Action Comics, after the wonderfully creepy “Horrorville” arc, is about to go on their Convergence two month hiatus. So, what do Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder have to leave us on a high note? Oh, only a tale full of Silver Age weirdness and absolute hilarity; a perfect contrast to “Doomed” and “Horrorville.” And this panacea of mirthful glee comes from everyone’s favorite backwards Man of Steel. That’s right, Bizarro Am Not Back (just in time for his own comic series)!
As our story begins, Superman is sent through a continuity bending wormhole to the planet Htrae, a cubed shape world filled with backward equivalents of the denizens of Earth. Upon touching down and meeting Bizarro Lois Lane, Superman is set upon by Bizarro. The Bizarro here is more reminiscent of the Silver Age than the Frankenstein monster first seen in Forever Evil. Soon after this meeting, Bizarro versions of a major Superman villains and the Justice League show up, and chaos reigns. And of course, things get even worse, and even more hilarious, as another major Superman villain arrives with consequences that might surprise the reader… If they can stop laughing.
Pak creates a treat of pure whimsy and fun that DC Comics seems to have been lacking of late outside of Harley Quinn. It’s also a love letter to the classic Bizarro tales, where Superman has to get his head around the backwards logic of his strange counterpart to save the day. This is a sweet treat after two arcs that were far darker in tone and grander in scope. It’s nice to see several classic tropes make their return, and the Bizarro Justice League’s chaos just adds to the hilarity, as well as the chosen Bizarro villain who is sick and tired of being the straight-man to these shenanigans. This book is non stop comedic gold from the first page to the last, and leaves you wanting more.
Kuder lets loose with a somewhat more cartoony style here, and it suits the tale just fines. His depictions of the characters are great, with the Bizarros having Looney Tunes-style expressions. Every page he draws just increases the insanity, culminating in the worst fears of all Bizarros… Which will have the reader doubling over in laughter. Quintana’s colors help add to the vibrancy and cartoon nature of the tale’s plot. Kuder and Quintana perfectly capture Htrae and its denizens, and do an excellent job at working off Pak’s zany script.
Action Comics #40 is an inspired bit of lunacy and the perfect coda on which to take the two month Convergence break. It will make you laugh, cry tears of joy, and be glad for stories like this. It’s also a good invitation for the upcoming Bizarro series, which I hope will match this comic in side splitting hilarity.
As Bizarro would say: “Worst Comic Ever.”
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