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February 24 2011

Christina Hendricks interviewed at the All-Star Superman premiere. Pics of her begin at 0:15, the interview begins at 0:56.

Btw: The video is edited to cut in between the various interviewees, so it does return to her more than once after the initial Q&A.
I'm trying to locate the graphic novel Christina mentioned at the end of her interview. She said it was called "Mother", yet the closest thing I could find was Mother, Come Home. Even if it's not the one she was talking about, it still sounds interesting.
Yeah, I suspect that's the one she means (the only direct reference to 'Mother' as a graphic novel I can find is on this guy's Facebook page). Not read it but it does sound interesting.

Looking forward to this, Christina should make a great All-Star Supes Lois, who does indeed have chutzpah (yeah, I had to google the spelling ;). Personally though I really enjoyed the comic I don't quite get the universal praise (which probably means i'm missing something) but it's still well worth reading, particularly because I suspect a lot of the "little stuff" probably won't make it to the film and it's the "little stuff" I liked most.

Relatedly BTW, very sad news about Dwayne McDuffie, the screenwriter of 'All-Star Superman' who died on Monday. Only 49 too.
Excited to see this. All-Star Superman was indeed an amazing comic, in my opinion, and I'm glad to see it get an animated adaptation.

That's very sad about Dwayne McDuffie. Rest in Peace, sir.

ETA: Saje, I think most of the universal praise was that it was more or less a celebration of the entire Superman mythos, including the crazy silver age stuff, with Grant Morrison showing that it is possible to tell a great Superman story without depowering him or getting rid of the campier aspects of his mythos. In particular, the scene where he rescues the suicidal teen and tells her that she is stronger than she thinks she is was extremely moving and beautiful.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2011-02-24 19:19 ]
Totally agree Giles_314, that's part of the "little stuff" that I hope made it in because it really was beautiful and a true testament to what makes the character special IMO - to him nothing is too small, no individual is ever obscured by the big picture and hope never dies. "There's always a way" indeed ;).

(and that embracing of the campier aspects point is also valid, Morrison did the same thing with Batman in his run culminating in R.I.P - which had frikkin' Bat-Mite in it ! And more, it was actually sort of cool !)

I'm probably being too hard on it really, it's just that people talk of it on the same level as Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns and for me it's not quite up there with those. It's probably my favourite Superman story though (or maybe tied with Kurt Busiek's 'Secret Identity', if we can count that).
I think a lot of the praise for All-Star Superman comes from the fact that it is almost the complete opposite of Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns. While those books were fantastic examples of comic book literature, they were also very deconstructive of traditional superhero comics. On the other hand, All-Star Superman was very much a reconstruction of those same tropes, and was therefore seen as very fresh compared to the Dark Age ushered in by comics like Watchmen. Similar to Kingdom Come in that sense.

There is this sort of idea that a superhero has to be dark, tragic, and willing to do bad things in order to be interesting. I think that was the prevailing attitude of the 90s, but in the past decade or so, we've been swinging back to the idea that superheroes can be fun too. Superman is the perfect example of that idealistic vision of superheroes, and All-Star Superman was a fantastic story that explained why Superman is as awesome as he is.

Of course, I don't mean to bad mouth Watchmen or TDKR, in fact you are probably right that they are better than All-Star Superman. But while they were great stories, with interesting ideas, I was never inspired by them. More... depressed by them. :)

I think personally, I tend to gravitate more towards that idealistic idea of superheros as shown in All-Star Superman, Kingdom Come, Ultimate Spider-Man, etc. Probably a matter of personal taste more than anything.
I really like both personally though on balance i'm probably slightly more interested in the more internal, ambiguous stuff because that's closer to reality (to be cynical for a second, "There's always a way" is easier to say if you're basically a god - deconstructivist superhero stories allowed us to ask "What happens when there isn't a way [that adheres to the highest ideals] ?"). The complaint about Superman (particularly Silver Age, planet moving Superman) is that he's impossible to beat and more simplistic, less human because of it BUT that's precisely the triumph of All-Star Supes (it doesn't lend itself to three letter abbreviation ;) and IMO all the best Superman stories in that it humanises him even while acknowledging his superhumanity ('Kingdom Come' does it in a similar way in fact, using the shadow of mortality). Added to that it's aspirational and wish fulfilling - it arguably doesn't say anything about who we are but it surely says something about who we could be.

You're absolutely right that he's an idealist and we need those too (in fiction and reality), that's why a grim and gritty Superman reboot will always be a mistake IMO. Who can disagree with (or fail to be uplifted by) a story that shows someone being kind and selfless even in their darkest hour ? As Mark Millar used to say when people told him they didn't like Superman, "Why not ? Don't you like nice people ?" ;).
Totally. Actually I'm reminded of something Angel said at the beginning of AS4 somewhere. I'm paraphrasing, but I he said something like: "A champion lives as though the world is as it should be, to show it what it can be." I think that that is also the power of Superman. He shows us what we can be. He believes in us, and will defend and protect anyone who doesn't believe they have the strength to protect themselves, and then show them that they do.

Of course, I would agree that for every Superman, there must be a Batman: someone cynical and realistic who will make some hard choices because there are no other options. My main worry is that with the success of Nolan's excellent Batman films, we are going to see that dark, gritty attitude applied in places it shouldn't be. The new Spider-Man and upcoming Superman films in particular.

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