Superman Unchained #1 Review


“The Leap,” published by DC Comics.
Main story written by Scott Snyder, penciled by Jim Lee, and inked by Scott Williams.

What a Super-barrage! Man of Steel comes out soon and Comixology has made Superman (Volume 1) #1 & All-Star Superman #1 free. Siegel & Shuster’s Superman #1 offers 64 pages of action, while Morrison & Quitely’s All-Star #1 presents an awe-inspiring man of wonder. For the five-dollar asking price, how much entertainment is there for the 22 story page Unchained?

superman-unchained-001-cover-resizedDC’s newest Superman comic, Superman Unchained #1, isn’t earth-shattering. However, Superman spots a falling satellite that will land on Earth in a big crunch if he doesn’t avert catastrophe. That set piece is satisfactory, but isn’t a completely fluid experience for me reading it from panel to panel.

After the satellite and a detour to visit Lex Luthor, Clark, who left the Daily Planet to start his own news website, debates with Lois about headlines and ledes. Clark settles for fiddling around with keyboard and mouse. Lois can reposition stories and ads with floating holographic doohickies, impressive tech for a print publication. Whether Lois having convos with Clark, a lower-rung competitor to the Planet, presents a conflict of interest isn’t clear.

What else is of note? Seeing art filled with busy details due to the craftiness of Jim Lee and inker Scott Williams. Checking up on some familair faces. Synder and Lee gush about Supes in their interview. That double-sided poster where Superman examines fleshy steel.

See artist Jim Lee talk about Superman Unchained:

Unchained #1 has a fascination with warfare, whether nuclear, cyber, or conventional. The nuclear theme is especially reinforced in the epilogue (penciled by Dustin Nguyen) featuring reminisces from Perry White and a freaky incident on the Pacific Ocean.

Then there’s the rest of the cast. Lex Luthor isn’t a major factor, Jimmy Olson is shown to be an admirer of Batman, and we finally know General Lane’s whereabouts. On an possibly spoiler-y note, a new menace is introduced with a cute homage to a famous catchphrase only for said character to be seen at the end. Snyder sets the pieces for a great Superman yarn, plots a solid opening, but the way the Super-storytelling game isn’t radically changed in this issue.

Synder and Lee’s treatment of Superman is genuine and reverent. Supes isn’t as tense and is nowhere near as crazy as Snyder’s Batman. For a start of a big Superman story, Unchained #1 is good, but the whole package, with the poster and interview, isn’t five dollar good.

Preview Superman Unchained #1 at Comic Book Resources.
Read Superman (Volume 1) #1 and Read All-Star Superman #1 from Comixology.

Author: Clarence

Webmaster, editor, writer of Red-Headed Mule. RHM was founded in 2011. Currently is liking British TV better than U.S. TV, mayhaps.