Every so often, a rather unusual character unexpectedly becomes popular. Among them are Bizarro Superman, revealed in a 1958 story that was published in Superboy issue 68. He is a big, dumb, gray version of the man of steel. Follow along as we learn how a duplicator ray went haywire and created an imperfect copy of the Kryptonian. Although this story features Superboy, in this continuity Superboy is the same character as Superman, but when he was a boy. (Sorry if that sounded redundant.)
The story starts with Superboy observing a scientist, demonstrating his magical device that creates a duplicator ray. The ray will create a copy of whatever it is pointing at. After testing it on radium and a jewel, they discover that the scientist’s invention is a failure, since it creates imperfect duplicates. Suddenly, the scientist stumbles and grabs the lever of the machine, causing Superboy to be hit with the duplicator ray. The machine also tips over and crashes, causing an explosion. When the smoke clears, we see Bizarro Superman for the first time on page two. The scientist points out that he is made of non-living matter, and plans on destroying it after cleaning up the debris from the exploded machine.
The strange duplicate wanders outside the building, and it hears Superboy call it “bizarre”. The creature hears “Bizzaro” and thinks that is its name. His speech, even in his mind, is incorrect. Bizarro sees his face in a reflection and, reacting to how ugly he is, throws a car through the window. This was the first clue that Bizarro had the same powers as the original, despite being a copy. After some men try to shoot him, he flies away to the Kent residence, the home of Clark’s adopted parents. Superboy’s mom is frightened, the same as everyone else who had seen him so far. Things get interesting when Bizarro meets a pretty blind girl named Melissa, who responds to him positively.
Superboy comes up with a plan to use Kryptonite to try and stop Bizarro. He wears a lead suit to protect himself from the deadly rays, then flies into space to grab a Kryptonite stone. He throws it at Bizarro, who thinks he is playing catch with him. Superboy is stunned to discover that Bizarro is Immune to Kryptonite. After the military tries using various weapons to stop him, Superboy tries to throw an atomic bomb at Bizarro. (What could possibly go wrong?) Bizarro catches the bomb before it has a chance to go off, and throws it into the moon. Eventually, Superboy figures out that pieces from the destroyed machine that created the duplicator ray could harm the creature. Bizarro runs into a piece of the machinery and instantly disintegrates into the lifeless molecules from which he was formed. The vibration from the collision cures Melissa’s blindness, and the story ends.
Now that you learned about the original origin of Bizarro Superman, you should also know that this comic was released the same year as when Lois Lane became fat. This is kind of a sad story, and it’s hard not to feel bad for Bizarro. If you have deep pockets, go ahead and add this (Affiliate Link) to your sweet collection of comic books. If you haven’t started your collection yet, why not start right now?