Movie Review: ALL STAR SUPERMAN – 2011

Published by Shah Shahid on

One of the greatest Superman comic stories has been adapted into an animated film, which tells the story of the last days of Superman himself. My Comic Book Review of the story can be found here, while this is my Movie Review of ALL STAR SUPERMAN…

Blank Page Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

All Star Superman 2011 DC Comics Lex Luthor Lois Lane

ALL STAR SUPERMAN can be considered a compilation of the Man Of Steel’s greatest moments and achievements as he winds down his life, and how he decides to leave his legacy to the world. After being sabotaged by Lex Luthor into absorbing too much solar radiation, Superman develops a sort of ‘super cancer’ which overloads his cells with the end result of killing him. The story shows us how the greatest super-hero on Earth, prepares for eventual death.

As amazingly creative and brilliant ALL STAR SUPERMAN is, it seems like it would be inaccessible to newer audiences as a stand alone story, given it’s many references to the Superman mythos and canon stories. It’s not a pre-requisite to know all details of everything, however, a lot of the concepts, plot points, relationship between characters are based on pre-existing scenarios that are referred to, however, casually. For example: To understand the impact of Lois Lane finding out Superman’s true identity of Clark Kent, one needs to be aware of the years of effort that’s gone into maintaining that deception.

All Star Superman 2011 DC Comics Lex Luthor Lois Lane

Despite this, it’s a wonderful animated adaptation of a great comic story that is able to convey a lot of the impact of the book into movie form. Despite some editing of certain subplots from the graphic novel, the story flows at an even pace, and is able to maintain the necessary tone and impact of the comic. Frank Quietly’s simple unpolished artwork is replicated very closely in animation. The characters feel real, within the world of a comic. The jaw lines are exaggerated, yet subtle. The clothing has seams and wrinkles that move with the characters. Superman’s shortened cape gives him a regale look, while also maintaining his somber and wise attitude.

This characterization of Superman has a lot of tones that have certain finality to them. Almost being a record of his last moments on Earth, ALL STAR SUPERMAN gives us the superhero in a wiser, more reflective personality. This is evident as he narrates his adventures to Lois Lane while taking her on a tour of his Fortress Of Solitude.

All Star Superman 2011 DC Comics Lex Luthor Lois Lane

The movie features many characters and villains from the history of Superman’s long career, while providing him with some final threats to deal with; namely, Lex Luthor. The story works on great levels of in your face action, coupled with contemplative tones that subtly analyze the impact and effect of the character archetype of Superman in the modern world. A brilliant adaptation, ALL STAR SUPERMAN, while not being the best choice for fans unfamiliar with the characters history, is a must watch for Superman-iacs.

Get The Blu-ray & Book

Did you prefer ‘All Star Superman’ the movie or the comic book?

Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


Tim The Film Guy · January 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

As a comic fan I loved this film. And the fact that it will never get a live action adaptation means its only one we will get 😀

    Shah Shahid · January 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Hey Tim! Thanks for the comment!

    I absolutely agree! It’s one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve ever seen, both in terms of storytelling AND art

    I feel that with these expanded live action shared Universes, these one shot Graphic Novels should be looked at for self contained individual stories of certain super hero characters.

      Tim The Film Guy · January 26, 2014 at 5:05 AM

      You know what I really want them to get right with the Superman/batman film, the banter between the two characters, its always so great to see in the animated films and tv shows. Its something they have to get right 😀

        Shah Shahid · January 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        I agree completely. I expect more of a conflicted banter though, Batman looking down on Supes, Superman condemning Bats’ way of doing thins, etc. Kinda like Captain America & Iron Man in THE AVENGERS. Ending with mutual respect.

Victor De Leon · January 27, 2014 at 9:06 PM

I love this film. I just re-read the books, myself and I am always moved by the material and I think the animated movie does it justice on so many levels!

DC has been upstaging Marvel on the animated film front of late. I think it’s because they favor the established story arcs over newly written material which is a good move on their part.

Great job, Shah!

    Shah Shahid · January 27, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Thanks Vic. Love getting your opinion on the comics stuff!
    I honestly think that DC needs to hand over the reigns to their established live action universes, be it TV or movie, to the guys at the animated side of things. They are able to create quite a good shared Universe through the animated films. And it’s the closest thing DC has to a shared Universe right now. At least as consultants. It’s further sad to see DC’s lack of success on the live action front, given their awe-mazing-ness on the animated side of things. Bah.

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *