I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All-Star Superman

My friend Chad once described the strength of Grant Morrison (and also Geoff Johns, but he's not the subject of this post) as the fact that he's able to advance a character in innovative and mind-changing ways while also paying homage to the character's long history. All-Star Superman is intended to sum up everything important about Superman from his inception in 1932 to his first appearance in 1938 to now, resulting sometimes in camp ("The last thing I wanted on your birthday was a reptile invasion from the Earth's core.") but always in a heartfelt and true drama. The overarching story of this series is that Superman essentially has Kryptonian cancer - he's absorbed too much solar radiation - and has only a couple weeks to live. Grant Morrison challenges Superman to conclude his story by bidding farewell to those people he cares for and making plans for a world without Superman. It is one of the most touching DC stories I've ever read, and I highly recommend All-Star Superman.

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