Scott Snyder has been writing Batman since before DC’s relaunch, and is more often than not met with critical acclaim. He introduced us to the court of owls, an amazing new set of villains for the Batman universe. Now he’s writing Superman as well, and his book about the man of steel is off to a good start.
Superman Unchained 1 is a large comic. The cover is thicker and of a shinier material than DC’s usual. There’s a fold-out poster with narration in the middle of the comic, and there’s a full interview with Snyder and the artist, Jim Lee. The amount of content within easily justifies the $5 price tag.
The comic itself has a strong focus on who Superman is, and serves as a good introduction for anyone who hasn’t read a Superman comic before. His supporting cast is introduced, as is Clark Kent’s place in life. Snyder is writing Clark Kent as the human version of Superman, and it works very well. Lois Lane’s scene, while somewhat distracting, is not only a good introduction to the character but a decently accurate take on how newspaper editing works (I’m saying that as a recent Journalism graduate who has worked with publications).
The story is also intriguing. There’s a mystery behind eight objects that fell from the sky that is forcing Superman to use his brain along with his strength. The mystery leads to a rather intense cliff-hanger that could lead to an awesome fight scene in upcoming issues. The story has a much more down to earth feel than Grant Morrison’s recent Action Comics run, which makes it much easier to follow for new readers as well.
The art is also very good. There’s a great use of backgrounds throughout the comic, from the busy Daily Planet newsroom to the debris from the space station as it falls to the earth. The art is also used to add to the storytelling, rather than to help set the scene. The fold-out poster in particular looks great, with tons of detail and lighting effects. While the gimmick is a bit odd, and I kind of feel like I’ll damage the page every time I fold it out, Jim Lee made great use of it.
While this isn’t the absolute greatest Superman comic I’ve ever read, it was worth the higher price tag. It’s a good start to Snyder’s Superman writing and I look forward to issue two. Whether you’re a fan of Superman, a fan of Snyder’s writing or just want to check the man of steel out before watching the new movie, this is an easy recommendation.