DC Universe Animated Original Movies - ALL-STAR SUPERMAN

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Da'Mon Guy continues his look at the films from the DCUAOM. Today it's the turn of 2011s All-Star Superman.


All-Star Superman is an enjoyable continuance in the surging modern day usage of the comic book genre. This stirring animated tale features the Man of Steel in easily one of the best uses of the character to date. To go with the title the film also features an all star vocal cast including James Denton (Tortured), Christina Hendricks (Life as We Know It), Anthony Laplagia (Winter Solstice), Ed Asner (Up), Arnold Vosolo (The Mummy trilogy) and Francis Conroy (Stone).

Based on the popular 12 issue DC Comics mini series that ran from November 2005 to October 2008, and was written by Grant Morrison. All-Star Superman is one of the better Superman stories and this latest iteration is easily the best animated use of the Man of Steel. This enlightening perspective is possibly the fourth best live action story to feature the character, only being surpassed by Superman 1&2 and rivaling the last motion picture use of the character, Superman Returns.

As a result of rescuing a spaceship before it crashes into the sun, Superman overloads his blood cells causing them to decay. He is soon made aware of his impending death but before his imminent demise Superman is forced to reevaluate his life and address issues that he has put on hold in order to maintain his dual persona.

It’s a captivating tale that aptly showcases the best of the characteristics surrounding the mythos of Superman. This particular narrative humanizes the character in a way that is both intimate and enlightening and is possibly the most touching version of Superman to date. All-Star Superman incorporates many of the aspects that have endeared our culture to this character, and those which make him iconic, such as his strong sense of justice and unwavering sense of morality. However, the aspect that separates this version from prior incarnations is that it also delves more into the human side of Superman. All-Star Superman unveils a side to the defining of this character that is not often focused upon. We see Superman's Fortress of Solitude in a whole new light, and it's here his more human aspects are revealed - his desire for “hobbies” and pets are exposed as never before. The film also shows the classic portrayal of the bumbling, clumsy Clark Kent, and displays the great lengths that Superman undertakes in order to maintain his secret identity.

All-Star Superman also addresses the two relationships that are synonymous with the story of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. Superman finally admits his dual identity as well as his undying love for Lois. This revealing expose also stylishly displays the hated obsession that Lex Luthor has for Superman, and discloses the true reason behind the hatred. This is a topic that hasn’t been uncovered in this depth in a motion picture adaptation before or since.

The film’s only detractor is that it furthers the obsession with the killing of the heroic icon. All-Star Superman is actually the second animated adaptation to kill the Man of Steel. In more recent years, some of fans have a problem with the magnitude of Superman’s abilities, voicing their displeasure that he isn’t grounded enough in reality like some of the other comic book characters. So in trying to satisfy a particular fan base, DC comics has scaled back some of Superman’s power, even attempting to kill him in order to reinvent him as a less powerful individual. All-Star Superman sadly supports that notion, so in spite of the excellent story, this film satisfies the “Haters” and kills Superman in the end with a noble, heroic demise.

All-Star Superman is one of the best animated features to date, rivaling Batman: Under the Red Hood as DCUAOM's best film. It will appeal to both hard core and casual fans of Superman. Watch it and enjoy.

Da’Mon Guy is a writer and artist. He’s a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011, for a number of publications. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.
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