All-Star Superman (Blu-ray)


“Sorry, Lois. The last thing I wanted on your special day was a reptile invasion from the Earth’s core.”
“I’d have felt cheated if there weren’t monsters.”

Oh, an army of reptile monsters is just the top of a very, very long checklist. Sinister Kryptonians bent on world domination! A time-traveling arm-wrestling contest! Ennumerated robots! A dwarf-star house key! A Kryptonian city shrunk down to fit in a bottle! A heavily-bandaged

[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]Superman from the far-flung future! 24 hour super-serums! A paranoid Lois Lane skulking around the Fortress of Solitude with a Kryptonite death ray! A baby Sun Eater fed by artificial stars Supes hammers out on his cosmic anvil! An Ultra-Sphinx chasing down his radioactive jewelry! Lex Luthor and his nefarious niece plotting and scheming the downfall of the Man of Steel!

All-Star Superman opens in the middle of one of those death traps, even. Super-scientist Leo Quintum is manning an expedition to snatch a little bit of fire from the sun when all of a sudden…gasp! One of his genetically-engineered assistants transforms into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. This human bomb smashes the ship’s controls, and just when he’s about to approach critical mass, the hatch door is ripped open! Superman and this ticking timebomb wrestle on the outer edge of the sun for a bit, and when he emerges victorious, the Man of Steel grabs Quintum’s solarcraft and shuttles it safely to P.R.O.J.E.C.T.’s space station for repair. In fact, spending that much time that close to the sun hypercharged Superman’s solar batteries. His strength has at least tripled, and he’s started to exhibit all sorts of shiny new powers. Another sinister scheme of Lex Luthor’s foiled by the Man of Tomorrow, right? Well…no, not at all. It’s all going entirely according to plan. That close proximity to the sun oversaturated Superman’s cells. He’s stronger now, sure, but beneath the surface, his cellular structure is exploding like kernels of popcorn. The clock’s ticking until Superman dies, and there’s no cure on the horizon. …but hey, this is the Man of Tomorrow we’re talking about. He’s a cup-half-full kinda guy, and he’s making the most of every moment he has left. There are plenty of mighty challenges left for him to knock out, not to mention Lex Luthor’s final, fatal gambit to take the reins of the world at large.

Considering just how many comic books the Man of Steel pops up in every month, it’s saying a lot that Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s twelve issues of All-Star Superman make for the best spin on this iconic character in many, many decades. I’d even argue that these are some of the best comics, period — any character, any publisher, any thing — in the nearly thirty years I’ve been a rabid fan. A big part of the genius of these comics is the way Morrison weaves the unhinged fantasy

[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]of the Silver Age with a grounded modern sensibility. There’s something strange and wonderful on nearly every page of these books, but Morrison doesn’t play it up as corny camp. In this version of Metropolis, an invading subterranean lizard army just means it’s Tuesday. There’s something so infectiously magical about being bombarded with all of these bizarre sights while everyone in the book shrugs them off as an everyday occurrence. In an era of decompressed storytelling when a character can’t bake a quiche without at least a six issue arc and probably a crossover behind it, Morrison and Quitely distill Superman’s legendary origin story down to a few startlingly efficient panels. There’s the overarching arc of Superman and the sickness that’s slowly overtaking him, sure, but there’s also a steady stream of satisfyingly complete self-contained stories, each of which span only an issue or two.

There’s no need for reams of pages of narration or exposition. The storytelling breezes along nimbly and efficiently, aided brilliantly by the expressiveness of Frank Quitely’s art. You don’t need a thought bubble or caption to tell you what’s bobbing around in a character’s head; you can see everything you need to know on his or her face. Even with the manic pace and rampant randomness of it all, All-Star Superman is an intensely character-driven book to boot. Steel-willed, inquisitive, and alluring, this is the best take on Lois Lane you’ll ever read. Lex Luthor is colder, more determined, and more brilliant than ever. His hatred of Superman boils down to a love…a pride…of what humanity represents, and there’s a strong personality burning beneath the sinister machinations. He’s not a plot device there because the story demands a badnik and Lex Luthor just so happens to be the one with the most marquee value. And Superman…wow. While so many other comics are desperately trying to figure out how dark and depraved they can make theiir superheroes, this Superman is a hero in the truest, most classic sense. He seems so relaxed and at ease in his skin, and…well, why wouldn’t he? He’s the mightiest man in the galaxy, after all. There’s never a glimmer of

[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]moping or despair. Superman doesn’t make his impending doom about him; it’s a hurdle he has to bound over if he’s going to make the world safe for truth, justice, and all the rest. One of my favorite things about the book is how Clark Kent is constantly bumping into people and knocking over things, saving who knows how many lives without anyone even cluing in…nudging them out of harm’s way while pretending that he’s just a clumsy, bumbling oaf. He’s never not helping to make the world a better place.

Maybe you’re skimming through all this and wondering why it reads like more of a review of the All-Star Superman comic and not so much the animated adaptation. Well, that’s because this movie is the comic. I’ll admit that I was very skeptical about how an adaptation of some of my all-time favorite comics would work, but as luck would have it, All-Star Superman is staffed by wide-eyed fans who love these stories every bit as much as I do. Just about everything on the page makes its way to the screen. The character designs are as strong a representation of Frank Quitely’s immediately distinctive style as I could ever have hoped to see. The sparkling wit of Grant Morrison’s dialogue remains fully intact and is delivered flawlessly by a talented roster of actors that includes Ed Asner, James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthony LaPaglia, and Linda Cardellini. The sleek efficiency to the storytelling is present and accounted for as well, ensuring that the pacing screams ahead without ever being difficult to follow. All-Star Superman captures every last bit of the awe, wonder, wide-eyed fun, and emotion that define the comics, and I have no problem admitting that I started to tear up at the very, very end. Of course, being a 76 minute movie, not everything could make it in, but the self-contained nature of so many of the original comics’ stories makes that a cinch to handle. This adaptation revolves around Superman, Lois, and Lex, and some of the side adventures — Jimmy being handed the keys to P.R.O.J.E.C.T., a visit from legions of Supermen from the future, the politics of Kandor, and a jaunt to Bizarro World — were understandably nixed. None of the essentials have been compromised even a little bit, and none of what didn’t make it in is missed. There’s only one noteworthy change that really stands out in my mind — the rejiggering of a hopeful note at the end — and without giving anything away, it’s even more satisfying than the way the comics come to a close. There’s nothing about the All-Star Superman comics that I don’t love, and I’m kind of thrilled that I get to say the same about this animated adaptation too. Very Highly Recommended.

Video


A couple of minor sputters and stutters aside, All-Star Superman looks every bit as incredible as you’d expect in high-def. The linework is, as ever, exceptionally crisp and well-defined. Some shots are cast in a slightly diffused glow, so the clarity deliberately doesn’t always pop! in that same way, but generally, the definition showcased here is first-rate. Its palette is bright and vivid too, definitely bringing to mind the four-color superheroics of years past. This Blu-ray disc does come with a DVD, and that makes quick comparisons easy enough to snap. Admittedly, the compression on this bonus DVD is almost certainly a lot clunkier than the retail disc, but maybe it’ll still give you some idea what to expect.



DVD
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]

Blu-ray
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]

In this next set, Lois and Superman are a tiny handful of blurry pixels on the DVD but are crisply defined on Blu-ray. Really, you can say the same about pretty much everything else too:



DVD
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]

Blu-ray
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]

The downside…? The authoring in All-Star Superman isn’t as sloppy as it’s been in many of DC’s other direct-to-video animated titles, but some of the same problems as ever do rear their head once again. Banding isn’t as frequent a nuisance as usual but does pop up in the night sky. There’s also some nasty artifacting. Pop open the screenshot below and take a peek at Superman’s blocky red cape, what a mess Lois’ hair is, and the heavily aliased linework.

[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]

The authoring hiccups aren’t even close to being a dealbreaker, so please don’t let that turn you off from picking up this Blu-ray disc. It’s disappointing mostly because it’s so unnecessary. All Star Superman‘s AVC encode — along with a lossless soundtrack, an audio commentary, and four dubs — has been crammed into the space of 11.5 gigs. Even after adding in all the extras, right at a quarter of the capacity of this BD-25 disc remains untouched. I just don’t get it: the runway is long enough…why not use it?

Audio


All-Star Superman sports a lossless soundtrack and all — 16-bit, six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio — but it’s really not all [click on the thumbnail to enlarge]that cinematic. The sound design is anchored just about entirely up front. There’s some reverb to the dialogue in the more cavernous backdrops, and every once in a while, an effect will escape to the rear channels: a tire bouncing from the front to the right surround, debris scattering around, the mayhem throughout Parasite’s rampage at the prison, and…oh, why not?…an exploding tyrant sun. This is basically a stereo track with a few extra channels tossed in as an afterthought. Considering the staggering scale of what happens here, the mix sounds surprisingly cramped. We’re definitely not talking about one of those action soundtracks that fills every square inch of the room. Bass response is decent — such as when Superman bounds back to Earth, bouncing across the ground like a skipping stone — but nothing all that remarkable. The recording of the dialogue is very clean and clear, though.

