DCAU #261: Little Big Head Man

IN THIS ONE... Mxyzptlk brings Bizarro back to Earth.

CREDITS: Written by Paul Dini and Robert Goodman; directed by Shin-Ichi Tsuji (the anime Meiken Jolie, and very little American work).

The interesting premise here is that the 5th Dimension's Tribunal punishes Mxyzptlk with 90s days powerless community service. He must do a good deed if he wants to go home. Despite humanity being named in court, his service is all done on Bizarro World, in the coda, where it's treated as a punchline. The episode introduces the premise late, and tosses it off quickly. It's wasteful. Because what we get instead is an extended and pointless fight between Superman and Bizarro.

That's not to say there aren't any good moments in the episode. Bizarro's life on his planet is pathetic and a little sad, but amusing as well, staging mock rescues and talking to inukshuks of the Superman Family. His Fortress harks back to the Silver/Bronze Age Fortress of Solitude, and that in itself is pretty fun. On the Mxy side, there are references to Superman history in Gsptlsnz's defense of her boyfriend in court; I think she should be featured more, not less. The fight in the museum has some unusual bits, like Bizarro hitting Superman with a caveman, and the T-Rex (from the opening?) crashing onto and "eating" Mxy. Superman's final "Life am good" is worth a smile too, even if it doesn't make sense that he can monitor Bizarro World from Earth.

All in all, a misfire, and the animation just isn't strong enough to save it. It's okay, but not a stand-out. And there's an odd scratch down the background cells at points. What went wrong?

The 5th Dimension is named as Zrff for the first time in animation; the DCU spells it Zrfff. Gsptlsnz uses the cover to Action Comics #80, a straight steal of that cover. Bizarro's Fortress of Solitude has "statues" of Superman's friends and foes, a feature of the Silver/Bronze Age Fortress, as well as Jor-El and Lara holding a planet aloft. Of course, this planet is a cube, a reference to the Silver Age Bizarro World, which was that absurd shape.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - It had a good idea, but the villain team-up derails the enterprise and turns it into a long, boring fight.


Andrew Gilbertson said...

Uhh. Downgrade to Low. :-) Such a disapointment... especially after the quirky cleverness of Mxy's forst episode.

The opening on Bizarro's world is the only saving grace. Especially the 'dog' that utterly loathes him- one of the best running gags in the show.


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