Realizing his own mortality, Lex Luthor decides it’s time to get serious about killing Superman. Ironically, he uses the very source of Superman’s powers to do it, exposing him to an overdose of solar radiation. Now literally exploding with power, Superman faces some us his greatest challenges yet as he tries to get his final affairs in order.
Due to time constraints, All Star Superman understandably cuts out most of the challenges seen in the 12-issue miniseries, such as a battle with Jimmy Olsen who transforms into Doomsday and escaping from Bizarro World.
But at just 75 minutes, there’s no excuse for cutting pivotal moments like a time traveling adventure where Clark gets to say goodbye to Jonathan Kent and a near-death experience, in which he meets Jor-El.
Instead the movie focuses on the love story between Lois and
Clark Superman. Although Lois has long suspected that Clark is Superman, she has a hard time believing it when Clark comes right out and tells her. As a result, he stays in his Superman persona around Lois and creates a super serum that gives her his powers for 24 hours. The rest of the time he spends as Clark, interviewing his own murderer from prison.
While you might expect the inevitable battle between Luther and Superman to be the show stopper, it’s actually a prison break by Parasite that steals the show, along with Superman’s new power. Merely standing near Superman literally fills the Parasite with power and he transforms from a sickly potbellied thing into a gigantic primal force like something out of a Studio Ghibli film. Parasite chases after Clark with a very cool infrared Predator effect, only to be stopped by the floor collapsing under his own weight or so it seems. In fact, he’s done in by a subtle stomp from Clark.
Subtle to the characters, but not the audience. It’s one of the few improvements over the comic. All the times Clark accidentally saves someone are easy to miss in the comic but are made explicit in the movie.
On the other hand, somethings are made a little too obvious like when Superman shows Lois his time telescope which he uses to talk to his “descendants” rather than his “successors” as in the comic. Lois comments how the Superman of 84th century looks like her father, and Superman awkwardly looks away. So when Superman flies into the Sun to reignite it, it comes as no surprise that his legacy isn’t over. A remorseful Lex Luthor cracks the Kryptopian genome, allowing Lois to finally have Superman’s baby… technically his clone. It’s more romantic if you don’t think about it too much.