Snyder and Lee continue their exploration of the Man of Steel…
Written by: Scott Snyder / Pencilled by: Jim Lee
What’s this issue about?
In “The Fall”, the terrorist group known as ‘Ascension’ continue their technological attacks as Superman attempts to uncover the mysteries surrounding the satellite fragment retrieved from the Andaman Sea…
Pretty much maintaining the quality of the premiere issue (you can read the spoiler free review of SU#1 here), Superman Unchained #2 hits all of the same marks whilst furthering the current storyline.
Once again the issue opens with an exciting and epic (not to mention beautifully illustrated) action sequence as Superman works quickly to prevent Dubai’s Burj Khalifa from crashing to the ground, whilst also battling a prototype construction robot commandeered by the Ascension group (worthy of a multi-million dollar film I’d say).
Snyder’s script flows well, moving between the large action pieces and the story exposition without it jarring and a Batman cameo is always welcome as Clark pays a visit to the Batcave where he enlists the investigative skills of the Dark Knight Detective (sporting a Superman detection-proof suit!) in an attempt to unravel the enigma surrounding the handprint marked satellite fragment.
After a climactic battle with General Lane and his latest ‘toys’, the issue comes to a close with another tasty cliffhanger as Lex Luthor escapes prison to “save the world” and another epilogue story by Snyder/artist Dustin Nguyen picking up threads left earlier in the main story.
There’s nothing really else that can be said about Jim Lee’s artwork that hasn’t already been said many times over, he is one of the best in the business and among the visual highlights is a large spread of the Batcave (yes he’s done that before, as have other artists, but it never becomes tiring!) that I’m confident most readers will devote more than a passing glance to. I hope Lee (together with inker Scott Williams and colourist Alex Sinclair) will stick around for as long as possible.
Perhaps my only reservation is not necessarily with this title itself but the question that hangs over any Superman comic book series – how can the scale be maintained month after month without it becoming stale and monotonous? The answer may lie in Snyder’s characterisation (the inner monologue during the Dubai scenes is fun and the dialogue between Clark and Bruce Wayne/Batman carries the complexity of their relationship) and storytelling to maintain reader interest between the action – I look forward to seeing how this develops over coming issues.
The bottom line: Superman Unchained #2 is another solid issue in this still very new series. Whilst there are always reservations as to how well a Superman title can hold up month on end, I have faith that Scott Snyder and Jim Lee will continue to deliver for some time yet.
Superman Unchained #2 is out now in print and digital formats from DC Comics