All-Star Superman is awesome. Let’s just get that out in the open to start off. This book is fantastic in nearly every sense of the word. If you like comic books, you need to read this, no question about it.
Now, Superman is a hard sell these days, I realize. He seemed outdated and boring, a Boy Scout kind of superhero with little to offer modern audiences. I thought he couldn’t possibly be relevant when compared to popular antihero types like Batman and Iron Man — that is, until I read All-Star Superman.
To begin with, there is the artwork. Few artists have delivered Superman as well as Frank Quitely. His characters radiate life with their expressions and body language. The coloring, courtesy of Jamie Grant, is vibrant, bold and flows off the page. All-Star Superman is so beautifully drawn that it could probably stand on its own without a single word being printed on the page.
Since DC Comics doesn’t agree with the whole “no words” angle, they handed writing duties to the very capable Grant Morrison. If you have ever read Grant Morrison, you know the guy can be a little bit out there, to say the least. His work on BATMAN is not the most accessible comic on the stands, but when it comes to All-Star Superman, Morrison is on top of his game.
The story, dialogue and characterization are top notch. You would be hard pressed to find better in the medium today. Somehow, Morrison has presented a Superman comic that is nostalgic and modern at the same time.
The action level is high, the emotions are deep, and Superman is better than he has been in years.
If you happen to have never read a Superman comic book before, don’t fret. All-Star Superman is almost completely self-contained. Thankfully, you don’t need to have read the past 900 issues of Superman in order to enjoy it. If you know Superman’s basic history, you are good to go.
Do yourself a favor and pick up All-Star Superman Vol. 1. It’s in bookstores now, and it’s worth every penny.