Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All-Star Superman #3
writer: Grant Morrison
artist: Frank Quitely (digtally inked and colored by Jamie Grant)
published by DC comics

I loved Grant Morrison's run on JLA. It's what truly made me a fan of his work. I'd read some of his stuff before, like Arkham Asylum or Animal Man or Doom Patrol. It just didn't quite click that the man was a super-genius until he got ALL the toys at DC and showed us that he could do superheroes better than anyone without being cynical or cheeky or overly clever. His run on JLA brought me back to the DC Universe and made me care about charaters I'd long since abandoned.
All-Star Superman is all about reminding me that nobody -- and I do mean NOBODY -- does it better than Grant Morrison. What we have here in this issue is a self-contained story that showcases Superman's lady love, Lois Lane. It's her birthday, and Supes has gotten her the ultimate gift -- a vial containing a liquid that will give her all of Superman's powers for 24 hours. To give her equal footing with the Man of Steel.
Add to that a pair of time-travelling strongmen and a trans-dimensional powerhouse and you've probably got a recipe for trouble. But, it's nothing Superman can't handle, right?
The thing I love about this book is that it can be huge and epic and awe-inspiring and still be about the human moments that truly matter to this character. Superman might be his natural state, but he truly does aspire to be Clark Kent -- it's not just a disguise or a judgement on humanity, contrary to Kill Bill. Clark Kent is the man that Kal El wishes he could be, to be able to blend in with his fellow earthlings and woo Lois (have I mentioned that this story takes place prior to the whole Marriage/Death/Rebirth storylines of the 90s?).
Oh. The art. Well, it's Frank Quitely, so I get sorta gushy about his stuff anyway. The art is fantastic, and with the addition of the ink and colors provided by Jamie Grant, there's not a book out there today that looks quite this beautiful (not even Shaolin Cowboy. Shut up.).

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