All Star Superman #12 Review

All Star Superman is always enjoyed in the Bunker. Morrison continues to channel the spirits of former Superman writers. Previous stories have brought back memories of the days of Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin, Edmond Hamilton, et. al. Let us sit back and enjoy the wrap up to this excellent series.

Creative Team
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Frank Quitely
Inker: Jamie Grant

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: On what appears to be Krypton…Jor-El and Kal-El are climbing into a flying car. Kal-El wants to know why Jor-El took him from the Science Plaza. Jor-El tells him that he is dead. Not only is Jor-El dead, but Kal-El’s mother and all the other Kryptonians also died when the planet exploded.

Kal-El thinks that Jor-El is suffering from a fever. His father tells Kal-El that he is dead too. Kal-El died defending humanity from the tyrant sun-Solaris. Kal-El wants to know if he is dead, what is the place they are in? Jor-El says that Kal-El’s body is undergoing a mutation. A convertion to solar radio-consciousness.

The consciousness is similar to energy or matter. It cannot be created or destroyed. He has two choices. He can continue to play at living or turn and face down evil one more time.

Back on Earth, the now super powered Lex Luthor is floating in the air at the Daily Planet. Lex is taunting the staff at the Planet. He tells Jimmy Olsen to turn off the signal watch. Superman will not be coming.

Back in Superman’s consciousness…Kal-El is telling his father that Superman had one more labor to perform before he died. Jor-El says that Kal-El showed them the face of the man of tomorrow. They now have an ideal to aspire to. They will eventually succeed and join Kal-El in the sun. Jor-El says that the best of Krypton continues to survive in Kal-El. All that is strong and great and true will be reborn.

Clark Kent is laying on the floor at the Daily Planet. They are trying to revive him. Lois tells Lex that Solaris double crossed him. He is turning the sun blue. Lex says he will repair the sun.

Clark wakes up. Jimmy tries to attack Lex but Lex throws him at the wall. Lex wants to know if anyone else feels like acting out in front of the most powerful man on earth? Clark says he will. Clark wants him to stop threatening his friends.

Lex says that the worm has grown a spine to impress the girl. He wants to know what Clark is hiding. Clark pulls out a gravity gun and shoots Lex. The blast sends Lex flying into the next building. He falls to the ground. Jimmy brings a Superman uniform to Clark. He says that Superman must of switched places with Clark so he could surprise Lex.

Lex stands up in the middle of a road. A truck smashes into him. A second blast from the gravity gun hits Lex and sends him flying. Lex flies back up into the air. Superman is behind a safe that fell out of the truck.

Lex looks down with his x-ray vision. He asks if Superman is playing hide and seek. He knows where Superman is. He does not need to see through the safe, Lex can use his heat vision to melt it. After the safe is melted, Superman stands.

Lex wants to know if Superman ever thought it would end with Lex looking down on him. Superman says it is going exactly as he planned. He suspected Lex’s involvement when robot 7 malfunctioned. Superman says that Lex is working fifty times harder to stay in the air.

Lex starts to sink into the ground. Lex grabs Superman and says that if he dies, Superman will die with him. They crash through the ground and into a subway car. Lex knocks him out.

Lex says no more tricks as he drags Superman to the surface. Lex tells the SWAT team to stand aside. This is just the transition to a life without Superman. He tosses Superman aside as he tells them that Luthor is in charge. He expects the president to show up with the keys to the White House.

Lex’s niece, Nasthalthia shows up. She declares it is Science Year Zero. Using her helmet, she commands her captives to follow. They will be put on trial. She asks if Lex feels ok. He says he is spectacular.

Superman starts to get up. Lex can see the fundamental forces. They are controlled by a single thought. Lex starts to cry. He realizes this is how Superman sees every day. “Like it’s all just us, in here, together. And we’re all we’ve got.”

His niece says that Lex is embarrassing her beyond all therapy. Superman is now standing. Superman says that Lex is trying to explain how gravity warps time. He forced Lex to accelerate his metabolism. He says that Lex was right about one thing, brain beats brawn everytime.

Superman is starting to glow. He decks Lex. Lex says that he made more of the super power formula. Superman takes it from him. Lex says he saw how to save the world. He could have made everyone see. He could have saved the world if it wasn’t for Superman. Superman knocks him out. Then he says, “You could have saved the world years ago if it mattered to you”.

Lois runs to him. He says that without Luthor overdosing him with sunlight, he never could have done what needs done next. No one else can repair the sun. His cells are turning into pure energy. He only had a short time to stop Lex. He kisses her and tells her he loves her until the end of time. Lois yells back that she loves him as Superman changes into energy and heads for the sun. Lois is left holding his cape.

Superman flies into the sun. It immediately begins turning yellow.

Back on Earth, Lois is sitting on a park bench in front of a statue of Superman. Jimmy, using a jet pack, flies down to Lois. It has been a year since Superman disappeared. People are showing up to pay their respects. Lois says that Superman is not dead. He is up there, building an artificial heart to keep the sun alive. He will return when he is done. And when he’s done, he knows where to find her.

Mister Quintum is talking with Agatha at the secret P.R.O.J.E.C.T. base. He comments that Luthor seems so small since he got his wish of a world without Superman. There is a challenge for humanity. They have to take care of things while he is gone.

Agatha wants to know what happens if he never returns? Quintum says he wouldn’t worry about that. Now that they know how it is done, he is sure they will think of something. Quintum is standing in front of a sign for P.R.O.J.E.C.T. 2. The 2 is in the form of Superman’s shield.

The Good: I knew this series would be good when it started, but I did not realize how good. This has been one of the best Superman series ever. At one time, DC had considered turning Superman over to Grant Morrison(and friends). Reading this makes me mad that they did not do it.

This is the first time I have given a 10 rating since joining the Revolution. I thought this story contained everything a Superman story should have. Here is my short list of classic Superman moments in this story.

1. Superman vs. super-Lex. One of my all time favorite classic Superman stories was the one where Superman and Lex end up on a world that worships Lex as a hero. Superman is powerless there.

2. Kal-El and Jor-El talking. I always loved the flying cars they had on Krypton.

3.The Daily Planet gang. You have to have the old gang in this story.

4. Classic Clark Kent moment. Clark standing up to super-Lex was fantastic. The Planet gang assuming that Superman must have traded places with Clark.

5. The Clark-Lois romance. They both admit they love each other. Lois will wait for Superman until the end of time.

6. Luthor is nothing without Superman. I agree with Superman that Lex could have already saved the world if he was going to do it.

7. The cosmic menace. Only Superman is able to build an artificial heart for the sun. This also ties in Grant Morrison’s DC 1,000,000. I want to re-read this series then re-read DC 1,000,000.

8. Hope for the future. As Quintum summarizes, there is always hope thanks to Superman.

Frank Quitely has done a super job illustrating this series. He always shines when he is teamed with Grant Morrison. The detail he puts into his art is amazing. The normal people are in normal poses. Their body language reflects their mood. Hat’s off to another great series.

P.S. I remember Nasthalthia from the old Adventure Comics(she first appears in issue 397) featuring Supergirl. Lex’s niece was known as Nasty. This was another classic touch.

The Bad: The only thing that I didn’t like was the absence of backgrounds in many of the panels. Quitely’s skill at drawing kept me from noticing this at first. The art is still fantastic but could have been improved by adding backgrounds.

Overall: A great series that belongs on everyones book shelf or in their box of comics. I hope Morrison and Quitely team up again in the future.