Action Comics, Vol. 3


John Timms Regular

Release: Jan 09, 2024

SUPERMAN SUPERSTARS BEGINS! THE WIZARD, BIZARRO! Jason Aaron writes Superman for the very first time, teaming up with all-star artist John Timms to present a startling new vision of the Man of Steel’s strangest foe. When Superman’s doppelganger discovers a dark secret about himself, it unleashes the most dangerous version of Bizarro the world has ever seen.


WriterJason Aaron
ArtistJohn Timms
Cover ArtistJohn Timms
ColoristRex Lokus
Editor in ChiefMarie Javins

Bizarro make you live laughing!

Back when I was adding some commentary to my Pull List posts, I noted that its been a really good time to be a Superman fan, as both Superman and Action had were having excellent runs.

Now one of those runs has ended, as Phillip Kennedy Johnson has moved on and is no longer handling the writing chores on Action.

Now, that means things are changing, but does that necessarily mean there’s going to be drop in excellence?

Well, DC is certainly hoping that it doesn’t, as the departure of Johnson made way for what they’re calling “Superman Superstars” with “superstar” creative teams taking turns bringing us new issues of Action in 2024.

Our first set of superstars are Jason Aaron and John Timms who make their debut in this issue.

From what I’ve seen, Jason Aaron is something of a divisive figure within fandom, but then again, what comics creator – especially a popular creator – isn’t? Everyone is always mad about something either in the creator’s work or personal life, and often rightfully so.

I don’t really know anything about his personal life, and from what I’ve seen, most of the negativity is focused on his work on the Avengers. For my part, I’m only familiar with his work on Thor, Conan – where I did like his work, but yeah, there was that pretty cingey “Pocahontas” story – and his current creator-owned series Once Upon a Time at the End of the World, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the vast majority of what I have read, so I was interested to see his take on the Man of Steel.

…but then I saw that it was going to be a Bizarro story.

I’m just not the biggest fan of Superman’s imperfect duplicate. He can be a fun character in small doses, particularly in a certain type of story.

For example

But as the basis for a serious, multi-issue story arc? I’m wary.

Even the best writers have a hard time making him interesting to me, and everyone struggles with Bizarro speech patterns. Granted, inconsistency is in line with his imperfect behavior, but it gets annoying to have to parse when he means what he says or when he means the opposite of what he says because the writer can’t seem to keep track either.

Still, even back when he was working on Thor I wondered what Aaron would be like on Superman, as some of those stories felt like they could be copy-pasted to Superman, so I went into this one with an open mind.


The story opens with Bizarro who is, for some reason, on Sorcerers’ World running amok. Bizarro is very happy to be there, which is to say that her very much is NOT happy to be there, thus the running amok.

After determining that it’s Bizarro destroying their world, for the sake of expedience, the three most accomplished sorcerers decide to pool their resources and simply kill the creature, blasting him with everything they’ve got. After all, like the Kryptonian he imperfectly duplicates, is vulnerable to magic, right?

Yeah, about that…

Next we cut to Metropolis with a beautiful and intricately detailed double-page spread featuring Superman soaring over his beloved city. And also some captions. Lots and lots of captions. Captions talking about morning in Metropolis and all that’s going, all that Superman hears and sees, one of the most notable of which is Lois back at home engaging in her morning ritual of telling Superman to marry her again, which brings to mind Mezzy and Maceo in Aaron’s Once Upon a Time at the End of the World.

But the Action Ace doesn’t have time for any of that this morning, as Bizarro has appeared in the skies above Metropolis.

He approaches his duplicate and attempts to avoid an altercation, doing his best to engage with him in Bizarro-speak.

It doesn’t go well.

Naturally, an epic battle ensues with a kind of Silver Age disregard for physics as their fight takes them three billion miles from Earth and back again in mere moments and they’re able to have a conversation in space.

Along the way we flash back to Sorcerer’s World where we see that somehow Bizarro has taken doing the opposite of Superman to new extremes so that while Superman is vulnerable to magic, Bizarro absorbs it like a battery and is charged up with all of the magic he was hit with on Sorcerer’s World.

Using a Zatanna-ish spell, Bizarro makes it so that he can speak in a way that Superman will easily understand, explaining that he has somehow lost his home. Htrae, or Bizarro World, is simply nowhere to be found in the entire multiverse.

His search for his home is what brought him to Sorcerer’s World and his inability to find it has driven him mad, and he’s come to Earth to use the magic he’s absorbed, some magical artifacts, and the innate knowledge of spellcasting he seems to possess to cast some sort of spell, and despite his best efforts, Superman is not able to put a stop to it before Bizarro is seemingly torn apart by the forces he’s unleashed.

The spell appears to have have had no other effect, but as Superman and Lois talk about the strange and rather heartbreaking battle, the delayed effects begin to make themselves known.

I won’t spoil what happens next, but I will note that the next issue blurb is, “Next: City of Bizarro!”

So make of that what you will.

Overall, despite my misgivings, I enjoyed the issue. It was an interesting take on Bizarro being Superman’s opposite – it’s always the case that Bizarro aims for being Superman’s opposite, but he always does so imperfectly – that brings to mind Alan Moore’s take on him in “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”

There’s also the mysteries of what happened to Bizarro World, what is it that Bizarro was trying to accomplish, and where did he go after he finished his spell?

I do have some quibbles about the bit with Superman and Bizarro making their way to Pluto and back so quickly and talking to each other in space, which, yeah, it seems silly to look for “realism” in a story about a flying alien fighting his messed-up clone, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a certain amount of verisimilitude in even the most outlandish fiction.

But like I said, it gives it something of a Silver Age feel, and it was clearly an attempt to make the fight as epic as possible, so I’m willing to overlook it even if it doesn’t really fit with the tone of the story.

I’m not at all familiar with Timms, but he’s clearly got chops, as can be seen from that double-page spread I mentioned, and I like his overall style. I hate making comparisons, but he brings to mind Dan Mora, and his take on Bizarro feels reminiscent of Ed McGuinness.

I’m going to miss Johnson’s focus on the Superman Family, but this is a decently strong start to the age of the “Superman Superstars,” and I’m interested in seeing where it leads next.

Born and raised in the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jon Maki developed an enduring love for comics at an early age.

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