Nerd's Eye View

Nerd’s Eye View: Bibbo Bibbowski

Nerd's Eye View

Brandon is the Editor-in-Chief and President of Maglomaniac. He is the author of the Eat Your Serial title Ten Years Gone: Pomp and Circumstance, as well as the columns Child's Play, Nerd's Eye View, Letters to Jeremy, Irate Educator, The Audio Files, and The Dao of Ninjape, among others.

In the 90’s Superman comics were a world unto themselves.  The so-called “triangle numbers” kept the Superman stories straight as different creative teams in different titles would take on different aspects of the ongoing to story from week to week. On top of the herculean task of challenging the Man of the Steel, there was a huge supporting cast to the Superman mythos that all contributed to an insanely serialized story. Balancing the huge cast along with the ongoing adventures of the Metropolis Marvel was an impressive task, and many of these characters are in a state of disuse. In this upcoming series, I’ll attempt to break down and shine up many of those regular and reoccurring characters from the days of Superman past in no particular order as a way to re-visit the DC of my childhood–Post-Crisis Earth.


Adventures of Superman #500–Still in the White Bag

I first met Bibbo Bibbowski in Adventures of Superman #500 (also known as the White Bag Superman comic). This comic wasn’t the first I owned. It wasn’t even the first Superman comic I owned (that distinction goes to Adventures of Superman #479) but it was the first in what I’ll call my “on-going collection”. In Superman #500, the storyline Reign of the Supermen kicked off. This book introduced such 90s mainstays as The Cyborg Superman, Steel, and Superbly as proposed replacements for Superman. In a “World Without A Superman”, Bibbo was a character clearly beat up over the major loss to the DC Universe. He was determined to make a positive impact by taking up the good fight in the Big Guy’s place.  I, however, had absolutely no idea why I should care about this drunkard in boxing shorts and a worn out “S” t-shirt.


Bibbo declaring his intention to continue the “Never Ending Battle”

I didn’t even know if I was supposed to trust him. My 8-year-old brain had assumed that this alcoholic was probably a criminal, which as it turns out, Bibbo totally isn’t. He’s a man with a heart of gold and a liver of titanium.

Introduced in the late 1980’s by Jerry Ordway, Bibbo was a man-on-the-street character intended, it seems, to provide some humanity to an ongoing story about a solar powered alien god who protects a major American city and then writes about it using a psuedonym. He’s a down on his luck dude–not unlike Rocky–hanging out by the docks and reminiscing of his old boxing days. He’s a staple of the Metropolis slum of…Suicide Slum.

Down on his luck that is, until finds the winning lottery ticket dropped by one of the city’s other super-types who went by the name of Gangbuster. (Yeah, Superman comics named things pretty on-the-nose in the 90’s). Bilbo decides to use his new found funds to purchase his regular haunt, a hole in the wall called “The Ace O’ Spades” which would serve as a center of action and information for many stories.

Over the years, Bibbo served a variety of purposes from foil in a Lobo Story…



To time keeper that one time everyone was looking for Lex Luthor’s heir after faked his own death to have his brain put into a clone of himself with an Australian accent so he could escape the cancer he contracted from wearing the Kryptonite Ring all the time (as one does)…


To that time he looked like a beefy Popeye on the Saturday morning cartoons…


To that time he was played by the original TV Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns…

JACK LARSON, who originated the role of Jimmy Olson in the 1950s Superman television series, plays Bo the bartender in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' action adventure Superman Returns.

JACK LARSON, ladies and gents

But at the end of the day, he’s the lovable drunk in the Superman comics. Perhaps his greatest contribution was that of the 1990’s Superboy’s dog Krypto. 90’s Krypto was an Earth dog who Bibbo saved from being drowned off a dock. He had planned to name the dog “Krypton” after his “fav’rit” hero. But due to a scam that ended with a knuckle sandwich, the dog’s name was shortened.

Adventures of Superman 502 Boy meets Girl_Page_07_Image_0001

I suppose its worth mentioning that Jerry Ordway based Bibbo on a real “tough as nails softy” by the name of Jo Jo Kaminsky (whoever he is).

Regardless, Bibbo is the salt of the Earth in Metropolis, and if there’s something going down he’s bound to know something of it. And if you’ve got a bad word about Superman, ya better watch out ya poozer, cuz Bibbo don’t play that.


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