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Superman Unchained #5

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By Scott Snyder, Jim Lee & Dustin Nguyen

Superman Unchained has been underwhelming. The first issue was great but it quickly lost steam with bland storytelling. Issue #5 has made reading those boring issues all worth it. Snyder takes everything that makes the series awesome and expands on them to make an issue that does Superman some serious justice.

This Wraith guy has been boring as all heck. I seriously hated him. That’s why it’s so impressive that Snyder has changed my opinion of him in only a few pages. Superman and Wraith end up in a philosophical battle of wits in the Fortress of Solitude, where they discuss the core values of Superman. It’s fascinating stuff that makes you ponder what makes Supes tick.

There are some flashback scenes thrown in which are meant to echo what is going on in the present. Snyder uses these scenes to full effect, causing everything to come full circle. Snyder has been known for some fascinating character work and he’s finally making it work in Unchained.

This is one beautiful book. Jim Lee’s pencils are incredible but that’s not anything too shocking. The guy is so good at superhero art that it’s almost boring to talk about. The most impressive work is the flashback pages done by Dustin Nguyen – this is some of his best work. There’s a boyish charm to his work that warms the heart and reminds you of being a child running around in a Superman cape. John Kalisz also deserves credit for the colors on Nguyen’s work. Everything is being invaded by sunlight, which works as a Superman metaphor on numerous levels.

If anybody dropped Superman Unchained, I would suggest giving this issue a try. Snyder wrote his tail off and the art is truly spectacular. If this is a sign of things to come then count me in.

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