Comic Book Review: All Star Superman #8

The Revolution always looks forward to the newest issue of All Star Superman. It is too bad that it comes out so infrequently. Morrison continues to impress with his wonderful blend of Silver Age goodness wrapped up with a modern sensibility. I’m quite confident that All Star Superman #8 will be an excellent read.

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

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Zibarro bemoaning how horrible it is to exist on a planet where there are no people with any intellect with which he can communicate his thoughts and feelings to. How he is so unlike everyone else on Bizarro Earth. On how Zibarro is hated and reviled by everyone on his planet.

The Bizarro version of Jor-El appears. His name is Le-Roj. He is the kind of all Bizarros until the all-Night falls and then he will be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice for his people. Superman comments how grotesque it is that everything in this Bizarro Earth in the Underverse is the opposite of Krypton in the Oververse.

Superman gets frustrated about how hopeless he feels being trapped on this planet. The longer Superman is on Bizarro World the weaker he gets. The farther Bizarro World sinks towards the Underverse, the light from Earth’s yellow sun shifts to red and Superman is losing his powers one by one.

Superman then gets an idea that they could build a spaceship that could help Superman escape this planet. Zibarro comments that the other Bizarros will never help Superman build a spaceship.

We cut to Mist Quintum telling Lois Lane that he has located Superman on the Bizarro Earth that is currently sinking back into the Underverse. Mister Quintum then tells Lois how Lex exposed Superman to more solar radiation that his cellular structure is able to process. That it was Lex’s intention to kill Superman using the sun itself. Mister Quintum says that so far they have been unable to find a cure for Superman’s condition.

Quintum then looks at a picture of the sun and says that during a fine scan of their solar probe data that they found something disturbing. Something hiding in the sun. Quintum says that he hopes Superman is able to find a way back since this looks like a job for Superman.

We cut back to the Bizarros all ignoring Superman’s pleas for them to help him build a spaceship. Superman then catches on and starts talking opposite like a Bizarro. That does the trick and the Bizarros begin to help build a spaceship for Superman.

We then see the Bizarro version of the JLA appear on the scene. Superman gets weaker and weaker as he waits for his space ship to be finish being built. Zibarro approaches Superman and tells Superman that he notices that the space ship is only being built for one. Zibarro pleads for Superman to take him with him. That Zibarro doesn’t belong on Bizarro World.

Superman responds that Zibarro is not an imperfection or a flaw. That Zibarro is proof that Bizarro World is getting smarter. A crushed Zibarro then asks Superman to at least look at his work before he goes.

The Bizarros then begin their All-Night ceremony. Superman collapses to the ground and is too weak to walk to the finished space ship. Zibarro helps Superman get to the ship and then straps Superman to the ship. Superman tells Zibarro that he looked at Zibarro’s writing. That Zibarro’s writing is so unique. Superman tells Zibarro to keep writing. To tell the story of Bizarro Earth.

Superman then insults Bizarro Superman so that Bizarro Superman would get mad at Superman and pick up the ship and throw him into the atmosphere. Superman’s plan works and Bizarro Superman launches the space ship far into the atmosphere.

We but to Quintum telling Lois that Bizarro Earth is gone beyond the range of their instruments. That Superman is gone.

We shift back to Zibarro waving into the sky where Superman disappeared. End of issue.

The Good: All Star Superman #8 was a solid issue, but it was certainly nothing special. Morrison crafts plenty of fine dialogue. Rarely does Morrison disappoint me with his dialogue. The well constructed dialogue gives this issue a pleasant and natural flow.

The best part of All Star Superman #8 is Morrison’s incredible interpretation of Bizarro Earth and the Bizarros. It is impressive how Morrison is able to take such a goofy and campy Silver Age concept and turn it on its head without parodying or mocking the original intent of the silver age concept.

Morrison’s version of the Bizarros is still true to the original intention of this Silver Age concept. Morrison manages to make the Bizarros truly bizarre. Bizarro Earth is wonderfully creepy, dark and strange. This is certainly my favorite version of the Bizarros and their pitiful existence.

The Bizarro JLA was enjoyable ghoulish. I liked that their headquarters is located deep in the sewers under the surface of Bizarro Earth. I also liked Zibarro. Morrison managed to make Zibarro a truly sympathetic. The reader could feel Zibarro’s pain and frustration of being on a planet full of brainless idiots who stumble around with no purpose. Morrison manages to get the reader to genuinely feel for Zibarro when he realizes that Superman does not plan on taking Zibarro with him.

I liked Zibarro’s feelings of isolation and being hated for thinking and feeling thoughts and emotions far beyond that of your average Bizarro. Morrison pulls off a neat character study with Zibarro. I dig the idea of Zibarro being the first step of Bizarro Earth attempting to evolve the Bizarro race.

Morrison also teases the reader with a new and interesting plotline in the form of an unidentified threat hiding in the sun. I’m interested to see what Morrison has in store for us with this new plotline.

Quitely and Grant supply the reader with plenty of excellent artwork. I have always like Quitely style of art. And the colors on this title absolutely pop. They are so vibrant and candy-like. Quitely and Grant manage to capture that Silver Age feel while still delivering modern styled artwork. Also, it is nice to see an artist actually draw a hot Lois Lane rather than the fugly soccer mom version of Lois that we get on the other Superman titles.

The Bad: As much as I enjoyed Morrison’s interpretation of Bizarro Earth and the character study of Zibarro, All Star Superman #8 was a painfully slow issue. I would go so far as to say that All Star Superman #8 is even a bit boring since nothing really happens at all in this issue. It comes off like Morrison just decided to give himself a break with this issue.

Combine the fact that practically nothing happens in this very slow issue with the irregular shipping schedule of this title and it makes the storyline seem like is dragging even more than it really is. On a title that does not come out monthly, the writer really can’t afford to give himself a “holiday” issue where nothing much happens. With this more infrequent schedule, Morrison is under more pressure to deliver a story that moves at a faster pace than what we are getting.
You know, after an entire issue of Bizarro Earth, I really began to hate how the Bizarro’s talk. It makes reading a comic book a pain in the butt.

Overall: All Star Superman #8 was well written, but it was simply far too slow and uneventful for my taste. Morrison gives us a great version of Bizarro Earth, but this issue simply drags and brings this momentum of this title to a halt. Hopefully, Morrison will pick up the pace and excitement a bit with the next issue.