Action Comics #40 (DC)



Rating: 5/5 – Me Am Hate This Issue! Worst Issue Ever!
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas

I love the character Bizarro. Originally created back in the late 1950s, he’s continued to be one of Superman’s greatest and most original villains. Bizarro is a more grotesque mirrored version of Superman that does and says the opposite. The character Bizarro has, in a way, transcended comics.  He is used as a way to describe the opposite in every day life. Bizarro’s speech patterns were even popularized on the “Bizarro” episode of Seinfeld with Jerry explaining to Elaine “He says ‘Hello’ when he leaves, ‘Goodbye’ when he arrives”. With Action Comics number forty, Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder take Superman on an adventure into the Bizarro world, truly embracing the character with an unforgettable story and stunning art.

After being sucked into the Bizarro universe, we see the square Bizarro Earth and a square moon that, you guessed it, is made of cheese. The first piece of dialogue Pak writes…”Goodbye”. Greg Pak doesn’t want to create a “New 52” version of Bizarro like we saw in Forever Evil, he embraces the Bizarro of the Silver Age and all his quirks. Pak even gives us the Injustice League that has an Aquaman with a fishbowl on his head, and a Batzarro with his mask on backwards. And the Flash, well I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it’s just subtle enough to make you love him. After Superman has an encounter with this Earth’s Lois Lane he attempts to stop a version of Metallo that just can’t stand the disorder in the city of Bizopolis. Not only that, but Doomsday shows up as well. Action Comics number forty is a done-in-one tale that has easily become my favorite issue of 2015, not only for the story, but for Aaron Kuder’s jaw dropping art.

Each part of the Bizarro world has character, and each character stands out on their own. Metallo has a microwave for a chest piece and an outlet as one of his eyes. One city building is made of puzzle pieces, while another parking garage has a sign that reads “Go Away”. The art is packed with detail and studying each pages reveals another surprise you didn’t see the first time. Aaron Kuder pours everything he’s got into these pages and there isn’t one “simple” panel in the entire issue. And when Doomsday shows up…the pages just have to be seen and then enjoyed again with subsequent readings.

I was tempted to write this entire review in Bizarro speak as I enjoyed this issue so much. This is a Silver Age book with modern day talents. Pak and Kuder take the craziest ideas of Bizarro and write a serious story that never takes itself too seriously. This book will make you laugh throughout, and will encourage multiple readings to see all the little things that Kuder has hidden within the art. I wish this was a multi-part story as I’d like to stay on Bizarro world for a little longer, but with a new Bizarro book on the horizon, here’s hoping they use this issue as inspiration.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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