All-Star Superman Vol. 2

March 8, 2009 | Trades

Superman’s greatest strength has always been his character, not his ability to move mountains.
The Man of Steel is so iconic and has such a defined identity – belief in truth, justice and the American way – that when creators play to those strengths they often end up with something equally powerful.
With All-Star Superman Vol. 2 (DC Comics, 160 pages, $22.99), writer Grant Morrison, penciller Frank Quitely and inker/colourist Jamie Grant have introduced a Superman more dynamic and grandiose than perhaps any before, and yet one that is also infinitely more human.
Faced with the knowledge – as revealed in Volume 1 – that he is dying from solar radiation poisoning and has little time left, the hero still makes the effort to visit sick children, stop a troubled teenager from committing suicide, show compassion to the monstrous creatures of Bizarro world and even reach out to the man who “killed” him: Lex Luthor.
That’s not to say this extraordinary distillation of the Man of Steel mythos doesn’t contain planet-shattering action and everything else you’d expect from such a bold title, but its true greatness doesn’t just come from good triumphing over evil, but from the creation of a Superman we should all aspire to emulate.

(This review first appeared in the Toronto Star)

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