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Years ago, a scientist named Professor Dalton created a device designed to replicate organic matter. He tested it out on local town hero, Superboy, but the machine malfunctioned creating an imperfect clone of the Boy of Steel. Years passed, and the plans for the device fell into the hands of criminal Lex Luthor. Luthor modified Dalton's original design and created an upgraded version of the Duplicator Ray. This weapon was used to create an imperfect duplicate of the (now adult) Superman. Like its predecessor, Luthor's Duplicator Ray created an imperfect Bizarro of Superman - an artificial being whose warped mind functioned in complete contrast to that of Superman.
Bizarro learned of reporter Lois Lane and fell in love with her. He stole the Duplicator Ray and used it to create a "Handsome" version of himself - one that he had hoped could win the heart of Lois Lane. Unwilling to submit to Bizarro's affections, Lois Lane later used the Duplicator Ray to create a Bizarro version of herself. Bizarro No. 1 and Bizarro Lois fell in love and took the Duplicator Ray with them into outer space to forge a new life for themselves.
They eventually settled on the ruins of a devastated ancient world, and used the Duplicator Ray to create a warped pastiche of life back on Earth. With this technology, they created Bizarro duplicates of all of their friends and family, including Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. In time, this Bizarro World became known as Htrae.
Back on Earth, Superman maintained an earlier version of the Duplicator Ray inside of his Fortress of Solitude.
The Duplicator Ray can replicate organic matter, creating an imperfect duplicate of the original form. Traditionally, all entities created by the Duplicator Ray effects are referred to as Bizarros. Physically, Bizarros all suffer from a physical flaw, which gives them ash-colored crystalline skin. When a Bizarro is created, they naturally inherit all of the memories of the parent organism up unto the time of duplication. The processing of these memories appear to be generational as well, some of them often being carried down from one Bizarro to another. For example, Bizarro No. 1 the first Bizarro cloned from the adult Superman, possessed the memories of the original Bizarro that was created when Superman was still functioning under the alias Superboy. Although Bizarros inherit the memories and base characteristics of their parent lifeforms, they do not possess the same intellectual processes. A Bizarro's personality is traditionally a warped and backwards evolution of their host's core persona, with notable exceptions. For instance, Bizarro No. 1 posesses the desire to be an ace reporter, but cannot function as effectively in his chosen field as Clark Kent. Many Bizarros also possess a number of super-powers associated with their parent host, though often with some notable differences. Bizarro No. 1 possesses super-strength and the power of flight, the same as Superman, but whereas Superman has heat-vision, Bizarro gains cold-vision powers.
- In Post-Crisis continuity, a Chinese scientist named Doctor Teng created a bio-matrix chamber for a Lexcorp program known as Project: Changeling. An analog to the Pre-Crisis Duplicator Ray, this device succeeded in creating a Bizarro creature, which demonstrated many of the same characteristics as a Pre-Crisis Bizarro.