Friday, March 8, 2024

Friday Book Recommendations (Mar 8)

_All Star Superman_ by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely: The recent 'Discourse' around the upcoming superman movie made me pull this gem out to reread. I've never been an enormous fan of Quitely's artwork, but it works here, bringing a post 2000 sensibility to this re-presentation of everything that made the Silver Age Superman delightful: genius criminal Lex Luthor; Lois Lane being fought over by rival extradimensional strongmen' Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Pal kicking ass and taking names; Bizarro World; Daily Planet bullpen hijinks; Intelligence; decency; compassion. But since it's a closed off story they are allowed to make these things grow and change and die and be reborn. 

In my unvarnished opinion, people who think that Superman needs to be more 'violet' and 'gritty' are operating at the level of teenagers, loving what they loved as children but being afraid of being seen as children, they have to mold that thing into something "adult", but their definition of "adult" is limited to "things not allowed for children". But old C.S. Lewis said it best: 

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

This is a very good Superman story. You should read it.  

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