Comic book review: Superman Unchained #1 (spoiler free)

A new funny book for the Man of Steel…

What’s it about?

In “The Leap”, eight satellites mysteriously come crashing down to Earth in a single day, seven – including a secret American/Japanese/Russian co-venture – are brought down safely by Superman.  Suspecting that Lex Luthor is responsible, the plot thickens as Clark Kent discovers that someone else has diverted the eighth satellite, bringing it down into the Andaman Sea…

In review

Superman Unchained sees the launch of the hotly anticipated new monthly Superman title from DC Comics by current New 52 Batman writer Scott Snyder and fan favourite artist (and DC Comics Co-Publisher) Jim Lee (Justice League).

Given that DC’s other current monthly New 52 Superman titles (Action Comics and Superman) have been receiving a mixed response from both critics and fans (I dropped Action Comics after around #4 myself and haven’t even read Superman) a lot has been riding on Superman Unchained and thankfully Snyder and Lee have delivered the goods.

Superman is a difficult character to get right, he’s an awesome character with plenty to appreciate but for every decent Superman comic book story there always seems to be two or three mediocre ones.  Snyder gets the nuances of the Superman/Clark Kent dichotomy and doesn’t reinvent the character, he just reminds us of what is so great about the world’s premier superhero.  Yes he has amazing abilities that every boy (and geeky man-boy) dream of but it’s also the strength of his moral code and the ‘human’ aspects of Krypton’s last son that make him interesting and relatable.  Snyder also realises the importance of Superman’s supporting cast and there’s some fun little moments with Perry White, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson.

Of course this wouldn’t be Superman without the action to complement proceedings.  There’s a pulse-pounding opening sequence that sees our hero grapple with the colossal A.I. enhanced satellite known as the ‘Lighthouse’ and Jim Lee’s art (together with his long time collaborators, inker Scott Williams and colourist Alex Sinclair) is, as you would expect, nothing short of sublime – detailed, rich and epic.

Following a tantalising cliff-hanger, the issue is rounded off with a back-up epilogue story by Snyder and artist Dustin Nguyen and an insightful “5.2 questions with Scott Snyder and Jim Lee”.

The bottom line:  Superman Unchained is off to a good start, nicely building anticipation for issues to come with a potentially epic storyline that’s only just beginning.  It’s the Superman comic you’ve been waiting for!

Superman Unchained #1 is out now in print and digital formats from DC Comics.


One thought on “Comic book review: Superman Unchained #1 (spoiler free)

  1. Pingback: What I Didn’t Buy Today (And Why I Should Have/Shouldn’t Have) – Superman Unchained #1 | Jyger's Rant

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