Overview

All-Star Superman #2

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All-Star Superman #2

Credits

  • Words: Grant Morrison
  • Art: Frank Quitely
  • Inks: Jamie Grant
  • Colors: Jamie Grant
  • Story Title: Superman?s Forbidden Room
  • Publisher: DC Comics/All-Star
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 18, 2006

Lois Lane visits the Fortress of Solitude with Superman, getting the birthday of her dreams. Or is it?

After revealing his secret identity to Lois in the last issue, Superman takes the intrepid reporter to his Arctic fortress for her birthday, one he wants to make special for both their sakes. With all the fantastic and strange things to experience, why is Superman keeping the contents of one room a guarded secret...and what does it have to do with Lois?

DC’s new All-Star line has been designed to re-imagine the early days of some of the publisher’s most iconic characters, and Grant Morrison’s take on Superman is perhaps the most true. This Superman is very much a post-modern view of the classic Silver Age character. Even the title for this issue hearkens back to some of those wild, expository story titles from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The basic story, a trip to the Fortress by Lois Lane, is charmingly Silver Age, and yet, Morrison has given it a modern bite. Lois not actually believing that Superman is Clark Kent and Superman’s 31st century science lends the tale a fascinatingly weird twist. It leaves the reader feeling slightly disoriented, like being dropped into a familiar room but with all the furniture changed.

Morrison has also chosen to return Superman to his pre-Crisis power levels – back in the days when the character could do things like juggle planets and fly in the vacuum of space without oxygen. These power levels, though, are balanced out by the transformation of the Man of Steel into a more boyish character. Rather than the confident powerhouse, readers find a somewhat sweet, slightly unsure, and eager to please Superman.

The artwork by the veteran Frank Quitely does a perfect job of capturing this boyish quality while still making sure Superman appears as an adult. In arguably one of the best sequences in the issue, Quitely draws Superman standing before a mirror and ‘becoming’ Clark Kent in Superman’s costume. The whole time the image in the mirror continues to reflect his true self and in this subtle way, Quitely does an excellent job of showing why people could never suspect Clark of being Superman.

All-Star Superman is a reminder that the stories of the past have a resonance for the present – at least in the hands of the right creators. By letting Grant Morrison go and allowing him to take Superman back in a new direction, DC has given readers a fresh look at an old favorite.

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