BIZARRO BREAK #12 – Super-Dumped!
Story by Johnny Ryan
Art by Dave Cooper
Edits – Joey Cavalieri
What in the… a #BizarroBreak? Why it’s been 120 days (17 Weeks and a Day) since we last did one’a these!!!
We’ve got us a story that… I’m sorry, ain’t got no alibi, today. I’ve been dreading covering this story, just because I don’t even like looking at it in the book. Somethin’ about this art… it’s like those “hyper-realistic” bits from the old Ren & Stimpy show… you know, the ones that are super-gross… like if they focused in on a very large pimple or something?
Let’s do it!
We open in a park… or at least a somewhat-wooded area, with Wonder Woman dumping Superman. Ya see, she’s found another… a nerd named Kerky. She lays into Clark that his only answer to everything is to resort to violence. Her Kerky, however, is a kinder and gentler li’l soul. As Clark sobs, Diana and her new beau strut outta the scene…
… all the way to “Ultimate Bill’s Comic Book Sweat Box!”. This might’ve given me the only chuckle I’m going to get outta this one. Comic shops are some sweaty places… especially in the age of Covid, where we’re wearing facemasks in public! A couple weeks back, I swear I sweated at least a cup and a half into my mask! Good thing masks don’t need to be laundered… right? Err… nevermind… moving on. Now, our hero Kerky becomes verbally abusive to our Wonder Woman… because, ya know… ain’t nothin’ comin’ tween he and his comics.
Once the doors open, he rushes to the back wall to pick up a copy of Industrial Strength Cleaner… a comic featuring a super-heroine with the body of an old school vacuum cleaner. We’re treated to a two-page spread featuring her exploits… and they might be the least off-putting this artwork is going to look!
While Kerky reads, one of the other nerds recognizes Wonder Woman. This briefly excites her, until the nerd goes on to say that she ain’t all’at… and she’s certainly no Industrial Strength Cleaner!
Just then, Supergirl arrives! And get this, she also claims to be Kerky’s girlfriend. Gotta wonder what this li’l nerd is packin’. Supergirl and Wonder Woman get in each other’s faces… and before we know it, they’re brawling all over the place!
Okay, I lied before… there is one more line in this that did make me chuckle. Wonder Woman hurls Supergirl into a nearby taxicab… and says it can take her back to “Uglytown”. Don’t know why that made me laugh… but, it definitely did!
So, the super-ladies keep fighting… until Kerky shows up to introduce them both to his new(est) girlfriend… dun-da-da-dahhh, the Industrial Strength Cleaner. He bids the two “pigs” adieu, and struts outta the scene.
The ladies clean themselves off, and vow never to date a nerd again. Just then, Clark Kent in full-on nerd-gear arrives to try and woo Diana back. Both super-women haul ass down the road in fright. Uh, Supergirl… ain’t dat your cousin? I don’t think he was propositioning you. Then again, these are Bizarro Comics.
Baw-haw-haw… aren’t comic book fans, da woist! What a bunch of stereotypical stinky, ugly, unkempt nerds!
I mean, I don’t think that’s supposed to be the main takeaway from this story… but, damned if that’s not the only thing we’re left with, right? I mean, why would Ryan and Cooper purposely create a story just to mock and stereotype the people reading it? Almost seems counterproductive to the concept of selling comics, dunnit?
Now, if I’m somehow “missing” the subtle genius of this story… please enlighten me! You know I can be somewhat dense, and I can also totally be prone to “tunnel vision”. If I’m missing the forest for the trees, I’d really appreciate getting an education!
I’ve mentioned time and again how strange it is that comics is one of the very few entertainment (and therefore “non-essential”) industries out there that openly and explicitly runs-down and derides their customer base. It’s almost like the industry wants to die. Heck, after reading something like this, I can almost make a case that it might be time to start tugging on that plug.
This wasn’t good. It was mean-spirited and oh-so-ugly… which, I might’ve forgiven if the story made up for it… but it didn’t. We’ve likely all read some comics that poke fun at the fandom… but this lacked any and all charm of say, an Evan Dorkin Eltingville story… and instead relished in playing up every comics fan stereotype… down to our hero Kerky literally drooling at the thought of getting his latest “fix” of Industrial Strength Cleaner.
Not a good look… and, it might make you (or at least me) stop overthinking why comics sales are in the toilet and shops seem to be closing down by the week (pre-Covid). Oh and, as mentioned, the art is very off-putting.