Friday, August 29, 2008


So, has there ever been a character you just really didn't like? I know that, for a lot of people, Superman is targeted as a cookie-cutter character, a cardboard cut-out, and numerous other unflattering titles, many of which begin with 'c'. It's a fair commentary - a character that's been around as long as he has, in this day in age, absolutely HAS to be 'safe' in every way possible. There's a certain amount of leeway with him, but he's just not allowed to change beyond a certain degree. Same goes for his cast. So, just how do you give personality to a 70 year old character, the icon of the stagnation of comic books? More importantly, how do you boil down 70 years worth of stories to a readable amount? And there's a lot of garbage in there - how do you know what you can safely skip?

All-Star Superman

A single recommendation. Rare for me, I know. Still, pay attention.

All-Star Superman takes place outside of the standard DC Continuity, meaning it can set its own rules, pick and choose what baggage it wants to deal with - and it doesn't have to leave the toys intact for the next writer. Saving the astronauts aboard a space shuttle attempting to 'map the sun' from a death engineered by Lex Luthor, Superman is fatally wounded. Slowly dying, Superman begins to tie up the loose ends of his life, everything from revealing his secret identity to Lois Lane to trying everything he can to finally save the Kryptonians trapped in the Bottle City of Kandor.

All-Star Superman is a love letter to the Silver Age of comics, a time of rampant insanity and bizarre ideas. It's also a wonderfully imaginative series with just a hint of sadness running throughout. Watching Superman confront his own mortality allows for some interesting facets of his personality to come to the forefront, and the series as a whole gets better and better at building Superman's cast and character. It also just happens to be a good book in general.

There's not much detail here. This isn't meant to be a long post, and it isn't meant to tell you everything about the book. It's to say, if you're interested in comics, if you've always hated Superman and are willing to be proven wrong, if you just want a good sci-fi adventure story, you owe it to yourself to read some All-Star Superman. If you don't enjoy it by "Funeral in Smallville" or even "The Gospel According to Lex Luthor", you probably won't enjoy it at all, but it's a cold-hearted bastard what can't appreciate this book.

Enjoy your weekends!

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