Don’t get me wrong: the audio on All-Star Superman isn’t disappointing, exactly, but it’s not as booming or expansive as a story with this kind of scope ought to be. There were a couple of points where I toggled back and forth between this 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio track and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs, and I really couldn’t pick out much of a difference. I guess the final word goes something like “good, but not great”.

There are also two Dolby Digital 5.1 (640kbps) soundtracks: one in French and the other in German. The dubs in Spanish and Portuguese are limited to Dolby Digital stereo (192kbps) only. Subtitles are offered in English (SDH), German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Extras


The DC Showcase shorts on the past few Blu-ray discs have kind of stolen the show, and it’s kind of a drag that there isn’t a new one this time around. The extras that are here are pretty great, though. For anyone still mulling over what format to buy this on, the audio commentary, “The Creative Flow” featurette, and the scan of All-Star Superman #1 are all exclusive to this Blu-ray release.

  • Audio Commentary: This conversation between [click on the thumbnail to enlarge]Bruce Timm and Grant Morrison frequently feels more like a commentary about the All-Star Superman comics rather than this adaptation, not that I’m complaining. The emphasis is very much on the inspiration behind the way so many of its characters and concepts are introduced, how the series so successfully distills the very best of thousands of Superman comics into twelve issues, and the way it honors the fantastic whimsy of the Silver Age in an era where everything’s trying to out-grim-and-gritty everyone else. The two of them also speak about the challenges of adapting Frank Quitely’s distinctive style to the screen and how an animated film can’t fully capture the language of comics. I was pleasantly surprised to hear what each of them points to as their all-time favorite animated superhero stories as well. Think of it as less of a screen-specific audio commentary and more a discussion about the art of storytelling by two exceptionally talented people.

  • Superman Now (34 min.; HD): The centerpiece of the extras on this Blu-ray disc is a half-hour look at the All-Star Superman comic. Driven almost entirely by Grant Morrison, this is an extremely thorough and insightful look into the best interpretation of the Man of Steel in many decades. The discussion is heavily oriented around the concept, the construction of a series with a defined endpoint, and Morrison drawing as deeply from mythology and the Renaissance every bit as much as from a half-century’s worth of Superman comics. Although artist Frank Quitely isn’t featured on camera, his work is discussed at length as well, particularly the expressiveness and theatrical exaggeration throughout this book. It’s essential viewing for anyone picking up this Blu-ray disc.

  • The Creative Flow: Incubating the Idea with Grant Morrison (10 min.; HD, sort of): Grant Morrison narrates over a large selection of his preliminary sketches for what would become the All-Star Superman comics, such as the triumphant return of Bizarro World, toying with many different costume concepts, trimming back the then-current Superman’s mullet, and streamlining the iconic shield. Morrison also touches on some of the other titles that were being mulled over at the time, such as “Superman Now”, which obviously inspired the title of the disc’s other featurette. “The Creative Flow” is presented in HD, but the native resolution varies wildly, I guess depending on what Morrison had handy to rescan and what was snapped with digital cameras years and years ago. There’s a lot of low-res stock footage of skyscrapers and bustling city streets for whatever reason too.

  • Bruce Timm’s Picks (40 min.; SD): The two-parter “Blasts from the Past”, culled from Superman: The Animated Series, swirls around the Phantom Zone and a couple of megalomaniacal Kryptonian soldiers. Since the projector and a similar set of his-and-her Kryptonian warriors are showcased in All-Star Superman, I can see why Bruce Timm would dust these particular episodes off the shelf.

  • Virtual Comic: Every last page of All-Star Superman #1 has been scanned in here if you want a quick preview of these comics that you kind of desperately need to own, if you don’t already. Even though these are high [click on the thumbnail to enlarge]resolution images, the dialogue can be pretty tough to read at a normal viewing distance.

  • Shameless Plugs: Also included is a sneak peek at Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (12 min.; HD). A featurette on Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (12 min.; SD) and a minute-long trailer for Batman: Under the Red Hood (SD) round out the extras.

The second disc in the set doubles as a DVD that’ll spin in any set-top player and a digital copy. For anyone keeping track at home, the digital copy will work with both iTunes and Windows Media-powered devices. All-Star Superman also comes packaged in a very striking embossed slipcover.

The Final Word


Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s run on the All-Star Superman comics was flawless, brilliantly encapsulating the best of decades upon decades upon decades of Superman stories into twelve exceptional issues. I’d be kind of terrified to think about how many thousands of comics I have in longboxes and trade paperbacks, but out of all of ’em, I’d rank All-Star Superman as some of my very, very favorites. I’ll admit to being kind of uneasy when I first heard about this animated adaptation, thinking it’d be pretty much impossible to do a story like this justice, and…well, I’m very glad to say I was wrong. All-Star Superman is phenomenal, capturing every bit of the wide-eyed fun, rich characterization, smart subtleties, and resounding emotions that cemented the comics as instant classics. It’s easily the most family-friendly of DC’s recent slate of direct-to-video animation too, so there’s that. It doesn’t matter how old (or young!) you are or how long it’s been since you last picked up a comic with the Man of Steel: you need to see All-Star Superman. Very, very Highly Recommended.

From: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/46936/dcu-all-star-superman/

All-Star Superman

‘It all comes out right in the end’: A review of the All-Star Superman movie

All-Star Superman

Warner Bros’ animated adaptation of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman is so reverent and faithful toward the source material that the film, to a certain extent, feels like a pale copy of its inspiration.

That’s not necessarily a damning criticism. Bruce Timm and company took the right approach in attempting to get as close a conversion from page to screen as possible (to do otherwise would have pleased no one). But the comic itself is so rich in detail and episodic in nature that even a trim, streamlined version like this that still manages to hit a number of the right high points feels a bit flabby in comparison. Saying “the book is better” is a rather easy cheat for a critic — the book is almost always better, but I suspect that fans of the comic won’t be able to watch this without running a compare/contrast checklist in their head and find the film coming up a wee bit short. The good news is that those coming fresh to the material probably won’t notice anything wrong at all.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the film is as faithful to the comic as possible. Screenwriter Dwayne McDuffie lifts the dialogue verbatim from the comic whenever he has the opportunity, and he has plenty of them. What’s more, while the animation is a bit sleeker and cleaner than Quitely’s rough, minimalist pen lines, the animators do their best to mimic the artist’s unique character expressions, posture and body types throughout the film and copy his panel composition whenever the opportunity arises. Many fans will no doubt thrill at seeing sequences like Superman kissing a super-powered Lois on the moon not only animated but done as a near-xerox copy of the original, iconic panel.

Lois and Kal-El take flight

More importantly, director Sam Liu manages to maintain the overall contemplative tone and atmosphere of Morrison and Quitely’s masterpiece. It’s certainly one of the most subdued, nakedly sincere and emotional films they’ve ever done, at least compared to past WB/DC films like Under the Red Hood and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Matching and maintaining this sort of wistful, inspirational attitude from the comic without coming off as corny or false must have been exceedingly tricky, so kudos to Liu and company for getting that rather essential part right.

Indeed, certain sequences, like Clark Kent’s interview with Luthor in prison manage to capture the comic’s balletic farce rather well while still adding some of new bits to it. Occasionally they even manage to top the comic — there’s a gag involving Superman’s star-dense Fortress of Solitude key that actually works better animated than it did in print.

But with only a 76-minute running time, it’s not terribly surprising that a number of sequences would get edited out. As one might expect, the film hones its focus on the Superman/Lex Luthor/Lois Lane triangle, with (in case you’re not familiar with the over-arcing story) Superman finally falling terminally ill to one of Luthor’s traps and attempting to put his affairs in order, especially with Lois, before his time is up.

Lex Luthor

The comic, of course, was as much an ode to the classic Superman stories of the past as it was an exploration of the character itself and what makes him so mythic. Thus, the filmmakers attempt to nod toward this by inserting some of the less plot-essential sequences like the battle of wits between Sampson, Atlas and Superman. The one sequence that unfortunately sticks out like a sore thumb is the one involving the Kryptonian astronauts Bar-El and Lilo. It’s not one of my favorite bits from the comic, and my own preference would have been to ditch that for perhaps the Jimmy Olsen sequence in issue #3 instead, or something from issue #10, where he cures children’s cancer, creates a new pocket universe and saves a girl from committing suicide. The choice to include Bar-El and Lilo makes thematic sense — their arrogant behavior provides a nice contrast to Superman’s own humility — but it does underscore the original material’s episodic nature and make the film feel like it’s trying to take a deep breath before moving on to its finale.

I usually don’t have much to say about the voice work in these films unless I hate it, but everyone does a rather good job this time around. James Denton and Christina Hendricks give a nice gravitas to their characters and the interplay between them works rather well. Special note, however, should be given to Anthony LaPaglia, who nails Luthor’s quiet arrogance and jealousy rather well.

What big hands you have Kal-El

Usually the special features sections of these DVDs are an embarrassment, with lots of unwarranted self-congratulation and allegedly in-depth looks at the histories of various characters and comics that are as shallow as dishwater. For once, however, the supplemental materials are worthwhile.

The main feature is a documentary titled “Superman Now” that features Morrison talking about the origins of the original 12-issue comic and how it came together, as well as a video segment where he shows off his original sketches for the series and talks about how they evolved over time. Even if you’ve heard Morrison talk about these things in past interviews, it’s still entertaining to see him mull over them once again.

