It’s October, and that means that the countdown to Halloween has begun! And while there are other more dedicated blogs that bring you the countdown every day of the month, our Spooktoberfest celebrations on the ISB are always a little more sporadic.
I do, however, try to make up for it by dedicating my terror-tinged Halloween posts to the most spine-chilling sights that comics can offer! And really, is there anything more chilling than The Children of Bizarro?
As it turns out, there is. But we’ll get to that in a moment, as the horrors to be found in Halloween Pranks of the Bizarro Supermen–handily reprinted in the immensely entertaining Superman in the Sixties–are many and varied, though despite the promise of the title, there’s not a lot of actual Halloween content. Instead, the story is mostly devoted to Bizarro Krypto trying to find a new master after Bizarro makes him eat hot dogs because, you know, the Silver Age.
What is there, though, is terrifying. I’m not going to lie, folks: Bizarro creeps me the hell out, and this story just piles one horror on top of another as it goes on.
To start with, right after the splash page of Bizarro raining ruined tennis rackets down onto his hideous spawn, we have what is quite possibly the angriest establishing shot of the entire decade:
“Planet of the stupid Bizarros. The stupid, worthless, jackass Bizarros I hate them so much I swear to God, Mort I would do a hundred Red Kryptonite stories before I wrote this again Jesus Christ.”
Once we get through Jerry Siegel’s rage at his own creation and the standard one-page descriptions of Bizarros and how they work (us am hate beauty, us am love ugliness, us think Glenn Beck have some good ideas, etc.), the story turns to Bizarro Halloween, and it becomes clear that I probably should’ve posted about this issue six months ago:
Yes, Halloween on Bizarro world is more about playing pranks than getting candy, but while the story eventually goes off the rails to the point where it includes the harrowing Bizarro Kltpzxym…
…this is the creepiest moment of the entire story, when Bizarro and his pals put on rubber masks of good-looking celebrities:
I am going to be totally real with you guys: That is horrifying. Seriously, imagine you’re Superman and you’re flying through space (as one does when one is Superman) and you decide to pay a visit to that kooky mixed-up Bizarro World to see what kind of shennangians they’re up to. Then you land, and this group of scaly chalk-white monstrosities turn around and they’re staring at you from behind the lifeless rubber masks of Marilyn Monroe and JFK and they’re just standing there and then you start to move and they all start screaming at once because they can’t stand the sight of something that isn’t deformed and before you can get away they’re clawing at you with their misshapen hands and this is the last thing you see before you die.
Suck it, HP Lovecraft. Jerry Siegel’s got you beat.