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All Star Superman, Vol. 1 Paperback – September 2, 2008
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of the best Superman stories ever by any standard. It's timeless, it captures the core of the character, and it is fun. And, thankfully, it doesn't waste space with the origin story. Morrison tells you everything you need to know, and moves forward immediately.
For me, there are three Superman stories that are at the pinnacle: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, For the Man Who Has Everything, and All Star Superman. Putting this in with the other two stories is the highest praise I can offer.
I previously checked out this book from my local library before recently purchasing it from Amazon. Even though this book does tend to go "off the rails" in some sections (particularly with Atlas and Samson), this book does perfectly encapsulate the best aspects of Superman. A bit of pre-and post-Crisis Superman combined with the "out of the box" thinking that Grant Morrison is known for plus the fact that Superman is a genuinely "good" guy who sees the best in humanity even when humanity can't see it in themselves does, in some ways, makes him a Christ-like figure. It's great to see that not all heroes have to be dark, brooding, self-indulgent monsters or killers. I'll take this over "All Star Batman & Robin" any day. Plus, Frank Quitely is at the top of his artistic form on this book.
This is one of my all-time favorite Superman tales, even if isn't part of "regular" continuity. The only self-contained TPBs I consider superior to this are "Kingdom Come" and "Marvels."
My favorite comic book story of all time. It was the first and best story to give me a sense of why Superman is a great character.
Like many millenials, I was drawn to Batman: Year One, DKR, and I even liked in its own way the Dark Knight Strikes Again. I saw Superman as a boy scout, as boring, overpowered and too hard to relate to. And in the Frank Miller sort of way, Superman is a shill for authority, someone who never really questions the premises of American political or economic culture, never actually addresses big picture injustice like systemic abuse of power, ecological destruction, etc. etc.
All of that is still true in a way, but this story captures an even bigger element to Superman: the ability to inspire to greatness, and the reminder that we have an ideal to aspire to, and a reason bigger than ourselves to persevere.
The book goes off the rail a bit in some of the middle chapters- the Bizarro world issue I still don't get, and some of the wonkier mythology I just read past. But it's all worth it for some of the big payoff moments. When Superman comforts the would be jumper, the look in her eyes carries so much weight; can you imagine what it would be like if Superman showed up behind you in a moment of despair?
I want a world where Superman exists, and inspires. The weight of the loss of him in his final days is palpable. You realize at a certain point that there's no easy fix, there's not going to be an 11th hour deus ex machina that brings him back. That because this story is self contained in an alternate universe, this is really happening, and as Superman becomes more frantic toward the end accomplishing his end of life work, we feel frantic and worn out too. When he says goodbye to Lois at the end, we feel the loss ourselves.
Plus there's the art- the beautiful, emotive art. For the first time perhaps anywhere it's plausible that Superman and Clark are not the same person, that Clark really is just a lumbering farm boy in the big city, and not an obvious pretense for Superman.
There's a hidden suggestion running through the length of the book that Lex is Leo Quintum, gone back in time after seeing the world as Superman does. Though Morrison has discounted this himself, I continue to hold stock in that theory. Superman wins ultimately, reforms even Luthor.
What more to say really? This is my favorite comic of all time, one of the very few I've ever bought, after having borrowed and read it from the library a half dozen times. It's now in the hands of colleagues and friends, who, I can only hope, will get as much from this book as I do every time I read it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a fan of Superman. Actually, he's my favorite superhero.Read more