarro America: Part 2 was the perfect antidote to the toxin that was Heart of the Sun.

Story continues below

At this point, Bizarro has established its look and tone so well that recurring gags and themes appear effortless yet have lost none of their freshness. Jimmy remains the perfect straight man, consistently providing wry commentary and dry wit, irrespective of whether he is playing off of Bizarro, Chastity, Chicken Stew, or Sam Lane.

The running jokes still work. Although the line is used repeatedly, it still slays me every single time Olsen tells Hex, “Don’t call him Chief.” Likewise, it isn’t just funny once when Jimmy gasps, “Tanks!” at the sight of rolling armored vehicles and Bizarro replies with his own awkward formulation for, “You’re welcome!” Even the sound effects add to the hilarity, as Chastity’s ray guns emit a “pee-yow” with each laser blast and a punch from Bizarro produces an “ommahw” in a marvelous instance of backward onomatopoeia.

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

My lone criticism of the script is that it contains a couple of uses of mild profanity. One of General Lane’s soldiers asks, “Where’s the damn tank?” Lois later tells her father, “This is a hell of a scoop.” I don’t object in principle to cursing in comic books, but I don’t care for it in the mouth of the Man of Steel, and it feels equally out of place in a story with an E rating.

As always, the visual signature of the book suits the style of the writing. Nevertheless, the deliberately exaggerated cartoonishness of Duarte’s artwork does not rob his graphics of nuance, as physical humor still shines through in such subtle details as the facial expression Jimmy aims at the reader while Bizarro literally counts cards in a casino. Pete Pantazis’s colors are understated but effective at showing shifts in place, time, and mood.

Corson and crew are not just operating on autopilot, however; each issue of Bizarro has its own unique features, and this issue is no exception. Bizarro America: Part 2 contains a running string of Tom Cruise allusions, starting with a wonderful full-page reproduction of the actor’s ride down the escalator with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. When Bizarro answers Olsen’s cell phone, he hilariously mimics Jimmy in a scene reminiscent of Jay Mohr’s call to Jerry O’Connell’s hotel room in Jerry Maguire. Finally, Sam Lane grumbles that they’ve “crippled a country today,” after the fashion of Jack Nicholson at the end of A Few Good Men. Throughout it all, Olsen keeps in contact with the outside world using a souped-up pair of sunglasses straight out of the Mission: Impossible movies.

The highlight of the hilarity comes when Jimmy patches in Lois, to whom he exquisitely refers as “Ms. Lane”. When a hologram of the Daily Planet’s premier reporter tells her father what a scoop this would be, the chastened general replies, “Bunny… you wouldn’t—”. While a timid Clark Kent brings her a couple of lattes from the Lexbucks coffee shop, Lois says to Sam: “C’mon, Pop. You know I would. I’d sell out my best friend for a story…” That joke was exactly the tonic downtrodden fans needed after Truth, providing the metaphorical counterpunch to the literal shot to the chops Lois took in the issue of Superman/Wonder Woman that hit the stands the same day.

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

Such superbly subversive slyness sprinkled into a clever comic rated E for everyone underscores the genuine depth of this series. Bizarro #5 ties everything together, neatly wraps up several storylines, draws the connection between Colin and the aliens that some readers saw coming from the beginning, and puts a bow on the previous four installments. Even so, though, there are lessons being learned and points being made, as Jimmy finds out the hard way when he must pay the price for his selfishness and insincerity. Bizarro may be simple, but Bizarro is not simplistic; Corson and Duarte are crafting a tale that is lighthearted but not lightheaded.

Through their words and pictures, Corson and Duarte continue expertly to walk the tightrope between delightful absurdity and engrossing adventure. The steady stream of amusing wackiness should not obscure the fact that Bizarro #5 easily could have been played straight, as evidenced by the similar prison riot portrayed in a far more harrowing manner in All-Star Superman #5. Here, though, the heroic drama leavened by an undercurrent of humor delivered by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in The Gospel According to Lex Luthor has been reversed, as primacy is given to the funny with an overtone of daring gallantry.

