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Bizarro

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bizarro_785.png
"Me am Bizarro."

Bizarro is a fictional supervillain 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).

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 anti-hero role, and has appeared in both comic books and graphic novels as well as other DC Comics-related products such as animated and live-action television series, trading cards, toys, and video games.

Bizarro has had many origins over the decades, but one thing remains consistent: he is an imperfect copy of Superman created by science gone awry. Bizarro has powers similar to Superman but lacks his sense of justice and has difficulty telling right from wrong, often reveling in destruction for its own sake. Still, his deformed features combined with his childlike lack of guile sometimes makes him a sympathetic figure—sort of a modern-day Frankenstein's Monster.

See the Self-Demonstrating page for his own take on the situation.

    open/close all folders 

    In General 

Tropes associated with Bizarro:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Lois Lane in most stories. Though once he meets a Bizarro-Lois, he quickly transfers his affections to her.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A surprisingly high number of Bizarro appearances end with his death, and it's always treated with a heavy measure of sadness. Stories generally treat Bizarro are someone with the capacity for good things and sometimes even the intention to do good things, but having to be fight against due to tragic circumstance. As Lois Lane summed up at one point, "He came from good stuff."
  • Anti-Hero: On Bizarro World, where he's the only superhero they have. However, there is sometimes a Bizarro Justice League.
  • Anti-Villain: Nominally a villain, but only due to his immense power combined with his literally backwards-thinking. Being a clone of Superman, he genuinely wants to help people, but ends up doing the opposite.
  • Badass Cape: His cape is pretty cool.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: One of Bizarro's classic character tics is that he always says the opposite of what he means. This got downplayed after the Silver Age ended, but it's worth noting All-Star Superman had an issue spoken almost entirely in Bizarro speech, since Superman got stranded on Bizarro's homeworld.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Although Bizarro is sometimes reduced to comic relief, in more serious stories, he's exactly as terrifying as you would imagine as an angry toddler with the powers of Superman would be.
  • Blind and the Beast: Pre-Crisis, his only friend is a blind girl who doesn't realize he's a monster. His first Post-Crisis homages this by having him save a recently blinded Lucy Lane from a suicide attempt and she mistakes him for Superman.
  • The Brute: Fills this role in the Superman Revenge Squad. During Last Son he even battles Zod's brute, Non, one on one.
  • Chest Insignia: A backwards Superman shield. He sometimes wears a sign proclaiming "Bizarro #1" overtop of it.
  • Clone Degeneration: He is an imperfect clone of Superman. Pre-Crisis, however, this was averted; the duplication ray that made him just made imperfect duplicates of everything.
  • Depending on the Artist: Is his skin rocky, just white, or zombie-like? Are his costume's colors the same as Superman's, or darker shades? Is his logo the same as Superman's, or is it reversed? And whether he's wearing the "Bizarro #1" pendant.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Is his, and, by extension, all Bizarros' contrarian nature a conscious rejection of logical society (as in the Silver Age), a reflection of how their warped brains perceive reality (as in the Modern Age), or just sheer stupidity? Similarly, does he use sometimes-confusing "opposite" verbs and nouns in his speech, or not?
    • Also extends to his superpowers: sometimes he possesses an inverted collection of Superman's powers ("freeze vision" instead of heat vision, "vacuum breath" instead of super breath), but other times they're completely identical to any other Kryptonian's abilities.
    • Bizarro's personality also fluctuates wildly between iterations, sometimes being a comically inept bumbler, and sometimes being portrayed as a misunderstood outcast.
    • Green Kryptonite's effects on him: Depending on the comic, it either hurts Bizarro, strengthens him, or does nothing to him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In Red Hood and the Outlaws # 47, Bizarro fights and kills Trigon of all people.
  • Dumb Muscle: Possibly the single stupidest character in the Superman comics,note  leaving him open to manipulation by Luthor, and any other villain with a reasonable IQ.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness Bizarro's first appearance, as well as John Byrne's take on the character take the character very seriously. In fact, Bizarro, and his general situation is portrayed as quite a sad one, very much reminiscent of Frankenstein's Monster, with little to no comedy. In fact, he's not even portrayed as backwards-thinking and dumb, he's quite an intelligent being, although one that doesn't get a chance to explain himself due to what he is.
  • Evil Knockoff: Though who is responsible for creating him varies—Luthor and the Joker are the two responsible in current continuity—his status as a direct, villainous ripoff of Superman remains the same. For his part, Superman has pretty much never considered Bizarro evil so much as incredibly misguided. This is across all incarnations, from the confused Superman clone to the backwards denizen of Bizarro World.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The scientist who created him Post-Crisis said he would have been a perfectly duplicate if Superman were human. Luthor could have used the cloning machine to make obedient clones of human superheroes and villains but it never occurs to him. This is very much averted with the Pre-Crisis technology that gave him life, however, as it made imperfect copies of everything and Bizarro used it to create enough other Bizarros to fill a planet. The A Bizarro series would also eventually establish that human Bizarro clones are imperfect, too, just not so much that they end up dying from it like the first Bizarro did, but the technology to make more ends up destroyed.
