Monday, November 15, 2010

A post about Mark Millar's work, with no swears? Or movie hype? Really?

I was a fan of Mark Millar's for some time, but after the Unfunnies, the end of Wanted, and his hucksterism-level passing Stan Lee proportions; I haven't read Kick-Ass or Superior yet. Still, some of his old stuff still holds up, like today's comic: Superman Adventures #29, "Bride of Bizarro."

There was a stretch during the Azrael-Batman run, where the only way to get a proper Batman story was in the comic based on the animated series. It helped that Mike Parobeck was knocking The Batman Adventures out of the park then; but in the same vein, Millar was ostensibly working in the animated continuity, and still telling the best Superman stories in years. And this issue, he managed it with guest-star Lobo. (I don't mind Lobo, but he's not the first character you think of when you think classic stories.)

Cruising through space, Lobo sees a message written in giant flaming letters on a planet: "ME NEED RIDE HOME" Curious, Lobo checks it out, and meets Bizarro. Superman tricked the imperfect duplicate, making him the "guardian" of the alien creature "Krypto," on this "Bizarro World." Although he was happy with his job, Bizarro wanted companionship. Bizarro...needs women. Specifically, Lois Lane.

Lobo, having met Superman before, knows full well Lois is "Supergeek's main squeeze." Knowing this is going to be a riot, he offers Bizarro a ride home; and to keep Superman out of his way.

Meanwhile, in Metropolis, just about nothing is happening. For a slow news day, Clark is going to cover a local superhero fan club costume contest...until they hear an explosion across town. Millar has a nice bit of narration from Lois, where she tells Jimmy Olsen not to be fooled by Clark's hayseed bit, and that he's a shrewd reporter that could beat them all to the story. (Of course, Clark's ducked out as Superman.) Before they get going, Bizarro grabs Lois.
Obligatory that'll do, pig, reference.

Across town, Lobo gets Superman's attention, but tips his hand too soon about freeing Bizarro. And on their date, Bizarro showers Lois with gifts: a nice tree (in place of flowers), a live pig (as ingredients for a nice dinner) and coal. Lois tries to make a run for it, and the hurt Bizarro plans on making them the same.
Obligatory that'll do, pig, reference.

Lobo offers Superman a chance to end their fight: all he has to do, is light Lobo's cigar with his heat vision. That idea goes over about as well as you'd expect. Supes knocks Lobo into the convention center, then after Lobo is distracted by a ton of Supermen, throws him in the river. Still, Supes knows Lois could be in real danger, and takes off...too late. Bizarro actually gets an Ozymandias moment.

With Lois dead, Superman loses it. Lobo saves Bizarro, mostly just because he's amused that a simpleton like him could be the one to push Superman to kill. Bizarro doesn't understand what all the fuss is about, since the original Lois is just fine, in the "soundproof duplicator machine," so Supes couldn't hear her. Bizarro explains Bizarro-Lois "am duplicate of original Lois, just like Bizarro am copy of Superman, stupid!" Disgusted that everything is headed for a happy ending, Lobo takes off.

Bizarro plans to stay in Metropolis and help Superman, but Lois gives Superman an idea: they introduce Bizarro to the "Superman Emergency Squad," a veritable legion of back-up superheros, in reality the costume contest. Supes tells Bizarro he does know a certain world that's missing a protector, and a certain alien doggie that needs taking care of. Even though he doesn't plan on an immediate marriage, Bizarro is overjoyed to return to Bizarro World, building his imperfect love a place to work, to live, and a circle of friends for her to gripe about him to. That's quite a man, honestly.

From Superman Adventures #29, "Bride of Bizarro" Mark Millar, 'Writarro,' Aluir Amancio, 'pencillarro,' and Terry Austin, 'inkarro.' I have to wonder if Millar could write one like this anymore, but it probably wouldn't get him another movie deal if it did, so...

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