The ray was originally created by an unknown scientist named 'Professor Dalton' and it was first used in on the Silver Age Superboy. The machine however did not operate as intended to replicated organic materials and created a bizarre imperfect duplicate instead. The project and machine was abandoned after that.
Years later, criminal scientist Lex Luthor discovered the schematics for the ray and elaborated on it's original design. Luthor utilized this machine on the adult Kal-El. The result was the being known as Bizarro.....a warped imperfect clone of Superman, with apparently significantly less intelligence.
Due to Bizarro's nature of having the majority of Superman's feelings and memories, he quickly became very fond of Lois Lane. Bizarro obtained the device and concocted a ploy to get Lois to fall in love with him. Bizarro used the ray on himself (thus the creation of Bizarro No.1) and thought that Lois would in turn be attracted. In turn, Lois used the device to make a "Bizarro Lois"....the two were perfect for each other, they kept the ray for their own, and headed off into the depths of space to live "happily ever after".
Eventually this led to the creation and colonization of the infamous and bizarre homeworld of Bizarro's named Htrae. This included Bizarro versions of most everyone in the Superman books, including: Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and the roster of the Justice League of America. Superman would visit this planet in his adventures later on.
The ray produces a clone of the individual intended, however with noticeable imperfections:
- The physical appearance is typically the same where the "Bizarro" has a whitish-crystalline skin, looking disjointed and fragmented. The physical nature is usually awkward and disheveled in mannerisms.
- There is a very distinct loss in mental clarity and intelligence. Most Bizarro's display irrational thinking, impaired speech capacity (such as using complete opposites for words such as ""sad" instead of "happy, or "goodbye" in place of "hello"), and the behavior of a child.
- Power sets are typically similar, yet in some cases there are some that are reversed. Such as Bizarro no.1 having cold-vision (instead of Kal's Heat) and Flame breath (instead of Freeze). The Bizarro Flash, similarly seemed to be stuck in slow motion instead of Super Speed.