Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

All Star Superman #6

All Star Superman #6

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 30, 2006

Cover date: October 2006

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Frank Quitely
Inker: Jamie Grant

"Funeral in Smallville"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Clark talks with his father in the moonlight.

Krypto appears from space, and Clark pulls up a tree to play fetch with him. Pa feels a pang from his heart.

Men appear in the darkness and offer Pa help with the harvest.

The next day, these men meet Clark, a man with bandages over his face, another with the side of his head shaved, and the third looking strangely like Mr. Mxyzptlk.

In a diner, Clark meets and talks with Pete and Lana about having just left for Metropolis. They talk about the city, and Lana indicates she wants to see the world. Clark hears the farmers talking about "the Kansas Superman" and fakes sickness to leave. Pete and Lana berate each other for acting like they don't know Clark is Superman.

Clark finds that the three workers are Supermen from the future. The 851st century, the 5th dimension, and the Mystery Superman from AD 4500. They have come to stop the chronovore, who is eating time and preparing the spawn.

They go to stop the beast, but Superman insists on helping. Superman from the 851st century tries to stop him, but Krypto attacks him. Superman stops the chronovore, but in the meanwhile, Jonathan Kent dies of a heart attack after exchanging some small talk with the Mystery Superman.

Clark, realizing that his father has no heartbeat, flies to him so fast that his hair catches fire.

At the funeral, Clark gives the Eulogy, and regrets that he didn't get to say goodbye with Ma.

At the time portal, the Mystery Superman pulls off his face wraps to reveal that he is the real Superman, coming back to have one last conversation with his father.

The Superman (presumably the original who stops Solaris and revives Lois in the future) arrives and offers a flower from New Krypton for Pa's grave, which Superman places there.

Another of Superman's 12 labors is over.

5Story - 5: One minor detail that bugs me couldn't prevent this from still being a five story, nor could the delay in publication that's now become a constant thorn in this series' side.

This is probably one of the better comics I've read. The construction, now that this series is getting going, is incredible. You know that problem I mention with issues being spaced out, not remembering things between issues because of time constraints? The writing is getting so good that it's not a problem. Everything is pretty strong in impact.

That doesn't mean there is ANY excuse for this book being late, at all. There isn't. There's no reason not to wait until it's good and done and then issue it regularly beyond greed. I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'll continue to say it because it's true. If they weren't concerned with the immediacy of demand and thus money over a timely story, this book would be monthly, especially given it has no bearing on continuity at all.

It uses elements of DC One Million, which is odd in a story without continuity purposefully. For a minute I was kind of mad, because I said to myself, isn't the idea that Grant Morrison and the creators deemed continuity too darned bothersome to deal with (much to my anger and chagrin) across the board and thus ditched it in favor of story?

That is, of course, unless it's a Grant Morrison story like DC One Million, right?

So that's kind of off. But it's still a neat cameo, a cool idea, and incredible writing, so it stopped angering me when it paid off in high fantasy, as I'm sure is the idea.

But please, guys, pick an attitude about continuity beyond $#%^ it.

Superman Purple and KGFKTMS's love child. I love it. Pa's death, and the time travel (well thought out) were all great. The moments with Krypto. Even the chronovore. I tell you, I don't know what Morrison smokes, but good God, he has some crazy ideas. Sometimes it pushes his work to self-parody, but here and in other places it's simply genius. He's like Frank Miller. Either incredibly on, or WAY the heck off. Here he's so on it sings.

The Lana and Pete yuk about knowing Clark's secret ruled. As did the part where Superman's hair caught fire in his haste. Beautiful.

I'm actually pretty hacked about what the colorist (or maybe it was Morrison, who knows) or whoever did with Lana and Pete. I know, hair color isn't that big a deal. But it is. Especially when a character is evolving with time and public perception.

Lana has red hair. Pete has blonde hair. Right?

Here they both have brown hair. Lana now matches the television show's Lana, and Pete is now...well, what the heck is with him?

I'm not averse to changing the characters in any medium or continuity to reflect the public's perception (with a framework, of course). It just makes logical sense. If most people think Lana has black hair now, well, that biffs me, but it won't bother others. But you must do it uniformly in certain cases.

For instance, if you're doing this to reflect Smallville, then Pete should be black. The pretty girl gets emulated, but the black guy doesn't? What's with that?

Then one would argue that it's just an artistic choice on the part of the artist to make them both brown haired, no politics involved. Okay then, it's an error, and errors suck.

Either way, iconic characters deserve such scrutiny and respect, and in that scene, it wasn't offered. Outside of that awesome writing, anyway. But the hair thing reflects on Morrison's work, and should be corrected thusly or explained somehow. It'd be odd if Lois was suddenly a blonde, this is not me being pedantic.

5Art - 5: You can't beat this art. Period. It's incredible, and just keeps getting better. Just like with New X-Men, it took me a while to strap it on and enjoy it, but man, it's really, really good right now. Quitely continues to baffle me, and his work is kicking me sideways.

5Cover Art - 5: Kind of gives away the plot, doesn't it? But it's a pretty obvious plot point that's in a lot of the mythos. The image is poignant, sad, and beautiful. I love it.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2007

February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2007.