Thursday, January 19, 2006

All Star Superman #2

I've never been a big Superman fan. He's always seemed dull to me, a little too perfect and untouchable and ultimately, conservative in comparison to Marvel's heroes. Which begs the question: why was this comic so damn awesome? The obvious answer to this question would be the creative team, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, both masters of the medium and frequent collaborators on some of the most innovative runs of superheros to date. And of course, that's a big part of this issue's success. But the thing is, I wasn't completely blown away by issue #1 of this series either. It was cool and all, but it still left me a little cold in the face of the main character. So...what changed? Well, two words: Lois Lane. I think the success of this issue relies on this supporting character because when told through her eyes, Superman really is cool. When we're following Superman, the mystery, the allure, of the character isn't present. It needs that distance, that removal, to really showcase how awesome it is that Superman is who he is. It's cool that Superman feeds suns to scary pets. It's cool that he has secrets in a laboratory that could spell doom for our heroine. And you know what? It's damn cool to see Superman just walk around and be Superman. And therein lies the genius of this issue. With a filter, with a different perspective, we see why this character has so many devoted fans and deserves that "All Star" title. This is easily the best book of the week.

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