There’s also a commentary track featuring Morrison and Timm that vacillates between insightful and glad-handed compliments, where each tells the other how much they love their work. Despite the schmoozing and occasional quiet lapses, there are notable moments, as when Morrison talks about the larger themes he was trying to address in the comic or Timm talks about how tricky it was to capture Quietly’s style in animation. It’s especially interesting to note Timm’s hesitancy about whether this more subdued, thoughtful type of material will play well before the traditional superhero fanboy audience. Would the same crowd, he asks, that cheered at the violence on display in Red Hood appreciate a more restrained film like this? I’d like to think so, but it seemed telling to me that Timm took the time to pose the question at all.

There’s also a preview of the next DCU film, a hodge-podge of Green Lantern stories titled Emerald Knights, no doubt designed as a tie-in to the upcoming live-action film. The most notable (and, honestly, unsurprising) revelation was that they plan on adapting Alan Moore’s “Mogo” story. They’d kind of be silly not to.

Despite my reservations, All-Star Superman is an entertaining movie and should please fans whether they’ve read the original mini-series or not. But there’s also no doubt that the film’s struggles to capture the particular mood of the comic and determine what to prune and what to keep make the film’s pacing a bit bumpy, to put it charitably. It would have been nice to expect a film equal in stature to the comic — nice, but unfair and more than the WB animators could no doubt execute given their financial limitations. At best the film is an enjoyable supplement, one that will allow fans to contemplate just what was so special about the original work that drew them toward it in the first place.

19 Comments

Interesting – no mention or opinion of the ending? Was, in that case, the book better than the movie? I wish they had found a way to include the failed suicide scene – that’s so Superman to save a life, no matter how busy – no matter the situation!

It’s unrealistic to expect this to even approach the quality of the source materials, given the limitations in budget and format. I am, however, looking forward to it, and am glad to hear that, within it’s scope, it does a good job.

In my opinion, the material required a bolder approach if it was going to be adapted to an A/V medium. Something like a high-end HBO miniseries would have probably given them the space to flesh out the story, but I doubt that such a project would be economically feasible.

In any case, I’ll be snatching this up as soon as I see it in stores. All-Star Superman (I wish they had changed that name for collected editions) is my favorite superhero comic book period.

I did prefer the idea that Luthor, rather than Superman, decoded the Kryptonian genetic structure. It’s not a big thing, but as was the case with All Star Superman itself it was the small things that made it so special.

It was a brilliant animated movie, easily the best thus far, with the best voice cast of any of them across the board.

I just watched it last night. It was very boring and seemed to go one forever. I won’t be buying this one.

I was kind of surprised that Supes lets people die in order to protect his secret identity. Parasite sucks the life-force from guards left and right while Clark goes running around with Luthor trying to get him to talk.

I have been waiting for a Grant Morrison story to be addapted forever !! A good adaptation to boot .I enjoyed the film from begining to end,it captures the brilliant Morrison writing and the lush drawings of Frank Queitly very well.My only gripe is I wish there where more of the eccentric and mythical stories from the book,alas there enough material for a whole series(as is the case when Grant Morrison is writing!!) I would have to have seen “The Black Kyptonite” story or the “Bizzarro” infestation or “Young Superman” story.
Considering the length I was impressed with all that was shown.Morrisons blend of heart and emotion with over the top science fiction action and phillosophical wierdness makes All Star Superman a work of high art,the animated version has captured much of that.Taking old concepts like superheros/supervillians and reinvigorating them with post modern and wholistic concepts is what makes this book and film work,mortality rebirth, and the legacy of our deeds is at the center of this work. To those who have commented about the film being boring ,Morrison/Quitley may be many things but never boring.Let us hope that future adaptations are as good if not better.

I think that not having Supes punch out Lex was an improvement, and brings home both Supes’ aim to not use violence, and Lex’s own growth as he finally understands Superman.

I enjoyed this a lot. It was not perfect – even putting aside that the transcendent tenth issue was left out – but it was a good Superman film from people who love the character and the world. That the voice acting was great to amazing is not a bad thing, either.

And gotta say, it is far more fun when the creator spends his time saying how much he loves an adaptation than when he goes out of his way to be critical. Moore might be the better writer, but Grant is the better fan.

Well, for one thing, they didn’t change anything with the story unless they absolutley had to. Also, Moore has never gone out of his way to criticize adaptations of his work. He was asked, and he gave his opinion. This whole “fan” business is rubbish. Since when was it wrong to complain?

Cutting out issue 3 and huge chunks of issue 10… that sounds like a failure in adaptation to me. Issue 10 was easily the greatest Superman comic I’ve ever read, perhaps of all-time.

Haven’t seen it yet, but this review puts some of my reservations to rest.
I do think they’re FOREVER going to be explaining why they cut issue 10.
I’ll do my best to see this as a piece unto itself, if it works like that, I’ll forgive it.

I wonder how it’ll compare to NEW FRONTIER which is still my absolute favorite–I LOVE the quieter my personal/emotional stories.

I actually preferred the movie over the comic series ( In Fact I really dislike the comic series) However I loved the movie. I think by leaving out certain parts of the comic works well for me to keep for the 76 minute time window, but if they ever put out a directors cut with those scenes in the film I would be very interested in watching. The ending is true to the comic. If anything was a disappointment they left out the Bizzarro story.

I wonder if WB ever considered making All-Star Superman as a series of shorts, like The Spectre. They could of included them with the deluxe editions of each animated feature, maybe covering two or three issues per episode. Still, I’m glad that this work was adapted to animation as it is hands-down my favorite Superman story. Can’t wait to see it on Tuesday.

This film, unfortunately, plays as a motion comic, shorter, and with much lesser art. There is no reason for it to exist.

In the end, Superman murders a defenseless foe who is begging for mercy. What kind of scum could consider this to be anything but a perversion of Morrison’s story – or of the character?

Did not read it so I was hoping to see what was the big deal and can’t say I care for it. Just not my cup of tea. You are being nice when you say it is bumpy. No really going to pull out money for this.

It’s funny, but when I read the Grant Morrison run, I felt the Bizarro scenes were unnecessary, like a director’s cut, even though I still enjoyed them. Interesting that they left it out of them film. Also, in regards to the film, I felt that is was a bunch of cut scenes and short films slapped together. It did not have an organic feel to it. Again, I still enjoyed it, but ultimately, there was room for improvement. As a whole, DC’s animated films are superior to Marvel’s, and it is evident that DC won’t raise the bar because they don’t have to. Case in point, Marvel and DC didn’t raise the bar of their comics art quality until Image came along. Perhaps we need an ‘Image Comics’ to show the big 2 what can actually be done with comic book animation. I don’t know what Pixar has on the horizon in relation to Marvel, but once someone does raise the bar outside of the big two, look for the big two to give a start giving a damn, and follow suit.

To be honest I prefer Marvels animated films, mainly because they do there own thing and you don’t have to compare them to he comic too much.

DC’s tend to be very hit and miss, I don’t get why they don’t just do original animated stuff instead of just sourcing the comics.

Oh yeah it’s easy and creatively void, that’s why. Any aspect of the film that stands out as different from the comic is probably an animator weeping into his pay cheque.

I’ll try this but I wish DC would try harder.

I’ll check this out however, I have to say that I bought the issues a few years ago and just found the entire story to be boring, confusing and weird. Maybe I just don’t get it but I don’t see what is so great about Morrison. I really enjoy Bendis and Geoff Johns work and they live up to the hype.

Anyone else out there agree with me that Grant just isn’t a legend like everyone makes him out to be?

Gil – Totally agree. No doubt he’s intelligent, but his stuff (including all the latest Batman nonsense) just isn’t my bag.

Ho

Leave a Comment

From: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30932

‘It all comes out right in the end’: A review of the All-Star Superman movie

‘It all comes out right in the end’: A review of the All-Star Superman movie

All-Star Superman

Warner Bros’ animated adaptation of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman is so reverent and faithful toward the source material that the film, to a certain extent, feels like a pale copy of its inspiration.

That’s not necessarily a damning criticism. Bruce Timm and company took the right approach in attempting to get as close a conversion from page to screen as possible (to do otherwise would have pleased no one). But the comic itself is so rich in detail and episodic in nature that even a trim, streamlined version like this that still manages to hit a number of the right high points feels a bit flabby in comparison. Saying “the book is better” is a rather easy cheat for a critic — the book is almost always better, but I suspect that fans of the comic won’t be able to watch this without running a compare/contrast checklist in their head and find the film coming up a wee bit short. The good news is that those coming fresh to the material probably won’t notice anything wrong at all.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the film is as faithful to the comic as possible. Screenwriter Dwayne McDuffie lifts the dialogue verbatim from the comic whenever he has the opportunity, and he has plenty of them. What’s more, while the animation is a bit sleeker and cleaner than Quitely’s rough, minimalist pen lines, the animators do their best to mimic the artist’s unique character expressions, posture and body types throughout the film and copy his panel composition whenever the opportunity arises. Many fans will no doubt thrill at seeing sequences like Superman kissing a super-powered Lois on the moon not only animated but done as a near-xerox copy of the original, iconic panel.

