All-Star Superman # 12
By Koppy McFad
September 26, 2008 - 20:33
Writer(s): Grant Morrison
Penciller(s): Frank Quitely
Inker(s): Jamie Grant
Cover Artist(s): Frank Quitely
$2.99 US, 32 pages
This is the conclusion to Morrison's story which had Superman's powers overloading, making his death inevitable. Meanwhile, Luthor has gained superpowers and is now rampaging through the halls of the Daily Planet.
There are no big surprises here. We know Superman will survive, Luthor will be foiled and that none of the major supporting characters will be killed off. But that isn't the point. The trick is how the situation is resolved in a manner that is entertaining and moving-- and which does not look forced or contrived. In that sense, the story works very well. Superman finds a way to beat Luthor and in the process, shows that he is still a hero, with or without his powers. Luthor does make it a little too easy for him, arrogantly showing off and engaging in too much typical villainous 'monologuing.' But the writer makes his evil rantings so amusing, most readers will actually enjoy them. Luthor comes off as quite refined and witty, a real intellectual compared to most of the comic book badguys who usually resort to screaming "now, you DIIIIEEEEE!" during their fight scenes.
The supporting cast are all portrayed well with Lois, Jimmy and even Steve Lombard showing some courage, proving that they are worthy of being friends (or at least associates) of Superman. And Superman's reactions to Luthor are perfect, showing both his confidence and understanding of his arch-foe without any sense of guilt for Luthor's condition.
The art is still a bit too stylized. It captures the absurdity of this superhuman conflict and the humanity of the characters but it also makes the action look a bit cartoonish and humourous-- despite all the damage and death that is occuring on the pages of the comic.
Perhaps the worst thing about this issue is that it is a little too 'pat'-- the conclusion was too easy. Considering this comic is not set in the continuity of the mainstream DC Comics universe, they could have come up with something drastically different for the final chapter. What we do get is a hint of a sequel, which isn't such a bad thing considering the quality of this book so far.
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