  • Friendly Enemy: Is sometimes one to Superman.
  • Hulk Speak: Technically, "Bizarro speak".
  • Hero with an F in Good: Most versions of Bizarro are genuinely well-meaning, and have the same instinct to help people as Superman does, but usually makes a mess of things, either because of their "opposite"-worldview, or because they genuinely don't have the mental faculties to understand when they are doing harm.
  • Idiosyncrazy: His obsession with opposites - though this in only present in some versions.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Blue Kryptonite, which, depending on who is writing, either kills Bizarro or makes him smarter. Regular Kryptonite, again depending on who is writing, either does nothing to him or makes him stronger.
  • Laughably Evil: In the Silver and Bronze Ages, Bizarro was used for his humor value much more often than as an actual threat, and he was much more of a frenemy to Superman in those days. "Tales of the Bizarro World" was a long-running backup feature in the Superman books that was played completely for comedy, and it was goofily adorable. Post-Crisis stories have treated Bizarro and his world more seriously, though he has still had plenty of humorous takes since then, helped immensely by the fact that he's frequently portrayed as extremely stupid and hilarious awkwardness stemming from his tendency to say the opposite of what he intends to say (such as greeting people by saying "Goodbye" or saying "Me hate you" to his loved ones).
  • Legacy Character: There have actually been multiple Bizarros. In Pre-Flashpoint continuity, there have been three Bizarros. Pre-Crisis, there were two, the first being Bizarro-Superboy.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Being a clone of Superman, means he’s stronger, faster and tougher than more than half the superhuman population.
  • Mental Handicap, Moral Deficiency: Bizarro is often written as if mentally disabled.
  • Monster Progenitor: No matter where he comes from, the first appearance of Bizarro is usually followed by legions of others, created by him.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: He's either a creation from an imperfect ray, a failed clone, or magically-created by 5th Dimensional magic. And that depends on which version.
  • Obliviously Evil: Bizarro is often portrayed as completely ignorant of the bad things he is doing; frequently he does not understand, for instance, that punching somebody at full strength might kill them.
  • Oddball Doppelgänger: His original conception, though he's since been used as a "straight villain" more often.
  • Offing the Offspring: When Mxyzptlk was destroying Bizarro World, Bizarro sent his son to the planet's core so he would die first.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: His shocked that Jimmy Olsen recognises his chalk white skin while dressed as Clark Kent. Interestingly it makes Jimmy conclude the Clark Kent couldn't possibly be Superman as Bizarro always does everything wrong.
    • He also did this in his first adult Silver Age appearance when trying to visit Lois Lane at the Daily Planet. Superman, terrified of Bizarro revealing his secret identity, used super-clapping to drown out his voice.
  • Pet the Dog: He genuinely cares about those he considers friends. Many writers and adaptations even portray him as not even hating Superman or Lois that much, and in fact seeing them as friends.
  • Red Baron: The Idiot of Steel.
  • Silicon-Based Life: In Pre-Crisis days, Bizarros looked as if they were made of some kind of mineral and were always described as being made of "non-living matter." It's anyone's guess what sort of matter that was, but the implication is that they were not organic.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Once robbed a bank while pointing a gun at his own head. Luckily he turned down the money they offered him and demanded the contents of their trash cans.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: Wanted to replicate Superman's when building his own Fortress of Solitude, but filled his with garbage rather than trophies.
  • Supervillain Lair: Has his "FOURTRISS UV BIZARRO" based on Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Usually shown to be in a desert or volcanic region in contrast to Superman being based at the North Pole.
  • Tragic Monster: Even pre-Crisis, he hated Lex Luthor for re-creating him, feeling that he didn't deserve to live.
  • Tyke Bomb: Lex Luthor's intention for Bizarro in almost every version. Subverted in that it never actually works.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Often, Bizarro is shown to be somewhat stronger than Superman. Depending on the Writer, this is usually justified a number of ways. The first is that Bizarro is essentially a child with the powers of Superman and has none of the conscious or unconscious self-control that Clark does so he always goes at the highest level of strength. His simple nature also means that he's focused and has a one track mind. This focus allows him to give it everything to the exclusion of everything else whereas Superman may be distracted by limiting environmental damage and rescuing innocent people during a fight. Also, whoever makes Bizarro does it with the intention that Bizarro will best Superman. His greater strength is an example of Power at a Price. While Bizarro has higher energy reserves and can draw power from all sources of light (not just yellow sunlight), he is mentally stunted and handicapped with serious Body Horror issues that come from his altered form of energy processing (his tissue calcifies from energy absorption and too much power could turn him into a statue).

