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The Art of Superman Returns

A glimpse behind the scenes of Bryan Singer’s latest CG-packed motion picture…

Author Daniel Wallace | PublisherTitan Books | Price £26 | Web www.titanbooks.co.uk

There’s something greatly appealing about concept art – especially that of major motion pictures. And especially that of the latest instalment of Superman. After all, any concept artist would give their left hand (or right, depending on dexterity) to work on such a project.

And that’s why we were so excited to get our hands on this latest ‘Art Of’ book from Titan. Containing over 200 pieces of art – including costume design, environment paintings, storyboards and more – this book feels packed to the rafters; every illustration (apart from those originally in pen and ink that is) is full colour, and large images give this tome a real luxury feel.

The book is neatly divided into sections – looking at the conceptual art and designs behind characters and sets. Naturally it starts with the man of steel himself, focusing on the highly debated change of costume, and looking in detail at the texture of the new, smaller S crest. It’s this level of detail that makes the book so interesting. Another example of this comes in the Metropolis section, where you’re treated to concepts of the entire city right down to artwork featuring on posters in bars.

The Metropolis section of the book is particularly impressive, with amazingly-detailed artwork from Tani Kunitake, Jeff Julian, Jim Feldman and others on show.

The Krypton section is a little short of art – and although it’s undeniably impressive, we wish there was a little more in the way of concepts detailing Superman’s ship and home planet. The final section, showing Lex Luthor, his henchmen and costumes (along with some cool storyboards) is a fitting end to a great book. If you love Superman, it’s a no-brainer. If you love concept art, it’s definitely worth a look. If you love both… well, you work it out.