“Superman Unchained #1” Kicks Off in Epic Style

Scott Snyder’s much awaited debut at the helm of a title starring DC flagship superhero the Man of Tomorrow, accompanying the now-box-office-smash Man of Steel movie (from Watchmen and 300 director and fellow nerd-hero Zack Snyder) the excitingly titled Superman Unchained kicked off with issue #1 early this June, and, along with the free copy of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s “All Star Superman #1,” I eagerly picked up a copy.

Once again, Scott Snyder delivers; a wonderfully detailed depiction of Superman doing what he does best – saving lives in a huge spectacular fashion, explosions and tension abound – kicks off the issue, and it’s executed with the same mastery of storytelling we’ve come to expect from Snyder after his runs on both Batman (still ongoing with the recent Year Zero story arc) and Swamp Thing in the New 52 alone. Snyder writing skill is matched only by his sense of familiar originality, perfectly illustrated here as he finds tension in someone coming so close to getting the better of the Man of Tomorrow himself. I think we were right to be excited to read Snyder’s take on a Superman story!

Superman Unchained #1 Cover by Jim Lee
Superman Unchained #1 Cover by Jim Lee

Featuring a huge pull-out piece in the first few pages of the issue, for me, it’s actually the artwork that is the most astounding in this issue. Jim Lee is himself a true comics legend so it should come as no surprise, but the sheer scale of the images in their immense detail truly show off what a lifetime in the industry can achieve.

The only criticism I would have are that as the first issue in an entirely new title, I would have expected a little more story development; to really hook new fans into buying monthly issues, I would have expected a little more story to give readers a better idea of the style of comic to come. However, with limited pages, I would have also found it impossible to omit any of Jim Lee’s panels for this issue!

I’m extremely excited to see where the story can go from here, with a classic comic cliffhanger framing the end of the issue I expect most readers will be eager for more and I’ve decided I’m among them. Even if Snyder’s writing isn’t as epic and exciting as it has been (which is unlikely!), I feel like I’m going to have to keep up to date with this title—even if it’s just for the artwork!

Superman Unchained #1 Variant Cover by Jim Lee
“Superman Unchained #1” Variant Cover by Jim Lee