Lex Luthor builds his bizarro duplicator ray

Bizarro duplicator ray explained


This article provides speculative explanations about this famous piece of Silver Age  rubber science.

The Bizarro ray and its creations featured in many Superman stories back then.

Wait, I can explain!

The origins of Bizarro can best be described as “an unfortunate miracle”. Initially created by accident, and later recreated to be a weapon, the inorganic humanoid known as Bizarro is actually the product of creative thinking and extremely advanced Imaging and CAD-CAM technologies.

The “duplicator ray” device, used in Bizarro’s creation, operates as a three phases system: Recording, Collecting, and Projecting.



The first phase in duplication is recording. The ray beam reads and records in a fashion similar to a standard MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) device. The beam reads the entire structure and composition of an object, and matches it to all known material profiles in it’s programming.

It also registers the wavelengths of light refracted by the objects surfaces, and so, records the colors and tones of the item as well. The process is done very quickly ; using three lenses which triangulate and map precise coordinates of each area being scanned.


The second phase is collection. The raw material for producing a duplicate is simple transient particles taken from the air. The collector acts like a high-end air purifier; attracting stray matter from the surrounding air.

Lex Luthor and an assistant create the bizarro duplicator ray

This process takes as long as it will, to collect a sufficient amount of material to compress into a duplicate of the pre-recorded form. Excessively dusty areas would provide the best, quickest results. (Incidentally, the majority of “household dust” is comprised of dead skin cells which have been shed during regular day-to-day activity.)

The duplicator can use nearly any material (as long as it has been broken down into powdered form), but it was designed to have a double purpose; the second of which would be to help improve the air quality in the manufacturing facility it might be used in.

The intended future use of the duplicator was to be in fabricating low cost goods, with peak efficiency of resources. Basically, this means that a duplicate could be composed of anything from old newspapers and cigarette butts, to corn cobs and broken glass.


The third, and final, phase of duplication is projection; the actual construction of the duplicate. A fine glucose mist is continuously sprayed into the area of projection. This serves as a layering medium, or temporary “projection screen”, for the particles being emitted from the duplicator.

These particles, formerly the random atomized material collected, are projected in the exact orientation as the previously recorded form, essentially “weaving” them together from bottom to top.

The new “Beta” copy will now have all of the same physical characteristics as the original, and should function in the same manner.

This new copy, a “betagraphic” of the synthetically reproduced object, is commonly known as a B.S.R.O. or “Bizarro”.

Obviously, the duplicator ray device did not work to it’s intended specifications. In the end, it produced horrible, imperfect copies of various items; often reversing printed images, or placing parts in the wrong order. Worst of all, it was never intended to be used to duplicate a living thing, yet that happened as well.

A second version of this device has been noted in use. It uses highly specific chemicals and organic compounds as raw material, with the expressed purpose of making duplicates of living matter. This has had equally disturbing results.

By Dan.

Helper(s): Ethan Roe.