With a mythic weight to it that feels epic, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman exceeded expectations. I didn't know if I was going to be a fan of the artwork, but I've subsequently picked up other comics of Quitely's. His art careens somewhere between sculpted beauty and the grotesque.
The series opens up with a space mission to the sun that goes awry (thanks to uber-villain Lex Luthor). Superman, naturally, saves the day, but not before absorbing lethal amounts of solar energy. It makes him stronger and more powerful than ever, and it will kill him.
Superman, his mortality virtually assured, proceeds to make a living will and resolve some of the things he's put off for so long. From his engagements with Lois and Jimmy, to final confrontation with Luthor and Bizarro, the story feels urgent. What it is to be Superman is translated directly for several of the characters, and the results are at times charming and grounding.
I haven't checked out the animated film, but that might be on my list. The graphic novel series, however, is moving and a keeper in my collection.