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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

All Star Superman #11

All Star Superman #11

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 28, 2008

Cover date: July 2008

"Red Sun Day"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Frank Quitely
Inker: Jamie Grant

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Lex Luthor sits, strapped in the electric chair. The guard pulls the switch, but Luthor has planned ahead, putting something in his food that grants him superpowers for 24 hours. He kills the guard that tried to electrocute him and escapes.

Superman travels around his Fortress, preparing it for his impending death, visiting the Bizarro Zoo, the place where he'd kept the Sun Eater, and preparing for a battle.

Nasthalthia, Lex's niece, awaits him in a lair. Lex arrives, pushing in the door and preparing for battle with Superman. He indicates that he has friends in high places, stepping out to reveal that Solaris has turned the Earth's sun red.

Superman seals off the Fortress, bringing his robots to the battle after they offer to help. Wearing a suit designed to ward off red sun rays, Superman does battle with Solaris. In the process, his robots sacrifice themselves, and Solaris is attacked by the Sun Eater. Solaris kills the Sun Eater. In response, Superman plunges the tyrant sun to Earth, hitting it hard enough to cause a huge blast and stop the creature. Shedding his outer suit, Superman disappears.

In the Daily Planet, Clark Kent collapses, losing consciousness in front of an article he shows to Perry.

Lex Luthor appears in an explosive blast of debris just as Superman is down and out.

5Story - 5: Wait, WHAT?

I'm... WHAT? Huh? (Looks up for sky falling).

This book is... on time?


Of course, it's bimonthly, so that's not really a huge accomplishment, but at least now I've gotten the semi-obligatory late rub out of the way.

I went to the panel where everyone raised their hands and said they didn't care if a story was late, so long as it was great. I know I'm in the minority here. I don't care. I expect better, and I shouldn't be amazed when a bimonthly book ships on time.

On to the actual review.

This is an incredible story, and worth waiting for. Lex Luthor in prime action, Superman self-sacrificing among amazing situations, a fight with Solaris that actually made me understand, enjoy, and root against the character. A labor that takes multiple pages but doesn't feel like a waste of space. Character in abundance, even for Lex's niece, who I now enjoy quite a bit (as opposed to her first appearance, where she was more window dressing).

No one believes Superman will die, any more than we believe Lex will die, but that's not the point here. The point is that Superman is acting as if he is dying SO WELL that we feel for him. The same with Lex, which he then reverses to show how villainous he truly is. Granted, there's a semi-odd quality to him waiting all of that time to pop something that would turn him into a meta, but you're so caught up in the outlandish fun that you don't really care. I mean, Lex with Superman's powers has become so cool at this point in the story that you don't really care why the heck or how the heck he got the powers.

Lex's trophy room. The Bizarro zoo. Nostalgically, this is working well, unlike, say, the cheesy Fortress pushed on modern continuity. Here it makes sense and shines. I truly lament that this will end, even if the series started with its first issue in 1983.

5Art - 5: Quitely continues to hit it over the fence. Fine detail, strong backgrounds and motion. The only odd thing was Jimmy, to a degree, but it fits with the earlier incarnation. The fight with Solaris was insanely cool.

Lex in every panel grabbed and held me. It's NYAH Lex, but I'm rooting for it. That says something about the quality of the art.

5Cover Art - 5: I saw this months ago, so it's lost a lot of newness, but the image is just as strong as when I first saw it, a great, paradoxical, Silver Age homage style cover with a strong meaning to the story contained herein. Aces.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2008

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