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Absolute All Star Superman Hardcover – November 1, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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About the Author
Writer Grant Morrison is known for his innovative work on comics from the graphic novel Arkham Asylum to acclaimed runs on Animal Man and Doom Patrol, as well as his subversive creator-owned titles such as The Invisibles, Seaguy, and WE3. Grant has also written best-selling runs on JLA, Seven Soldiers of Victory, and New X-Men, and helped to reinvent the DC Universe in The Multiversity, All Star Superman, 52, Batman, Batman & Robin and Batman, Inc.
Frank Quitely was born in Glasgow in 1968. Some of his most notable work has been for DC Comics/Vertigo, including Flex Mentallo, Batman: The Scottish Connection, The Kingdom: Offspring, JLA: Earth 2, The Invisibles, Transmetropolitan, The Authority, The Sandman: Endless Nights, WE3, All-Star Superman and Batman & Robin. For Marvel Comics, he's worked on New X-Men with frequent collaborator Grant Morrison. He is also a sought-after covers artist, having drawn for Negative Burn, Judge Dredd Megazine, Classic 2000 AD, Jonah Hex, Books of Magick: Life During Wartime, Bite Club, American Virgin and All-Star Batman. He lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children.
Neal Adams was born June 6, 1941 in New York City. He attended Manhattan's High School of Industrial Art and, while still a student, found work ghosting the Bat Masterson syndicated newspaper strip and drawing gag cartoons for Archie Comics. Neal received his own comic strip based on the popular TV series Ben Casey in 1962. The strip ran until 1965 at which time Neal made the move to comics for Warren Publishing and DC Comics. Neal's realistic style on Deadman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow, at odds with the more cartoony comics of the day, made him an immediate star. He became DC's premier cover artist, contributing radical and dynamic illustrations to virtually the company's entire line. Neal's work has also appeared in Marvel's X-Men, The Avengers, and Thor, on paperback book covers, and on stage, as the art director for the Broadway science fiction play, Warp. In the 1970s, Neal and partner (and frequent inker) Dick Giordano started the art agency Continuity Associates out of which came, in the 1980s, Continuity Comics. Neal is the winner of several Alley, Shazam, and Inkpot Awards, and was inducted into the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.
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But every now and again there might be a story so powerful that my faith in the medium is renewed, my doubts are erased and I can proudly pronounce that piece of comic book as honest to goodness ART. (Not surprisingly, this mostly happens to me with my favorite character; Superman)
This is one of those stories.
Grant Morrison has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and while in his beginnings in the mainstream (his superb JLA run) he was viewed by me as "Vertigo guy", he has slowly taken his sophisticated approach to storytelling over to the DC Universe, to the point where I consider him and Geoff Johns to be the primary creative forces of the company, sort of the Lennon and McCartney, with vastly different approach to their craft but resulting in some of the most exciting comic book stories of the last decade.
This is, without question, his Magnus Opus.
This is the most classical & timeless Superman story ever, where all the main ingredients of his mythos are presented in their most essential form but still maintain amazingly approachable to any person with the slightest interest and familiarity with Superman and his universe.
Morrison's Superman, and for that matter any of the characters presented in this story, is an amalgam of over 75 years of history, somehow becoming the most timeless and yet refreshingly new version of the characters presented here; Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Ma & Pa Kent, Bizarro & Lex Luthor (who steals the show BTW); all in all a veritable cornucopia of everything that has made Superman the global icon he is.
The story starts simply enough (well in Superman stories at least) with Superman going into the Sun to save an expedition of scientists threatened by Lex Luthor's latest scheme, only to find out that Luthor has finally succeeded in doing the unthinkable; by over exposing him to solar radiation which will end up killing Superman. From here on out the story focuses on what the Man of Steel will do to try to set things right before times runs out, facing some of his hardest trials (just like the gods of ancient Greece did to justify their place in Olympus) before facing once more Lex Luthor in a desperate attempt to save the world.
Frank Quietly brings a decidedly classical approach to every single art panel and image, and the coloring is simply breathtaking in this extra sized version, which brings out the level of detail to an even better level. Some people have commented on his face work, but I say that everything looks topnotch to me.
The advantages of this Absolute version is not only having the story in a single volume and the extra size of the art (plus the quality of paper is excellent) but by having a great set of extras for diehard fans like the series proposal, sketches, and creator notes.
That is a decidedly brief taste of where this magnificent Absolute version is about, and I do believe that anybody with the slightest interest in Superman should check out this out.
Believe me you won't regret it...any maybe it will make you (like me)fall in love with comic books all over again
This is the kind of book that comes around once in a decade. It's a book that encapsulates all that is good and true about an icon; exemplifying the ideals that has kept a character in our hearts and minds for 75 years. This is a distillation of the very best of Superman; past, present, and (possible) future. It's all you truly need to understand why he's important, and why he'll continue to stay important.
Some of the individual stories can be a bit whacky, harkening back to the craziness of the silver age. It may be a bit off-putting to some, but I ask that you attempt to see beyond it; to the core of each story. The core of each story shows not only a quality of Superman, but a quality of humanity to be celebrated; qualities we all have inside us, but rarely ever show. THIS is what Superman truly is. He is the hope of a better humanity, made real through paper and pencil. When you finish this story, you just may see that you, too, can be Superman.
And be Superman we can. Just read All-Star, and you'll see why that's possible. There's always a way.
ART: Frank Quitely (enhanced by Jamie Grant) is a master of capturing moments of action while never feeling static. His work conveys a magnificent sense of motion, which makes this comic fun and exciting to read. Quitely also builds in tons of background detail, rewarding close attention and future reading. His faces are sometimes inconsistent, but never to the point of making it difficult to identify characters. And his sense of pacing perfectly complements Morrison's story, rocketing along while allowing the reader to linger as necessary. Top-notch art, to be sure.
PRESENTATION: The "Absolute" format is perfect for this material. The expansive trim-size and stout, coated paper-stock practically suck the reader into the artwork. Sewn-signature binding allows the hefty book to lay relatively flat, ensuring that nothing important is hidden in the spine-edge (the iconic double-page introductory shot of Superman flying near the Sun looks SPECTACULAR).
A snazzy dust-jacket features new art from Quitely, while the paper-over-board casebinding showcases the well-known Superman-resting-on-a-cloud over Metropolis cover from issue one (the Neil Adams variant is included inside). My only minor complaint is that the spine-design of the slipcase is somewhat boring.
The collection is rounded out by a bonus-features section, with sketchbook work from both Morrison and Quitely, and text-pieces which serve to flesh out the characters and concepts (some of which are merely fascinating background details). This shows just how much material Morrison bakes into his storytelling, though admittedly some of these ideas get lost in the story itself.
BOTTOM LINE: This format has breathed new life into "All-Star Superman," already a great comic. The Absolute edition of this story has already become one of my prized possessions. Even if you already have the individual issues (or even the smaller hardcovers), this collection is worth every penny.
Most recent customer reviews
I don't know what else to say about it.
Grant Morrison managed to take all of the hokey high concepts of the Silver Age Superman and...Read more