Lois and Kal-El take flight

More importantly, director Sam Liu manages to maintain the overall contemplative tone and atmosphere of Morrison and Quitely’s masterpiece. It’s certainly one of the most subdued, nakedly sincere and emotional films they’ve ever done, at least compared to past WB/DC films like Under the Red Hood and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Matching and maintaining this sort of wistful, inspirational attitude from the comic without coming off as corny or false must have been exceedingly tricky, so kudos to Liu and company for getting that rather essential part right.

Indeed, certain sequences, like Clark Kent’s interview with Luthor in prison manage to capture the comic’s balletic farce rather well while still adding some of new bits to it. Occasionally they even manage to top the comic — there’s a gag involving Superman’s star-dense Fortress of Solitude key that actually works better animated than it did in print.

But with only a 76-minute running time, it’s not terribly surprising that a number of sequences would get edited out. As one might expect, the film hones its focus on the Superman/Lex Luthor/Lois Lane triangle, with (in case you’re not familiar with the over-arcing story) Superman finally falling terminally ill to one of Luthor’s traps and attempting to put his affairs in order, especially with Lois, before his time is up.

Lex Luthor

The comic, of course, was as much an ode to the classic Superman stories of the past as it was an exploration of the character itself and what makes him so mythic. Thus, the filmmakers attempt to nod toward this by inserting some of the less plot-essential sequences like the battle of wits between Sampson, Atlas and Superman. The one sequence that unfortunately sticks out like a sore thumb is the one involving the Kryptonian astronauts Bar-El and Lilo. It’s not one of my favorite bits from the comic, and my own preference would have been to ditch that for perhaps the Jimmy Olsen sequence in issue #3 instead, or something from issue #10, where he cures children’s cancer, creates a new pocket universe and saves a girl from committing suicide. The choice to include Bar-El and Lilo makes thematic sense — their arrogant behavior provides a nice contrast to Superman’s own humility — but it does underscore the original material’s episodic nature and make the film feel like it’s trying to take a deep breath before moving on to its finale.

I usually don’t have much to say about the voice work in these films unless I hate it, but everyone does a rather good job this time around. James Denton and Christina Hendricks give a nice gravitas to their characters and the interplay between them works rather well. Special note, however, should be given to Anthony LaPaglia, who nails Luthor’s quiet arrogance and jealousy rather well.

What big hands you have Kal-El

Usually the special features sections of these DVDs are an embarrassment, with lots of unwarranted self-congratulation and allegedly in-depth looks at the histories of various characters and comics that are as shallow as dishwater. For once, however, the supplemental materials are worthwhile.

The main feature is a documentary titled “Superman Now” that features Morrison talking about the origins of the original 12-issue comic and how it came together, as well as a video segment where he shows off his original sketches for the series and talks about how they evolved over time. Even if you’ve heard Morrison talk about these things in past interviews, it’s still entertaining to see him mull over them once again.

There’s also a commentary track featuring Morrison and Timm that vacillates between insightful and glad-handed compliments, where each tells the other how much they love their work. Despite the schmoozing and occasional quiet lapses, there are notable moments, as when Morrison talks about the larger themes he was trying to address in the comic or Timm talks about how tricky it was to capture Quietly’s style in animation. It’s especially interesting to note Timm’s hesitancy about whether this more subdued, thoughtful type of material will play well before the traditional superhero fanboy audience. Would the same crowd, he asks, that cheered at the violence on display in Red Hood appreciate a more restrained film like this? I’d like to think so, but it seemed telling to me that Timm took the time to pose the question at all.

There’s also a preview of the next DCU film, a hodge-podge of Green Lantern stories titled Emerald Knights, no doubt designed as a tie-in to the upcoming live-action film. The most notable (and, honestly, unsurprising) revelation was that they plan on adapting Alan Moore’s “Mogo” story. They’d kind of be silly not to.

Despite my reservations, All-Star Superman is an entertaining movie and should please fans whether they’ve read the original mini-series or not. But there’s also no doubt that the film’s struggles to capture the particular mood of the comic and determine what to prune and what to keep make the film’s pacing a bit bumpy, to put it charitably. It would have been nice to expect a film equal in stature to the comic — nice, but unfair and more than the WB animators could no doubt execute given their financial limitations. At best the film is an enjoyable supplement, one that will allow fans to contemplate just what was so special about the original work that drew them toward it in the first place.

10 Comments

Interesting – no mention or opinion of the ending? Was, in that case, the book better than the movie? I wish they had found a way to include the failed suicide scene – that’s so Superman to save a life, no matter how busy – no matter the situation!

It’s unrealistic to expect this to even approach the quality of the source materials, given the limitations in budget and format. I am, however, looking forward to it, and am glad to hear that, within it’s scope, it does a good job.

In my opinion, the material required a bolder approach if it was going to be adapted to an A/V medium. Something like a high-end HBO miniseries would have probably given them the space to flesh out the story, but I doubt that such a project would be economically feasible.

In any case, I’ll be snatching this up as soon as I see it in stores. All-Star Superman (I wish they had changed that name for collected editions) is my favorite superhero comic book period.

I did prefer the idea that Luthor, rather than Superman, decoded the Kryptonian genetic structure. It’s not a big thing, but as was the case with All Star Superman itself it was the small things that made it so special.

It was a brilliant animated movie, easily the best thus far, with the best voice cast of any of them across the board.

I just watched it last night. It was very boring and seemed to go one forever. I won’t be buying this one.

I was kind of surprised that Supes lets people die in order to protect his secret identity. Parasite sucks the life-force from guards left and right while Clark goes running around with Luthor trying to get him to talk.

I have been waiting for a Grant Morrison story to be addapted forever !! A good adaptation to boot .I enjoyed the film from begining to end,it captures the brilliant Morrison writing and the lush drawings of Frank Queitly very well.My only gripe is I wish there where more of the eccentric and mythical stories from the book,alas there enough material for a whole series(as is the case when Grant Morrison is writing!!) I would have to have seen “The Black Kyptonite” story or the “Bizzarro” infestation or “Young Superman” story.
Considering the length I was impressed with all that was shown.Morrisons blend of heart and emotion with over the top science fiction action and phillosophical wierdness makes All Star Superman a work of high art,the animated version has captured much of that.Taking old concepts like superheros/supervillians and reinvigorating them with post modern and wholistic concepts is what makes this book and film work,mortality rebirth, and the legacy of our deeds is at the center of this work. To those who have commented about the film being boring ,Morrison/Quitley may be many things but never boring.Let us hope that future adaptations are as good if not better.

I think that not having Supes punch out Lex was an improvement, and brings home both Supes’ aim to not use violence, and Lex’s own growth as he finally understands Superman.

I enjoyed this a lot. It was not perfect – even putting aside that the transcendent tenth issue was left out – but it was a good Superman film from people who love the character and the world. That the voice acting was great to amazing is not a bad thing, either.

And gotta say, it is far more fun when the creator spends his time saying how much he loves an adaptation than when he goes out of his way to be critical. Moore might be the better writer, but Grant is the better fan.

Well, for one thing, they didn’t change anything with the story unless they absolutley had to. Also, Moore has never gone out of his way to criticize adaptations of his work. He was asked, and he gave his opinion. This whole “fan” business is rubbish. Since when was it wrong to complain?

Cutting out issue 3 and huge chunks of issue 10… that sounds like a failure in adaptation to me. Issue 10 was easily the greatest Superman comic I’ve ever read, perhaps of all-time.

Haven’t seen it yet, but this review puts some of my reservations to rest.
I do think they’re FOREVER going to be explaining why they cut issue 10.
I’ll do my best to see this as a piece unto itself, if it works like that, I’ll forgive it.

I wonder how it’ll compare to NEW FRONTIER which is still my absolute favorite–I LOVE the quieter my personal/emotional stories.

Leave a Comment

From: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/02/it-all-comes-out-right-in-the-end-a-review-of-the-all-star-superman-movie/

Joanne Siegel dies at 93; model for Superman character Lois Lane

Joanne Siegel, who played a role in the creation of the Superman saga in the 1930s as Joe Shuster’s teenage artist’s model for Lois Lane and later married the Man of Steel’s co-creator, writer Jerry Siegel, has died. She was 93.

Siegel, a longtime resident of Marina del Rey who successfully fought a long legal battle to regain her late husband’s copyrights to Superman and related characters, died Saturday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, said her daughter, Laura Siegel Larson. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Joanne Siegel was high school student Joanne Kovacs when she took out a small classified ad under “Situation Wanted — Female” in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the Depression year of 1935: “ARTIST MODEL: No experience.”

One of the responses to the ad came from Shuster, a young Cleveland artist who was developing Superman as a potential cartoon strip with his young writer friend, Siegel.

“Joe was taking art lessons and felt that he needed someone to pose as the Lois Lane character for the Superman story. So I posed,” Joanne Siegel recalled in a 1996 interview with the Plain Dealer.

“I remember the day I met Jerry in Joe’s living room. Jerry was the model for Superman. He was standing there in a Superman-like pose. He said their character was going to fly through the air, and he leaped off the couch to demonstrate.”

Siegel’s daughter said that “one of the things [Shuster and Siegel] were particularly interested in is how would a woman look like if she was being carried in the arms of someone flying through the air.

