All Star Superman #12: The Anxiety of Influence

The two reviews of the final issue of All-Star Superman that have appeared in this forum have made particular note of the development of Frank Quitely's illustrations. Going over my copy of that comic, I was struck by the familiarity of several of the images (and indeed imagery) presented and I thought I would share a few examples with you here.


As both Brandon and Jesse indicated in their respective reviews of this issue, the illustrations of all the major characters show a particular intensity of line work intended to show the decadence of age. The following image of Jor-El additionally evoked for me, in its design and aspect, the image of Tor that begins the second issue of Kubert's current series:

Darrow by way of Quitely

Note the similarity, particularly in the detail work, between the image portraying Luthor as he smashes an automobile and Geof Darrow's cover for the first issue of Frank Miller's Hard Boiled:


The final image of Superman as celestial clockwork operator brought to my mind several of the images of the laborers in the underground factory in Fritz Lang's Metropolis:


brandon said...

I too thought of Darrow in that one frame, what's interesting is, it's almost crazier, like Quitely out-Darrowed Darrow.

david e. ford, jr said...

yeah, you are absolutely right about that, brandon. i remember looking at that panel for the first time and thinking how it felt as though it had been pulled right out of hard boiled and then when i went to scan an image from the same, i was almost disappointed that the level of detail in darrow's illustration didn't quite reach the level of quitely's.

i was a little bit non-plussed with the still i included from metropolis, but i think the connection to that movie is pretty evident in the imagery and thematics from this issue.