Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All-Star Superman #1

[Note: This post contains spoilers for All-Star Superman #1.]

I may need to head back to the shop, as there seems to be a problem with my copy of All-Star Superman #1. I need a replacement, as this clearly isn't the first issue - it's a copy of Superman #1437 from the Morrisonverse that slipped though the cracks and ended up in my pull box. This is supposed to a first issue, right? Where's the lengthy and tedious exposition? Where's the laborious character introduction? Where's the remedial foreshadowing and explanation of everyone's relationships? Where is the crossing of every "t" and the dotting of every "i"?

If I could talk to Grant Morrison right now, after having read All Star Superman #1, I would buy him a beer and say this: "Thank you, Mr. Grant Morrison. Thank you for not treating me like a complete idiot. Thank you for not holding my hand. Thank you for writing up." I may have other reactions later, I may write other reactions later, but it's the frenetic flow of ideas and situations that really stands out here. Morrison has talked about a Silver Age feel to the book, and it's here. It's not in a cliched, light, winking way, though: All-Star Superman pays homage to the Silver Age by bursting with ideas and situations that race past the brainpan at a dizzying pace. One of the defining features of the Silver Age, and the compression there was that each issue was dense with ideas that could be re-read and unpacked later, little gems of idea that you could turn around in your head to see how they'd catch the light. It's almost like Morrison knows that this will slip it's schedule, so he's given readers plenty to chew on until the next issue hits the stands. Morrison hits the ground running here, and barks over his shoulder that we better catch up and run fast, or we'll be left behind.

Jimmy Olsen's rocketpack and super-watch? Catch up and run fast.

Luthor and the Daily Planet in a massive struggle? Catch up and run fast.

Luthor released from jail to work for the U.S. Military? Catch up and run fast.

DNA P.R.O.J.E.C.T.? Bizarro Worker Drones? Voyager Titans? Catch up and run fast.

Or you'll be left behind.

This is fun.



Jog said...

I couldn't help but take the obligatory origin sequence, over in one page, four panels, eight words, as kind of a wink towards reader expectations, like a "C'mon folks, we all know this stuff... let's get on with in now."

Unlike the Frank Miller book, I think this one is very carefully tuned toward satisfying (nd surprising!) new and old readers alike...

joncormier said...

Mark, that was the word I was searching for - FUN!

I also completely agree with jog here, we all know this stuff so why do we need to see it yet again. This is just a really well told story - I for one have been waiting for this type of thing for a while now. I have to say this is by far my favourite comic in quite some time now.

Spencer Carnage said...

I was a bit disappointed with the reveal at the end, as that seemed to negate any possible stories where Lois runs around harping on Clark for being a nerd while pining for Superman. Then again, who knows what we have in store with Morrison involved.

Kevin said...

I, like Spencer's opinion, was also really surprised with the revelation at the end. One thing that I was hoping to get from this title, is to get away from the current continuity where it is Superman and Lois together and just be Clark and Lois without the knowledge of Superman in the middle.

I laughed out loud when Clark was shown bumbling around, that is something that I have missed over the past few years.

I'm glad we didn't have to deal with origin stuff as well. We just had Birthright which I loved, there was no need on dwelling on that stuff again.

Mark Fossen said...

While I was surprised by the end ... I wasn't disappointed. I understand where you guys are coming from, but I like the fact that Morrison just got straight to it. It also really was an emotional gutpunch - it was the act of a dying man who needed to tell her before he died.

Also - look at the Silver Age comics ... Lois found out Clark's identity every other issue. I would not be surprised if Morrison has a twist up his sleeve.