“So they set up a chair that had arms on it, and my mom draped herself across one arm and her legs across the other arm, and Joe drew her in that position.”

At least three women in the Cleveland area reportedly have claimed to have been the inspiration for Lois Lane over the years, but Joanne Siegel said in the 1996 interview that they were all wrong.

“My dad actually wrote a letter to Time magazine one time because he was so aggravated over people making claims on this,” Larson said. “Joe Shuster also wrote a letter. He wanted to make sure that everybody knew my mom was the actual model [for Lane].

“My father said she not only posed for the character, but from the day he met her it was her personality that he infused into the character. She was not only beautiful but very smart and determined, and she had a lot of guts; she was a courageous person.”

Superman made his debut in 1938, in Action Comics No. 1 published by the predecessor of DC Comics. The character became an immediate sensation and was on its way to becoming one of the most recognizable characters in the world.

Siegel and Shuster, however, signed a publisher’s release in 1938, and a court later ruled that they had sold the entire Superman copyright for $130.

The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, Joanne Siegel was born Jolan Kovacs in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 1917. (Because teachers and classmates found her first name difficult to pronounce — it’s pronounced YO-lon — they called her Joanne.)

After graduating from high school, she modeled in Boston and New York under the name Joanne Carter before working in a Los Angeles-area shipyard during World War II.

After the war, she moved back to New York City, where she was reunited with Siegel, whom she married in 1948; they had both been married to other people and divorced.

The previous year, Shuster and Siegel had tried and failed to get back the rights to Superman.

After that, Larson said,my father tried to get work and found that publishers were not willing to hire him. He had been blacklisted. My mother and father lived in complete poverty for many, many years.

“It was due to my mom’s ingenuity that she called up the publisher of Superman at a certain point and said, ‘How can you sit by and continue to make millions of dollars off of a character that Jerry co-created and allow him to live in this unbelievable poverty?’

“And it was due to her determination and keeping after them for several years that eventually my father went back to work as an uncredited writer on many Superman, Lois Lane, Supergirl and other stories.”

Before the release of the 1978 “Superman” movie, a campaign led by comic book writers and artists led what was then known as Warner Communications — the parent company of DC Comics — to agree to give both Shuster and Siegel $20,000 a year for the rest of their lives.

Jerry Siegel died in 1996.

“His wish was for my mom and me to continue his quest to regain ownership of the character that he created with such love,” Larson said.

Due to new provisions in the Copyright Act, she said, they successfully regained those rights in a 2008 federal court ruling. However, the Siegel family is still waiting to receive money that has been owed to them since 1999.

In addition to her daughter, Siegel is survived by a sister, Sophie Halko; and two grandsons.

dennis.mclellan@latimes.com

From: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-joanne-siegel-20110218,0,256504.story

Joanne Siegel, inspiration for Lois Lane, dies at 93

Joanne Siegel, who played a role in the creation of the Superman saga in the 1930s as Joe Shuster’s teenage model for Lois Lane and later married the Man of Steel’s co-creator, writer Jerry Siegel, has died. She was 93.

Siegel, a longtime resident of Marina del Rey, Calif., who successfully fought a long legal battle to regain her late husband’s copyrights to Superman and related characters, died Saturday in Santa Monica, said her daughter, Laura Siegel Larson. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Joanne Siegel was high school student Joanne Kovacs when she took out a small classified ad under “Situation Wanted-Female” in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the Depression year of 1935: “ARTIST MODEL: No experience.”

One of the responses to the ad came from Shuster, a young Cleveland artist who was developing Superman as a cartoon strip with his young writer friend, Siegel.

“Joe was taking art lessons and felt that he needed someone to pose as the Lois Lane character for the Superman story. So I posed,” Joanne Siegel recalled in a 1996 interview with the Plain Dealer.

“I remember the day I met Jerry in Joe’s living room. Jerry was the model for Superman. He was standing there in a Superman-like pose. He said their character was going to fly through the air, and he leaped off the couch to demonstrate.”

Siegel’s daughter said that “one of the things (Shuster and Siegel) were particularly interested in is how would a woman look like if she was being carried in the arms of someone flying through the air.

“So they set up a chair that had arms on it, and my mom draped herself across one arm and her legs across the other arm, and Joe drew her in that position.”

At least three women in the Cleveland area reportedly have claimed to have been the inspiration for Lois Lane over the years, but Joanne Siegel said in the 1996 interview that they were all wrong.

“My dad actually wrote a letter to Time magazine one time because he was so aggravated over people making claims on this,” Larson said. “Joe Shuster also wrote a letter. He wanted to make sure that everybody knew my mom was the actual model 1/8for Lane3/8.

“My father said she not only posed for the character, but from the day he met her it was her personality that he infused into the character. She was not only beautiful but very smart and determined, and she had a lot of guts; she was a courageous person.”

Superman made his debut in 1938, in Action Comics No. 1 published by the predecessor of DC Comics. The character became an immediate sensation and was on its way to becoming one of the most recognizable characters in the world.

Siegel and Shuster, however, signed a publisher’s release in 1938, and a court later ruled that they had sold the entire Superman copyright for $130.

The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, Joanne Siegel was born Jolan Kovacs in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 1917. (Because teachers and classmates found her first name difficult to pronounce-it’s pronounced YO-lon-they called her Joanne.)

After graduating from high school, she modeled in Boston and New York under the name Joanne Carter before working in a shipyard in the Los Angeles area during World War II.

After the war, she moved back to New York City, where she was reunited with Siegel, whom she married in 1948. Both had been married previously.

The previous year, Shuster and Siegel had tried and failed to get back the rights to Superman.

After that, Larson said, “my father tried to get work and found that publishers were not willing to hire him. He’d been blacklisted. My mother and father lived in complete poverty for many, many years.

“It was due to my mom’s ingenuity that she called up the publisher of Superman at a certain point and said, ‘How can you sit by and continue to make millions of dollars off of a character that Jerry co-created and allow him to live in this unbelievable poverty?’

“And it was due to her determination and keeping after them for several years that eventually my father went back to work as an uncredited writer on many Superman, Lois Lane, Supergirl and other stories.”

Before the release of the 1978 “Superman” movie, a campaign led by comic book writers and artists led what was then known as Warner Communications-the parent company of DC Comics-to agree to give both Shuster and Siegel $20,000 a year for the rest of their lives.

Jerry Siegel died in 1996.

“His wish was for my mom and me to continue his quest to regain ownership of the character that he created with such love,” Larson said.

Due to new provisions in the Copyright Act, she said, they regained those rights in a 2008 federal court ruling. However, the Siegel family is still waiting to receive money that’s been owed to them since 1999.

In addition to her daughter, Siegel is survived by her sister, Sophie Halko.

From: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/02/17/2663746/joanne-siegel-inspiration-for.html

‘All-Star Superman’: James Denton’s ‘very human and dying’ Man of Steel

James Denton is best known as the man of copper piping on Wisteria Lane, but he takes on a new role as the Man of Steel in the DC home-video release “All-Star Superman.” The “Desperate Housewives” star is joined by Anthony LaPaglia (Lex Luthor), Christina Hendricks (Lois Lane) and Ed Asner (Perry White) on the two-disc home-video release, which hits shelves Feb. 22. Denton approached the role with a healthy respect for the actors who had come before him, as he told our Jevon Phillips in this QA. 

James Denton in the recording booth. (Gary Miereanu)

JP: So, were you into comics as a kid?

JD: As a kid, I was. I was never a collector, but I saved them. Then, as my parents moved their house as so often happens, everything got dispersed and lost. But I’ve learned that there’s a whole world out there that most people, unless you’re in it, don’t know about and aren’t aware of. Kyle MacLaughlin, who voiced Superman in one of the earlier DVDs, was telling me about how educational it is to do this job and meet those guys that are in that world. It’s really fascinating and it’s kind of addictive. Both of us agreed that I don’t have time for another hobby, but I’ve got to admit that I’m a comic guy. After doing this and meeting people, you really get how it can be addictive!

JP: When you did buy and did read, what were your favorite comics?

JD: I used to buy Superman — I was a Superman guy not a Batman guy — and Spider-Man. I also bought some Rawhide Kid. I was into western comics — Outlaw Kid and Two-Gun Kid and Rawhide Kid. I don’t even know how long they made those. Course I grew up in the South, I’m a redneck, so I gravitated toward the Western comics.

JP: So … Superman?

JD: Of course to me, as much as I hate to admit it, when somebody mentions Superman, the image that pops into my head is of George Reeves standing there with his hands on his hips in black and white with a cape flapping behind him. I’m definitely from the old school.

George Reeves as Superman. (Photo courtesy of the Museum of Radio and Television)

JP: So for you he’s the most memorable Man of Steel?

JD: Obviously the Christopher Reeve movies are so great and they’re more modern, but still for me, it was George Reeves on TV. I guess he was so human, and not all rocked up — he was such a human and normal-seeming guy, and when you’re a little kid, [that sort of thing] sticks with you.

JP: Did that nostalgia influence you when you accepted the role?

JD: I was just honored to be asked.  It was a little bit daunting. Most of us [as actors] don’t have stage fright per se, but I was kind of scared of taking this on. It’s so iconic and there’s so many people waiting for this to come out and the book was so good.  People love Superman and are very protective. So, while I was very honored to be asked, I didn’t ask what they were paying me [and] I jumped at the chance to do it. I realized as I was driving to the studio that I was really trepidatious.

