Daily Archives: March 30, 2008

Quick Critiques – March 30, 2008

All-Star Superman #10 (DC Comics/All-Star imprint)
by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely & Jamie Grant

This series has been almost universally praised since its debut; the Eisner blurb on the cover is the tip of the iceberg. Some critics felt Morrison’s recent Bizarro story, though entertaining, didn’t boast the same strength as previous issues. With this episode, he returns to the main storyline — Superman’s impending death, and he does so in a surprisingly touching way. This issue is filled with impossible feats of science-fiction, alien culture clashes and rampaging robots. And even with all of those dazzling, wondrous elements, there’s an undeniable undercurrent of emotion. Superman’s determination is accompanied by a quieter sense of sadness about his plight. He seems not so much afraid of death but mournful of what he’ll leave unaccomplished and the pain his demise may cause others. The inclusion of the citizenship of the Bottle City of Kandor carries with it the potential for throwing off casual readers, but Morrison’s script manages to provide just enough exposition for those less familiar with Super-lore to get what they need. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Morrison’s script is how he transforms our own mundane world and its long history into something magical, depicting it as a magical creation. I love how the story comes full circle as well, bringing an interesting metatextual element into play. Quitely’s artwork casts the Man of Steel as an all-powerful god, and it’s fitting, given the experiment that unfolds in his Fortress of Solitude. Quitely’s style is certainly over the top, so he exaggerated the weakness the title character experiences as well. It’s effective, as it drives home the notion of the urgency at play. That’s not easy to do; the readership knows Superman won’t die, not really. But the creators open the door to the possibility that this incarnation just might. 9/10

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