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All-Star Superman

Newsarama have posted online a preview of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman #1, due out in November. Most of it has already been seen before in Wizard previews, but even so, it's good to see it in better quality.

For those who don’t know, the All-Star line from DC is a response to Marvel’s wildly successful Ultimate line. Unlike Ultimate, however, which took existing character concepts and gave them new origins and storylines in a new universe (so Spider-Man is still 15-years-old and has just broken up with Mary Jane and started going out with Kitty Pryde of the X-Men, while over in The Ultimates (the equivalent of the Avengers) no-one knows if Thor really is a Norse god or just a nutter), All-Star is supposed to be iconic takes on existing characters. The idea is to fuse elements of existing versions together, to create a continuity-free set of stories that anyone without a background in comics can pick up and enjoy. Unfortunately, All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder threw this out of the window, with Frank Miller basically deciding to retell Robin’s origin story and make Batman an idiot. Still, with Morrison (who was born to write Superman) and Quitely (one of the most inventive visual storytellers out there) doing this, it’s probably the one comic above all others that I’ve been looking forward to this year - this is going to be something special.

Annoyingly, though, in this preview it seems that the new, stylised “S” shield that Quitely has designed has been airbrushed out and replaced with the “classic” design. Which is a shame, as Quitely’s more simplistic version fitted well with the idea of this being a timeless version of Superman, and hearkened back to the days of the Fleischer cartoons and the Siegel/Shuster comics. But you can sort of understand DC’s reasons for a change of heart. Even so, though, it’s just a shame no-one decided to airbrush out the words “What are you, RETARDED? I’m the goddamn BATMAN!” from ASB&R, but that’s another story…

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