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October 20, 2008


Richard Pachter

Very nice, Marc.

I linked to you, by the way, too.

Craig Fischer

A typically terrific review, Marc.

I agree that Morrison pits abstract idealism (Superman) vs. impoverished materialism (Luthor), and I also like the clever variations on this conflict that Morrison is able to come up with.

For example: when Nasty says, "This is science year zero!" I didn't reference the French Revolutionary calendar. Rather, I thought of Roberto Rossellini's film GERMANY YEAR ZERO (1947), which takes place immediately after WWII and is about a kid, a young ex-member of the Hitler Youth. Much of the film shows how the Nazis debased German culture, leaving people like this kid completely bereft of hope, beliefs, higher ideals.

How does this kid survive in a world where all of his ideals have been perverted, and all that's left is hollow materialism? He doesn't. He kills himself.


Thanks, guys.

Craig, that's a great thought on Rosselini--seems like a typically Morrisonian reference.


I just want to say how bloody excellent this review is! Especially your observations in the last paragraph.



My last five years I've always, around once a month, looked for a possible way for me to buy Flex Mentallo (the treaty on imagination Moore has been trying to write for years now, which I think ASS is pretty much a "sequel" of sorts. Flex is the setting ground, the key to ASS' full throttle garden -- but ASS has its own key stored inside itself under the mat if one's not familiar with Flex. And perhaps a more fun key, without any need for justifications from suicidal ramblings of the down-to-earth vertigo whiff).

All Star Superman just made what I thought it was impossible: it made Flex Mentallo look incomplete. As if that last Flex splash page was transformed by A*S, they completed themselves, it was an invocation and a calling for the existence of this series (although the series can also work that theme by itself - that calling and fulfilment of its own invocation for the unbridled imagination, of creation, potential, of future, progressiveness and of pure hopeful shiny optimism).

I still hold Flex Mentallo too close to my heart to let it go (c'mon, a "Vertigo" series that starts off with the anouncement of its age's lack of high-altitude flight of imagination -- "k9 gate" mysticism is pulled down and made into a non-flying strength-detective mocked superhero on an airport, and the cosmic egg mysticism is made into just an omelette. Minicouple. Sha_an. That stuff is just too good).

I'm babbling.

Thank you for that post, man.


And the status of Earth as a new Kandor, and its variations of scale, reminded me of a reference I haven't seen anywhere else. Morrison made uses of things like fishbowls many times as a metaphor for the little fiction worlds and the structure of outside-inside (not only towards fiction, but the relation of humanity and its dimension towards the outside -- Invisibles, Flex, FF1234 etc). The prospect of releasing Kandorians reminds me very much of the notion of self-awareness in fiction (Quintum -- Morrisonian surrogate -- "imagine a whole new way to interact with them"), of Flex Mentallo's contact, humanity evolving and so on.

And it's very apt that the most conservative change-fearing kandorians are left on MARS (wars, territorial separations, frontiers, self x not-self -- like the scene on the same issue with Lex limiting himself with his own spit, metaphorically creating his own little cage when marking the territory with that metaphorical glass wall) to their own accord while humanity comes one step closer to superkind by progress and contact, and saying no to fear of change.

There's much more to it (and more subtlelty in it and more articulating pieces), I'm sure, but I'm too drowsy right now to think straight and not ramble even more than I already did.

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