The adventures of the Bizarroverse continue in SUPERMAN #43! From writers Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi, worlds collide when Bizarro’s son, Boyzarro, finds his way into Superman’s universe. Now, Superman and his son, Superboy, must find a way to get Boyzarro home as quickly, and painlessly, as possible. The question is, is that even in the realm of possibilities? Well, find out in our review for SUPERMAN #43, right here!

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SUPERMAN #43 page 4. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Adventures of Boyzarro and the Supermen

So, SUPERMAN #43 kicks off with the revelation that Superman has hired the operative known as Maya Ducard (AKA Nobody) to keep tabs on his son, Jon. During her mission, she discovers a portal leading to the Bizarroverse, created by an alien friend of Jon’s. From that very portal, otherworldly beings begin to emerge. So, appropriately, Maya kind of freaks out.

In the previous issue, Boyzarro has literally crashed into Superboy’s universe. Interestingly, after an awkward start, the two seem to begin getting along. Well, that is until Superman enters the room, and chaos ensues. Suddenly, a bunch of individuals from the Bizarroverse begin emerging from the portal, such as Robzarro, who’s quite the entertaining character. Apparently, Robzarro followed Boyzarro after Hawkzarro went missing.

Struggling to keep up with all these names? Don’t worry. So am I.

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So, Superman and Superboy eventually return Boyzarro to his home where his parents are anxiously waiting for his return. Everything seems relatively optimistic until the final page of the issue reveals an even greater threat.

Overall, SUPERMAN #43 is a fun, light-hearted installment. It has plenty of moments of warmth that emphasize the themes of family present throughout the title. Additionally, the Bizarro speech is much easier to comprehend in this issue than in the last. However, SUPERMAN #43 struggles greatly with its pacing. We’re constantly going back and forth between varying perspectives that ultimately result in a disjointed experience. As a result, I believe if the narrative was stripped down just a tad to avoid this chaotic feel, the issue would have been much more impactful.

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SUPERMAN #43 variant cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #43

Unfortunately, I found the art of SUPERMAN #43 to be one of the weaker aspects of the issue. Though the work from Gleason, inker Joe Prado, and colorist Stephen Downer isn’t inconsistent, it parallels the narrative through its convoluted nature. Yes, the collision of realities, particularly when one of them is the Bizarroverse, will inevitably be chaotic. So, I can see why the imagery evokes this. However, the pages ultimately begin to blur together as a result of that method.

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So, the artwork of SUPERMAN #43 can be hard to follow. With this though, I do enjoy the panels later in the issue that depicts the resolution between Superman, Superboy, and Boyzarro. These panels are more simplistic than the rest of the issue. Consequently, they prove to be the most impactful as they’re capable of maintaining a heavy amount of emotional depth.

Thus, overall, I was a little let down by this issue’s artwork. It wasn’t as balanced or as vibrant as I expected it to be. Still, despite these faults, there were still some moments that packed the necessary emotional punch the narrative provoked.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #43 is an interesting work, to say the least. At times, it can be confusing and hard to follow. At other times, it can be heartwarming. So, at each turn of the page, you never really know what you’re going to get. Some may enjoy that narrative spontaneity. I, on the other hand, find that aspect of SUPERMAN #43 to be merely inconsistent.

Sure, the issue has its moments. We get an uplifting peek into the soul of Boyzarro and his family. However, the issue would have greatly benefited from cutting some of the convoluted plot points. So, if you’re looking for some solid entertainment, this issue will work for you. With this though, prepare to read plenty of Bizarro speech that will leave you scratching your head.

SUPERMAN #43 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Joe Prado, & Stephen Downer
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though SUPERMAN #43 has its uplifting, heartwarming moments, it falls short in establishing an engaging, cohesive narrative.
68 %
Uneven
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