All-Star Superman #3


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All-Star Superman #3


  • Words: Grant Morrison
  • Art: Frank Quitely
  • Inks: Jamie Grant
  • Colors: Jamie Grant
  • Story Title: Sweet Dreams, Superwoman?
  • Publisher: DC Comics/All-Star
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 29, 2006

Superman gives Lois Lane a birthday present that she will never forget.

For over sixty-five years, Superman has maintained his status as arguably the most identifiable superhero of all time. That is a long time for any fictional character to endure, particularly one that has had anywhere from one to eight stories per month include his adventures. As one could conceive, all this time and exposure has watered the character down to the point that readers get next to nothing new or challenging story-wise any more. All of that was thrown out the window when the All-Star line was announced. Much like Marvel’s Ultimate line, these stories are new versions of an old scene. Superman has been granted all his familiar powers with a few new ones thrown into the mix.

This issue begins with Superman giving Lois Lane a one-of-a-kind gift for her birthday. She eagerly accepts, and the adventure begins. Jimmy Olsen beckons the duo to Metropolis, where a strange race of underworld dino-men have laid siege to the city. Upon their arrival, Superman and Lois find biblical strongman, Samson, and Greek strongman, Atlas, have come to the rescue. They quickly dispatch with the creatures and take a fancy to Lois, which brings about a challenge among the trio of men for the right to "win" Lois’ hand.

Honestly, I’ve never grasped the reasoning behind Grant Morrison’s almost cultish following. He’s always had big and impressive ideas that have, for me, fallen way short of what was promised. Having read only his superhero stories, though (and having either a neutral or outright hatred for each), I took a chance on this when I decided to grab issue #1. Superman is an icon, after all, and the overall underwhelming treatment he’s received in recent years drove me to demand something more. The initial $3 gamble paid off because in just three issues Morrison has produced some of the most endearing Superman issues I’ve ever read.

Frank Quitely tends to render bulky figures often with unattractive features. He gets a little carried away with drawing extra lines that end up giving characters a harsh look. Whether Quitely has softened or it is Jamie Grant’s doing, these harder features don’t show up as much here. Superman does look bulkier than one might typically see in, say, Action Comics, but for a corn-fed man-god (and the same can be said of his Samson and Atlas) that makes perfect sense. Lois also looks convincingly younger and sweeter than the hard case reporter we’ve all grown accustomed to. The digital inks and colors finish the art in a fantastic complement to the writing.

Unlike his continuity-enslaved counterpart, All-Star Supes gets to visit with new--albeit familiar to all--characters and locales. It all adds up to a fun, old-school method of storytelling that the reader comes away either loving or hating depending on how he/she likes change. To me, Superman seems fresh again.

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