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Saturday, January 14, 2017

ALL STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison. Illustrated by Frank Quitely.

Published in 2011 by DC Comics.
320 pages.

I am a fan of Superman. Actually, he's my favorite superhero. This book started out as an intriguing take on the Man of Steel but it ended being a mish-mash of a mess.

This is a collection of multiple original comics and follows a story arc that is based on a dying Superman. In the first episode, he saves a scientific mission to the sun and ends up overloading his cells with the power of our yellow sun. There is no recovering and the overdose takes several months to kill him.

******Warning****** Spoilers*******

Superman responds by getting more serious about his relationship with Lois Lane and gives her a medication that gives her powers like his own for one day. This would have been a wonderfully interesting story line except for the arrival of two strong men from history that are now time traveling seeking adventure: Samson and Atlas. They decide they like Lois Lane, flirt with her incessantly and challenge Superman for her hand - like Lois has no say in the matter. The normally vocal and highly independent Lois just takes this. Who are these guys? Just two sexist creeps that sort of advance the plot, but mostly just make it seem like someone stole the plot of a 1930s movie.

It goes on that way throughout the book. Superman goes rogue when exposed to some bad Kryptonite, Superman travels through time to meet his father and the stories just don't seem to have enough heft to make me care too much. Too much bizarre stuff, not enough story.

Superman goes to Bizarro world and meets a sort of half-and-half Bizarro Superman who is doomed to stay on the planet - the only creature who can actually think straight. He was by far the most interesting thing in that entire story line, but only gets a few panels and, strangely, left behind by the real Superman.

I liked the Lex Luthor story line, but it makes no sense for a man of Luthor's talents to be given access to anything while waiting on death row, let alone technology to make superweapons. Nonetheless, it was the strongest part of the graphic novel.

******End Spoilers*********

Too many missed opportunities, too many convoluted story plots that don't hold up. I rate this collection 2 stars out of 5.

This graphic novel can be found on Amazon.com here: All Star Superman.

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