Thursday, February 27, 2014



WRITER: Scott Snyder
PENCILS: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen
INKS: Scott Williams
COLORS: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz
LETTERS: Sal Cipriano
COVER: Jim Lee and Scott Williams with Alex Sinclair
VARIANT COVERS: Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Dave Johnson, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Neal Adams, Jerry Ordway, Dan Jurgens, Lee Bermejo, Brett Booth
40pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (August 2013)

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Last year, DC Comics unleashed a new ongoing Superman comic book series to coincide with the release of Man of Steel, the 2013 relaunch of the Superman film franchise.  Superman Unchained is from burning-hot writer Scott Snyder and superstar-for-over-two-decades artist Jim Lee with his longtime inker, Scott Williams.

Superman Unchained #1 (“The Leap”) opens with a brief (kind of) prologue that takes place in Nagasaki, Japan on April 9th, 1945.  We move to the present (which seems like a near-future) and find Superman trying to stop a space station called the Lighthouse from causing an epic catastrophe when it crashes to Earth.

Superman has suspects for the Lighthouse event, which include Lex Luthor (on his way to prison) and a cyber terrorist group known as Ascension.  The Man of Steel is probably wrong on his suspects, and there is a lot that he doesn’t know.  But Superman doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

Superman Unchained #1 is one busy comic book.  Scott Snyder, obviously in love with his dialogue, packs this first issue with so much talk and exposition.  This first issue is like a box of “Raisin Bran” (or one of its knock-offs) infested with raisins – just too much of a good thing.  The story is a slick piece of sci-fi-lite, complete with digital displays and shiny tech.  The story, however, doesn’t really get hot until the last page of “The Leap.”  Of note, there is also a two-page epilogue drawn by Dustin Nguyen.

Speaking of busy, that’s Jim Lee’s pencils.  Lee draws so much anemic line work and so many scritchy-scratch lines that we should be thankful for Scott Williams ability to rein in Lee’s excesses and eccentricities.  As usual, Alex Sinclair’s colors turn the art into comic book eye candy.  I have to admit that I’ll be back for future issues.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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