Thursday, November 18, 2010

Greg's Uncomfortably Enthusiastic Absolute All Star Superman Review

You never forget your first time.

Yesterday, I bought my DC’s Absolute All Star Superman. It was the first Absolute edition I’ve ever gotten.

Now, I’ve bought oversized hardcovers over the years, but I’ve never dipped my toes in the Absolute pond. DC’s Absolutes usually don’t interest me (Absolute Green Lantern: Rebirth? Really?), involve multiple volumes and thus are a little too pricey for me (Planetary), or I already own it in trades and I’m not spending $400 dollars for Absolute versions of it (Hellooooo Absolute Sandman). All-Star Superman, however, is the perfect Absolute book for me.

It’s self-contained. It has beautiful Frank Quitely art. It’s the best Superman story ever and it doesn’t even need a hoodie. It was time to pop my cherry.

After paying my local retailer a hundred odd dollars and promising him a portion of my first born child, I was given the book in a non descript white package. The first thing you notice about it is the heft. Walking home with it on the streets of Baltimore, I felt immense power. Surely I could render any superstitious and cowardly criminal that came my way comatose with but a swing of the weighty tome. Bullets would bounce off it like a thick kryptonian hide.

Yes father, I thought to myself, I shall become a book.

Anyway, after cleaning up the streets of Baltimore, I returned home and opened my package. Its slipcase splits a giant Frank Quitely image between the two sides. It doesn’t even need a superman logo its so damn arty. Inside, the book itself is large, but not cumbersome. Quitely’s wonderful art looks great on the high quality paper, and Morrison’s notes in the back contain some interesting insight into where he drew inspiration for the various parts of the book. I was concerned about how double page spreads would look in a book that large, but they look incredible. With a sewn binding that uses the hairs of unicorns, it opens nearly flat and it looks great.

In short, this is an amazing book. It is the treatment that one of the best comic book stories in recent years, it will let you become a crime fighter, and it may even cure a few diseases. Not that I’m getting carried away or anything.


  1. This is, by far, one of the most funniest reviews ever.

    I do get the same reaction when I get a new book. Even worst if is an Absolute Edition.

    I've been so bumped because every single review for this particular edition of All Star Superman only say "Beautiful", "Best Superman story in 10 years", "Is a gem", and other crap that was already said about the issues, hardcover and paperback editions.

    My point is, your review is the first that goes a litle for the extras. i liked that, but could you be a little more specific (without giving spoilers) about the extras on this edition?.

    My concern is that, on the paperback and harcover editions, if you add both volumes it adds a total of 320 pages, which is the same number of pages on the Absolute, so... where do they put the extra?. Is that or the same content is already on the previous material and this is just an overzise reprint.

  2. Well it has a far nicer presentation than the trades in terms of size, paper quality, and particularly how the book opens. There's a forward from Chip Kidd and a lot of nice graphic design work around the chapter covers and whatnot.

    At the back of the book you have a mixture of Quitely's character designs, some rough cover sketches, and some rejected covers. The character designs are accompanied by Morrison's thoughts on the characters and what he was trying to achieve with them. They're pretty interesting and give you an insight as to how he was building this book. There's also some additional notes about the book's origins and his thoughts on Superman. I'm not certain if they're in paperback editions or not.

    The extras aren't enough to make you run out and buy the book on their own merit, but they are a very nice addition to what is already a pretty slick package.

  3. Best review ever. Thanks for the great help!.

    I'm getting my copy ASAP!!!.

  4. One day I will open mine and look at it.

  5. Save it for when you need it most. Wait until someone in your family is sick and let the healing power of Frank Quitely's oversized art do its work.

  6. what quality is the paper? i bought some recycled quality paper DC comics and i dont wanna waste my money again.
    thanx :-)