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Superman Unchained #1 - The Leap Review

5

Scott Snyder and Jim Lee team up to deliver a new Superman series that will bring a smile to your face.

The Good

We've been waiting some time now for this series to debut. We've been wondering how it will begin and what Scott Snyder and Jim Lee will give us. It's safe to say this comic doesn't start out the way you would think it would. Snyder has mentioned in interviews that he is bringing in a new character and the big questions are how will this character fit in and what will they mean for Superman?

The opening pages immediately show us that Snyder and Lee aren't going for a typical Superman story. The scenario brings about a great sense of mystery and you'll find yourself closely looking over every last detail on each page to try to get an idea what this could all mean. It's a secret from the past - from a time before Superman even arrived on Earth. It could be something he's not prepared to deal with.

Jim Lee's action explodes off the page. He delivers a great variety in tone and feel, based on the different aspects of Snyder's script. You might have seen the released images of the giant fold out pages. It's a great way to really give perspective to the situation. Some might say Superman is overpowered but seeing him out in space shows there are some things bigger than even Superman.

In this scene and in Superman's return to Earth, Snyder provides some narration through Superman's thoughts. This is always a tricky move as trying to capture Superman, or any characters,' inner thoughts has to be done carefully. The way a person thinks to themselves isn't always indicative of the way they speak aloud. How many Superman-action scenes have we read? 'Seeing' how Superman feels and the description of everything as he returns to Earth is something I never really thought of. Too often we just take Superman for granted. He has amazing powers and can pretty much always save the day and come out on top. By giving him an inner voice, Snyder makes Superman a little more human. This is something many writers have struggled with in the past.

It's not just Superman that Snyder gets to write here. We also see glimpses of Lex, Jimmy, Lois and even Perry White. Snyder makes all the interactions and conversations feel natural. It's like we're taking a peak into a private world and you'll immediately get the itch to want to explore more.

I can never get enough Jim Lee art. I've already touched on the massive action scenes. Lee also does an amazing job with Clark sitting in front of a computer or Lois holding a cup of coffee while on the phone. I'm not sure if I admired the big massive space scene more or the way Lois' hand looked as she held the coffee. Lee's attention to detail in even Jimmy's camera or a simple bagel is breathtaking.

Lee's art is complemented by Scott Williams' inks (as usual) and Alex Sinclair's gorgeous colors. Everything just pops off the page and gets sucked into your eye sockets.

If you want a nice juicy mystery and cliffhanger, you'll get a beauty of one as well.

Let's not forget the epilogue by Snyder and Dustin Nguyen.

The Bad

I am completely sold. This is an all-star creative team. It would have been nice to get some more Dustin Nguyen pages as well.

The Verdict

Is it any surprise this book is a home run? DC went all out when it came time to set up the creative team for this book. Scott Snyder has already won us over with his writing on BATMAN. Superman is a completely different character. The fact that we get a detailed view of his inner thoughts immediately gives the book a different feel. Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair make this an extremely gorgeous book. This isn't an issue you'll want to zip through. You will want to carefully look over each page and panel to take in all the art as well as carefully digest the mystery pouring over the pages. The addition of an epilogue by Snyder and Dustin Nguyen is like getting dessert after a great meal. This is what I want from a Superman comic. The only problem I had with book this is I want more.

113 Comments
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Edited by Goochmiester

I'm looking forward to reading this series but I think DC really lacked imagination and ambition when picking the artist... I mean Jim Lee, don't get me wrong he's good but we've seen his version of Superman before. Why not take a chance on someone who hasn't done Superman before. I'd love to see DC poach Olivier Coipel from Marvel to draw Superman, especially with Snyder writing...

Posted by jointron33

@goochmiester: Why the hell would you take a chance as opposed to doing a sure fire thing that will bring quality work and sales?

Edited by Jake Fury

Has the Court of Kryptonian Birds arc started yet? I get the feeling CV will give this series 5/5 every issue by default.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Not surprised!!

Edited by ShadowSwordmaster

I will pick this up.

Posted by Zeeguy91

Has the Court of Kryptonian Birds arc started yet? I get the feeling CV will give this series 5/5 every issue by default.

You know, Snyder isn't really the one-trick pony you're trying to make him out to be.

Posted by CraigWayne

I'll have to get this issue,great review

Posted by SandMan_

Has the Court of Kryptonian Birds arc started yet? I get the feeling CV will give this series 5/5 every issue by default.

Not very enthusiastic about it huh?

Btw, that doesn't start until issue 9 XD

Posted by DanteTheRedKnight

I don't understand why DC didn't just let them take over Superman instead of creating a new series. Nonetheless, I'm totally getting this!!

Posted by Tev18

i can't wait until tomorrow!!!

Posted by jstndmnd

@sandman_: who care! If you don't trust them, than why do your read and comment on them!

