• October 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Sep    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

All-Star Superman #4 [Review]

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: The Superman/Olsen War!

On this particular day in the life of Jimmy Olsen, the kid’s got his hands full with an evil Superman and a plan to save the world…question is, what will it cost him?

allstarsuperman004Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Frank Quitely
Digitally Inked & Colored by: Jamie Grant
Letters: Phil Balsman
Asst. Editor: Brandon Montclare
Editor: Bob Schreck
Cover Art: Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant
Publisher: DC Comics

I hardly even remember the previous issue, offhand. Thankfully, due to the nature of this series, one doesn’t really have to remember that issue to "get" and enjoy THIS one.

Jimmy Olsen here is working on a series of "For a Day" columns, in which he takes on certain jobs for a day, following them with a column about his experiences. The focal role he takes on in this issue is as Director of "P.R.O.J.E.C.T."

Of course, Jimmy being Jimmy, trouble ensues, resulting in the summoning of Superman to the scene, to bail everyone outta said trouble…though this, predictably, only leads to more trouble–and ultimately, a certain ‘friction’ between Superman and Jimmy.

The conflict becomes physical, and as the issue’s story-title suggests, we get to see Superman and Jimmy really go at it–while providing a semi-unique interpretation of yet another character, working it into the "All-Star" version of things in such a way that doesn’t interrupt status quo, and is left open to return later.

This issue is yet another example of how both Morrison and Quitely present a Superman comic that greatly differs from the current/ongoing main titles…and yet "gets" a certain essential aspect of the characters, telling stories that are possibly more fun and entertaining than those main titles. This may not be THE Superman that everyone seeks…but this version of Superman should be recognizable by anyone.

The art is clear and distinct–conveying exactly what needs to be conveyed. The visuals may not be "photorealistic," but they don’t need to be–they have a style all their own, that works very well for this issue–and the series as a whole.

While I am personally a fan of "continuity," this issue is argument in itself showing what can be done outside the bounds of "continuity."

Long-time Superman fan or newer reader, this issue–and the earlier issues of the series, as well–are very much worth picking up. If you don’t care for the main Superman books, this series is far enough removed that you needn’t worry about some infinite crossover or anything. Being approximately bi-monthly, the series puts less strain on the wallet, and each issue having a self-contained story, while carrying certain threads from one to another makes for a rewarding, satisfying reading experience.

Ratings:

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Advertisements

All-Star Superman #3 [Review]

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Sweet Dreams, Superwoman…

Having been given Superman’s powers for a day, Lois makes the most of it–inserting herself firmly into a lifestyle she’s been stuck watching from the outside for far too long…

allstarsuperman003Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Frank Quitely
Digitally Inked & Colored by: Jamie Grant
Letters: Phil Balsman
Asst. Editor: Brandon Montclare
Editor: Bob Schreck
Cover Art: Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant
Publisher: DC Comics

Several days ago, I watched the first new episode of House in three weeks. It’s a show that I enjoy, and so waiting several times the usual time between installments wasn’t my choice, but watching the episode made me realize that sure, had a couple weeks without the show–but that just made it that much better when the new episode came out. And that’s what this title feels like. It’s that show that you enjoy, but there’s quite awhile between issues…but when you get each issue it’s well worth the time in-between…and you can look back and be a bit surprised at how fast that time’s passed. This is already issue 3, and it feels like the series just started a couple months ago.

You don’t really need to know much coming into this issue. Morrison gives you what you need contextually as you go along. Having read the first couple issues, one will pick up a few subtle bits that enhance the story.

The story here–Superman giving Lois a serum that will grant her all of his super-powers for a day (a gift for her birthday, no less)–is at once silly and farfetched. But darned if it doesn’t actually work. This reminds me quite a bit of the type of story found in some of the old silver age Superman books, and yet it’s got a lot more depth and well…story to it.

We’re introduced to Samson and Atlas here–a couple of "rivals" to Superman–and get the feeling that this is by no means the first time they’ve crossed paths. This is only the third issue of this series, of this "take" on the character…and yet this sense of history adds to a feeling this version of Superman very certainly differs from the regular DCU character but has just as rich a background and all that.

Quitely‘s art is impressive, to be sure–there’s just a "feeling" he conveys throughout the issue. The imagery is on the surface a bit simplistic–certainly nothing hyper-detailed. And yet there’s enough detail to see the annoyance in Superman’s face or the excitement or playfulness in Lois’. The style lends itself to the story very well, having a sort of simplicity of older stories in appearance, but an attitude rooted in the present.

Putting the story and art together, we have yet another very strong issue of this new title.

You don’t need to have read #s 1 or 2 to "get" and enjoy this issue. Though elements are beginning to build a bit, you get an entire story here in this one issue. You get a timeless episode in the life of a Superman that isn’t silver age, isn’t modern-day mainstream DCU, but that takes the best of both and shows him in this title.

If you’ve never cared for the character or didn’t "get" the character, or just felt put off by the continuity and other such…this is the title for you. Superman doesn’t get much better than this.

Ratings:

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

All-Star Superman #2 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Superman’s Forbidden Room

Wondering what the punchline is, Lois plays along with Superman’s sudden claim to being Clark Kent, as he takes her for a visit to his Fortress of Solitude.

allstarsuperman002Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Frank Quitely
Digitally Inked & Colored by: Jamie Grant
Letters: Phil Balsman
Asst. Editor: Brandon Montclare
Editor: Bob Schreck
Cover Art: Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant
Publisher: DC Comics

Some time has passed since the end of the previous issue, where we left Superman telling Lois that he had something to tell her. This issue opens with her taking the revelation of Superman and Clark being one-and-the-same in stride. In fact, after spending years trying to prove that fact, and constantly being proven wrong, Lois assumes there’s some punch line she’s not quite getting–that Superman’s playing some trick on her, so she determines to cautiously play along. When he gives her free reign over his fortress except for one specific room, she grows suspicious, and wonders at what other changes Superman’s visit to the sun (last issue) may have had on him.

Quitely‘s art here is top-notch. Certainly a change in style from other interpretations of Superman recently–this is no Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens, or John Byrne art. This Superman is not all rippling/bulging muscles, nor is he some scrawny guy in a costume. He’s just a normal, average-looking man in a costume with super-powers. For lack of better phrasing, I’d describe it as a "simpler" tone. The art is focused on serving the story, conveying the visual imagery to go along with the story, rather than trying to be so detailed as to speak for the text. The only sequence that I’d take issue with is a rather graphic–"PG-13" level, perhaps–sequence as Lois reflects on things as she showers and changes.

Morrison again leaves us with a quality Superman story that combines a bit of the "silver age" feel of the characters with contemporary sensibilities. The new key to the Fortress is just one randomly amusing part to the issue. The opening page re-casts the feel of a movie, and the issue’s credits are given in movie style layout, further lending the feel of this being some Superman movie (or at the least, tv show).

While I would not be thrilled with this being the only available ongoing interpretation of Superman, this second issue certainly continues the quality of the first issue, and leaves no doubt that this is truly an "All-Star" book. If you don’t care about–or are actively avoiding–Infinite Crisis; if you have never read Superman before this series; if you don’t care about years-deep continuity, and so on…this is certainly the book for you.

This is only the second issue–the first should still be fairly easy to track down. I’d highly recommend checking this series out. You can even get away with just reading this issue without the previous–a subplot carries over, but this issue stands well by itself. Definitely recommended-reading!

Ratings:

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

%d bloggers like this: