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All-Star Superman Blu-ray (Not a) Review


Posted on February 17th, by raymond padilla in Comics, Movies, Not Reviews, Today's Specials. 34 comments

I recently watched an advanced copy of All-Star Superman and was very impressed with this DC Comics animated feature. Based on the excellent comic books written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman is a touching feature that humanizes The Man of Steel, pays tribute to his storied history, and dazzles with kind of heroics only The Last Son of Krypton is capable of. After the severely disappointing Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam, I was thrilled to watch a superior Superman adventure. Here are some thoughts (not a review!) on All-Star Superman (spoilers ahead!).

All-Star Superman has Kal-El tackling tremendous challenges, including the most daunting one of all — death. In the comics, Morrison used Superman’s powers to reestablish the fact that he’s the greatest hero in the DC Universe. He also did a masterful job at making him seem vulnerable, human, and interesting. That’s so hard to do with a character that’s mostly invulnerable and unbeatable, yet Morrison pulled it off in a way that feels natural and effortless.

Watching Superman deal with his impending doom is even more compelling than watching him accomplish marvelous feats. It’s great watching him reveal his identity to Lois Lane and spend a day courting her. It’s fun watching the various facets of Kal-El. There’s the heroic and beloved Superman. There’s the bumbling and clumsy Clark Kent facade. And, perhaps most importantly, there’s also the earnest, respectful, and kind-hearted Clark Kent that was the product of a wholesome upbringing in Smallville. Morrison makes all three facets of the character distinct, yet harmonious.

All Star Superman 1 All Star Superman Blu ray (Not a) Review

Obviously it was impossible to include the events of all 12 issues in a 75-minute movie, but this a great adaptation that’s true to the tone of the source. Throughout the movie I felt amazed by Superman’s heroics, touched by his interactions with the woman he loves and his mortal enemy, and moved by the way he dealt with death. Sure, there were some details and arcs that were left out, but I was more than satisfied with Dwayne McDuffie’s adaptation of Morrison’s books.

The same goes for the animated interpretation of Frank Quitely’s art. Quitely’s illustrations are so distinct and unique. The animators did a good job at recreating the tone of his art. Again, a lot of details and intricacies were left out, but that was completely expected. A stricter translation could have been done, but that would have required a lot more time and money.

All Star Superman 2 All Star Superman Blu ray (Not a) Review

While the story and art are not quite as great as the comics, they’re very good and truly brought to life by Christopher Drake’s excellent score. I’ve enjoyed his work in past DC animated features, but this is his best yet. His music helps deliver the bright sense of optimism you’re supposed to get from watching Superman and imagining you’re in Metropolis. More importantly, the music helps replace some of what was lost in translation from print to animation.

As an added bonus, there are commentary tracks, a couple of Superman: The Animated Series episodes, and a feature on the upcoming Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. As a huge Green Lantern mark, I was thrilled to learn more about this upcoming animated movie. As far as teaser features go, it worked. I’m totally amped for Emerald Knights.

I highly recommend All-Star Superman. It’s not quite as good as Batman: Under the Red Hood, but it’s very close. If you have any questions about the movie, leave ‘em in the comments section and I’ll answer ‘em.





  • tokz_21

    i will be watching this later today! the trailer from Superman/Shazam got me so excited for this movie!

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      Superman/Shazam should have been awesome. What a waste of Black Adam. *sigh*

      • tokz_21

        i think you're the only one that really cared about the Black Adam portrayal and storyline. i thought it was ok but it wasn't on par to what DC had been doing lately with there animated features.

        • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

          No way. Black Adam has a strong following as an anti-hero. Anyone that read JSA: Black Reign was immensely disappointed You really need to read some of his JSA books. You'd understand the disappointment better.

          • tokz_21

            I'll check it out

            • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

              I'd put him ahead of Sinestro as DC's best anti-hero.

              • tokz_21

                Yeah i agree with sinestro, really??? No Lex love?

                • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                  I don't think of Lex as an anti-hero. Do you? He seems like a straight-up villain to me.

