Ok, really short review for real this time...

*Only time for one.

All Star Superman #8

You know, against the odds, I think this might be one of my favorite issues of the series. And I really don't understand how writer Grant Morrison can keep hitting on the same 'Superman confronts himself and his mortality' motif over and over and over in seemingly every issue, yet still somehow keep it all interesting, but he damn sure manages. Chronicling Superman's attempts to escape the sinking world of the Bizarros despite his rapidly fading strength and the general oddness surrounding him, this is the most leisurely-paced issue of the series since the Lois-centered issue #2, and will possibly test the patience of readers hungry for action and/or one million ideas per second; the overload of Bizarro language, while funny, certainly started to test me by the end.

But man, Zibarro turned out to be a fucking peach of a character, the biggest reversal in a whole world of them - while beloved Superman came to Earth as an aberration from humanity in terms of power, learning goodness from the people, Zibarro exists on the Bizarro World as an aberration in terms of consciousness, and learns only sadness from people who utterly despise him. Thus, while Superman is greater than man by name, and a creature of two identities, Zibarro's name only indicates a halfway mixed-up Bizarro, seemingly both Clark Kent and Superman at the same time. As always, do pay attention to Frank Quitely's character art, as it tends to tell the same story in an entirely different way that nonetheless coheres with the whole. And Superman's goodness cannot be stopped - while I can't say I've read every Superman comic ever made, I'll go out on a limb and say that nobody's ever sold the moral aspect of the concept quite as well as Morrison has. Fittingly, the dying man shows his weaker aspect sweetness and support while struggling to save himself. He even reads the errant Kent's writing (excellent dialogue there)!

I dunno. It's loaded with cheesy jokes and ambling whimsy, but it completely manages to convey the personal depths that campy Silver Age superheroics might reveal in the reader as echos of individual longings - if anything, this series is a broadcast of Grant Morrison's readings of old Superman comics, and many of them all at once with bits and pieces swapped and matched, with all of the tender anxieties he might instill in those readings added directly into the mix instead of kept inside his head. As a result, it's not only an especially personal spin on a long-lived corporate superhero property, but an emotional scanning of a very specific and emphatically admired portion of the timeline.

This issue has a little extra room for detail, and I found its particulars affecting. You may be different.