JP: Describe the story.

JD: It’s really complicated. In the beginning there’s a journey to the sun that Lex Luthor sabotages and Superman is oversaturated with radiation that degenerates his cells. That’s what ends up killing him, and that made it tricky for me because there’s all of these emotional scenes. He says goodbye to Ma Kent, tells Lois that he’s dying, confronts Lex about changing his ways — and yet you have to resist being emotional.

 

All-Star Superman

JP: So how’d you approach him?

JD: One of the great things that I read about Superman came from Grant Morrison when he said that the bumbling Clark Kent was a facade, and that Superman is also facade.  That the real Clark Kent, the guy that was raised by Ma and Pa Kent in Smallville, was very strong, very confident and knew how to drive a tractor — that guy was the real guy.  And that helped me ’cause I thought ‘If this feels a little monotone or controlled, that’s OK, because Superman is not the real Clark Kent either.’

JP: Did you get to interact with the other voice actors?

JD: No, we did it completely separate. Anthony [LaPaglia] and Christina Hendricks and Francis Conroy … we kind of had to get in there when we could get in there. It’s hard to do more than one at a time, and it’s pretty monotonous for the other people [if we had all been there simultaneously] … which is a shame because I would’ve loved to have been in there with Anthony because his voice is so great.

JP: What did you think about the process of doing voicework in general?

JD: I’d never voiced an animated character.  It was really just about trusting Andrea Romano, who is a genius. She does so many of these.  If she says through the glass that I’ve got it, I just trust her and move on. It’s so weird, like when you first heard your voice on an answering machine. I first heard me and I was like ‘Man, what happened to Superman? He’s such a wimp!’ I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that it was still my voice.

All-Star Superman

I know that part of the reason [executive producer] Bruce Timm chose me was because this was a very different Superman. You don’t need the booming, intimidating voice, thank God, because we’re playing with Superman being very mortal and very human and dying.  It was tough for me to listen to.  Especially with Anthony LaPaglia as Lex because his voice … he’s fantastic. And he’s so big and Lex is huge, and then you hear Superman and it’s me and you’re like ‘Oh God, Lex is gonna kill him!’

JP: Switching gears, “Desperate Housewives” … if one of the women had super powers of some sort, who would it be and what would her powers be?

JD: [laughs] Nicollette Sheridan’s character Edie would have X-ray vision. She would be the one peeking through everyone’s walls to see who was sleeping with whom so that she could find her next victim!

–  Jevon Phillips

RECENT AND RELATED

Eastwood: I was offered Superman role in ’70s

VIDEO: A retro Superman takes flight

Zack Snyder: My favorite Superman artist is…

Look, up in the sky it’s … Henry Cavill

Synder: Superman is a tough one to crack

U.K. actors now play Superman, Batman, Spidey

Nolan breaks silence on Superman film

Morrison: Batman has butler, Superman has a boss

VIDEO: Christopher Reeve on ‘Tonight Show’

“Superman vs Ali”: Still the champ

VIDEO: Jim Lee’s seven-minute art lesson

The Superman issue: Can he still fly in 21st century?

DC Universe: A $50 million gamble takes flight

From: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/02/16/all-star-superman-james-dentons-very-human-and-dying-man-of-steel/

The Woman Behind Superman: Inspiration for Lois Lane Dies

Here’s some very sad news: Lois Lane has died. The woman who inspired the character from the “Superman” comic, Joanne Siegel, was 93. Her husband, Jerome Siegel, modeled Lois Lane after the woman who eventually became his wife.

The Cleveland native met the Man of Steel co-creator Siegel and his partner Joe Shuster when she was just 15 or 16. The teen had placed a classified ad in the local paper offering her services as a model. Shuster answered the ad, and the sketches he made were the basis of iconic Lois Lane.

The love interest of Superman eventually became the real-life love interest of Siegel. She was introduced to Siegel by Shuster in the 1930s, but the two didn’t marry until 1948, when Siegel’s divorce to wife Bella Siegel was finalized.

“Superman,” introduced as a DC comic book in 1938, became one of the best-known superheroes of all time, but the writers were not credited. In 1978, with the Warner Brothers movie about to come out, DC finally added the co-creators’ names to every Superman story and agreed to pay a lifetime stipend.

After Jerome Siegel died in 1999, the Siegel and Shuster families filed for partial ownership of the character from Warner Brothers. Joanne Siegel could not leap tall buildings in a single bound, but she would end up doing something more important: Preserving the legacy of the Superman creators.

Brad Ricca, who teaches a comic book class at Case Western University, described her determination for justice this way: “Siegel would call DC Comics in New York and say,’You need to help these people who made you all millionaires.'” The professor added, “Kind of like Lois Lane, she just wouldn’t give up.”

In 2008, a ruling gave the families a right to a large share of “Superman,” but details are still being worked out.

All that, and looks, too: An expert on Siegel tweeted, “Just heard Joanne Siegel passed away. Lois Lane herself. One of the most beautiful people I ever met.”

From: http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/94290

Joanne Siegel dies, widow of Superman co-creator, model for Lois Lane

Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 2:42 PM     Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011, 5:20 PM

Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer


By

Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer


Share

Print

1joanne.jpgJoanne Siegel, on the porch of the former home where her late husband, Jerry Siegel, created Superman. The photo was taken in 1999. Joanne Siegel died today at the age of 1993.

Joanne Siegel, the wife of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and the model for Lois Lane, died today in California at the age of 93. 

Her daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, is making funeral arrangements.

 

Mike Olszewski, president of the Cleveland-based, Siegel and Shuster Society, was stunned by the news.

“Joanne Siegel stands as a shining example for us all of a person who fought for justice for herself, her family and her husband’s memory and did so with great dignity and resolve,” he said. “She was the true model for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Lois Lane and lived up to the high standards they gave that character in real life.”

Joanne Siegel delighted in telling the story about how she met Siegel and Shuster when she was just a teenager, 15 or 16 years old, in Depression-era Cleveland.  

She placed an advertisement in the classified section of the Plain Dealer offering to model. Shuster contacted her and she modeled for him, never realizing that she would become the basis for Superman’s love interest.

Over the years, other women in Cleveland claimed they were the model for Lois Lane, but Jerry Siegel said it was Joanne. He did admit that some of the traits of other women he knew might have influenced the character.

Joanne met Jerry in the 1930s, but they did not marry until 1948, after his divorce from Bella Siegel became final. 

Joanne stuck with Jerry through the lean years in the late 1950s and the 1960s when Siegel found it hard to find work as a writer in the comic book field that he created. With the pending release of Warner Brothers Superman movie in 1978, and with the backing by the biggest names in the comic book industry at the time, Joanne and Jerry convinced DC Comics to give the Superman creators a lifelong stipend.

In 1999, three years after Jerry’s death, the families filed a lawsuit for partial ownership of the character. After years of legal wrangling, a federal judge ruled in 2008 that the Siegel and Shuster families own a large share of Superman. The details are still being worked out.

1lois.jpgEarly drawing of Lois Lane by Superman artist Joe Shuster, who used Joanne Siegel as a model, who would eventually marry Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.

Comics were not Siegel and Shuster’s first choice. After failing to interest newspaper syndicates in their creation, they sold Superman to DC Comics and the familiar blue, red and yellow costumed character made his first appearance in “Action Comics” No. 1, in 1938.

Superman’s fame grew exponentially until he became arguably the best know fictional character in the world.

Siegel wrote hundreds of stories over the years for DC, Archie and Marvel and other comic companies, but most of them were uncredited. It would be years before DC Comics agreed to include “created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster” at the beginning of every Superman story.

After Jerry died in 1996, Joanne Siegel returned to Cleveland and tried to find a place to lay half of her husband’s ashes, something that he had asked her to do. She wanted to create a permanent memorial to her husband somewhere in the city where it could be viewed by the public. She wanted to donate his typewriter, scripts, his glasses and other items for the memorial, but no one in Cleveland was interested. 

Some of the items eventually ended up at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood for the permanent Siegel and Shuster exhibit. 

Joanne was last in Cleveland in 2009 for the first gathering of the Siegel and Shuster families during the Superman-themed Screaming Tiki comic book convention.

During that weekend, she visited Jerry Siegel’s former house on Kimberley Avenue in Glenville which had recently been restored. Fans from around the world raised more than $100,000 in an Internet auction that sold works of art and other items donated by the biggest names in the comic book business. 

A large Superman-style shield and a steel fence was erected in from of the house. A similar shield and reproduction of the pages of the first Superman story decorate a fence on Amor Avenue at the site of the apartment where Shuster lived.

Last week, the city put up street signs bearing the familiar stylized “S” insignia for Superman and honorary street names “Joe Shuster Lane” and “Lois Lane.”

The signs are at the intersection of Amor Avenue and Parkwood Drive, at the site of the former Shuster home.Similar signs have been erected at East 105th Street and Kimberley Avenue, where Siegel lived and where the two did much of their work.

Many of the relatives are members of the Cleveland-based Siegel and Shuster Society, a group formed to honor the memory of the Man of Steel and his creators.  

