Written by Scott Snyder
Cover & Pencils by Jim Lee
Pencils & Inks by Dustin Nguyen
Inks by Scott Williams
Beware of spoilers!
I slightly missed the boat by not reviewing issue #1 on time and was highly tempted to go back but maybe I will just add it in to the pile of items for a classic review.
I mentioned in my review of ‘Batman/Superman’ #2 that these two titles launched simultaneously for maximum impact during the marketing campaign for the hugely successful ‘Man of Steel’ movie. That being said you could be forgiven for being a little like you’ve OD’d on Superman over the last couple of months.
You could be forgiven for arguing why a second ongoing Superman title was required considering that the ‘Superman’ series is one of DC Comics highest grossing titles each month.
In discussion about the book writer Scott Snyder discussed that he wanted to work on a Superman title which was to Superman was ‘Court of the Owls’ was to Batman. It’s a character piece which Synder says will ‘challenge him to his core.’
I have freely admitted in the past that Batman is my number one hero and that Superman has been low on my list of priorities to read. Yes, I loved ‘Lois & Clark’ as a child but that’s been the be all and end all of my fandom until the prospect of ‘Man of Steel’ ignited my interest.
In terms of this book my interest was piqued by the involvement of Jim Lee… my ultimate her of comic artists. The ‘ICON: The DC Comics and Wildstorm art of Jim Lee’ sits proudly on my coffee table and will do for a long time to come. I am borderline obsessed with his representations of characters from the Batman universe so I was intrigued to know how his art would revolutionise the Superman franchise.
The results… brilliant! I am enjoying the straight up ‘Superman’ title but it’s a genuine feast for the eyes to see what Lee and Nguyen are doing in this title. In this issue we also get to dip in to the Batcave so have DC Comics two flagship heroes drawn by Jim Lee on the same page is always a moment for fanboys to get over excited.
The story of ‘Unchained’ is unravelling at a nice pace. Issue #1 introduced us to the world and how it differs from other Superman titles and now in issue #2 we’ve dispensed with the introductions and can now get down to the nitty gritty of the story.
Snyder is not wrong in saying that this story is going to test Superman and his abilities. There’s a lot of mistrust in regards to his character from all angles so we’re almost witnessing a retelling of his origin albeit from a different angle.
On another note I feel like Snyder has approached Superman at a more personal level. In the ‘Superman’ and ‘Justice League’ titles I feel the god-like nature of the character but in ‘Unchained’ the characters feels somewhat different. His monologues portray a character who is a little more unsure of himself and I particularly enjoyed the opening pages where he counts down the seconds whilst trying to decide how to save the people in a collapsing building.
I wonder how more long term fans of the character feel about this added dimension of humanisation that the character is being put through in this title. My personal complaint about Superman was always that I felt his character wasn’t relatable to me as an alien – don’t know why! – but now I feel in both the movies and comics he’s been humanised to a point where I suddenly feel able to relate to him. Is it me? Or is it the way the character has grown over the years?
If you aren’t reading the ‘Superman’ series but are interested in dipping in to his comic form then I suggest you start reading this series. Highly entertaining and well executed.