Grant Morrison to write Superman

Or, more specifically, the “All-Star” Superman (DC’s answer to Marvel’s Ultimates line). Read about it here - great interview.

I know through my “sources” that Grant had pitched DC on a Superman revamp a few years ago that ended up getting rejected. Supposedly it was the failure of that which “drove” him to do X-Men.

Probably this pitch is what you’re talking about.

The proposal itself was quite hush-hush, and it supposedly involved stuff like “‘Metallo: the Man with the Red Kryptonite Heart’, Superman inscribing his diaries on a ‘Super-molecule’ with his heat vision, and Superman counting the number of microbes that died in the breath of the person he was talking to each time he exhaled. They had also completely redesigned Superman’s rogues gallery and made plans for a new fortress, in which would hang the ship of dreams itself, the Titanic.” (from the JLA/JSA panel at WizardWorld 1999)

Though, DC All-Stars is designed to maintain the core attributes of the character, but to be free of continuity, so this wonky revamp might either be not used at all, or scaled down a lot.

EDIT: Don’t forget that Quitely is drawing it! Grant wouldn’t write this unless Quitely was drawing.

So … um … thread resurrection of doom: What did people think about All-Star Superman? I may be very, very late to the party, but I just picked up the hardcover. And I really liked it. I’ve never been particularly fond of Superman (maybe because most of what I’ve read is 70s and 80s fare, which is … condensed banality at best) before, but Morrison’s version is so much more vivid.

For instance, the Clark Kent character is much more interesting now than anything I’ve ever read before. He’s bumbling and slow and graceless. He’s become “Superman’s judgement of humanity” to a much greater degree. Morrison also has a lot more fun with the fact that Superman is still Superman under Clark Kent’s suit. For instance, Kent goes to a prison to interview Luthor. Just then, the Parasite rolls past him, strapped to a wheelchair.

Lois Lane is also portrayed as a much less sympathetic character, Jimmy Olsen is no longer Superman’s jolly sidekick, but a superficial pimp-cum-klutz who writes silly feature columns. Everything is Morrison’d up a bit. Superman has designed anti-Superman weapons in case he goes berserk. One of his ascendants is Mzxplxl (did I spell that correctly?) decked up in a Superman suit, riding a cloud. Everything that can be genetically enhanced is genetically enhanced. Lex Luthor cites Hitler as one of his personal heroes.

It’s still whimsical and silly, of course, being Superman. It’s just more fun than before. It’s got genetically manipulated human bombs that bitch about having their right to self-realization constrained. The only thing I didn’t particularly like was the colouring. It occasionally detracted from Quitely’s linework. Which I don’t love, but it’s very well-composed, not as loud as most modern comics and it’s very expressive. Well duh.

What did everyone else think?

The last All-Star Superman comics I got to read were the Bizarro World ones. And they were GREAT. Explaining Bizarros as an alien organism’s attempt to mimic us but only getting the broadest of strokes was a great explanation of just what the hell a Bizarro is. Zibarro was great too. Here I though Morrison would turn him into a desperate villain but he turns out to be as understanding as Superman.

Marvelous old-school stuff. The done-in-one issues had the feel of 70’s Action Comics with a modern sensibility.

BUT, the Bizarro stuff kind of lost me. It felt simultaneously overcompressed and stretched out, as if the big picture was being slighted in favor of a smaller idea that really couldn’t fill the space. Taking the action off of Earth felt like a mistake.

I haven’t gotten there yet. Going to pick up next trade paperback or hardcover when it comes out. I can’t be arsed with hunting down single issues.

What I loved about them is Morrison really gets the difference between Kent and Superman. Most writers just stick Superman in glasses or Batman in a suit and call it good. Morrison gets that Superman and Kent are completely different characters and writes them that way.

If it’s just Superman in glasses it’s not a very good secret identity, is it?

It’s already a terrible secret identity-- their faces look identical, except for the glasses. Any idiot would figure it out, especially given that Clark disappears whenever Superman is flying around. If he was smart, he would have figured out a way to change his physical appearance more drastically when he was in Clark mode.

I’ve heard nothing but negative things about Morrison’s Superman run - it’s been characterized by some of the comic sites as a major misstep for the all-star brand.

I’m glad to hear those opinions aren’t unanimous, since I like Morrison. I really wonder what the x-men would be like if he had remained at the helm for another 4-5 years.

They’re high. The thing about this book is that it works against all odds. It’s very close in tone to the “Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow?” story that Moore did right before Byrne took over the book in 80s.

I also have no idea what the “All Star Brand” is supposed to be. It’s really just turned out to be another ElseWorlds type thing where the high concept is what if PersonX recreated CharacterY?

Seriously? I thought Miller’s All-Star Batman was the worst of the bunch. Some people are being charitable and calling it a parody, but I think it’s just Sin Gotham, since he’s apparently forgotten how to write anything else.

It’s a rip of Marvel’s “Ultimate” line - basically just a streamlined version of the “classic” character, without all the continuity, etc. That may be why people have a problem with Morrison - he usually has his unique take on things, and isn’t going to write a vanila story.

Well, I get that was the intention. Not sure that’s what it turned out to be. And even the Ultimate line just go too complicated too fast.

That may be why people have a problem with Morrison - he usually has his unique take on things, and isn’t going to write a vanila story.

Plus he’s created a universe with as much backstory as the DCU. And then he actually went ahead and made the actual DCU more complicated.

I haven’t read it, but not surprised, and agree re: Ultimate line. They really would have had to keep a tight creative reign on these guys if they actually wanted the line to be anything other than “good writer/artist’s take on this character”. I don’t see either the Ulimate or all-star lines surviving 5 more years.

All-Star isn’t exactly a “rip” of the Ultimate line, except in purpose. There’s an “Ultimate Marvel Universe” but there hasn’t ever been any expressed intention of tying the All-Star lines together. The league and Superman of Miller are obviously not the same as Morrison’s. All the AS imprint ever will be is “good writer/artist’s take on said character.”

Although I’ve heard gripes about Morrison’s Superman, I would be surprised to hear it ranked lower than ever-delayed All-Star “I’m the goddamned” Batman.