By Leroy Douresseaux
June 2, 2007 - 18:08
|The Quitely/Grant cover without the title and captions.|
All Star Superman #7 (entitled "Being Bizarro") finds Superman facing an invasion of Earth by the Bizarros from the Underverse. As the square earth moves in on round earth, the Bizarros spread across Metropolis like a virus, transforming everyone they touch into another infected person, that then turns more people into relentless, milky-green, spongy Bizarros.
Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are presenting a Superman for people who liked the duo's quirky, sci-fi take on the New X-Men several years ago. In fact, this story recaptures the edginess and sense of "shock and awe" that Morrison brought to his first New X-Men arc, "E is for Extinction." It also seems like a nice mix of elements from two 80's sci-fi/horror flicks: John Carpenter's The Thing and Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce. Meanwhile, Quitely and colorist Jamie Grant are still riffing on the visual style of Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley's in The Dark Knight Returns. I love that Quitely gives Superman's face and hands wrinkles and furrows to suggest texture. Even Superman's costume has wrinkles and creases that make it seem like a nice cotton suit rather than skintight spandex.
What does this issue of All Star Superman deliver? It's a nice, prickly take on Superman that recalls at one time or another early Silver Age Superman comics (late 1950's to early 60's), Richard Donner's Superman movies, and John Byrne's revamp of the character in the mid-1980's, which modernized the character (or even slightly pushed him into the future). This is entertaining, but probably works best for readers who regularly visit the comic shop (or regularly receive shipments of comics).