Reviews: All Star Superman

The End Of An Era. R.I.P. Dwayne Mc Duffie (Kirbypower's Review of All-Star Superman)

I recently watched All-Star Superman completely for the first time, and it was a pretty good movie. It took almost everything from the original All-Star Superman comic (which I have only read the first volume of) with the exception of the Doomsday, Bizarro, and Superman's Twelve Challenges stories, and animated them beautifully. The score was among the best soundtracks I have heard in an animated film, and I thoroughly enjoyed All-Star Superman despite never reading the original comic. My only nitpick would have to be not including the Doomsday story, which I enjoyed greatly.

However, I was not touched emotionally by All-Star Superman until I found out who did the film and further reflection since I saw it. The All-Star Superman film was one of the last works made by Dwayne Mc Duffie, the man responsible for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited as well as Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien among other works. Dwayne Mc Duffie has passed away, but All-Star Superman was his final gift to the world, and I now see a deeper symbolism with the ending of All-Star Superman, which is the best part of the film in my eyes. When Superman is flying towards the sun to repair it as he is dying, it symbolizes how great animated shows have begun dying but still go out on a high note. Dwayne Mc Duffie took an already great comic book and brought it to life via animation perfectly, making All-Star Superman the swan song for Dwayne Mc Duffie and animated shows and the reason I became emotionally attached to this film.

On a sadder note, All-Star Superman was one of the last productions of Dwayne Mc Duffie, which is a further reminder that the Golden Age of Animation is over. Although Dwayne Mc Duffie has left a great legacy, some works of Dwayne Mc Duffie have been tainted since his passing, such as the Ben 10 franchise with the changes and retcons made by Ben 10: Omniverse, while the emotional depths in animation that Dwayne Mc Duffie inspired have been replaced with soulless, insulting, promotional shows such as Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble.

Despite this, All-Star Superman is a great film adaptation and a perfect end to the Golden Age of Animation. Rest in Peace, Dwayne Mc Duffie.

Finally, someone who really knows how to write Superman.

As a long time Superman fan, its been frustrating to see stories about him trying to fit in or be normal. I know that focusing on his separation from humanity is one of the few decent ways to add drama and conflict to the character but if done wrong it also squanders the potential of the character.

So in this story, we get to live in his world. Pet sun eaters, making out on the moon, competing with Samson and Atlas to impress a girl, playing fetch with his superdog in space. And thats all just the flavor of his life. His feats are even grander. I didn't know I was waiting for this story until I read, and I was already expecting great things from it after reading Grant Morrison's run on JLA.

And he doesn't lose any of his humanity in the process. He brings it with him into the larger world that he's always lived in. I like relatable characters like Spiderman. I like relatively realistic heroes like Batman. But Morrison shows us how we can connect with a larger than life figure.

I also like that Morrison gave Superman back a little of his personality. Being the nice selfless guy in the comics has also given him a somewhat neutered personality with no spark. The only thing he ever gets angry about is bad guys doing bad things. But in this story, he's still just as good while not being so above it all. He gets his revenge on Steve Lombard (zapping his wig) he gets annoyed when Samson and Atlas hit on Lois. He takes some pride in what he can do. And he doesn't angst. Even when facing his death, he still finds joy. I don't know where I'm going with this, I just like this and hope the regular writers can find ways to work this back into his character.