From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Morrison's superb Superman stories can be poignant, action-packed or downright silly, often in the same tale. An expedition to the heart of the sun is sabotaged by Lex Luthor, who would stand to profit from a global water shortage. Superman saves the day, but at a steep cost—his encounter with the sun alters him at a cellular level, and it looks like the Man of Steel actually faces death. The big story deals with Luthor's fervent quest to outlive his enemy, even as he himself sits on death row. The episodic tales along the way are the real delight, though: Superman reveals his true identity to Lois, but she doesn't believe him; for her birthday he gives her a potion which makes her a superwoman for 24 hours; Jimmy Olson becomes "eccentric zillionaire daredevil" for a day for a newspaper column; and in the best of the tales, Clark visits Luthor in prison for an exclusive interview, only to have an undesirable effect on a monstrous inmate. Quitely's art is wide-eyed and simple, yet still cosmically epic, drenched in an old-school color palette that makes this a vibrant feast for the eyes. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* Superman: All Star is part of a new DC line that allows leading comics creators to present their own versions of the company's classic characters without acknowledging any of the baggage the icons have acquired over the decades. Morrison, currently comics' hottest scripter, gleefully seizes the opportunity to have his way with DC's flagship character. His affection for the Superman cast shines through on every page as he homes in on their iconic demeanors--quietly noble Superman, bumbling Clark Kent, suspicious Lois Lane, boyishly enthusiastic Jimmy Olsen, and brilliantly evil Lex Luthor. He even takes some of the loonier elements of the mythos, like Krypto the Superdog and Superman's robot duplicates, and gives them a goofy grandeur. Morrison substitutes a knowing intelligence for the naivete of the earlier comics and manages to toss in some of his own trademark megaconcepts, such as the Underverse, a layer of reality whose gravity is so heavy that in it time solidifies. Meanwhile, collaborator Quitely shows that he might be the perfect comic-book artist: subtle when necessary, cartoonish when appropriate, and adroit with the action sequences. Together, writer and artist devise a Man of Steel who is both respectfully classic and excitingly contemporary. Gordon Flagg
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