Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Sweet Dreams, Superwoman...."

Random Comic Review time folks, and today I picked out a nice one. It's fairly recent, but no less exciting or lacking as a soon-to-be classic. I'm talking about Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman.

Now recently I told you all how I just picked up Vol.1 of Morrison and Quitely's Silver-Agesque All-Star Superman series, with Vol.2 to be picked up at a latter time and date. Trust me when I tell you if you haven't bought the series yet, or even the Absolute Edition, then you should. Run, don't walk to your local bookstore or comic book shop and pick up this series that'll make you feel like you just stepped back in time to the Silver Age. In the first volume alone, there's plenty of issues worthy for review; in truth it's hard to just pick one, so I'll no doubt come back and review more. But still, trust me when I say Morrison's Superman is written not just like he could be or would be, but how HE SHOULD BE.

Sure, not everyone is a Morrison fan, or if you are, you might not like all his work, but his version of Superman presented through Silver age lenses wrapped up in classic Morrison sensibilities, makes you wonder how come he's writing just Batman and not Superman on a regular basis. JMS be damned.

For today's review, I picked All-Star Superman issue 3, "Sweet Dreams, Super Woman..." I know, I know, there's so many more worthy, or just as worthy pics; such as issue 6 where Pa Kent dies, or Jimmy Olson being director of P.R.O.J.E.C.T. for a day in issue 5. And trust me I'll probably review those too, but for this one, I chose issue 3. This is where Superman grants Lois Lane the ultimate news scoop by letting her become like him, super-powers and all, for 24 hours. Just Imagine what that'd be like. To have powers like Superman, even if it is only for a day. What would you do? Where would you go? The possibilities truly would be endless, and now the star reporter for the Daily Planet, miss Lois Lane herself has them, what does she do? How's her day like? Let's see shall we?.......

The issue starts off where it previously ended, Lois had just walked in on Superman making/finishing his secret birthday gift for Lois. Now we get to see what he was working on. It's a liquid solution that contains all of Superman's powers, and gives it to Lois for her birthday. The catch is that the solution only lasts for 24 hours before the effects wear off. Nonetheless, Lois is very happy to get a chance to see life the way Superman does. She even gets her very own costume to boot.  "My Super-powers. In liquid form. Happy Birthday Lois." to which she responds "You're serious? I get to be like you? for a whole day? Bring it on." I believe Superman is giving Lois this opportunity for at least two reasons; one, so that he'll finally have Lois on equal footing as him at least temporarily, and two, it's a test. He obviously loves Lois Lane, and by giving her the chance to be like him, he's seeing and observing how'll she'd fit into his world. And of course she passes with flying colors.   The scene shifts to Metropolis, where a giant lizard monster calling himself Krull, is tearing up the city. Superman and Lois fly to the scene preparing to take Krull on, only to be beat to the punch by the mythical hero Samson. This is itself a throwback to the mid to late '50's, where mythical heroes like Hercules, or Samson, or even Atlas, would show up a fight Superman just to see who was the stronger of the two, and don't you know that's just what happens in this issue as well!  Samson and his buddy Atlas serve as possible suitors for a now super-powered Lois. And even though she tells them that it's temporary, they still have wild lust in their eyes for her.  After they all send Krull back to his subterraean world, Samson goes on to present Lois with radioactive crown jewel, which causes major trouble for Lois later on in the story. Samson and Atlas both takes turns attempting to woe Lois, all the while Lois laps it up with Superman saying "I don't get it Lois. I can't believe you're flirting with Samson and Atlas!" To which she responds, "Well maybe I'm teaching you a lesson. We both know you'll win any contest these losers can dream up. It's my birthday, have some fun!"
Superman figures, and rightly so, that the time-traveling Samson and Atlas are nothing but trouble, and tries to get rid of them. Of course Samson let's Superman know he knows Superman doesn't have that long to live, so why not try to get with Lois. The radioactive jewels Samson gave Lois eariler comes into play when the pervious owner, the Ultra Sphinx, decides he wants the jewels back.  The Sphinx grabs Lois, putting her in a state between life and death, only to relent if Superman answers, you guessed it, a riddle. The riddle is the same type of question that's been asked for years by scientists and laymen alike, and I won't spoil it here, but I guess the answer makes sense. I know what most likely would happen, but Superman's response is also acceptable. Even with all that, both men start to pick a fight with the man of steel on the basis that Superman didn't show what they thought was a true feat of strength. So Superman arm wrestles both men at the same time; Samson on one arm, Atlas on the other, saying "You can quit any time. Come on fellas, or would you like me to Push!?"And procedes to what else? Beat them both. So hard, that both of their arms  break due to the true strength of Superman.  Superman and Lois fly up to the moon, where Superman tell her "You know, there's something I've wanted to do since the very first day we met." They then proceed to kiss amidst the backdrop of a beautiful, full moon.
Lois and Supes fly back to Earth, where she proceeds to konk out due to the 24 hour limit expiring, and all the eventful things that transpired that day. The issue closes out with Superman tucking Lois in and kissing her forehead before leaving her to sleep. 

Not a bad issue, and really, you can say that for the whole 12-issue series. Again so many silver age concepts brought back and showcased here, but with that Morrison twist. I highly, highly recommend going out and picking this series up. It'll make you wonder why he's not writing Superman proper, or at the very least a sequel to All-Star.

Also, there is an animated movie version of All-Star Superman out by Dwayne McDuffie who just recently passed away. Some scenes are left out of the 80 minute movie, but from what reviews I've read, it's a really good movie overall.

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