All-Star Superman

all star superman cover trade paperback
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 10/10

Great story, great art


Comic Info

Comic Name:  All-Star Superman

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Frank Quitely

# of Issues:  12

Release Date:   2011


All-Star Superman #3

Reprints All-Star Superman #1-12 (January 2006-October 2008). Superman is dying. A trap left by Lex Luthor has caused him to absorb more solar energy than his body can hold and it is slowly burning out. Now Superman must say goodbye to the world and also tie-up his life as Clark Kent. For Superman, this means adventures with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, solving the problem of Kandor, and trying to come to terms with Lex Luthor before he is gone. The world however isn’t ready to be without a Superman, and Superman finds he might be in for the fight of his life.

Written by Grant Morrison, All-Star Superman was widely hailed as one of the best new comics. Originally collected in two volumes, it has now been released as an “absolute” volume containing all twelve issues. It won Eisner Awards for Best New Series in 2006 and Best Continuing Series in 2007 and 2009. The story was adapted (with heavy editing) into All-Star Superman the animated movie in 2011.

All-Star Superman is just fun. Morrison manages to tap into the basic Superman mold with the series and be inventive at the same time. Issues like Lois Lane’s adventures as Super-Woman or Jimmy Olsen’s battle as Doomsday feel like classic Superman issues, but how they are put together feels entirely new. With most of the series, Morrison ultilizes this classic feel and manages to hit on all aspects of Superman’s past with Superboy, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and other major players in the Superman mythos showing up.

all star superman #6 cover krypto

All-Star Superman #6

Morrison resists the urge (and it makes sense later on) to bring in any members of the Justice League or other big non-Superman villains. This isolates Superman and doesn’t put him in the standard DC Universe so his feats of strength to save the world aren’t diminished by the help of other heroes. The story also allows there be little to no hope for a cure, but also has the fun of developing “our” world by Superman creating the independent “Earth-Q” which still develops a Superman in its mythos without Superman’s existence showing there is something natural about Superman and people will genuinely look for a Superman in the world.

All-Star Superman is also aided by fantastic art from Frank Quitely. He just gets Superman. It is blocky and classical in its style but the story has a rich texture and look to it. This was aided by digital coloring by Jamie Grant who helps Quitely already fantastic illustrations to really pop-off the page.

All-Star Superman is one of the best written Superman stories in modern time. I hope with Morrison writing Superman again for the New 52 some of the magic of his series is captured in Action Comics, but it will be hard to match this collection. If you are a Superman fan, this is a must, but if you are interested in comic books that aren’t necessarily for comic book readers, I recommend this series also. The only problem with that is some of the nuances of Morrison’s writing might be lost on people that don’t know the character’s history, but still give it a try to see the real Man of Steel.

Related Links:

All-Star Superman (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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