With a “Bizarro” miniseries set to drop post-“Convergence,” it makes perfect sense that Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder and Wil Quintana would squeeze a Bizarro story into “Action Comics” #40 before the book goes on hiatus for two months. Unfortunately, the comic is a little light on plot or drama, without having enough punch lines to distract you from those vacancies.
The thrust of “Action Comics” #40 is fairly simple; Superman has pulled through a rip in the dimensions to Bizarroworld, where planets are square and moons really are made of cheese. When Doomsday makes an appearance, things start to get really strange. Pak’s script follows up on the idea of there being a Doomsday virus and just what that would mean on Bizarroworld. As funny as the end result is, it’s an isolated moment in a book that otherwise rehashes everything we’ve seen about Bizarro over the years. There’s nothing new or particularly original being presented to the reader.
Where “Action Comics” #40 does succeed is Kuder and Wil Quintana’s art. Kuder’s rippling, fluid art looks great when drawing slapstick, which is exactly how to best describe Aquaman swinging a narwhal by its horn in order to attack. Bizarro himself looks wonderfully over-inflated and ridiculous, exactly as this strange parody of Superman should. The depiction of Bizarro infected with the Doomsday virus is even more absurd, taking the hideous Doomsday character design and making it ludicrous. The best part of the comic is the conclusion, though, when Kuder and Quintana ramp everything up for the end result of Doomzarro’s rampage. The cuteness is accentuated only by the blinding colors; the two deliberately go as overboard as possible to emphasize the end result. The art does the heavy lifting here, bringing a little spark to where the story just never quite gets moving.
As a primer/refresher for who Bizarro is, “Action Comics” #40 succeeds. However, reading this comic, I don’t feel a huge burning desire to pick up “Bizarro” in June, and that’s frustrating. The humor isn’t present nearly enough to compensate from the lack of anything out of the ordinary. It’s perfectly average once you factor in the art, but that’s not the note that I wanted “Action Comics” to go out on for a few months until “Convergence” comes to a close.