    New Bizarro 

New Bizarro

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/new_bizarro_001_1.png

A one-time copy of Bizarro that Bizarro himself made by using the duplication machine on himself in his first adult appearance. As an imperfect copy of an imperfect copy, he looked just like Superman, but had a brain just like Bizarro's.

  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: He looks just like the normal Superman, but he not only has a brain like Bizarro but is also a bigger jerk on top of it.
  • Hulk Speak: Just like the original Bizarro. It's how Lois is able to identify him as New Bizarro.
  • Jerkass: Constantly mocks the original Bizarro for being ugly. Lois is disturbed enough by it that she actually prefers the original Bizarro to him.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Because he's (physically, at least) a perfect duplicate of Superman, he's weakened by Kryptonite.
  • Oddball Doppelgänger: Bizarro figured that making an imperfect duplicate of an imperfect duplicate would create a perfect duplicate of Superman, but while New Bizarro looks like the original Superman, he still thinks like a Bizarro, and is far more of a jerk than the original.

    Bizarro World 

Bizarro World

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bizarro_world_002.jpg

"Mommy, why Earth people enter through entrances, and exit through exits?"
"Because them am stupid, that's why!"

Sometimes has the unpronounceable name "Htrae," Earth backwards.

In Pre-Crisis days, Bizarro was lonely until a Bizarro-Lois was created, and the two promptly fell in love and flew away to find a new world for themselves. Finding a deserted planet that had been home to a dead civilization, they used the local tech to duplicate themselves into an entire planet of Bizarro Supermen and Bizarro Lois Lanes, with Bizarro #1 and his wife as the leaders. Over the years, more Bizarro duplicates of DC characters were produced and wound up on Bizarro World. The Bizarros are fertile as well, so there are Bizarro children (the boys wear little Superman uniforms). Their highest law is the Bizarro Code stating that "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!" When they arrested Superman for the awful crime of fixing something on Bizarro World, Superman got off the hook by pointing out that they themselves were guilty of living on a perfectly normal round planet. They duly felt guilty about this, so Superman carved their planet into a cube, making them happy again. Bizarro World is basically like the schoolyard game of "Opposite Day" as the foundation of an entire society. The results are very silly.

The Post-Crisis origin is that Bizarro was lonely until the day he discovered that the rays of a blue sun give him one extra superpower, the ability to duplicate himself. He used this to populate a cubic planet with other monsters who are just as logically warped as he is.


