The collision with Bizarroverse reaches a head in SUPERMAN #44 as Superman and Bizarro face off in an epic showdown! Writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason certainly bring the action to this installment of the Bizarroverse saga. However, they also bring an unexpected emotional weight to the table.

This issue centralizes on the psyche of Bizarro himself as he faces the fate of his world, Htrae. Along with the fate of his world, though, he must also confront the stability of his own family as their foundation begins to crack.

So, how does this issue fare in regards to the rest of the Bizarroverse story arc?

Well, find out right here!

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SUPERMAN #44 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A Tale of Two Worlds

SUPERMAN #44 begins with an introspective narration from Bizarro. Now, I must say, after reading a few issues centralized in the Bizarroverse, interpreting the Bizarro-speech has become much, much easier. So, with that being said, we come to understand that Bizarro is pretty angry through his introspection. He’s angry that Superman, along with various others, have invaded his homeworld. So, he has decided to take a stand by confronting Superman head on.

Unfortunately for Bizarro though, his invaders aren’t the only problems he has to face. Beacon discovers that Bizarro’s current instability has compromised the foundation of Htrae. So, the planet is imploding. However, Bizarro doesn’t wish to accept the fate of his world since he has come to rely on his wife and son for contentment.

A Turbulent Tale Continues in SUPERMAN #43

Superboy and Beacon devise a plan to create a portal in order to return to Earth. They plead with Boyzarro, asking him to help them save the citizens of Bizarroworld. Loiz, Bizarro’s wife, witnesses the connection Boyzarro has formed with the individuals of Earth, and she isn’t happy about it.

So, Loiz shoots Bizarro and threatens to flee the planet with Boyzarro, leaving Bizarro alone to die. Bizarro fights and defeats Loiz, telling Boyzarro to enter the portal since he believes his son is better off without him with a new family.

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SUPERMAN #44 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Fate of Boyzarro

Thus, SUPERMAN #44 is an incredibly well-written issue. It gives even more dimensionality to characters we have come to know. Additionally, it features a heartbreaking ending in which Boyzarro finds salvation in a new, welcoming world. Despite this though, he must still accept the destruction of what he has always perceived to be home.

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His family is now broken. So, though the ending is relatively uplifting, it still raises a lot of questions in regards to Boyzarro’s character. Hopefully, he does find solace on Earth, but that will most likely come slowly in time. He has found a new family in Superman and Superboy, therefore instilling hope in his future. Again though, whether he will be able to heal from the tragic events of SUPERMAN #44 remains an unanswered question.

So, overall, SUPERMAN #44 finds its star in the characterization of Boyzarro. Tomasi and Gleason nail his development as they establish a character with an abundance of depth and unexpected compassion.

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SUPERMAN #44 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #44

The illustrations by penciler Doug Mahnke are unquestionably impressive. The action sequence between Superman and Bizarro is perhaps his stand-out work in this issue. You feel the force their bodies bring down upon each other as he traverses their battle from panel to panel. Mahnke doesn’t miss a single detail because he captures each blow, and that aspect ultimately establishes an impeccably drawn issue.

Letterer Rob Leigh excels in depicting the dialogue amongst SUPERMAN #44’s many characters. At times, the Bizarro-speech is complicated to interpret, even for veteran readers of this arc. However, Leigh manages to balance the exchanges between those of the Bizarroverse and those of Earth. As a result, the script doesn’t come across as chaotic as one may expect in a place such as Bizarroworld.

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Finally, colorist Wil Quintana incorporates a beautiful palette of colors into this issue. I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of blue hues between Superman and Bizarro’s suits. Like Mahnke, every detail Quintana includes is incorporated with great care and purpose. As a result, the overall narrative of SUPERMAN #44 is elevated.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #44 is by far the best work in the Bizarroverse storyline from Tomasi and Gleason. It has action, heart, and compelling characters. Though, one can argue that this issue doesn’t necessarily have closure. However, that’s actually not a negative aspect.

The door is open for Boyzarro. His future has been laid out before him. Now, we can only wait and see what becomes of Boyzarro as he begins his life on Earth.

SUPERMAN #44 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Wil Quintana, & Rob Leigh
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
If you cannot manage the Bizarro-speech, you will not find yourself transfixed by SUPERMAN #44. It is only beautifully illustrated, but it also does not maintain a heartbreaking narrative that does not reveal the heart of Bizarro himself.
90 %
not spectacular
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