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Review of All Star Superman: Free Comic Book Day 2008 (2.75 stars) May 7, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Overall rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Yes, that’s right, I’m reviewing a DC comic. No, you’re not dreaming. I actually picked this up for two reasons: one, it was free, two, despite the fact that I don’t read DC doesn’t mean that I am not interested in DC characters. I’ve read random DC issues from time to time (though never bought one) and they were mostly pretty good (though a little confusing of course, since I’m not big on current DC happenings). In fact, the main reason I don’t read DC is because I know that if I picked up just one series, I’d end up picking up several other series to help fill in the DC Universe “world picture” (just like I ended up doing for Marvel) and I don’t have the money to essentially double the amount of comics I am currently getting. (In fact, I’m going to be dropping a series that I read now to pick up another series, but I’ll give details next week).

So, let me reiterate: as much a “true Marvelite” as I claim to be, I still have respect for DC and the influence it has on modern comics, and if I had more money, I’d probably read DC (picking up a few more Marvels before starting DC of course. 😉 ) That said, in terms of a “Free Comic Book Day” comic, I think this issue did worse than X-Men: FCBD. As a stand-alone issue, it was pretty good, but I’ll touch on that in later. First let’s examine exactly what this is. It’s a reprint. Not something new or original created just for Free Comic Book Day, it’s a “free second printing.” I feel sorry for the majority of DC fans who probably already have this issue; they didn’t have anything to look forward to last Saturday. Second, its not really a “stand-alone issue,” it’s part one in a storyarc, and the only way to read the rest is to buy a trade paperback. I realize the purpose of FCBD is to draw in readers, but leaving us cheapskates with a cliff hanger? If they really wanted to draw in more readers, they should have put out a “Final Crisis” prologue that got people pumped up for the story, but still remained an individual issue.

All that aside, the actual issue itself wasn’t too bad. From what I understand, DC’s “All Star” imprint is akin to Marvel’s “Ultimate” imprint. Though this issue seemed to set up a series more like “Superman: The End” rather than “Ultimate Superman.” Especially since they did not push the reset button on Superman’s origin, they took the same route, and at some point in time, “All Star” history must have deviated from “DC Universe” history. Indeed, it seems that we have jumped right into the middle of a storyarc instead of the beginning, as the story seems to be already going. (Though by the end, we get a fairly good explanation of what was happening.) The issue opens with Superman rescuing scientists from the first manned spacecraft to the Sun, which was sabotaged by an agent of Lex Luthor. In doing so, he absorbs too much solar radiation and his cells, too energized, begin to break down which will lead to his eventual death. Back on Earth, Luthor revels at his final triumph over Superman, even as he is rearrested. And Clark finally (can I really say finally as this is the first issue?) decides to reveal his identity to Lois.

So as I said, a fairly interesting issue, the writing was clear, and the art was extremely well done. Still, it is hard to keep it out of context as being a simple reprint given away for free. So, in terms of actual scores, as an individual issue, it gets 3.5 stars, but as a FCBD comic it gets 2 stars, therefore, an average of 2.75.




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