All Star Superman # 11
By Koppy McFad
June 8, 2008 - 20:07
Writer(s): Grant Morrison
Penciller(s): Frank Quitely
Inker(s): Jame Grant
Cover Artist(s): Frank Quitely
$2.99 US, $3.05 Canada 32 pages
Superman faces imminent death while Luthor faces imminent execution in this story where the Man of Steel deals with a fatal condition that is slowly killing him while his arch-foe faces a swifter death in the electric chair.
Of course, we all know Lex will escape but just the sight of a super-villain walking the Green Mile, defiantly mocking the crowd of witnesses before the switch is thrown, is rather dramatic. It establishes Lex as a major threat, even when he is unarmed and helpless, with no armour or robots to help him-- a worthy foe for the world's greatest hero.
Superman however has no time to quietly prepare for his demise. He briefly recalls his adventures and reflects on his love for Lois Lane but he soon has to fly out for a confrontation with Solaris, the evil, living sun that is now working with Luthor.
It isn't hard to figure out how Superman will defeat Solaris. The writer leaves a pretty broad clue early on but to see Superman being pushed to the limit, lashing out in anger and then holding back in mercy, are still quite affecting. And when Luthor arrives to take advantage of Superman's weakened state, there is a real sense that the hero is truly overwhelmed.
The art falls a bit short of the epic dimensions that the writer is clearly aiming for. Quitely may be better suited to more personal stories as his human figures are very individual, all with their own special look. They are flawed but also endearing and sympathetic. Even Lex.
The one major irritant in the story is Lex's niece, his partner in crime, who prattles on about her plans for mass murder and genocide like an adolescent mooning over some matinee idol. She must be useful but it is hard to believe Lex Luthor would tolerate someone so childish.
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