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Week of Cool Superman Comic Book Moments – Superman Saves The World…For the Last TIme?

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All week long we will feature brand-new Cool Superman Comic Book Moments (all from the 75 Greatest Superman Stories of All-Time). Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

Today we finish up with a look at the finale to All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

The gist of All-Star Superman is that Lex Luthor has poisoned Superman, slowly turning his body into essentially solar energy. Superman has only a year to die. He spends that year doing various cool things. In the end. he is near death and Lex Luthor has used a serum he stole from Superman to give himself Superman’s powers for 24 hours.

Superman, though, fights back with a gravity gun that he took from his Fortress. It warps time around Lex, making the 24 hours go by faster than normal. Before he loses his powers, though, Lex gets to see the world the way that Superman does…

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What a great concept that was.

So anyhow, time is now running out on the world (which is about to lose the sun, as it has been poisoned by a villain allied with Luthor), but in a little bit of irony, Luthor turning Superman into solar energy, while killing Superman, will also allow Superman to save the sun and thus, the world…

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Beautiful work by both Morrison and Quitely (Superman is later seen IN the sun, sort of creating an artificial heart for the sun. It implies that Superman might be able to return someday, which we eventually see, sort of, in DC One Million).

27 Comments

This is the one Grant Morrison work that I will say I have a true appreciation for. It’s one of the best damn Superman stories of all time.

Too bad about the animated movie version, though.

Damn, so close to positive!

Actually, despite my love for the comic, I have to say that the animated movie, despite dropping a lot of interesting bits, streamlined the story very well and actually, to my mind, improved on some things. There are several things that the movie explains just ever so slightly better that helped me grasp what was going on more, and even in my readings of the comics, I still am not sure if GMozz is just too subtle for me or if there was an actual lapse in the comic with regards to what’s going on.

After the “I love you”‘s, the best line in the story is “You could have saved the world years ago, if it mattered to you, Luthor.” It’s so true. The thing I have always hated about Lex is the way he squanders his genius.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

June 16, 2013 at 3:57 am

“This is the one Grant Morrison work that I will say I have a true appreciation for” says penguintruth. Conversely, I’d say this is the one Superman story I have a true appreciation for. He is a great character, a great idea, but he just doesn’t work in the weekly/monthly soap opera format of standard superhero comics.

Extra credit for having the greatest and shortest version of Superman’s origin ever. Just makes the idea of the new Man of Steel movie being yet another origin tale that much more pointless.

Travis, I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve always maintained that Morrison, while great with ideas and plots, is actually a pretty poor storyteller, and his inability to clearly convey his ideas often makes his work seem more complex than it actually is.

All-Star is easily the best of his work that I’ve read though.

This is why All-Star Superman is better than any of the “New 52″ variations of Superman, imo. All-Star Superman doesn’t shun its history or conform to restrictions in order to be hip or trendy, it embraces its past and gives us a story that is timeless. It is familiar but feels new to those who pick it up.

If Man of Steel gets a sequel that brings back the heart and levity of the character, I would tell them to pick this series up and start from there.

All of you who like All Star Supes but not other Morrison work should really check out his JLA run. He did an “All Star” take on the big 7 month in and month out for a few years. It’s the reason why people were hyped about All Star Superman: he had already proved he had the chops to write awesomeSuperman stories.

I must admit, the Luthor speech was well-handled (I am not usually very impressed with Grant Morrison).

I take it that it was the sun, not the world, that was poisoned?

I don’t know how anyone can read this and not accept the Leo Quintum = Lex Luthor thing.

One of the BEST Grant Morrison’s opuses. Only, it’s one of the few very readable he ever wrote (well, WE3 is, in my view, the MOST READABLE of his works).

Heh…As Superman was flying into the sun, sacrificing himself to save humanity, I wonder if his last thought was, “Iron Giant!”?

Holy shit. This crap was actually turned into an animated movie?

Holy shit. This crap was actually turned into an animated movie? What a waste of money and time.

So great it HURTS. This is one of a small handful of stories I have to re-read every year. If you don’t like this story, you just don’t like superhero stories. Period.

have to say this bit showed that grant in his own way really knows how to do superman for found it so sad when super man had to say goodbye to lois to save the sun at the end of the story.

