Based on the excellent
comic by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quietly,
this limited print series has been faithfully transformed into an
animated feature by Dwayne McDuffie and more importantly, it's quite a
decent watch. The story centres around Superman (James Denton) who after
a mission to the sun discovers that his cells have been oversaturated by
solar radiation. Although Superman's powers are derived from the sun,
this overload has given him a death sentence. With the world's most
powerful being facing mortality, he decides to disclose the truth to
Lois Lane (Christina Hendricks) and as a gift, he allows her to have a
taste of his powers in essence transforming her into superwoman.
The dynamics between
Clark and Lois is perfect as is the relationship between Superman and
Lex Luthor (Anthony LaPagli), his arch-nemesis. Although relationships
play a pivotal role in the story, there is plenty of action laced
throughout the story such as Superman vs Luthor or Superman going head
to head with two not very nice Kryptonians. Having read the original
comic, McDuffie does a good job at taking certain elements from the
Morrison story and incorporating them into this short feature film that
unfortunately is not as powerful as the original story. Even so, it is
still one of my favourite DC Comics films that really pays homage to the
silver age Superman with its more simpler ideas as opposed to the over
complicated character that he has become today.
There are also several supporting characters included in the story such
as the "I want it now!" editor of the Daily Planet Perry White (Ed Asner)
and Nasthalthia Luthor (Linda Cardellini) that help ground this new
Superman myth. In terms of the actors who play their animated
counterparts, they have been perfectly chosen from the noble sounding
James Denton as Superman to Australia's very own Anthony LaPaglia as the
devious and defiant Lex Luthor. I also enjoyed Christina Hendricks as
Lois Lane who has this sense of mischievous nature to her with an air of
cuteness. The actors have been perfectly cast. For any DC fanboy or
girl, there's plenty of great cameos that only enhance this memorable
tale of the man of steel. Hopefully with the DC relaunch in September,
this is the Superman that will fly out of their new comics.
The artwork is another
highlight of All-Star Superman that does pay homage to Frank Quietly's
work and even though it looks more cartoony than the original story,
there are certain elements that really stand out and look just like it
did in the comic, especially with the colouring.
Video and Audio
On DVD, the artwork
looks sharp with vibrant colours and no errors whatsoever. Audio
supports Dolby Digital 5.0 that really booms through your surround
speakers when the action heats up. Dialogue is clear and all the sound
levels are perfect. A special mention should be made to Christopher
Drake who creates a majestic soundtrack to one of the world's most well
Apocalypse "Sneak Peek"
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights "Sneak Peek"
Unfortunately the extras
are quite limited on the DVD release and only contains two sneak peaks.
The viewer gets a sneak peek at the upcoming animated film Green
Lantern: Emerald Knights which is almost a history lesson on the
Green Lantern Corps from the DC Universe. We get snippets of the film
and lots of interviews from key people from DC Comics and those involved
in the film. The other special feature takes us into the world of
Superman/Batman from its creation to the comics to the world of film.
It's similar to the Green Lantern: Emerald Knights sneak peak but are
more adverts than anything meaningful.
In the end, All-Star
Superman is a fun albeit short story that gives the viewer another take
on the Superman mythology. There is some great characterisation and
action in the story and given the format, McDuffie done a remarkable
job. Personally, this story would have translated better as a limited TV
series but the nonetheless, if you're a fan of comics or Superman, than
you really should check this out.