“It saddens me that she is gone,” said Jerry Siegel’s cousin, Irving Fine, who is a member of the society. “I wish she could have been around to see some of the things the society plans to do.”

 

 

 

 

 

From: http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/02/supewr.html

Anil Rickly’s Review – ALL STAR-SUPERMAN

ALL-STAR SUPERMAN

Grant Morrison spun a high-concept tale that ran from November 2005 and ended a 12-issue run in October 2008, coupled with the immaculate art of Frank Quitely. It drew rave acclaim and was generally well-received with the 2006 Eisner win for ‘Best New Series’ as well as the 2007, 2009 ‘Best Continuing Series’ Eisners. Harvey Awards in 2008 for ‘Best Single Issue’ and ‘Best Artist’ rounded off a pristine slate of accolades for this run, and while it has not been my favorite tale of the Man of Steel, throw in some Eagle Awards in 2006, 2007 and it’s clear that Grant matches his own high feats with another measured dose of revamping, rehashing and retooling…as he strips Superman down to his bare essentials, his most humanity-gripping aspects, and seizes the chance to relay a story out-of-continuity…to blow the minds of readers of DC. While it did not sit as my most accepted Superman tale, it definitely engaged readers to step their intellect up a level as he threw spokes in the wrenches of high concept moldings of the man-turned-Superman, and etched fatigues into those who expected an arbitrary tale that wouldn’t test the limits of avid Superman fans…Take note well…Love him or hate him…from Final Crisis to his past DC tales…and his enigmatic runs of modern Batman tellings…every single thing Grant does, we need to pay close attention to…everything he does…may not turn to gold…but it’s calculated…and there’s always an end-point…Grant weaves a quintessential web that encourages all readers to think outside the box…and he does what he sets out to all the time…shake the entropy of all those whose eyes gleam onto his pages…

Now, the question bodes…Could this conceptualized tale of a deconstruction of Superman from ground zero be translated and reconstituted to the usually impressive DC ANIMATED MOVIES? Or would we end up grasping at flailing straws and insipid overtures?

Dwayne McDuffie takes on writing duties as he did on Justice League: Crisis on 2 Earths, Justice League: The Series, Ben-10, Static Shock, Teen Titans etc. He also is versed in DC COMICS such as ‘JLA, Firestorm’, and even has a decent arsenal of Marvel titles to his name such as ‘Fantastic Four, Deathlok and Beyond!’ to name a few…and he’s quite revered with his array of comic-scribes complimenting his animation forays.
Sam Liu directs this film, with the likes of Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano, always overseeing with an altruistic sense of reassurance. When they’re onboard, little goes wrong…safe to say! The backroom staff was well structured and it remained to see how this tale would match the books…and would the critical reception be promising with that on-screen?

The Film –
The story starts with Superman saving the day atypical to what we know of our boyscout- with Dr. Leo Quintum and his space mission team falling prey to the squalors of Lex Luthor. Superman is brilliantly voiced by James Denton as he gives a logic, rational…yet charmingly human feel to the character…mature and wise…cool, calm, confident and collected under pressure; but Anthony LaPaglia steals the show with his conniving machinations and scheming sense of purpose in the movie. He’s as sneer and snide as Denton is charismatic and charming. They add a lovely rival-feeling to them, a yin-yang sort of texture that is most welcome.

It’s a lurid plot by Luthor that sees Superman saving Quintum’s crew at a full-price…Superman has been exposed to radiation that not only empowers him, but is killing him. It’s a tale of decay and wither, and comes with our protagonist now facing the one thing he never worried much for, Mortality. This story is how he deals with inevitable death…and also, how he factors his loved ones into the web…with Lois Lane taking spotlight.

Christina Hendricks voices Lane nicely and there’s a well-plotted romance factor that is perfectly brought over from the comics – What would you do if you had to tell your One True Love you were dying? How would you spend your remaining days with that person?
It’s Herculean tasks that conjure a fun trip and the lovely tale of endearment between the two lovers meshes in with cynicism, lucidity and eventually ends up where fans would want and expect things to go…despite, the looming eerie gloom that is engraved throughout the film with Superman’s fate running threadbare. It’s literally his last will and testament!

Not only does Clark run afoul of some fiends vying for Lois’ affections but affiliations such as Jimmy Olsen, Ma Kent and Perry White are all timely placed and voiced to a tee as the supporting cast never waivers. There are some surprising voice talents that gracefully deliver the goods in this movie. The exchange with Clark Kent interviewing a death-row Lex Luthor is the highlight of this film, and the irony seeps in fully, as we see Luthor at his smartest, yet his lowest intellectual point. Lex’s view of the world and humanity is matched when he asks Clark what would the reporter do if he had Superman’s powers –
Save the world is the response that steals the scene as Clark displays his innocent dominance as the world’s Saviour.

Familiar villains rear ugly heads here and there as Clark’s trials and tribulations grow with his impending death; and shout outs to Jonathan Kent, Kandor, Krypton, the Phantom Zone and other lore that DC fans hold dear come in abundance as the movie actually takes the poignant portions from the comics, and abbreviates the excess material well with the proper aspects of the books left out as they may be simply too much and too irrelevant for the overall scope of the tale. It’s a nice editing job on the vivid breakdown of this book…and one which I was pleasantly surprised to see the writer and team…commit to…spot-on! It was a well-gauged condensation of Morrison’s book!

The crescendo hit with Lex’s machinations on death row, building to fruition as we learn that isolation is never a good thing with Lex. Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and its denizens all factor in greatly as we see the serenade of a Grant Morrison created-villain in ‘Solaris’, whose pivotal role hinges on another tease of a DC character in the ‘Sun-Eater’. Lex’s schemes and these other not-so-peripheral characters segue nicely into each other as the tapestry of Superman’s final moments are woven with loyalty, honestly, selflessness and perseverance to protect the Home and the people he love. Lex takes his game to a new level to combat and triumph his rival, as Superman wanes to withstand the threats to Earth, and at the same time, contend with the aftermath that Lois faces.

We get epiphanies, self-realization and…clarity…amongst those who we never would expect.

We end with a semblance of sacrifice amidst constant hope and the furore of redemption, which will surprise those who have not read the comics. It comes left-field to them, and this shows just how different this story is from the usual Superman ones we read and view on cartoons. This does not end the way we expect it to…and with Grant writing…that is not a shocker!

It’s no surprise that McDuffie doesn’t censor that much to the end. We get a sense of introversion in folks that are usually assertive and non-changing, and by the time this film ends, it’s the redemptive aspect that blows the lid off as redemption comes in the form of something and someone that isn’t usually associated with it. Hope lingers on in the end-scenes with Jimmy and Lois as McDuffie tweaks the final scene a bit, as I hoped for a bit more literal expansion on that last shot…one that echoed the final scenes of the comic a bit more mechanically so to speak…that’s something I garner only readers of the book will grasp when the film’s final scene sprays across our eyes…machinery of the Sun much?

?…Your Bright Eyes are an Illuminating Inferno that turn off the dark of the world…It’s the Fire of 1000 Burning Suns is a quote that reeked pleasantly in my mind at the end as we saw exactly why Superman stands for Truth, Justice…and moreso, why he remains akin to a Saviour and Messiah that the faithless, wayward hopeless sometime look to…
Look to the skies…and that phrase has never had more meaning than it did at the conclusion of this film…
Thumbs up as DC delivers a good story…with an optimum stability and level of pseudo-perfected achievement…that I expect them to never falter with
It’s a good job with a story that I honestly never thought they’d translate well to the screen…
Glad to be proven wrong…

“Batman: Year One”…anyone????

From: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/THURSDAY17/news/?a=30013

Andrea Romano On All-Star Superman Casting

1 Comment | Add

Rate Share:


Related Links:

    Info:

    Dishes on the choices that were made and why

    By Chris Beveridge    
    February 11, 2011



    All-Star Superman
    © DC Comics

    With February 22nd quickly approaching, Warner Bros. is getting a bit more publicity out there for its release of the All-Star Superman Blu-ray and DVD release that takes the animated Man of Steel to a very different place than most fans of Superman outside of comics have seen. The first round of publicity this month has them putting out a detailed QA with the casting and voice director of the majority of the DC Universe shows, Andrea Romano. If you’re a fan of the features DC puts out in animated form, she’s the one who will explain why they made the choices they did.

    Press release:

    To vocally craft the characters within the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, the production brain trust of DC Entertainment, Warner Premiere, Warner Home Video and Warner Bros. Animation is smart enough to employ the best in the business – on both sides of the microphone.

    While winners of Oscars, Emmys and Tonys alike provide the voices behind some of the world’s best known comic book characters, it is the super hero of voice directors that guides these unique talents – Andrea Romano.

    Arguably the top animation voiceover director in the business today, Romano has been instrumental in orchestrating the vocal tones behind the first 10 DCU animated films, including the highly anticipated February 22 release of All-Star Superman.

    The eight-time Emmy® Award winner (not to mention 30+ Emmy nominations) has a voiceover casting/direction resume that spans more than a quarter century, covering the genre gamut from action (Batman: The Animated Series) and humor (Animaniacs) to contemporary (The Boondocks) and timeless (Smurfs). She will appear at both the New York and Los Angeles premieres of All-Star Superman next week, and will undoubtedly be greeted with a wild, lengthy cheer – an ovation she regularly receives at Cons around the globe.