I think my favorite issue of this comic, aside from this one featured (the last), is the one with Clark interviewing Lex on death row. The interaction is great, Lex’s ego is revved up, and the scene above has a callback to it!

This is the only Morrison work I’ve ever considered an unqualified success. Even the Jimmy Olsen (ugh!) issue is passable.

All-Star Superman was something truly amazing. A bright and shining exemplar of imagination, thrills and compelling characterization. It revelled in the history, the possibilities and the very idea of the Man of Steel. More than anything else Morrison’s sincere affection for Superman shines through on every page. There are so many cool moments in this series, you could proably spend months cataloguing them.

This is the only good Morrison comic.

Except for Flex Mentallo.

And Animal Man. And JLA. Okay, and New X-Men.

And Doom Patrol. And The Filth. And Marvel Boy. And Seaguy and We3, of course. And Kill Your Boyfriend.

But that’s it.

Except for New Adventures of Hitler. And the Mystery Play. Oh, and…

The Bad GM Comic you’re looking for is Judge Dredd: Inferno. Awful.

Best Superman story of all time. I wouldn’t fight someone who says its the best comic of all time… Its that good.
Wow… I realize that I really need it in absolute edition ASAP!

Mixed feelings about Grant Morrison, but I love this book.

The Bad GM Comic you’re looking for is Judge Dredd: Inferno. Awful

Nah – that’s fantastic. It’s just not a typical Dredd story.

Lesser Morrison stories for me would be Kill Your Boyfriend, Kid Eternity, Sebastian O, Seaguy, JLA Ultramarine Corp, Vimanarama, The Invisible Kingdom and that Hellblazer 2 parter.

(and if you include the stuff he co-wrote with Millar, Really and Truly was awful)

And of course Judge Dredd: The Crusade

To me, the best Superman story ever told. From beginning to end All-Star Superman is an amzing journey. It makes me wish Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely created a life-spanning Superman run. The characterisations, artwork, ethics, plots, details, non-expositional-heavy story-telling, and most of all the heart of the story, are the best represantation of how Superman should be for me.

And I don’t get the complaint about Morrison’s “incomrehensible” story-telling. That is rarely ever the case, and when it is it’s done on purpose. Most of said incomprehensible story-telling is merely one where the reader has to pay attention and actually think for himself, nothing more. But I guess that in a medium that is infamous for how lazy it allows its admirers to be, by shoving exposition down their intellectual throats for a variety of reasons; for a writer to come along and say “think for yourself for a few moments” is a sacrilege of sorts.

It’s also what I love by the likes of Morrison. That courage to not put up with lazy, exposition-addicted readers and opt to create stories however they see fit.

Jan Robert Andersen

June 18, 2013 at 1:30 am

This All-Star Superman thread has turned into a Grant Morrison bashing or people defending his writing.

Given the sheer output done by Grant Morrison not all stories can be great or even good.

In the 1980s Grant Morrison was a rising star on various UK titles such as Doctor Who, Warrior, Judge Dredd, Zoids and Zenith and part of the British Invasion with Annimal Man, Doom Patrol and especially his Arkham Asylum GN.

In the 1990s he turned to Vertigo titles such as Kid Eternity, Flex Mentallo, Kill Your Boyfriend and the massive but to many (including me) mostly incomprehensible Invisibles.

He then returned to mainstream with Aztek followed by the JLA reboot. He did some great stories with various DC characters including Superman (despite being in the middle og a Superman Red/Superman Blue crossover).

In the 2000s he returned to comics with JLA: Earth 2, went to Marvel on Marvel Boy, Fantastic Four: 1234 and New X-Men but returend to DC with JLA Classified, 52, All-Star Superman, Batman, Final Crisis, Batman and Robin, Batman Incorporated and New 52 Action Comics and perhaps next year his Multiveristy.

During the 2000s he also turned out Filth, Seaguy, We3, the impressive Seven Soldiers, the Authority and Wildcats reboot (however aborted), Joe the Barbarian and his novel Supergods.

To me Grant Morrison is among the top ten of comic book writers in the US comic book industry.

Some people find Grant Morrison’s ideas, storytelling and stories somewhat confusing, strange and even a bad writer.

All-Star Superman is a great Superman story and also among Grant Morrison’s best works.

Lex Luthor is describing acid in those panels. I know it, Grant knows it, you should know it.

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