Superman Homepage reviewer Marc Lax continues reviewing episodes from “Superman: The Animated Series” for those nostalgic for the 1990s.
Check out his review of the Season 3 episode titled “Little Big Head Man” in which Bizarro patrols his planet making sure the citizens (tree people, rock people) are safe. Than whoops, Bizarro “accidentally” pushes a boulder down a hill and saves the day. Much later Bizarro relaxing in his Fortress hears a disembodied voice (some voice!) out of nowhere Mxyzptlk appears. Mxy makes Bizarro believe that Superman and friends lounge around and laugh at him. Mxy sends Bizarro to Metropolis to fight Superman. Meanwhile Mxyzptlk watches the mayhem and enjoys some popcorn. Suddenly Mxyzptlk’s girlfriend Gsptisnz comes calling and warns him that the tribunal will punish him for interfering again, which they do. Mxyzptlk is sentenced to three months in the 3rd dimension without his powers. If he doesn’t perform a good deed he may be banished.
Mxy returns to Metropolis trying to avoid the mayhem this time, but still happy he’ll at least watch Superman get pummelled by Bizarro. When Superman gets felled by electricity (sigh) Bizarro now thinks he’s the world’s greatest hero. Not if the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit has anything to say about it. They try to take Bizarro down, but before they take the killing shot Superman steps in saving Bizarro. When Mxy tells Superman that he can’t go back to the 5th dimension without performing a good deed Superman gets an idea. Mxyzptlk is now on Bizarro world spending his 3 months cleaning up after Bizarro. Bizarro’s pet Krypto seems pleased.
Rating – 5 (out of 5): Me am sad that Bizarro and Mxyzptlk are in bad episode. I wanted to do this entire review in Bizarro talk but I’m not that smart. I love this episode! It’s so much fun. Which is what a Superman story should be. The series will get dark soon enough but for now this fun, colorful, wacky episode serves as one of the best episodes of the series. While I like Bizarro he’s not my favorite Superman villain. I always enjoy when he appears but the backwards speech and going back and forth between anti hero and villain gets tiring. Yes, he is one of Superman’s more formidable foes, but sometimes the stories get to be a bit tedious. But Mxyzptlk! Now you’re talking. I think most of us agree that the Gilbert Gottfried version of Mxy is the best. From the classic Golden Age look to that voice! I loved it whenever he appeared. The late Gottfried was more talented than he was given credit for. Some people couldn’t take his voice or feel his acting may not have measured up but this man made me laugh for nearly 40 years! To some he’s iconic as the parrot Iago in Aladdin. But to me he’s that stand up comic who appeared on David Letterman about ten or so times. I truly loved the guy. So having him play one of my favorite characters was a huge treat.
Now the episode itself is just as big a treat. I do enjoy this version of Bizarro. He is much more sympathetic than other versions. It’s still the struggle between good guy and bad guy but his naïveté just makes you want to root for the guy. Bringing in Mxyzptlk as the main antagonist was a brilliant choice. Bizarro is just chilling on his planet with his stone version of Metropolis and his Fortress filled with made up versions of Lois, Lex, etc. when Mxy appears to start trouble. Mxy really does hate Superman doesn’t he?! Mxyzptlk could be another character that has flirted with the good side but has mainly been an antagonist. Not to mention a vicious, evil killer in a certain Alan Moore story but I prefer not to think about that. I have my reasons. It’s been said before but the look of Metropolis is just perfect for this series. Art Deco with a bit of futurism is just the right look for any version of Superman’s home city.
In all a wonderful episode of the series. One that always makes me smile.