Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and eighteenth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the weekly three legends.
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill were going to do a Bizarro comic book series before Man of Steel rebooted Superman’s continuity.
An interesting thing about Alan Moore’s comic book career is that he is so well known for his desconstruction of superhero comics, but the guy is also a HUGE fan of Superman from reading Superman comics as a kid and that love for Superman has been present in a lot of his work over the years (including his two iconic Superman stories, “For the Man Who Has Everything” and “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”). That love for Silver Age Superman extended to Bizarro and Moore’s artistic collaborator, Kevin O’Neill (they created the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen together and still work on that book to this day) was also a big fan of the classic version of Bizarro, who lived on a giant square Bizarro World….
Well, Moore and O’Neill were planning on doing a Bizarro mini-series in the mid-1980s. Moore described his plans in a 1984 interview with Kim Thompson in Amazing Heroes #58:
Me and Kevin O’Neill would really love to do a Bizarro mini-series, examining this whole Bizarro world. I mean, it’s square. How do the physics work on a world like that? What about the people who live on the corners? If you look at the pictures of the Bizarro world, there are continents that fold around the corners, so presumably you must have people living at right angles to each other. I just want to see Kevin draw it. I’m sure he’d be up to it.
And we’re going to have the Solid Zone, instead of the Phantom Zone, which is a gigantic block of concrete, and every so often Bizarro Superman will go up and tap on it and say “Am you all right in there, Solid Zone criminals?” And they’d say, “We am fine, Bizarro.” And we’re going to have the Bizarro Bottle City of Kandor, which is about six times as big as the actual planet, and has to stood [sic] upon some vast constructed platform that reaches into space. And we thought about having a Bizarro Earth-2 which exists in exactly the same continuum as Bizarro Earth-1, and is just another square Earth balanced on the corner of Bizarro Earth so that the inhabitants of these worlds can wave to each other across the gap.
That sounds AWESOME.
Years later, O’Neill told Douglas Wolk in a Comics Journal interview, “Me and Alan [Moore] were going to do a Bizarro series many years ago for DC — that’s one of several things we almost did together. We were talking about the Bizarros, and it was all ready to go for Julius Schwartz, when John Byrne was brought in and revamped Superman. So that went right out the window.”
Byrne’s Man of Steel, of course, rebooted Superman continuity so Bizarro World was no longer part of DC’s continuity.
O’Neill did the Bizarro entry for Who’s Who back in 1985…
So you could tell just how close this thing was to coming to fruition!
Luckily for O’Neill, many years later he and Tom Peyer did an out-of-continuity Tales of Bizarro World story for Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant called “Bizarro Must Think”…
It was amazing, just like you would assume it would be. I don’t believe DC has reprinted that story since. If not, they really should!
Thanks to Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, the late Kim Thompson and Douglas Wolk for the information!
Check out some other death-themed entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back later for part 2 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!