This week on the Major Spoilers Podcast, the Major Spoilers Crew takes a look at Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman.

All-Star Superman

Witness the Man of Steel in exciting new adventures featuring Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Bizarro, and more! The Man of Steel goes toe-to-toe with Bizarro, his oddball twin, and the new character Zibarro, also from the Bizarro planet. And Superman faces the final revenge of Lex Luthor – in the form of his own death! Writer Grant Morrison teams with artist Frank Quitely on this spectacular reimagining of the Superman mythos, from The Man of Steel’s origin to his greatest foes and beyond.

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  1. I know I read it, it’s somewhere in my closet but I honestly don’t remember much of it which tells me it was either mediocre or just okay. The last story I remember to be the only one of real interest, but at the same time was too futuristic for my taste, as far as an “Elseworld” series it was fine I guess?

  2. Not one of Quietley’s best covers or work, IMO. He made Supes’ jaw look like Joe from Family Guy and his expressions looked more like a bored metrosexual that was getting a pedicure. Even the “Superman: Earth One” series doesn’t really look interesting to me as I don’t really want to see Clark Kent as a cross between “Smallville” and an emo-boy. Morrison and Quietly were absolutely superb (pun intended) in the new Batman and Robin series. Neither of the “All-Star” series were much of an interest to me.

  3. This for my money is THE best Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely have ever done. To keep myself brief, this story contains two absolutely perfect Superman moments: 1) How he resolves the riddle of the unstoppable force and immovable object. 2) Superman saving the girl and saying “You’re much stronger than you think you are.”

    While Frank Quitely usually does not do it for me in terms of art, here he pulls no punches. Quitely is the only person in my memory to convince me of the idea of Clark and Superman looking different, as in wearing baggier clothing and slouch, though often discussed elsewhere is rarely seen.

    All-Star Superman is one of the few out-&-out superhero titles I will give to my non-comic reading friends to enjoy everytime.

    • Be sure to read Kirby’s comments on the podcast, as they are spot on!

      I’m sure it will be mentioned how the story contains many wonderful Easter eggs for fans familiar with decades of the Superman canon, but best of all for me was the way in which it tuned into the best vibes from the Silver Age with a solid measure of Elliot S. Maggin’s appreciation for Luthor as a villain.

      This book does a great job (re)convincing me that Lex Luthor really is the only character worthy of being THE Superman villain. We’ve had (IMO) at least 25+ years of Lex as a mediocre bad guy (Darius Dax not withstanding) and it’s a shame that it had to be All Star Superman that reminded us what makes Superman so good and Luthor so bad.

    • I will agree with Kirby, I think this is some of Grant Morrison’s finest work and some of the most accessible in my opinion.

      I liked the fact that each issue is a short story that stands alone. All in all, it plays well into the Silver Age aesthetic that the book is built on ; this aesthetic resonates with Morrison’s bizarre concepts and compressed storytelling, and maybe that’s what makes his writing easier to take in this time.

      I didn’t know much about comics when I first discovered this series (I still don’t know that much, but a bit more), so it made me see how the Silver Age could be interesting, fascinating even. But more than that, I love this book because to me, it shows why Superman is awesome. Big Blue is here presented as strong, smart, wise and impossibly kind, in short everything a hero should be. It’s interesting that as his death grows near, his power grows ; nice callback to the power level of the Silver Age and how it kills a superhero’s interest. Here, it just makes him more interesting, as he’s faced with something he can’t punch into the sun : death.

      A friend of mine pointed me to an essay about All-Star Superman, that explained how it used an apollonian aesthetic, as opposed to a dionysian aesthetic. All-Star Batman is dionysian, in some respect : it shows a hero of excess, drunk with violence, power and sex, even crass at times.

      All-Star Superman is quite the opposite, it shows a hero that’s not just a clean-cut boy scout, but a solar figure that struggles against decay and all kinds of hardship, in an effort to reach perfection and save as many as he can. To me, that’s what makes heroes like Captain America and Superman likable : they are inspiring, not because they are perfect, but because they try to be, because they are face with challenges and conquer them. They can’t save everyone, but they never stop trying.

      The final image of Superman as a worker, forever struggling to keep the sun burning, is a perfect symbol of that.

  4. This title stood against ASBAR in stark relief. While the central story was dark on its face ([SPOILER] Superman’s impending death), it was filled with a simplicity and joy you don’t see much anymore.

    Enjoyed this series very much, and enjoyed the tone even more.

  5. Blackthunder01 on

    I was never a fan of Quietly’s art to begin with. Once, I went into my LCS and talked about this comic. The guy behind the counter gave me the first 2 issues for free because he thought that it would definately mean that I’d buy the rest of them. After reading the first 2 issues, I now know that I definately don’t care for it.

    I have a collection of ALL of the DC Universe movies but am seriously considering skipping the next one because this is the story they’re doing. (Seriously, they need to lay off the Superman and Batman stories for a while.)

  6. ah yes, All-Star Superman. the only Superman story i trully love. i usually hate Superman. easily in my top 3.

    even those who usually hates superheroes like this book.

    the only problem, there is so many superman title, and morrison alienated so many readers with his past work, that some person would not read this book. and htey are missing out on something great.

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