Monday, May 23, 2011
All*Star Superman - Adam Borgia
1. Analyze: Event - Primary
For this treatment of Superman, there is an event that occurs early on which sets the tone for the rest of the volume (and I imagine the series as well) that effects the fate of Superman himself, and we are watching how we spends his time, where his thoughts are going, and how the people closest to him in his life are reacting to these changes. I'm being slightly vague because I don't want to ruin it. The "real" Event then becomes this approaching deadline that both the characters and the viewers are awaiting. I don't know if it's cheating to include as my analysis the identifying of an Event that isn't even fully manifested in this volume, but to me it is SO important that I just had to. Now go read it and see for yourself.
2. Rating: PG
It's Superman. He's not just a super powered alien, he's a super man, and exemplifies the best in all of us. I've always admired the character of Superman for being a beacon of strength and determination, but also one of morals and values. There is comic violence in here, as thugs and monsters alike need a beat-down from time to time. Language is minimal. It's good stuff.
I would say that the author would have had to know about science in order to pull of all the technobabble going on in this series, but that's really not true. They can just put together words that sound good like Star Trek did. The author would have had to know about past comic figures though, such as Atlas and Samson who make an appearance here. I wasn't too familiar with their standing in the world of comics (although I know the figures from mythology and the Old Testament). After looking them up, it seems that they come from a Golden Age of comics, some even pre-dating DC Comics (but still having some relation to the latter company as evidenced in crossovers). One version of Atlas gained his powers by absorbing an alien crystal giving him his powers and allowing him to exist outside of time. In All*Star Superman Atlas makes reference to Zeus and the like, so he may not be the same character. Samson, as a comic character, is apparently a descendant of the original Samson, also having super strength and agility (so long as his hair isn't cut). This may or may not be the same Samson seen in All*Star, but I can't seem to find any other Samson presence in comic books. I'd be curious to know what other history or evidence people may have on these supporting characters.
I don't really plan on using aliens and implausible science in my own story, but in reading this and other superhero comic books, I have become interested in the idea of a superhero, and how that might be translated into a real world setting, or at least some delusional manifestation of it for one of my minor characters.