                  • tokz_21

                    Well it depends which way you look at him or read his story. I think of him of misunderstood guy that lashes out when people dont take him seriously. He did help out to fight imperiex when he was P.U.S.A and then you have the events of 52 when he created the program to give regular people superpowers.

                    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                      I see Lex being motivated by ego and jealousy. He believes that he should Metropolis' hero and savior. Because he isn't, he performs acts that he knows are wrong. That's very different from the modern versions of Black Adam and Sinestro. Both of those guys have a harsh and/or warped sense of justice. They believe in their hearts that their way is better for the world. Black Adam is motivated by wanting his people to prosper, while Sinestro is motivated by wanting to establish a harsh sense of order.

                    • tokz_21

                      I can see where ur coming from with that one but cant u say the same about sinestro? His ego drives him to believe that he's the only one who can truly bring peace and justice to the universe right?

                    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                      Yes, Sinestro has a huge ego, but he's trying to do what he thinks is right. Lex just wants ruin Superman and rule. His goals aren't noble.

                    • tokz_21

                      Didnt sinestro take over his home planet because he thought he was the best person to protect it?

                      Couldnt u say Lex was doing the same thing during the 52 series? No superheroes were around and he wanted everyone to be safe and the earth to be protected while they were no heroes.

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

    @tokz_21 Again, the motivations are different. Sinestro believes in a sense of order that the Guardians felt was too harsh. Lex believes he should rule because he's better than everyone else.

    • tokz_21

      I guess, in my eyes Lex is an anti-hero

      :p

      • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

        I can't buy him as an anti-hero because he's essentially an elitist racist. He thinks he's better than everyone and hates aliens/metahumans. That doesn't work for the heroic of anti-hero, for me anyway.

        • tokz_21

          I dont see him being a racist. He just feels like he's just as good as superman and if superman wasnt there he would be earth's protector.

          • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

            He's absolutely racist. Look at the way he refers to Superman as "alien" and looks down on metahumans. In the latter respect, he's similar to Maxwell Lord.

  • tokz_21

    Superman is an alien though. He was raised on Earth but not born here, he's correct in calling him an alien no? How is that racist?

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      It's the tone and context.

      • tokz_21

        Well dont we add the tone and context when we read our comics?!?

        I think you just have a stron hatred for Lex

        • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

          In comics tone can be easily implied by the writer. When you hear him in the animated series, there's no mistaking it.

          I don't hate Lex at all. I think he's a great character. I just don't see anything heroic about him and am very surprised that you think he's an anti-hero.

  • tokz_21

    The Lex story arc where he grows up in the slums and is abused by his parents is the one that makes me think of being an anti-hero the most.

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  • tokz_21

    I just finished watching all star superman and it was pretty awesome!

    Wasnt there a part 2 of the all star superman series? I thought i remembered me

    asking u about this before and which one was better?

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      I'm not sure what you're referring to. I only recall one All-Star Superman series.

      • tokz_21

        I remember now. All star superman has a vol 1 & 2 tpb.so i take it dc decided to cut that part out of the feature then huh.

        • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

          They cut a lot out, but wasn't surpriwing. Morrison writes densely and it's impossible to cram 12 issues of anything into a 75-minute movie.

          Btw, just read the first Flash tpb of Geoff John's new run. It's so good. I'm going to check if it's okay for me to write about.

          • tokz_21

            There's a tbp out for the brightest day flash? It's barely on it's 9th issue?

            • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

              Only some of it is related to Brightest Day. It's just the new Flash book by Johns. I believe this is the first seven issues. I adore Barry Allen, but I was still surprise by how good this book is.

              • tokz_21

                I'm surprised to hear you say that youre surprised by John's work. He's done a great job with GL, why wouldnt he continue with the Flash. I regret not being able to see him last year at c2e2 but i'm going this year i bought my ticket for fri and sat. I cant miss out on Joe Q, Gene Ha and Tony Moore

                • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                  There's a story behind that. I'll share it in my review.

  • tokz_21

    @rpad

    did you see what happened to McDuffie?!?!?
    http://techland.time.com/2011/02/23/rip-dwayne-mc

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      Wow, that's crazy and sad.