Superman Unchained Takes Superman Back to Basics

superman_unchained_cov

superman_unchained_cov

Superman Unchained #1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Jim Lee
Ink: Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics

This week undoubtedly marks one of the biggest weeks in the 75 year history of Superman. Not only is the character finally getting a movie worthy of his greatness, but DC Comics actually had the wherewithal to let one of their best writers tackle the world’s most popular comic book character. With Superman Unchained, DC is hoping to tap into writer Scott Snyder’s undeniable talent to bring their character back to forefront of comic pages after tumbling so far down since the New 52 took place. Sure, Snyder was a good choice, but just to be safe they hooked him up with the one and only Jim Lee. So is Superman Unchained the New 52 story we’ve been waiting for, or do two industry giants fail to live up to our own lofty expectations?

While most of you bought this issue without needing a review, those who are waiting to hear the results may have made a huge mistake. The book has been selling out across the continent, leaving many who didn’t pre-order in the dust. It’s hard not feel for these people, but when you’re at home with your copy and that gorgeous 4 page spread hanging on your wall, you know you made the right decision. This is Snyder, Lee and Superman at their finest.

The story is classic Superman grandiose and Snyder is milking it for all it’s worth. Apparently someone has been hucking space junk down to earth like weapons of mass destruction. Superman has been lucky enough to stop most of them, but like anyone whose neighbour keeps dumping their trash in your yard, Supes’ is getting upset. Snyder’s ‘write every issue like it’s your last’ approach really shines through. He hits all the right notes, knowing exactly what he, and the reader, wants to see from a Superman tale.

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Snyder, like all the great Superman writers before him, revels in Superman’s sheer power. Snyder’s Superman is a powerhouse that flies through space, lifts a space station and still has time for a bagel with Jimmy.  Far too often, writer’s make the mistake of weakening Superman, hoping it will make him more relatable when all they really need to do is keep him as is; an alien looking for his place in the world. Snyder gets this and so do we, and now after what seems years, we finally have Superman back.

And then there is Jim Lee. What more can be said about Jim Lee’s art that hasn’t been said already? If you were to walk into an art class, throw this book down and walk away, you’d find a lot of people following after you. Perfection has been reached and it’s not going to be topped until the next Jim Lee book. The only real problem with the book is the giant four page pull-out that has been shared across the web all week. It’s gorgeous, but it’s glued in there and it’s part of the story. So unless you buy a second copy, I’d stick to digital for actually reading it lest you damage your precious page.

Superman Unchained feels like a long time coming and it has been. Since the New 52 the world has lost the Superman they fell in love with. But now that Snyder is here, the arrogant boy that’s replaced Superman is long gone. Superman the man, is finally back.

-Sean




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