COMIC REVIEW: ‘Superman Unchained’ #3

‘Superman Unchained’ #3
‘Superman Unchained’ #3
‘Superman Unchained’ #3

Written by Scott Snyder
Cover & Pencils by Jim Lee
Pencils & Inks by Dustin Nguyen
Inks by Scott Williams

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Beware of spoilers!

Having been a little slow to pick up on issue #1 of this series I’ve had a nice weekend where I’ve been able to read issues 2 and 3 back-to-back.

In my review of issue #2 I talked about the excitement of having a straight up Superman titled with Jim Lee behind the pencil and this issue starts pushing that to the extreme. Cover artwork aside there is some amazing artwork on display this issue, Superman’s introduction to ‘The Machine’ brings back memories of the fold out complete view of the Batcave from several years ago and the fight between Wraith and Superman is so well depicted it needs barely any dialogue or captions to explain what is going on.

It’s kind of making me jealous that Superman is getting the attention of Lee when I would love to see him back on a Bat title but I’m willing to forgive because this is – as always – some of his best work.

You can see the idea that this title is going to push Superman to his limits really starting to come through in this issue. The character of Wraith hasn’t had a huge amount of time to be developed yet but he is already proving to be a formidable character whose motivations are unclear to both Superman and the reader.

He starts out seemingly against Superman but then pairs with him on mission only for the book to end on a rather foreboding note.

It’s going to be interesting to explore more of his backstory over the coming issues and also see how ‘The Machine’ and all it stands for is going to push Superman.

There’s a great parallel between this story and elements of the ‘Man of Steel’ film. Conversations between General Lane and Superman seem to circulate around and issue which has ignited huge debate amongst fans because of actions that Henry Cavill’s interpretation of the character makes in the most recent film.

This issue veered a little from dialogue free scenes to scenes with very long drawn out exposition. When Superman first enters the bunker after facing off with Wraith it is down to Lois’ father to explain the backstory to the military installation and he does so in an impressively long speech which I found at times far too wordy.

It’s a forgivable offence seeing as how this is only issue #3 and this isn’t series retelling the origins of Superman.

What is impressive is the number of different plots which are still squeezing themselves in to these pages. Within the pages of this issue Lois manages to land and escape from the plane, we’re introduced to the military installation and get back story on Wraith and there’s still time to advance the Lex plot and to have a short back-up story featuring Jimmy Olsen. There’s a lot of character to juggle but in the hands of Snyder and Lee both the artwork and the script is managing it with great ease.

I’m finding myself consistently more drawn to this series than to the regular Superman title so I recommend you jump on board now before the story is too far advanced.


By Neil Vagg

Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & TV and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG