Land of Zrfff

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People are always popping into the World's Funnest Dimension. Image by Jim Woodring.

The Land of Zrfff

Mr. Mxyzptlk's homeland, a weird "multi-dimensional place" which is either located in the fifth dimension or coterminous with it. Described as a "weird land" in one text (S No. 33/1, Mar/Apr 1945: "Dimensions of Danger!") and as a "weird fifth dimensional world" in another (Act No. 208, Sep 1955: "The Magic of Mr. Mxyztplk"), it is a land of "topsy-turvy structures" (S No. 40/1, May/Jun 1946: "The Mxyztplk-Susie Alliance!") and "wacky architecture" populated by "elfishly egotistical inhabitants" who regard Earth as a "stupid three-dimensional planet" and earthmen as primitive "halfwits" fit to be classified only with the "lower forms of life."

"The universe is full of many kinds of animals and people," chides Superman during a visit to the Land of Zrfff in March-April 1945, "and I wouldn't trade most of them I've seen for all the people of Zrfff! A lot of people are as smart as the people of Zrfff, and smarter--but I doubt if any of them are more egotistical!" (S No. 33/1: "Dimensions of Danger!").

The Land of Zrfff is a monarchy ruled by King Brpxz (S No. 33/1, Mar/Apr 1945: "Dimensions of Danger!"), or Bprxz (S No. 40/1, May/Jun 1946: "The Mxyztplk-Susie Alliance!"), a senile old fellow who sits on the floor of his throne room playing with a set of children's blocks. According to a number of early texts, Mr. Mxyzptlk is the king's court jester (S No. 33/1, Mar/Apr 1945: "Dimensions of Danger!"; and others).

Just as Mr. Mxyzptlk possesses extraordinary extradimensional powers, so do all the other inhabitants of Zrfff, thus enabling them to appear and disappear at will and perform other spectacular feats. Arriving in the Land of Zrfff in March-April 1945, Superman is attacked by guardsmen and finds, to his chagrin, that he cannot defeat them because of their extradimensional powers. Frustrated, the Man of Steel attempts to flee, only to discover that "no matter at what blinding speed he moves, his surroundings stay with him!"

"What's this?" exclaims Superman. "Everything is coming along with me!" "Of course!" replies a bemused onlooker. "Did you think the Land of Zrfff was anchored and solid, like your clumsy Earth?"

Indeed, as Superman soon learns, only "by speaking the formulated word zyxma, [can] a resident of other planes of existence...adjust himself to the peculiar dimensional conditions of the Land of Zrfff" so that he may move from place to place without difficulty and deal on equal dimensional terms with Zrfff's native inhabitants (S No. 33/1: "Dimensions of Danger!").

According to Superman No. 154/1, "practical jokes are the highest form of art" in Mr. Mxyzptlk's world, and the prestigious Academy of Practical Joking annually awards the coveted Brxll Award to the citizen responsible for performing the year's most spectacular practical joke (Jul 1962: "The Underwater Pranks of Mr. Mxyzptlk!"). Other texts, however, appear to contradict this: Superman No. 169/1 asserts that Mr. Mxyzptlk's fondness for pranks has made him something of a pest in his home dimension (May 1964: "The Infernal Imp!"), and Superman No. 131/1 observes that the mischievous imp recently "had to spend some time in jail in [his] own dimension--for playing a few practical jokes!" (Aug 1959: "The Menace of Mr. Mxyzptlk!"). Indeed, as Mr. Mxyzptlk himself explains in January-February 1950, one of his reasons for visiting Earth so often is that "Fifth dimension life's too quiet" (S No. 62/3: "Mr. Mxyzptlk, Hero!").

Although, particularly in the early texts, the chronicles are inconsistent regarding the name of Mr. Mxyzptlk's homeland, the evidence of the texts, taken as a whole, is that Mr. Mxyzptlk is a native of the extradimensional Land of Zrfff (S No. 33/1, Mar/Apr 1945: "Dimensions of Danger!"; and others) and that this land is either located in, or coterminous with, the fifth dimension (S No. 59/3, Jul/Aug 1949: "The City That Forgot Superman"; and many others).

One text refers to "...Topsy-Turvy Land, the fifth-dimensional home of that troublesome imp, Mr. Mxyztplk" (S No. 51/1, Mar/Apr 1948: "Mr. Mxyztplk Seeks a Wife!"), but this reference to Topsy-Turvy Land may safely be dismissed as a chronicler's error.

Superman No. 40/1 describes the Land of Zrfff as "many dimensions away from here" (May/Jun 1946: "The Mxyztplk-Susie Alliance!"), and Action Comics No. 273 observes that Superman "crashes the dimensional barrier into the world of five dimensions" in order to get there.

Our world and Mr. Mxyzptlk's world both occupy the same space," notes Superman in February 1961, "...but each is invisible to the other because they are on different dimensional planes!" ("The World of Mr. Mxyzptlk!").

Superman visits the Land of Zrfff in March-April 1945 (S No. 33/1: "Dimensions of Danger!") and again in February 1961 (Act No. 273: "The World of Mr. Mxyzptlk!"). He builds a realistic replica of a portion of the Land of Zrfff on the outskirts of Metropolis in May-June 1946 as part of his elaborate ruse to trick Mr. Mxyzptlk into returning to his home dimension (S No. 40/1: "The Mxyztplk-Susie Alliance!").

Zrff is also home to Miss Gzptlsnz, the "girl-friend" of Mxyzptlk (SPJO No. 52/6, Apr 1961: "Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man!").

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