It can be hard to shock longtime comic book readers with a story starring a character that's been around since 1938, but in 2005, writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely debuted a monumental 12-issue DC miniseries called All-Star Superman that did just that. In the story, Superman finds out that he's dying after his cells were over-saturated with yellow sun radiation, thanks to a scheme hatched by Lex Luthor. The rest of the series revolves around Superman pulling off amazing feats of both strength and altruism as he attempts to tie up all of his loose ends before the inevitable.

The story is both a sentimental look back at the character’s history as well as an exploration of what Superman means, not only to the DC Universe, but to us reading at home as well. Morrison adds poetic touch to Quitely’s art, which ranges from delicately beautiful, to widescreen and action packed. For years writers and artists have been afraid of making Superman a reverential symbol out of fear of alienating audiences; however, in All-Star, Morrison and Quitely brazenly took this challenge on and delivered the best Superman story of all time in the process.