Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields!
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| Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields!
| Comic Story information
Catastrophe in Substitute Springfields! is a Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror comic story first printed in Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #7.
Professor Frink's invention goes wrong when he tries to make a clone of Homer.
The story opens with Comic Book Guy arriving at Professor Frink's secret lab to test out the Redundo Ray, a new cloning device. The ray is successfully tested on a rare comic book, but the pair soon argue over how to use the device, with Frink wishing to aid the homeless and hungry, and Comic Book Guy wishing to duplicate key comic books in order to render the Comic Book Price Guide meaningless. However, the ray is seized by Montgomery Burns, with Frink revealing he has sold out. Burns wishes to clone himself with the ray, but suddenly the duplicate comic morphs into a worthless Happy Little Elves comic, with Frink explaining the unstable replica has devolved and mutated into an exact opposite of the original.
Burns believes a mutant could perform hard labour for low wages without complaint, but due to the inversion process, they need to clone someone who is the opposite of a bright, industrious and dedicated worker - Homer Simpson, who is duped into volunteering. Along with Dr. Hibbert in attendance, they begin the process, and the Homer clone soon transforms into a handsome, muscular Clark Kent lookalike, complete with pink skin and five fingers. Mishearing Frink's description of his DNA as berserk, the clone takes the name Bert Zerko, and quickly bonds with Homer.
At the Simpson house, Bert observes the family from afar, and feeling alone and out-of-place, he steals the cloning ray and duplicates Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. However, despite his good intentions, the Simpsons soon fall out with the 'Zerko family', consisting of the ugly and rude Midge, the intellectual and sensitive Garth, the promiscuous and rebellious Lena, and a verbose duplicate of Maggie. After Marge protests, Bert reveals he is the cause. Heading with Homer to Burns' office, Bert accuses Burns of collaborating with extraterrestrials. Burns calls off Project Artificial Work Force and calls in Kang and Kodos, who offer a place of honor in their intergalactic petting zoo in exchange for the ray. The Rigelians proceed to fix the ray, before cloning all of Springfield to populate their miniaturized 'city-in-a-bottle'.
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