The premise of the imprint was to partner DC Comics' top tier characters with the most popular and acclaimed writers and artists. The creators had access to all elements in the characters' histories to present their interpretation for a modern audience that have not read these DC characters' comics previously, or had not seen them lately. The creative teams were not beholden to any previous and present continuities, and told stories that featured "the most iconic versions of these characters".
The project had been compared to the Ultimate line of Marvel Comics, which was a successful attempt to re-introduce Marvel's most popular characters to a new generation of readers by presenting new, updated versions unburdened by decades of plotlines. There were several differences between the two imprints, though. While the Ultimate titles have closely interrelated storylines, of the two All-Star series released, there has been no effort to make them conform to each other or indicate they exist in the same continuity. Another is that All-Star did not seek to introduce brand new versions of the characters so much as to present them in unhindered continuity. In short, this meant, although Robin's origin is "rebooted" in this imprint, this was not the case for other All-Star titles or the DC Universe.
Some observers, and DC themselves, had pointed to the return of DC's major film franchises as an impetus for All-Star. "No one can doubt that some kind of continuity shedding is necessary with Superman and Batman coming to the big screens," the website Comicon.com wrote. "Moviegoers entertained by these films would find the current comics storylines impenetrable ".
With the end of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman and the rebranding of Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All Star Batman and Robin as Dark Knight: Boy Wonder as well as the introduction of the DC: Earth One line of OGNs, the imprint is effectively defunct.
All Star titles
Only two All-Star titles have been released. The original intent was for the creators to present versions of the DC characters the public could identify with but has since evolved with the creators' sensibilities and story direction. In that regard, DC Comics has decided that each of the series would end when the creators decide they are done rather than continue with a new creative team. The All-Star titles are self-contained, despite sharing a label. Each story within each book has the option of also having its own continuity, without ties to previous stories.
- All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder is the first title to come out of the All-Star imprint. It premiered on September 2005. The first story arc featured artist Jim Lee and writer Frank Miller. This series features stories set in the early stages of the career of Batman, beginning with his recruitment of Dick Grayson as his sidekick Robin. Vicki Vale, Black Canary, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, and Batgirl also appear. After the series being on hiatus for nearly two years, DC Comics announced on April 2, 2010, that Miller and Lee would return to the series in February 2011. Instead of falling under the "All-Star" print, the series will be re-branded as "Dark Knight: Boy Wonder," and will run for six issues, completing the story Miller originally intended to tell. All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is in a spin-off continuity set in Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Universe" which consists of Batman: Year One (also in the mainstream DC universe), Spawn/Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
- All-Star Superman premiered on November 2005. The creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely finished their twelve-issue run in 2008. There are discussions with Morrison on a spin-off limited series or special possibly featuring the Super-Sons and Men of Tomorrow.
There were several other titles announced that would have added to the All-Star lineup but due to the end of the imprint and lack of further announcements, it is unlikely they will ever see publication.
- All Star Wonder Woman was confirmed at the San Diego Comic Con 2006, with Adam Hughes announced as writer and artist. Hughes intended to retell the character's origin story, and described his approach to the series as an "iconic interpretation" of the character, but explained at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International that that project was "in the freezer" for the time being, due to the difficulty involved in both writing and illustrating himself. As of October 2010, a page on his website indicates that after the current Catwoman series ends with issue #82, Hughes will cease his DC cover work, and will focus on producing the six-issue All-Star Wonder Woman series.
- All Star Batgirl was announced at the Toronto Comic Book Expo in 2006. Geoff Johns and J. G. Jones will work on the first six issues, which will present a connection between Barbara Gordon and Arkham Asylum, and a mystery to Batman on Batgirl, in Johns' words, like Batman: The Long Halloween. The title is described as not taking place in the continuity of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.
- Ultimate Marvel - a Marvel Comics imprint preceding All-Star with a similar purpose.
- DC: Earth One - another DC-Imprint that reimagines its most popular heroes.
- The New 52 - DC's reboot and revamp of the companies superhero books for easier access for new comic readers.
- DC Comics
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- ↑ "www.popmatters.com". www.popmatters.com. 2006-01-06. http://www.popmatters.com/comics/all-star-superman-1-2.shtml. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- ↑ Newsarama: Dan DiDio - 20 Answers, 1 Question - November 26, 2008
- ↑ "What's Next for Frank Miller and Jim Lee?", DC Universe: The Source
- ↑ "Sanderson, Peter; "Comics in Context #119: All-Star Bats: The goddamned Batman according to Frank Miller. Can redemption be found for the widely-despised All-Star title?"; comics.ign.com; February 6, 2006". Comics.ign.com. 2006-02-06. http://comics.ign.com/articles/685/685820p1.html. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- ↑ Brady, Matt. "Grant Morrison: All-Star Superman, and much, much more" Newsarama; May 3, 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-06-29.
- ↑ Brady, Matt. "SDCC '06: HUGHES TO WRITE & DRAW ALL STAR WONDER WOMAN" Newsarama; July 23, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2013-5-24.
- ↑ Brady, Matt. "ADAM HUGHES ON HIS NEW EXCLUSIVE & ALL STAR WONDER WOMAN" Newsarama; August 21, 2006. Archived from original on 2006-08-30. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
- ↑ "Adam Hughes Sketching 11" YouTube; August 21, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- ↑ Updates & Info Just Say Ah!. Archived from the original on 2010-10-02. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Brady, Matt. "TORONTO 06: GEOFF JOHNS TALKS ALL STAR BATGIRL" Newsarama; September 3, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2013-5-24.
- "All Star Superman #1", by Neil Kenyon, PopMatters, January 6, 2006; review that compares and contrasts All-Star and Ultimate lines.