All Star Superman #4 Review

Before talking about this issue specifically, let me make a comment about the title in general. How awesome is it that Superman has a "cool" title? When the hell is the last time Superman was "cool?" I think it probably goes all the way back to Byrne's first issues (like them or not, they were "cool" at the time). That's really impressive, and I'm grateful to Morrison and Quitely for at least giving us that.

Now, on to the issue. If you recall, I made a comment about Casanova #1 being the best book out this week, unless All Star Superman #4 was "extra amazing." I made a miscalculation with my statement. I think All Star Superman #4 was better than Casanova #1, but at the same time, I don't think that All Star Superman #4 was "extra amazing." In fact, I think it may have been the "weakest" of the four All Star Superman issues. However, the weakest of All Star Superman was still good enough to be the best book I read this week.

The coolest thing about this issue, by far, was Morrison's Jimmy Olsen. What a character!! In the Silver Age, there never really seemed to be much interest in whether Jimmy was cool or not, and post-Crisis, the consensus seemed to be that Jimmy WASN'T cool. Well, All Star Jimmy Olsen has an answer to it all - he IS cool, and I love it! The idea that Jimmy is such a popular columnist is a brilliant idea on Morrison's part, especially the scene quickly after that line with Perry White explaining how Clark is still the better journalist. That's awesome - building Jimmy up without tearing Clark down. It reminds me of something the Superman writers FAILED to do recently (when Jimmy got a promotion at Clark's expense).

Beyond the whole "Jimmy as a confident, cool yet still dorky in a way" thing, it was awesome to see Jimmy be so protective of Superman. It reminded me of this great Jimmy Olsen story from decades ago, where the Phantom Zone criminals manipulate things from the Phantom Zone so that Jimmy is confronted with Superman's secret identity. They hope that this will drive a wedge between the two friends. Only thing is, Jimmy, when he realizes what he's seeing, closes his eyes and KEEPS them closed! How awesome is that? He's so willing to protect his friend that he not only turns down the scoop of the century, but even his own human desire to know the secret identity of his friend. So cool, and this is mirrored in this story, where Jimmy protects Superman after Superman is turned by Black Kryptonite into an evil opposite of normal Superman and also when Jimmy makes sure not to use any of the amazing events of the day in his article. All for his friendship with Superman.

Great stuff.

Quitely's art is, as usual, awesome. He is able to draw fantastical events while still getting all the little touches right. Except, of course, for one minor scene that seems to have been a mistake. Two cool points to someone who can come up with a good explanation for why the musical producers thank Jimmy and Superman for saving them from the monster that Jimmy still looks like - why would the producers think the monster was someone else?

On top of the main plot, there were so many cool little scenes, like Jimmy in drag, the moon scene at the end, the infinity bank account - all these scenes (and humor) on top of a great, character-driven plot filled with action?!?!? Not even the impressive Casanova #1 can keep up with that, so I will have to pick, in the great ASS vs. Cass debate, ASS #4.

Recommended without reservation.

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