Review Date: 06/27/2008

All-Star Superman #11
Publisher: DC
Editors: Bob Schreck, Brandon Montclare
Artist: Frank Quitely
Writer: Grant Morrison
Inker, Colorer: Jamie Grant
One of the most popular D.C. titles of the past few years has been the D.C. All-Star run of Superman.  Issue #11 just came-out, and it only proves that each issue gets better and better.

     Written by Grant Morrison, penciled by Frank Quitely and inked by Jamie Grant, the entire production just hits on all cylinders.  The trio has taken an approach of re-interpreting the silver age line of superman story themes that relied heavily on plots relating to Superman's various technological toys and resources in his Fortress of Solitude.  Through a plot thread that deals with Superman being over-radiated by the sun and supposedly slowly dying, the technological wizardly available at Superman's fingertips from his fortress inventory is heavily relied on in a multi-issue narrative thread that touches upon the familiar Superman world themes of his relationship with Lois Lane, his rivalry with Lex Luthor, attempting to relate to his fellow remaining Kryptonians in ye olde Bottle of Kandor, etc.

     The art is breathtakingly exquisite, no doubt some of the best drawings basically ever produced in a comic book series.  It's also the small, incremental plot elements that add so much freshness and just plain enjoyment to this series: Lex Luthor's sarcastic, jaded Goth niece (does he have family in any other D.C. story run?  This is certainly news to me!),  Superman's heartarchingly innocent and loyal army of duplicate robots, his odd yet moving communication across time (utilizing Fortress gizmos) with versions of his future self (one interesting garbled radio message from his future self desperately poses the fate-of-the-world question "Who is J. Lo?").

      However, there's a moving beauty to this particular interpretive Superman series that goes beyond amazing art and interesting dialogue.  The emotion of the characters is consistently very heartfelt and often melancholy in a way that I feel puts this series on a mature literary par with two of the most classic comic book series of all time, both Watchmen and Tim Sale's Superman For All Seasons.

     Issue #11 is still on the shelf at That's Entertainment, and the store also has a nice newly-produced graphic novel format compiling a reprint of the first six issues.  My only criticism is that issue #12 is advertised in the back of #11 as the "all star conclusion," and that's a crying shame.  I guess all good things must naturally come to a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion, but this series is an extremely A-plus quality classic, and I just wish it could go on forever.  But at least don't miss it; whether you're one of our seemingly dwindling minority of hard-core D.C. fanatics (like me) or just a lover of great comics in general, get issue #11, those back issues and/or the newly released issues #1 through #6 graphic novel!

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