By Scott Snyder, Jim Lee & Scott Williams
The Superman titles got a big push when Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. took over the regular Superman book, but Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are still the authority of the Man of Steel with Superman Unchained. The New 52 hasn’t really been too kind to big blue as both of his books were met with mediocre reviews until this title came out.
There are characters that many writers have a hard time writing, and Superman is one of the toughest. It could be his characterization; it’s hard to make a stiff like him cool or mysterious, but Scott Snyder does a fine job of making the Man of Steel a force to be reckoned with in this issue. That’s been one of the great charms of Snyder’s run, as his characterization is spot on for many of the players in this book. General Lane does come off as a bit of a generic villain this issue, but that’s a minor gripe. Since this issue is essentially two big battles, we are treated to a ton of action, which is done well. Honestly, the thing that hurt this issue the most is the delay. It’s hard to remember where the story left off and what is even going on in this book, the reader will most likely have to go back and read all six previous issues.
Jim Lee is absolutely one of the best artists on the planet, if not the best, and he does a fabulous job this issue. Superman always looks his best when Lee is behind it, and this is another great testament to that statement. There are many panels to love in this book, but a blackened out panel of Lois and Superman with the whites of their clothes visible is most likely the best. Alex Sinclair adds wonderful colors to the beautiful art that Jim scribes on every page. Lee draws the fight scenes in this book with such clarity and ease it’s not even funny. If you needed proof, see Batman’s gadgets attacking Wraith; that’s an incredibly awesome panel. We truly are treated to a master drawing one of the most iconic heroes of all time.
This was a pretty good read and Superman Unchained has proven to be one of the best Superman titles on the shelf, when it’s available. The delays have definitely hurt this book and that is a big drawback. Snyder and Lee work very well together and should team up some more in the future if possible. While this run won’t go down like Snyder’s Batman run, it is still an entertaining self contained story.