    For All-Star Superman, Grant Morrison’s beloved, Eisner Award-winning vision of Superman’s heroic final days on Earth, Romano has rounded up an intriguing lineup of stars to fill the comic book character roles. James Denton (Desperate Housewives) has donned the cape as Superman, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) is Lois Lane, and Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) voices Lex Luthor to form the core cast. They are joined by seven-time Emmy® Award winner Ed Asner (Up) as Perry White, Golden Globe® winner Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) as Ma Kent, Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Jimmy Olsen and Linda Cardellini (ER) as Nasty. Also amongst the voice cast is Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), Catherine Cavadini (The Powerpuff Girls), Finola Hughes (General Hospital), Alexis Denisof (Angel), Obba Babatunde (That Thing You Do!), Michael Gough (Batman) and John DiMaggio (Futurama).

    Romano paused between her many current projects – including a few upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movies – to discuss the cast and recording of All-Star Superman. Listen up …

     

    QUESTION: Are there certain writers’ scripts you find easier to direct or get an instant feel?

    ANDREA ROMANO: There are several writers I’ve worked with over the years whose words I can recognize without even seeing a title page, like Stan Berkowitz, Alan Burnett, Bob Goodman and especially Dwayne McDuffie. And because I’ve worked with them for so long over so many different projects, and once they know I’m on a project, it’s almost as though they write for me – because they know exactly what information I need to know to give to the actors. So I love working with all those guys. Dwayne works so hard on being true to the source material, and yet translating it into something that can be acted. He’s really good at making that transition of honoring the material, but bringing the words off the page to make it actable and dramatically interesting.

    QUESTION: You’ve directed your share of voices for Superman. How did James Denton rank in his first foray in animation?

    ANDREA ROMANO: Jamie was a voiceover virgin, or he hadn’t done much, but he was outstanding to work with. Once an actor trusts that I will not let their voice go out sounding bad, and that their performance will be nothing less than the best, it becomes a very pleasant experience for all involved. Jamie was like that. He reminded me of Jensen Ackles – both are good actors, I’d seen their on-camera work, but because this form is different than what they’re used to working with, there is some insecurity with the territory. But once they don’t feel threatened, they relax into the role. Jamie was a really interesting choice – it can be difficult to cast some of these Superman films – and he brought some unique interpretations and sensitivities to the role. And that’s interesting for a director – to hear somebody else’s thoughts on what a man like Superman would sound like.

    QUESTION: What are you seeking in a Superman voice that differentiates from all other voices?

    ANDREA ROMANO: Superman is such an interesting character because, while he isn’t human, he has so many human qualities. He’s interesting because without the effects of certain kryptonites, his instincts are always going to be to do the right thing. But you don’t want that to come off as being a Boy Scout or one note. And so you need kind of the white knight, but to still keep him interesting. It’s like when we girls first start dating, it’s never the clean-cut nice guy that attracts us – it’s always the bad boy with the extra dimensions. That’s why I like Batman so much. But when we can give Superman some layers, that makes him interesting. And every actor I’ve used for Superman has brought some amazing layers.

    QUESTION: How did you choose Christina Hendricks to play Lois Lane?

    ANDREA ROMANO: I am such an admirer of her work, and I love what she does on Mad Men. It was cute because she was quite nervous coming in with no prior voiceover experience, but her acting instincts are so good, she has the ability to adjust to acting to a microphone as opposed to camera very quickly. I always give people positive feedback, but I was telling her “terrific job” and you’ll see the evidence when you see the piece. This is a very unusual, different story between Lois and Superman, and she captured everything we were looking for and then some. She was so enthusiastic about the role that she found a way to squeeze the recording into her schedule – right after getting married – and she gave us a terrific Lois Lane. I would use her again in a minute.

     

    QUESTION: I’m guessing you’ve been angling to get Anthony LaPaglia behind the microphone for a while?

    ANDREA ROMANO: The actors I tend to bring in are people I’ve admired from afar and have been looking for a specific character for them – as with Anthony LaPaglia for Lex Luthor. He is such a versatile actor, and his dialect work is so good. Moreover, he was so directable. If something confused him, he asked just the right questions – he wouldn’t blindly do it 10 times to make it be right. He’d ask a very specific question, and that makes it easy to direct, because you can answer those direct questions.

    QUESTION: Do you hold actors in any higher esteem when they are able to perfectly portray an accent foreign to their own?

    ANDREA ROMANO: I admire anyone who is a dialectician in addition to acting. Doing dialects is very technical, while the acting is more organic, so when they can marry those two things convincingly, it’s golden. What I find more often is that British actors can do a spot-on American accent – I think that’s often because they come to America to find work and there’s lots of casting to be done for American characters, so they’re just smart to do it. And it’s not that easy to do an American accent because there are so many regional versions – the deep south, the northeastern variations, even Southern California. They each have their own twists. Greg Ellis can do just about any accent you throw at him. Robin Atkin Downes is just amazing. Jason Isaacs does some stunning accent work – he perfected a Rhode Island accent for Brotherhood. Miriam Margolyes is another brilliant dialectician – I adore her accents.

    QUESTION: At one point in the LaPaglia session, he wasn’t understanding your direction no matter how many different ways you worded it – and Bruce Timm was able to communicate your direction with a simple drawing of Lex’s face. Has Bruce done that previously/often over your 20-plus years working together?

    ANDREA ROMANO: When Bruce did that for Anthony, I thought that was one of those great moments where a picture is actually worth ten thousand words. One of the things Bruce has done a million times before is, when someone comes in to play a role, he’ll draw the character right there on the spot. That almost always helps an actor establish a voice.

    QUESTION: What’s the most unconventional casting of a villain you’ve ever done?

    ANDREA ROMANO: Bill Macy as a villain in Batman Beyond. I thought I’d do it just to let him be the bad guy, because at the time he was getting all the hapless, milquetoast, endearing good guy roles. So I thought it would be fun to switch it around and, of course, he was brilliant.

    QUESTION: This film has a lot of smaller that make an impact, and you spared no expense in bringing in some lofty talent like Matthew Gray Gubler as Jimmy Olsen, Frances Conroy as Ma Kent, Ed Asner as Perry White and even cult favorite Alexis Denisof as Dr. Quintum. What was your thinking behind some of those casting choices?

    ANDREA ROMANO: I think Matthew is such a talent. He just did an episode of Criminal Minds where his character was suffering a migraine throughout the entire episode, and he was so good that you actually felt his headache. What I love about Matthew’s voice is that it’s got a naturally youthful quality, and there’s something interesting he does naturally where he almost ends every sentence with a question mark. It’s a very specific speech pattern. His sentences tend to go up at the end. He’s a perfect Jimmy Olsen – sweet, endearing, slightly nerdy. If I had a role for him in every project, I would always hire him.

    Frances Conroy – first, let me say that she is not related to Kevin Conroy, which is kind of funny because they know each other very well, and they even went to Juilliard together. I’ve admired her work on everything from Six Feet Under to Maid in Manhattan, and when I heard she was doing voiceovers, I was so jealous somebody else got her before I did. While there weren’t many lines for Ma Kent, it’s always a pivotal role – it’s the woman who helped shape Superman’s sense of right and wrong. And Frances just has that quality about her voice that is mothering and warm and thoughtful, and what she did with such few lines of dialogue was wonderful and exactly what I was hoping to get.

    Alexis has such an interesting quality to his voice. I loved Dr. Quintum, he’s such an odd character, and the voice matches perfectly. I’m never 100 percent sure when doing the casting if I made the right decision. It’s not until it comes back in animation that we really know that it actually did work. Alexis as Dr. Quintum is definitely one of those circumstances that worked well.

    QUESTION: Beyond the on-camera actors, you tend to appear to have the best times directing when you have a room full of full-time voiceover actors – like on this project with John DiMaggio, Kevin Michael Richardson, Robin Atkin Downes, Steve Blum, Fred Tatasciore, Michael Gough and so on. What’s that group session like?

    ANDREA ROMANO: Often when I cast my ensemble players for some of the secondary characters, and that is to say secondary characters by the number of lines they must perform, I treat it almost like a casting party. I want to put together people who enjoy being in a room together, that are going to bring something to the party, and that they’re somebody with whom I want to spend a few hours locked in a room together. Okay, sometimes it should be a padded room. I find that I get a core group of actors and I almost want to carry them with me to every different project I’m working on – the end credits of my films and series probably back that up. When I get the chance, I also like to cast those guys in major featured roles, like John DiMaggio as the Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood. The thing about these actors is that they’re so versatile that I could assign three roles to each before they walked into the room, and I could change it when we walked into the room and they’d have no problem playing the other characters instead. It’s always fun to work with that group, but sometimes it is like being a kindergarten teacher with an over-crowded class.


    You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter and get Mania news on Facebook and Twitter too!


    From: http://www.mania.com/andrea-romano-allstar-superman-casting_article_128381.html

    Gallery

    minicard costume head-encyc ironons_set2_8 pic-4 super_1024_10 smshieldicon sm_head_50x50 spgrl1 sspg11a ssuperg2 supergirla

    Popular Posts

    Archives

    Call Now: 877-239-1878