What the creative team behind Bizarro gets is that silliness is not synonymous with shallowness. The Silver Age, to which this series owes so great a debt, was not lacking in pathos; indeed, that era produced two classic tales about Superman dying and expended much energy emphasizing Kal-El’s sense of loss over the destruction of Krypton. Bizarro, like the period of superhero comics history that spawned it, conveys meaningful themes in a way that is uplifting rather than disheartening.

Nowhere is that more apparent than on the page contributed by guest artist Rafael Albuquerque. Emerging from Area 51’s alien armory in a full-page spread, all three humanoid heroes are clad in gear gathered from distant visitors. Chastity Hex is equipped with Adam Strange’s Alpha Centauri apparatus, Jimmy Olsen heads into battle with Katar Hol’s Thanagarian police accoutrements, and Bizarro stands front and center wearing Superman’s suit from the earliest days of Jerry Siegel’s and Joe Shuster’s Action Comics adventures. There is no incongruity to the insertion of such inspiring imagery in an issue that still keeps the “funny” in “funny book”.

Story continues below

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

I have noted here before that I’m a Superman guy, but, really, I’m just as much a Jimmy Olsen guy. Perceptively, Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims has written that “Jimmy Olsen represents the highest ideal for a young Superman fan” because the message he conveys to readers is: “‘Be a good person and Superman will want to be your pal!’” Audiences have been able to relate to Jimmy for three-quarters of a century, in spite of his travels through time and his transformations into giant green turtle men and his apparent ability to afford an apartment in Metropolis even though he’s a teenaged cub reporter, because he’s just a regular fellow whose best friend happens to be the Man of Steel.

Because he lacks superpowers or even special training in anything more exotic than photography, Olsen more often is being rescued than he is involved in rescuing. Accordingly, his best-known accessory, besides the bow tie, is the signal watch with which he calls for the help he invariably needs. Well, this time, Jimmy Olsen is on his own, sans signal watch, and he is leading his oddball team against an actual army while wearing Hawkman wings, ARGUS sunglasses, and a smile, calling his cohorts to action with the exclamation: “Let’s do what we do best: make a mess.”

Yes, this is all in fun, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also heartening. Yes, Bizarro winds up stranding Jimmy in the desert, but that doesn’t mean the final issue in the series won’t succeed in combining a worthwhile lesson with a happy ending. Heath Corson, Gustavo Duarte, and the rest of the Bizarro team are giving us the best of DC Comics’ past without the worst of DC Comics’ present. The result is a comic that, like Olsen’s character, is just cool, and I look forward to Bizarro #6 knowing that the future’s so bright, Jimmy’s got to wear shades.

What was your favorite part of Bizarro’s, Chastity’s, Colin’s, and Jimmy’s mission into Area 51?

Are you excited for Bizarro’s big finale or sad to see the series end?

We want to know what you think! We invite you to ComiConverse with us in the comments below.

T. Kyle King is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

Bizarro #5

  • 5

Wonderful

Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte have created a series that is smart, funny, uplifting, adventurous, and fun.

(Visited 346 times, 1 visits today)

67 Comments

  1. MartinGray says:

    Wondrous review, some great thoughts and insight, and wow on the Tom Cruise references, I’d not have spotted them in a million years (I remember nothing about Jerry Maguire other than that someone was a sports agent and someone said ‘You complete me’ )

    I’m glad Bizarro got Jimmy thinking about his behaviour, because while I’ve enjoyed this book, that’s despite how mean-minded and cynical Jimmy has been.

    When you mentioned mild profanity, I thought you were going for ‘turd in the yogurt’, that surprised me. ‘Damn’ and ‘hell’ didn’t even register, but I realise they’re a bigger deal in the US than the UK.

  2. I just want to say I’m new to blogging and site-building and seriously loved this blog. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You definitely have tremendous well written articles. Appreciate it for sharing your web-site.

