Friday, September 3, 2010

All-Star Superman (TPB: Vol. 1)

All-Star Superman Vol. 1 - Comic of the DaySure, I'm a Marvel man. Look at most of my posts and you will notice that I swing on a webbed line towards Marvel comics, but that does not mean I won't pick-up a comic, trade or novel that is said to be a must read.

Take All-Star Superman for example.

When the first trade came out for the All-Star Superman series, written by Grant Morrison and penciled by Frank Quitely, all I heard was that it was possibly the best comic book on the stands. I was floored the first time I heard that a Superman title was so well done because let's face it, at this point, 70 plus years later, what else can be done with the Man of Steel?

Enter Grant Morrison

Morrison has a knack for reinventing and reinvigorating some of the most popular characters in comics. His work on Marvel's the New X-Men brought the X books back from the brink of the forgotten and irrelevant. He made people fall in love all over again with their old flame from the past. Fortunately for DC, Morrison did just that for their greatest character, Superman.

Morrison added what Superman books were missing for a long time: charm. All-Star Superman presents Superman, and the characters around him (Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lex Luthor, etc.), in a manner that suggests the reader already knows a bit about them. Clark Kent stumbles around like we know he does and Jimmy Olsen gets into trouble and in need of big red n' blue like he always does. The basics are covered and the added content is not dark or seemingly too serious. The first 6 issues in the All-Star Superman trade have fun mini plots which are self contained in each issue. There is a carry-over plot, but the individual issues deal with their own whimsical stories such as Lois having super-powers for a day, Jimmy turning into Doomsday to save Superman and Clark Kent interviewing Lex the day before Lex is supposed to be put to death. The books read with quick dialog and a sense of "awe" which is very distinctive to Superman.

Of course I must mention that Frank Quitely, Morrison's New X-Men, All-Star Batman and WE3 partner, ads to the adventure which is the comic of the day, All-Star Superman. He nails the size of Superman while also drawing Clark Kent large yet awkward, almost making it believable that people don't understand Clark and Supes are one and the same...almost. Each character has a distinct presence in each panel, none of which outshines the other. This may be Quitely's most impressive feat in a book that features the most recognizable comic book character ever. I will mention that at time his art does not appeal to me...I think it's the small mouths. Take a look at a Quitely character, and look at the mouths. Am I right or not? I've stared to long at this point I don't know anymore.

If you take away anything from this post, just know that it is a recommendation. I don't always recommend the books I post about. Some I just make fun of, but All-Star Superman is a book for any type of comic reader and I recommend it to everyone. Superman is after-all the character that really took comics new heights. Every person over 10 years old has discovered Superman, but I urge you to rediscover him in All-Star Superman. You won't be sorry.

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