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All-Star Superman #3 [Review]

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Sweet Dreams, Superwoman…

Having been given Superman’s powers for a day, Lois makes the most of it–inserting herself firmly into a lifestyle she’s been stuck watching from the outside for far too long…

allstarsuperman003Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Frank Quitely
Digitally Inked & Colored by: Jamie Grant
Letters: Phil Balsman
Asst. Editor: Brandon Montclare
Editor: Bob Schreck
Cover Art: Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant
Publisher: DC Comics

Several days ago, I watched the first new episode of House in three weeks. It’s a show that I enjoy, and so waiting several times the usual time between installments wasn’t my choice, but watching the episode made me realize that sure, had a couple weeks without the show–but that just made it that much better when the new episode came out. And that’s what this title feels like. It’s that show that you enjoy, but there’s quite awhile between issues…but when you get each issue it’s well worth the time in-between…and you can look back and be a bit surprised at how fast that time’s passed. This is already issue 3, and it feels like the series just started a couple months ago.

You don’t really need to know much coming into this issue. Morrison gives you what you need contextually as you go along. Having read the first couple issues, one will pick up a few subtle bits that enhance the story.

The story here–Superman giving Lois a serum that will grant her all of his super-powers for a day (a gift for her birthday, no less)–is at once silly and farfetched. But darned if it doesn’t actually work. This reminds me quite a bit of the type of story found in some of the old silver age Superman books, and yet it’s got a lot more depth and well…story to it.

We’re introduced to Samson and Atlas here–a couple of "rivals" to Superman–and get the feeling that this is by no means the first time they’ve crossed paths. This is only the third issue of this series, of this "take" on the character…and yet this sense of history adds to a feeling this version of Superman very certainly differs from the regular DCU character but has just as rich a background and all that.

Quitely‘s art is impressive, to be sure–there’s just a "feeling" he conveys throughout the issue. The imagery is on the surface a bit simplistic–certainly nothing hyper-detailed. And yet there’s enough detail to see the annoyance in Superman’s face or the excitement or playfulness in Lois’. The style lends itself to the story very well, having a sort of simplicity of older stories in appearance, but an attitude rooted in the present.

Putting the story and art together, we have yet another very strong issue of this new title.

You don’t need to have read #s 1 or 2 to "get" and enjoy this issue. Though elements are beginning to build a bit, you get an entire story here in this one issue. You get a timeless episode in the life of a Superman that isn’t silver age, isn’t modern-day mainstream DCU, but that takes the best of both and shows him in this title.

If you’ve never cared for the character or didn’t "get" the character, or just felt put off by the continuity and other such…this is the title for you. Superman doesn’t get much better than this.


Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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