  3. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  4. Oh i really envy the way you post topics, how i wish i could write like that.’:\’`.

  5. Sports says:

    I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

  6. Game says:

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  7. I think other website proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and great user genial style and design, let alone the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  8. Business says:

    Awsome info and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thanks 🙂

  9. Automotive says:

    You completed a few nice points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog.

  10. Good write-up, I am regular visitor of one¡¦s blog, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  11. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  12. Hello very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also¡KI’m happy to find a lot of helpful information right here within the submit, we want work out extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  13. Wow, incredible blog format! How long have you been running a blog for? you make blogging glance easy. The overall look of your web site is magnificent, let alone the content!

  14. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  15. Pets says:

    Great remarkable issues here. I¡¦m very glad to look your article. Thanks so much and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  16. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  17. Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially because I was investigating for thoughts on this topic last Monday.

  18. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Kudos!

  19. Healthy Life says:

    Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

  20. I’ve learn some good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you place to create any such great informative site.

  21. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your website.

  22. Automotive says:

    As soon as I observed this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  23. Science says:

    I like this blog very much, Its a real nice place to read and incur info . “Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly.” by Simeon Strunsky.

  24. divorcemind says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  25. imscseo says:

    IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  26. Law & Legal says:

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  27. Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  28. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking into your web page yet again.

  29. Woman says:

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  30. Emery EPS says:

    Emeryeps is a SEO(Search Engine optimzation) and Internet Marketing company. They help businesses to get traffic from various search engine and online community. They have seo experts and consultants with many years of SEO Experiences. No matter where your business is located, EmeryEPS.com can help your business to secure your highly convertible leads online.

  31. Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  32. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  33. SacramentoCremation.us is one of the leading crematorium services in the Sacramento area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions on Sacramento Cremation Services or concerns you might have. Our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.

  34. I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  35. imsc seo says:

    IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  36. Emeryeps says:

    Emeryeps is a SEO(Search Engine optimzation) and Internet Marketing company. They help businesses to get traffic from various search engine and online community. They have seo experts and consultants with many years of SEO Experiences. No matter where your business is located, EmeryEPS.com can help your business to secure your highly convertible leads online.

  37. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  38. F*ckin’ amazing things here. I am very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  39. Might be practically unthinkable to find well-advised americans on this theme, fortunately you seem like you are familiar with the things you’re posting on! Excellent

  40. I think other web site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  41. Website says:

    Really insightful highlights you have said, thanks for posting.

  42. As I website possessor I believe the content material here is rattling excellent , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  43. This is appropriate day to have some schemes for the long run. I have looked over this post and if I have the ability to, I desire to propose you number of important tips and advice.

  44. tutaj says:

    Younger guys with just a couple tweaks could possibly alter their lives and face the same problems.

  45. I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  46. hello!,I really like your writing so so much! proportion we be in contact more about your post on AOL? I need an expert in this space to resolve my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.

  47. Sulema says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog. You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  48. Woman says:

    Whats Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different users like its aided me. Good job.

  49. Very well written information. It will be beneficial to anyone who usess it, including me. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  50. I¡¦ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i¡¦m satisfied to show that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make certain to do not overlook this site and give it a look on a relentless basis.

  51. Automotive says:

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Saturday.

  52. link says:

    You’re on top of the game. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Business says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  54. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  55. Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very great post.

  56. Education says:

    As a Newbie, I am constantly searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  57. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  58. Automotive says:

    I simply could not depart your web site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual information an individual supply to your visitors? Is going to be again regularly to check out new posts

  59. Timmy says:

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  60. indie porn says:

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  61. pool slides says:

    Howdy I just wanted to say hello. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d comment to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Cheers!

  62. Finance says:

    I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  63. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be really one thing which I think I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look ahead in your subsequent submit, I¡¦ll attempt to get the cling of it!

  64. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  65. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thanks

  66. Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing.

ComiConverse with us...

Yes No