Superman Forever!

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely crafted a superhero masterpiece over 12 issues in their magnum opus All-Star Superman. Synthesizing a wide array of elements from the comic book character’s long history into one coherent story with a special nod to his Silver Age exploits, it quickly became one of Superman’s most popular and timeless adventures upon publication. All-Star Superman is a celebration of the flying man from Krypton, not a relentless deconstruction like so many other myopically modern superhero takes.

Legendary animation producer Bruce Timm and long-time comics scribe Dwayne McDuffie boil the essence of the graphic novel into a beautiful 77-minute film. Something usually gets lost in translation when a story jumps from the page to screen but All-Star Superman is a thankful exception. The talent behind All-Star Superman fully understand the superhero’s appeal and essential attributes, not always a sure thing in Hollywood. Bright, hopeful and optimistic in tone, the movie is a soaring standard by which all Superman adaptations should be measured.

James Gunn has widely hinted his forthcoming Superman: Legacy will pull ideas from the All-Star Superman comics

The storytelling is sleek and efficient, winnowing down the thrust of Grant Morrison’s story without losing any of its innate heart or joy in the process. Writer Dwayne McDuffie and producer Bruce Timm make a few small necessary changes for the animated medium, cutting out elements like the Legion of Super-Heroes and throwing in a smart little coda which Morrison himself wishes he had used.

The Man of Steel is dying and must confront Lex Luthor one final time before getting his house in order. The arch-villain has finally landed on death row for crimes against humanity. Superman reveals his secret identity to Lois Lane and enjoys his final days as only the world’s greatest superhero can – on a rollicking adventure which sees him battle everything from reptile creatures deep in the Earth to the Ultra-Sphinx. The story encapsulates everything fun and wondrous about the Silver Age, freshly re-imagining it for modern sensibilities.

The all-star voice cast includes James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Ed Asner and Anthony LaPaglia. Veteran animated DC director Sam Liu pulls the narrative together with an almost pitch-perfect tone and pacing for the DTV film.

All-Star Superman is a personal favorite, one of the most enjoyable animated films DC has ever produced. If there is a platonic ideal of how a Superman tale should unfold, All-Star Superman is the model. James Gunn has widely hinted his forthcoming Superman: Legacy will pull ideas from the All-Star Superman comics. If not exactly in plot details, definitely in All-Star Superman’s spirit.


What a vibrant and unexpectedly impressive UHD with eye candy aplenty. For mildly dated animation natively made in 1080p resolution over ten years ago, All-Star Superman looks fantastic upscaled in 4K with a lush new HDR color grading. A serious improvement over the dated Blu-ray, the lively 1.78:1 presentation cleans up the dirty banding and chroma noise from the 2011 BD. The main feature runs over 76 minutes on a dual-layer UHD, encoded in flawless HEVC.

The flat animation has held up much better over the years than I expected, holding up with newer animated DC films like Superman: Man of Tomorrow. While there’s nothing beyond standard HDR, the wide swaths of brightly colored primaries and searing tones is a perfect fit for UHD’s expanded color palette. Inky black levels and a mesmerizing contrast capture a bold superhero aesthetic pulled from the comics.

The animation itself technically doesn’t have 4K detail but its clean lines and bold superhero aesthetic sizzle in the higher resolution format. Deeper yellows and brighter reds sparkle with brilliant depth and clarity. Watch the startling saturation as Superman flies into the sun.

Some attempt was made to mimic Frank Quitely’s distinctive character designs. It’s not a perfect copy given the budgetary realities of WB’s less-than-theatrical quality animation. The line art is somewhat middling, handled primarily by Korean animation shops.

Given the serious video appeal of All-Star Superman‘s enticing colors in 4K, the UHD is a necessary upgrade even if you own the BD.


The 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack for All-Star Superman is beginning to show its age, the only disappointing aspect of this entire disc. It’s a basic, satisfactory surround mix primarily limited to the front soundstage with minor rear usage. Clean dialogue and serviceable bass are the audio’s highlights. This is not a particularly immersive experience, rarely venturing beyond the confines of stereo imaging.

Christopher Drake’s rousing score perfectly suits the Man of Steel’s adventures. Fine dynamics and crystal-clear sound effects nicely mesh together in the sound design.

I wish WB would spend a little extra dough and mix their animated DTV movies for Dolby Atmos. It’s a glaring weak spot on their otherwise stellar line-up of animated DC 4K discs.

Optional English SDH, Spanish, French and Dutch subtitles play in a white font. French and Spanish dubs are offered in Dolby Digital audio.


Upgrading the 2011 Blu-ray, WB issues All-Star Superman on UHD in a combo package with a Blu-ray and digital copy. Two new featurettes are included on top of the same special features brought over from the earlier BD. A glossy slipcover is available on first pressings. The Movies Anywhere digital copy redeems in UHD quality, but make sure to redeem the digital code by 6/30/2025 when it expires.

The commentary from Morrison and Timm is illuminating, almost more a discussion of the comic book series than the actual movie. Morrison gushes over the adaptation and doesn’t take issue with any of the changes made for the screen. Morrison takes a deep dive into his creative process for All-Star Superman in the documentary. It’s quite revealing and absolutely essential viewing.

Unexpectedly WB has included most of the special features on the 4K disc as well as the BD, which is a welcome change. Why should UHD owners need to change discs to hear a commentary or watch bonus features?

Bruce Timm and Grant Morrison Audio Commentary – Insightful and enjoyable, producer Bruce Timm allows Morrison to expound greatly on his creation in this easygoing discussion. Timm admits he’s a real fan of the comics and wanted to do them right in this medium.

The Art of the All-star Adaptation (07:57 in HD) – A new featurette diving behind the scenes and inside the process of screenwriting, designing and scoring the animated adaptation of the famous Superman comic series. This fascinating doc features insight from executive producer Bruce Timm, director Sam Liu, character designer Dusty Abell and composer Christopher Drake.

An All-Star Salute to the Silver Age Superman (07:16 in HD) – Explore DC’s historical inspirations in Grant Morrison’s love letter to the wildly fantastic Silver Age of Superman in comics. A new featurette which nicely captures the era’s tone and zeitgeist.

Superman Now (33:45 in HD) – In a moment of inspiration, Grant Morrison was provided an opportunity to revamp the Man of Steel into something modern and more relevant for today’s audience. This is the story of how the idea all started, including words from former DC publisher Dan DiDio. A thoughtful and almost exhaustive peek behind the curtain.

The Creative Flow: Incubating the Idea with Grant Morrison (09:35 in HD)– A detailed look at Grant Morrison’s original sketches and ideas. Bizarro and other characters are mentioned.

Digital Comic Book – A fully readable digital copy of All-Star Superman #1 is included. You’ll need a large screen to read the printed dialogue.

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

All-Star Superman
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


A love letter to the Silver Age, Superman’s greatest story is adapted by Bruce Timm et al. in a wonderful animated adventure

User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 56 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD:

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