Saturday, June 15, 2013

Superman: Unchained # Review 1 Or A new look for ‘Big Blue’




Scott Snyder's success on the New 52 Batman run has prompted DC to have him and Jim Lee do a new Superman book. Obviously, the intention is two-fold, one, hype 'Supes' in time for the movie and two have a superstar writer and artist make ‘Big Blue' cool again. I'll be 100% honest I'm really in this to see if Snyder can do with the ‘ Last Son' what he did with the ‘Dark Knight'.


We open up over Nagasaki, August 9th of 1945. For those of you asleep in history class that was the day Fat man and Little boy destroyed the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, to force the Japanese to surrender during WWII. At least that's what we thought as Unchained tells us a slightly different story, one that the government has kept from the people. In the present day, Supes is deflecting seven satellites and space stations thrown into the Earth by some unknown force. After a daring rescue, Superman travels to Metropolis, where the infamous Lex Luthor on his way to super-max makes origami visions of the city out of pages from the Iliad. Superman questions him a bit then flies off to his life as Clark Kent, unemployed blogger, where he blogs about himself as Superman, chills out and discusses bagels with Jimmy Olsen. Lois contacts Clark to tell him that his blog was wrong and Superman deflected eight satellites and not seven. The last scene in this issue presents the reader with a conspiracy and hints at a secret weapon the military has had since that faithful day in August.


Scott Snyder has done a great job at casting a net of mystery into this ‘Man-of-Steel’ story, which is something I did not think could be done. I’m not used to seeing Supes have to figure things out without punching them, and the possibility that the military has something that could match ‘Big Blue’ makes this at least a worthwhile book to check out. What intrigues me is the constant level of distrust for authority and power; Snyder builds in the current DCU reminding this reader a bit of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movie trilogy. Now I know this is a superhero book and it has a high chance of turning into a punch-face-fest, but the fact that Supes is actually going to need to use his investigative skills to crack this, adds a fresher spin on a character that has been bland for years.




Jim Lee, what can I say about him? He's a legendary artist, one of the modern pioneers in the field of creator owned work and co-publisher of DC comics. Of all the things I can say about Jim Lee I'll say this, he doesn’t finish what he starts. I love Jim Lee's art I have since Hush, but I'm not sure he's gonna have time to devote to this book and his other duties. He didn't seem to when he was Editor-in-Chief of Wildstorm and books he was working on, namely the Intimates, got cancelled. However, let's hope he can do this book at least for an arc and then maybe Greg Capullo can come in. Alex Sinclair reminds us the Superman is still the brightest hero of them all and while the suit has changed the big blue blur stands out like the star on the Christmas tree.

The Real

Good start to a book that I otherwise wouldn’t have read if the writer and artist didn’t catch my attention. I look forward to seeing how his mystery unfolds and what Snyder does to make this bland character refreshing and new. On the plus side, this was a great marketing tool and I am now even more psyched to see the Man-of-Steel which I may or may not review.
Rating 3.5/5

All images credited to Comic book Resources

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