Back in September MTV unveiled the trailer for the upcoming “All-Star Superman” direct to DVD movie. DC has been pretty successful with their recent string of DC Animated Universe (DCAU) movies but I’ll be skipping this one. I’ve been told on several occasions that the comic book this DVD is based upon is among the best Superman books ever written and some of Grant Morrison’s best work. It has won multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards among other accolades and it was very successful with it’s sales figures.
So what’s my problem? I just can’t get past the art. I’ve tried to read the book on several occasions, but I just can’t do it. The cover of the first issue has Superman sitting on a cloud looking back to us with a bit of a smug look; and then there’s The Chin. Superman has this mutant, Jay Leno chin that just shuts me down. Between The Chin and that smug look, I lose all interest in the book.
But don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? So I try to give it a chance, but page after page the art kills me. Once we move past The Chin his look morphs into this pursed-lip look that makes me think of late nineties boy bands. It’s the same look the animators gave Johnny Quest in one of the many attempts to revive that series. I don’t know if it supposed to be pouty, sexy, bad boy or what, but I don’t really care for it so I give up.
In discussions about comic theory I’ve seen points argued that if the writing isn’t the best then great art can keep readers and the inverse bad art can be overcome by great writing. I’ve agreed with this theory in the past but no more. I’ve finally found a case where the art is such a turnoff for me that no manner of great writing could keep me reading the book.
Bruce Timm has consistently entertained me since his days on “Tiny Toon Adventures” in the early 1990s. His work in the DC Animated Universe has introduced an entire generation or two to the superheroes I grew up reading about and potentially created a new generation of comic readers. But this time I just can’t be there for you, Bruce. When the movie comes out on DVD in February, I’ll be skipping it.
Sorry, Supes, maybe next time.