25 May 2011

Archival Review: All-Star Superman, volume 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Comic trade paperback, 154 pages
Published 2009 (contents: 2007-08)

Acquired October 2010
Read March 2011
All-Star Superman, volume 2

Written by Grant Morrison
Pencilled by Frank Quitely
Inked & colored by Jamie Grant
Lettered by Phil Balsman

I didn't like the second volume of All-Star Superman as much as the first. It's got some great stuff, but unfortunately, it starts a bit slow, with a two-issue story about Superman venturing into the Underverse to meet Zibarro, who is the Bizarro version of Clark Kent. I've never found the Bizarro concept interesting, and this spin on it didn't do a lot for me either. The replacement Superman story is competent, but a little weak too-- Superman is conveniently saved from his dilemma. Which is par for the course for the crappy Silver Age stories this tale is emulating, but not necessarily something I want to see here.

"Neverending," though, is where things get great again, as Superman writes his last will a testament. This is just chock full of great moments, but my favorite is Superman flying a bus full of terminally ill kids to Egypt to see the Pyramids. I smiled so big at that one. That's why Superman's great. (Unlike Mark Waid in the introduction, though, the scene where Superman stops a girl from committing suicide did nothing for me, probably because she was goth. It was a little stereotypical.)

And as for the two-part finale, where Superman battle Lex Luthor under the red glow of the tyrant sun after Earth's own sun has been extinguished... well, of course it's good.

This volume isn't quite the near-perfect Superman story of the first volume, but overall, All-Star Superman is a twelve-part explanation of everything that makes Superman my favorite superhero.

(I'm sure Frank Quitely's excellent art has received lots of praise-- he does a great Clark, especially-- but I just want to mention that his Lois has amazing legs.)

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