Review by Woodrow Phoenix
DC Comics Absolute Editions are huge hardcover, slipcased volumes twice the size of a standard comic book. Absolute All Star Superman presents this award-winning work by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly in the best possible way it could be seen.
The slipcase is a dramatically large, cropped image of Superman’s face, taken from the 10th issue cover where Superman gazes down at a basketball-sized Earth. The book jacket cover is a text-free version of the flying Superman seen on the standard collection. The back cover shows the splash page image of Superman kissing a super-powered Lois Lane on the moon. Underneath the slipcase, the cover of the hardback itself is the famously brilliant image of Superman sitting casually among the clouds over Metropolis.
The sewn binding allows the book to open relatively flat, allowing the double page spreads to look their best and ensuring that Frank Quitely’s artwork is displayed to its best advantage on excellent paper. The large format allows for a close reading of all the detail that Quietly puts into his pages and there are a lot of story points buried in the artwork that are now more visible, almost making this feel like a new book. Morrison and Quitely’s All Star Superman combined elements from all the previous iterations of Superman into a ‘timeless’ version, widely considered to be one of the all-time best Superman stories ever. This is definitely the ideal way to experience it.
The story is supported by a extras section, with a variety of bonus features including sketchbook work from Quitely and also some drawings by Morrison who often works out his story elements with diagrams and sketches. Text pieces explain their approach to the material and some of the conceptual work that underpins it all. There’s a cover gallery, a list of the main characters and Neal Adams variant artwork for issue one. All in all, it’s a superior presentation of a superior story, and if you are a fan of this material you will find this book hard to resist.