Source: All-Star Superman 1-12 (2006-2008)
Type: Off-canon seriesBack when I was first reading the series (in trade, I must admit), I was one to say DC could do worse than to make THIS the one true portrayal of the Man of Steel. Now that Grant Morrison is set to reinvent Superman in an all-new Action Comics #1, I'm going to go back on my words and say I hope he doesn't. Not that the All-Star Superman doesn't have a lot going for it:
-A crazy Silver Age sensibility dressed in today's "weird but epic" comics (à la JLA)
-All the iconic people and things that should surround Superman (Lois and the Daily Planet, the Fortress of Solitude, Lex Luthor as a proper villain, Smallville, Krypto)
-The sense that Jimmy Olsen could carry his own crazy series
-The sense that Superman is a legacy hero of the highest order, inspiring Supermen of all sorts until the end of time
-A willingness to take chances (restoring Kandor for good, for example)
-Oh yeah, and beautiful artwork by Frank Quitely
However, there are reasons why the series' approach wouldn't be the best for a relaunched franchise in the DCU proper:
-All-Star Superman is supremely, almost inhumanly, serene. There's a strange lack of emotion there that would keep him at a distance from the reader. He is a god among men (even creating his own universes), and though benevolent, he lacks a quality that makes us empathize with him.
-It's a shared universe and I don't think other writers would do him justice.
-Morrison was able to reinvent Batman a number of times (compare Arkham Asylum, Gothic, JLA, Batman RIP and Batman Inc.) and there's no reason why he can't do the same with Superman. In fact, it's something he SHOULD do, having explored the All-Star dimension of the character already.
-The 12-issue series is perfect as it is, and stands as a single, strong work. Revisiting it can only diminish that.
The way Morrison's new title is described, he'll be writing a much younger Superman, probably one without the full gamut of powers, friends and tools. And there's the idea of the People's Hero in there, which does hark back to the end of All-Star, with Superman as proletariat symbol working to fix the sun.
So who knows what elements of All-Star will creep into this new Superman mythos? What, if anything, would YOU like to see from All-Star adopted in the New DC?
Obviously, there are many iterations of Superman in All-Star in addition to the protagonist, so I think I'm going to do a few All-Star-related Reign posts through the end of the month. Hope you'll join me.