Review – Superman #43 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): Patrick Gleason & Peter J Tomasi
Pencils: Patrick Gleason
Colours: Stephen Downer & Alejandro Sanchez
Inks: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray & Joe Prado
Letters: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 21st March 2018

The second part of the Bizarroverse event is here and things just got real for Jon (aka Superboy) as he comes face to face with Boyzarro. Boyzarro and Bizarro have had something of a falling out which leads to him crashing our dimension and seeking companionship with Jon. Things take an even stranger turn with the arrival of Robzarro who explains how the whole situation has come about.

Gleason and Tomasi continue to have a lot of fun in the Superman universe, crossing over with one of Superman’s most unique adversaries and on again/off again villain. The denizens of the Bizarroverse all speak in opposites and quite often they will speak with just a word here or there written in this way. Gleason and Tomasi go all out and at times it made me have to read the same sentence two or three times to actually understand it.

We see that Boyzarro, despite being a mirror version of Jon, is not a villain but just a version of him with all of his powers and abilities reversed. This seems to hold true for all of the others we catch a glimpse of and it makes a refreshing change to the usual concept of mirror universes we see in popular media. The bond between Clark and Jon seems to really resonate with Boyzarro, which should make for an interesting next issue.

Patrick Gleason is on art this issue and it does make me wish we had him doing this on the book a lot more, his depiction of the Man of Steel is as majestic as you would expect and his Bizarroverse creations feature a twisted yet familiar look. There are some excellent action sequences throughout, and it all feels extremely fluid and fast-paced.

Downer and Sanchez bring a vivid and striking palette to the issue with warm tones and fantastic beam and fire effects. They also do a great job of painting the Bizarro version of Earth (Htrae) as a strangely alien looking landscape featuring a lot of the same tones but conflicting colours.

It is clear that Gleason and Tomasi have been enjoying their run on the Superman series and have designed an arc which I’m sure is as much fun to write as it is for us to read. Often Bizarro is written as a throwaway joke character, but something about the way he is depicted here makes the character feel far more substantial.

I’ll be sad to see the creative team leave this series at the conclusion of this story as they have been writing some of Superman’s finest adventures to date. That said, this story is gearing up to be a memorable one and that makes it an easy recommendation to anyone who enjoys Superman and his extended cast.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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