by Starsky Hutch 76
Far from Earth there lay a collection of rocks that once was a world called Htrae. This world was once home to a population unlike any other, for they were not truly alive in the typical sense. Yet a thriving, sentient population they were. And when they were destroyed, the universe was a little less colorful for their passing.
In the midst of this asteroid belt floated a rocket. Inside this rocket slept the last surviving inhabitant of the Bizarro World. Even the launcher of this rocket, known to the child as Daddy and Bizarro No. 1 to the rest of their world, had thought this rocket destroyed. In typical Bizarro fashion, he’d sent the escape rocket to the planet’s core so he’d die first. (*) Of course, he’d also made the rocket completely indestructible.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter,” DC Comics Presents #97 (September, 1986).]
The rocks surrounding the ship began to part, bouncing off the force-field of a large ship that approached the rocket. A tractor beam reached out, ensnared the rocket, and drew it toward the ship, leading it to an opening in the hull.
Once the rocket was in the cargo bay, technicians swarmed over it, looking for a means to open it, which they quickly found. The technicians backed away as two important-looking aliens approached the rocket.
“I’d dared not hope there would be anything left,” one of them said, looking into the opening of the rocket.
“And yet there it is,” the other one said. “A perfect specimen. I had merely hoped for one mostly intact. Having one still alive is beyond my wildest expectations.”
“Get him to a laboratory, Alpha-Zeta 2-c99. Don’t wake him,” the first one ordered the technicians. “There will be much planning to do,” he said to his companion, “to decide how best to utilize this discovery. This is truly a glorious day for the Superman Revenge Squad!”
Life had been lonely for Bizarro-Kltpzyxm since he was released from jail on the Bizarro World. Since he was guilty, he had been given a really short sentence. His fellow Bizarros had been friendly enough after releasing him, but they preferred chaos to order. Being an imperfect duplicate of the fifth-dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk, he had an uncontrollable urge to make things orderly and peaceful wherever he went. It made it impossible to fit in.
Eventually, he went to the fifth-dimensional world of Zrfff, hoping that the imps that lived there would accept him. But it was in their nature to be mischievous, and a Bizarro imp like Kltpzyxm who loved law and order was as out of place as Mxyzptlk was on Earth. After turning his third upside-down structure right-side up, he found himself in yet another jail. This time, the sentence wasn’t so short.
After he was finally released, he left in hopes of finding somewhere he’d fit in. He spent the next few years traveling the universe and performing good deeds. None of the places he went to felt like home, though. He decided to retrace his steps and give his roots a second chance.
First, he returned to the fifth dimension. He was, after all, an imp, though a Bizarro one. He was horrified to discover that it was buried in sewage. His first instinct was to clean it up, so he cast a spell that removed the mess and returned everything to the way he remembered it.
As soon as he was done, he began to regret it and hoped he hadn’t made some giant blunder. The imps thrived on mischief. This might be part of some elaborate prank that he might have ruined.
He heard a roar and looked up to the sky, realizing how wrong he was. In the sky was a giant heart-shaped jewel. On its jeweled surface was what looked like a carving of his own face. Why it was roaring at him, he had no idea. That must be imp thing, he thought. Me show how much me like tribute by putting pretty jewel in nice setting. He waved his hand, and the giant jeweled heart was encased in a gold setting with a giant chain. The face on the jeweled heart now wore a horrified expression.
Suddenly, an army of imp constables and many of the populace were swarming all over the jeweled heart. Oh, no! Kltpzyxm thought. Imps like what me do with tribute so much they now all fighting over it! Me cause problems again! Not wanting to be at the center of a huge fight, he left.
“Where did Bizarro-Kltpzyxm go?” the Mayor asked General Vzzyrld as the army carried off Aethyr, the jeweled heart bonded to Mr. Mxyzptlk that once was the center of the Phantom Zone. “That wonderful Bizarro freed us from Mxyzptlk’s trap!”
“He’s a true hero,” the General said. “Not even sticking around for a reward.”
“If he ever returns, we’ll have a parade in his honor. From here on out, this day shall be known as Kltpzyxm Day!”
“The child is quite healthy,” the first alien said, watching the Bizarro child through the two-way mirror as he played.
“Yes,” the second alien said, “an excellent specimen. Ripe with living DNA for our experiments.”
“Will he even have DNA?” the first alien said. “Bizarros aren’t alive in the normal sense. They are artificial beings. Some might call them androids, sophisticated to a degree we can barely comprehend. Each particle is a mimicry of a living cell.”
“Oh, to be able to crack that secret,” the second alien said dreamily.
“It is unfathomable that such a being owes its existence to an Earth-man,” the first alien said. “They are so barbaric.”
“He must be more evolved than the rest. I wouldn’t mind having him in my lab for study,” the second alien said.
“Good luck with that endeavor,” the first alien snorted. “Even our most hated foe, Superman, has found Lex Luthor elusive prey. It was he who invented the device that created this race. If only we had gotten here sooner. It has been said that there were similar devices on this world.”
“If only,” the second alien agreed. Such a device would surely elevate their status in the Superman Revenge Squad.
Bizarro-Kltpzyxm was sad to discover the Bizarro World was no longer there. If only he had returned sooner. Perhaps he could have saved it from its fate.
He made a television screen appear before him so he could discover what had happened. He watched in apprehension as tremors shook the world. He witnessed as Bizarro No. 1 placed his only son in a rocket ship aimed at the planet’s core. He moaned in horror at the world’s destruction. He then gasped in amazement at the tiny rocket ship floating unharmed in the midst of the debris and then as an alien ship used a tractor beam to draw it in to its cargo hold.
“There am a survivor!” Kltpzyxm said jubilantly. He snapped his fingers, making the screen blink out of existence. In a flash, he was gone.
Bizarro-Junior No. 1 sat contentedly playing with the indestructible blocks the Superman Revenge Squad had provided for him along with a wide assortment of other specialized toys. He turned in surprise as Bizarro-Kltpzyxm appeared next to him, floating in the air.
“Hello!” the Bizarro imp greeted happily.
“You am that bad little man who turn all the beautiful garbage into worthless treasures!” Bizarro-Junior said accusingly.
“Yes, that am me,” Kltpzyxm said earnestly.
“Me daddy arrest you and put you in jail for it!”
“Yes. Him do that. But me go along peacefully when he catch me, and me learn me lesson, and me not do it again.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Bizarro, Private Detective,” Adventure Comics #286 (July, 1961).]
“Oh,” the child said. “That am good. You want to play with me?”
“Me’d love to,” the Bizarro imp said ecstatically at the thought of making a new friend.