Saturday, November 19, 2005

All-Star Superman #1 - Yes, Please!

So, has anyone heard of this book? I'm surprised none of the other comic blogs are talking about it.

Seriously, this book was a great deal of fun. Grant Morrison is clearly relishing the chance to write an old-school Superman story, and I am certainly relishing the opportunity to read it. This is one series that I think will be even more enjoyable to read in serial format, and I haven't thought that about a book in awhile. Maybe my severely positive reaction to A-SS is a direct result of the ennuie brought on by the dragging, omnipresent monolith of corporate planning known as Infinite Crisis, but it's awesome to just read a great Superman story, one that doesn't promise Earth-shattering revelations every month, or guarantee to damage either the internet or our mental faculties with its sheer audacity. Morrison just provides the goods, month-in and month-out, to the point where, in order to truly blow my mind, a Morrison title would have to bore me. I don't always love his work (some parts of JLA and New X-Men didn't exactly thrill me), but I am never disengaged by it. It is always interesting and unique.

Quietly's art, while certainly verging on the grotesque at times (his faces sure do look like they're made of great big hunks of flesh, don't they?), is more than up to the task of providing a vsiual sense of the spectacle and awe that Morrison's story demands. His figures never lack energy, and the layouts and panel structures in this issue serve the dynamic power of the script to great effect. Those of you who haven't enjoyed his work in the past, however, won't find anything here to change your minds, I fear. This is Quietly at the top of his game, but it is very much still Quietly doing what he does, whether we like it or not (luckily I do, usually).

With this title, alongside his truly satisfying Seven Soldiers miniseries, Grant Morrison is certainly making a play to be named DC's MVP for this year. I'm just thankful that he's a part of the current "DC Council of Elders" who are shaping the direction the fictional universe will be taking for the forseeable future. It reassures me that, whatever treacle Johns, Waid, and Winick produce, there will be at least a few DC books around that I will be looking forward to.


Blogger kelvingreen said...

I wasn't too fond of it, to be honest. Well, I thought it was good solid work, as I'd expect from the creative team, but I'm a bit annoyed by the way certain people seem to be treating it. Yes it's infinitely better than Child Molester Batman, yes it's better than most Superman comics of recent years, but there's a section of fandom treating it like it's the best thing ever, and it's just not. Both Morrison and Quitely have done better work (together and apart), and there are better Superman stories out there (the Hitman one and Alan Moore's For The Man Who Has Everything spring to mind).

(Oh, and that bit where the scientist says he's breeding people to work as slaves and Superman doesn't mind really bothers me. That seems like something Superman would be well against.)

It's a good book, but I wish people would stop wanking off to it, because it's not that good.

But I fully agree that it's a very good thing indeed that DC have appointed Morrison one of their "continuity architects". It still baffles me that a hack like Johns gets to be their Main Man and write Crisis2 (just imagine what Morrison would have done with that), but at least Morrison gets some input.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

You're certainly jutified in saying this isn't the Second Coming. If anything, the overwhelmingly positive response to AS-S just clarifies the problems many readers (and many, many comic bloggers) have with the current state of Superman comics. It's not so much a "this is perfect!", but rather a "Yes, please. More like this one."

The bar has been lowered so drastically that a well-written, well-executed Superman story is like a dream come true. (Besides, deny it's pretty. I dare you.)

Oh, re: the slave drones. yeah, that scene definately rubs the wrong way. If they're sentient, Superman wouldn't allow their subservience. Period.

BTW, a Morrison IC would be a mindf**k. And it would be infinitely better than the IC we're getting. (pun not intended, and apologized for)

5:53 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Oh, I won't deny the prettiness. Quitely's a great artist, although I do think he's done better work.

Yes, I certainly get the feeling that it's people merely reacting to a drought of good Superman comics. I still think they're going over the top, but I can understand why they're doing it. I just wish they wouldn't. :)

I'm inclined to think that it would be even worse if the drones weren't sentient, because then they're deliberately stunting human development to create slaves. I'm sure I'm missing something, as it seems like an enormous gaffe to make in a Superman book, and Morrison doesn't make those kind of errors, so there must be more to it.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

Hmmm, maybe they're vegetable-based? What was original Bizarro made of? I'm pretty sure he wasn't carbon based, but I can't remember what exactly. Regardless, he was certainly sentient, if stupid.

I do hope Morrison didn't just get excited by the pseudo-science gobbledygook he was writing, and failed to take into consideration the moral concerns. However, it IS Morrison, and he has certainly earned a "benefit of the doubt" from me, at least for now.

Besides, isn't there something vaguely sinister to Leo Quintum? A bomb introduced in the first act must go off in the third, and all that?

8:48 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Yeah, I'm giving Morrison the benefit of the doubt on this one. It's so blatant an error that I can't believe it's an error. not from Morrison. Johns maybe, but not GM.

And Quintum is either stupid or secretly sinister. Given how Machiavellian Morrison's Luthor is, I wouldn't be surprised if Quintum is his agent. Perhaps he doesn't even know it.

12:42 PM  

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