  • Amusement Park of Doom: Bizarro Lex Luthor built the "Ark HAM AMuSiMENT PARK" where Bizarro criminals are forced to ride rollercoasters and eat cotton candy until they vomit.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Like Bizarro himself, everything on Bizarro World is reversed; doing evil things is considered good, and doing bad things is considered evil.
  • Bizarro Universe: invoked Obviously.
  • Black Comedy: Post-Crisis Bizarro versions of Batman take his well-known origin story and twist it in morbid ways for comedy. The Bizarro-Batman in All-Star Superman was shot and killed by his parents, while Batzarro in Superman/Batman shoots down couples who wander into Crime Alley in order to solve the mystery of his own parents' death (it doesn't help him, and neither can Bizarro).
  • Brought Down to Normal: A World's Finest Comics story had Superman and Batman travel to Orr, which is actually a future Bizarro World; apparently it was exposed to radiation that turned everyone into regular humans.
  • Continuity Snarl: The planet's ultimate fate.
    • According to an issue of World's Finest, it was irradiated and became "Orr", its population turned from Bizarros into organic lifeforms.
    • According to an issue of Adventure Comics, the Bizarros are alive and well in the future of the Legion Of Superheroes. This can be potentially explained by the fact that Orr's arrival in the present shunted the present-day Bizarro World into the future, so if one assumes that Orr exists in the 30th century, the "Legion of Stupor-Bizarros" story took place during this brief period.
    • According to DC Comics Presents' last issue, the Bizarro World was imploded by the machinations of a Kryptonian sorcerer residing in the Phantom Zone, with Bizarro's still-unliving remains being tossed in front of Superman by Mxyzptlk For the Evulz.
    • According to Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Bizarro was manipulated by Mxyzptlk into destroying the Bizarro World and then himself.
  • Depending on the Writer: There are multiple Bizarro versions of Batman; which one is used and what personality traits he has usually depends on the writer. The most prominent and fleshed-out of these is Batzarro from Superman/Batman.
  • Discard and Draw: When it turned into Orr, it erased the powers of all the Bizarro-Supermen, but gave everyone psychic powers.
  • Ditto Aliens: Most of Bizarro World's population are duplicates of Superman and Lois Lane (although they can tell each other apart). In post-Crisis continuities, the Bizarros are more varied.
  • Costume Evolution: All the Bizarro Supermen on Bizarro World started out with costumes that were identical to Superman's own, but after realizing having a correct-looking suit goes against their "opposite" mindset, they adopt new ones where the chest insignia in inverted.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Inverted with Batzarro; as Batman hates guns, Batzarro gleefully dual-wields them. In his Establishing Character Moment, he tries to solve the mystery of his parents' murder by gunning down couples who wander into Crime Alley.
  • Enemy Civil War: Not all of Bizarro's duplicates get along with him.
  • Eyeless Face: Batzarro has no eyeholes on his cowl.
  • Lovable Coward: Yellow Lantern, the Bizarro version of the courageous Green Lantern. Strays into Dirty Coward territory during the rare moments when he's not played for laughs.
  • Metamorphosis: Their children are born looking like humans/Kryptonians before permanently turning Bizarro after some time. Same thing happens with their animals.
  • No Indoor Voice: Batzarro speaks all of his thought bubbles out loud, in an inverse of Batman's quiet contemplation.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • The Bizarro Joker is the only sane man on the planet.
    • Zibarro in ''All-Star Superman. Seeing as he's the Bizarro of the world of Bizarro, this is to be expected.
    • Bizarro Metallo from the New 52 version rampaged because his logical computer brain made him sane and he became disgruntled at all the madness around him.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: The female half of the planet's population. Mostly Bizarro versions of Lois.
  • Perpetual Smiler: The Bizarro version of the normally grumpy Batman, who even has a smiley face symbol on his chest in place of a bat symbol. Batzarro, another take on the same concept, also has a perpetual fanged grin on his face.
  • Running Gag: In the Post-Crisis arc by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner, the Bizarros always mentioned Bizarro!Luthor's baldness for some reason. When Bizarros tells Yellow Lantern to scare Bizarro!Lex instead of Bizarro!Lois, Yellow Lantern answers "Lex Luthor? Pfft! Him am bald so him am scared of nothing!".
  • Sacrificial Planet: When an army of Bizarros fly to attack, they cleave an asteroid in half and Supes notes that they're powerful enough to do this to Earth.
  • Save the Villain: Superman often saves Bizarro World from destruction, even though it would make his life much easier to just let it be destroyed.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Averted with most of the Bizarro characters themselves, but played straight with the name of their planet, which is sometimes called "Htrae". Since no one can actually pronounce that, most adaptations simply refer to it as The Bizarro World or Bizarro-Earth.
    • The Bizarro version of Mr. Mxyzptlk is named Mr. Kltpzyxm, which has been used in the past to exploit the original's Weaksauce Weakness.
    • Post-Crisis Geoff Johns' and Richard Donner's version of Bizarro!Mxyzptlk can't go back to the 5th Dimension because he doesn't know how to spell.
    • Amazingly, this actually sticks in the future when it's transformed into Orr; their planet's new name coupled with its capital city (Azib) is "Bizarro" backwards, and Yllas and Kralc are "Sally" and "Clark" spelled backwards. Yllas even wears a brooch with the last letter of her name.
  • Self-Duplication: All other Bizarros are duplicates of the original, or duplicates of other people, created by the original Bizarro.
  • Super-Empowering: Bizarro Amazo steals powers and gives them to non-powered people. Bizarro Parasite runs around supercharging everyone he touches.
  • Super-Toughness: In Pre-Crisis days at least, even Bizarro duplicates of ordinary non-powered humans seemed to have a little more inherent durability than their originals. At the very least, being made of inorganic "non-living matter," they could survive in space and didn't need to breathe. All of this was useful, considering the slapstick rough-and-tumble lifestyle the Bizarro World's craziness lent itself to.
  • Transformation Ray: If non-Bizarro criminals are put on trial, they can be punished with a Bizarro Ray that will turn them Bizarro.
  • Underwater Base: Because the Justice League is based in outer space, the Bizarro Justice League is based in a submarine.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Bizarro Amazo saves a crashing plane and is told off by the Bizarro pilot for stopping a scheduled crash of a plane with indestructible passengers.
  • World Shapes: A cube. When it turned into Orr, it changed into a flat oval.

    Bizarro I 

Bizarro I

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bizarro_i_new_earth_001.png

The original Post-Crisis Bizarro created by Lex Luthor. Was a bit different than the other versions.


  • Anti-Villain: Not an evil bone in his body, but obviously a massive threat, given he's walking around with Superman's powers, but no understanding of how to control them, or what's even going on around him.
  • Clark Kenting: Attempts this, by stealing a suit jacket and a pair of glasses.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Makes an attempt at this by stealing a pair of glasses, and "concealing" it's costume with an open suit jacket. Safe to say, it doesn't work.
  • Expendable Clone: Was considered to be nothing more than one by his creator.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Many years and a ton of cash went in to this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Superman believed he intentionally plowed into him to cure Lucy Lane of her blindness.
  • Made in Country X: In Hong Kong, to be exact.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While the cover of each issue of The Man of Steel features a character facing the reader, Issue 5 has his back on the reader. A nod to his pre-Crisis counterpart being a mixed-up, backwards creature.
    • His entire storyline, up to him befriending a blind girl was directly ripped from the first Bizarro, the short-lived Bizarro-Superboy.
  • No Name Given: He was never named "Bizarro" in-story (as a Mythology Gag, Lex called him "Bizarre— Oh, forget it!"). Though, Who's Who: Update '87 #1 named him that.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Initially it was his deterioration that led Lex to discover that Superman is an alien, which at the time of the clone's single appearance Superman is believed to be a super-powered human.
  • Superpower Lottery: This version has the exact same powers as Superman.
  • The Speechless: He didn't utter a word, for some reason.
  • Tragic Villain: Was met with disgust and repulsion all of his short life.
    • Tragic Hero: He did his absolute best to help people, only to be met with disgust.
  • The Voiceless: He doesn't speak.

    Bizarrogirl (Pre-Crisis & Post-Crisis) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bizarro_supergirl_01.jpg
Pre-Crisis Bizarrogirl
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bizarro_girl_2.png
Post-Crisis Bizarrogirl

'" We saved Bizarro World, Supergirl... so why do me now hurt inside?"

There were two different Bizarro versions of Supergirl in Pre-Crisis continuity. The first was pretty much just a Gender Flip version of the regular Bizarro in body and mind and died in her first appearance but the second was a little different. The second Bizarrogirl was created when the Bizarros used a Duplication Machine on the real Supergirl who at the time had been left with a monstrous appearance by a vindictive alien prince. The result was a Bizarro girl with the beautiful looks the real Supergirl (normally) possessed but the mind of a Bizarro, effectively making her a Brainless Beauty.

A Bizarro version of post-Crisis Linda Danvers was created by Buzz. Briefly mistaken by Fred for a Jokerised Linda, she ends up working for Lilith, but later sacrifices herself.

The Bizarro counterpart of Post-Crisis Kara, Bizarrogirl, was rocketed to Earth by Bizarro #1 when he believed that the Godship was going to destroy Bizarroworld. Here she hurt or killed several people, before being defeated by Supergirl; Kara returned Bizarrogirl to Bizarroworld, befriending her in the process.


Tropes:

    Bizarro IV 

Bizarro IV

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bizarro_iv.jpg

The post-Rebirth Bizarro. He was genetically engineered by Lex Luthor and was going to be destroyed, but made it into the hands of Black Mask before being freed by Red Hood and Artemis.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Calls Jason Todd and Artemis 'Red Him' and 'Red Her', respectively.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening to hurt any friend of his, especially Jason, will probably prompt him to freeze you alive.
  • The Big Guy: Of the Dark Trinity of him, Red Hood and Artemis.
  • Cuteness Proximity: He considers one of his first friends to be a stuffed toy he affectionately calls Pup-Pup.
  • Dumb Muscle: Only he isn't dumb per se. He's definitely slow, but he's essentially only as old as an infant and so lacks virtually any life experiences of his own.
  • Fake Memories: He has all of Superman's distant memories; from leaving Krypton to being raised by the Kents. He realizes that these memories aren't his, though.
  • Gentle Giant: He looks bulkier than Superman, but he has all the innocence of a child and generally only attacks those who threaten those he cares about.
  • Last of His Kind: Bizarro wasn't the only clone of his kind created, but when the risks of allowing mentally undeveloped clones of the most powerful hero on Earth became apparent, they were all killed. Bizarro was meant to be killed too but Black Mask stole him for his own agendas before they could.

    Appearances in Other Media 

Alternative Title(s): Bizarro

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