Posted by SandMan_
Posted by 4th_wind

Glad this went over well. Now I really have to check it out

Edited by KnightofSteel

So looking forward to this! With this first issue and the movie, this gonna be a great week for Superman! This'll be the first read off my stack tomorrow. It'll be nice to see Lee teaming up with Williams again. I consider Scott Williams one of the best inkers out there.

Edited by Squalleon

@mercy_: Grek Pak at Action Comics.
Its a Rumor thats going around.

Posted by bigboi100000

McFarlane draws the best Spider-Man, Turner drew the best Batman, and Lee draws the best Superman (Wolverine also). So the art is going to be there. After one issue I don't know if this will be a good book or not tho. Superman is just so hard to write by himself. I alwasys prefer special guest stars because of this. Everyone is on a Snyder hype too. He deserves it to an extent. Black Mirror was tremendous, and Court of Owls was great too, but Night of Owls was okay and ran thru to many titles doing nothing but the same thing. I felt like I was reading the same book over and over again. Same structure for Death of a Family. To long. To much of the same thing, and the ending was nothing unexpected. I just hope he's not the new Loeb. Loeb wrote Long Hallloween, Dark Victory, and Hush, and now everything he touches turns to shit. 3 classic, and now most readers are scared to even read a thing he does. Plus the 5 star rating thing again. I'm sick of complaining on how they give out the 5 star GIFT on way to many books. 4 stars means great, 5 stars means classic.

shut it

Posted by spiderturtle

Dammit Lee, do me a solid, and stay long term pleaseee.

Posted by EnigmaLantern

@g_man: great review, definitely looking forward to pick this issue up soon after your given review, I really had my hopes up on this title being good. So glad I've reserved this issue to pick up either today or tomorrow.

Edited by nightwingnerd

Going to the shop today don't know if I should pick it up though!

Posted by G_Money_Christmas

Awesome! Can't wait for noon (10am Pacific)! I hope I can get the Golden Age cover. It's 1/75 and it's going to be worth some dough, plus it looks awesome!

Posted by HollowPrince65

You know...I never really was a Superman fan. Ever. I like Scott Snyder. He did a great job with Court of Owls and I'm loving his Talon series. I wanted to at least give this a shot and just wow...I'm blown away and really want to continue this series.

Edited by Dark_Guyver

Great read! I can tell from this first issue that this will be THE Superman book to get out of them all. Snyder is fantastic and Lee's art is amazing. Ok, now I'm off to read Batman: Zero Year.

Posted by tomlikesfries

I really don't know what to expect now. There are just so many mixed opinions and reviews. I hope it's as good as you say it is Tony...

Edited by damndirtygeek

I was kind of underwhelmed by this issue as a whole. There was some great content, like the scene with Lex on the helicopter and the subsequent exchange. The immediate impression is that it is playing in the same wheelhouse as many other Superman comics of the last ten years; like "For tomorrow" and "New Krypton." I guess I was hoping for something a bit fresher, in the same way that Snyder's Batman has felt so fresh, and it seems as though an idea similar to ones in the aforementioned stories will play a big part in Unchained.

I'm sure people new to Superman or the New 52 will love it, because it is solidly written and drawn, and works great as a first issue in the sense of setting out the conflicts and relationships, I guess I was just hoping for a different kind of story.

Edited by The Stegman

I hated how they turned two pages into a removable poster, ruins the comic.

Posted by tikhunt

I actually loved the issue and would recommend it to anybody with the ability to to read. 5/5 pretty much sums up my thoughts and feelings towards this new series.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Gotta agree with @g_man here, Superman Unchained is one of the best Superman issues since the New 52 started

Posted by SmashBrawler

This was actually pretty good.

Edited by Owie

I don't really care all that much about Superman, although I've enjoyed the occasional story. I was willing to take a shot here because of Snyder--who's Batman this week was awesome, by the way. But it didn't do anything for me at all, to be honest. It seemed kind of generic, the kind of thing I would expect from a Superman comic.

Posted by The_Vein
Edited by Paragon_Sean

I liked this comic a lot! However, I'm not sure it really deserves a 5/5 rating.

The art, while quite good, is not brilliant or stunning. I like Snyder as much as the next guy, but I truly believe that the dialogue could have been a little better. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly captivating. I'm assuming this is because it's only the first issue, and the dialogue will improve as the plot thickens.

Posted by Booster_Bronze

OK I loved the comic and everything but there is something in the issue that is REALLY bothering me, perhaps because I have a Master's in History: Is there a reason why the bomb fell on Nagasaki in April 9, 1945 instead of August 9, 1945? Did they just get the date wrong or did Flashpoint change that key date in history, as well? It's one of the important dates in modern history and you'd think they wouldn't miss a massive mistake like that in editing unless there's a reason for the wrong date!

Edited by nightwingnerd

It was awesome I loved Lee's art and the big poster is awesome too!

Posted by The_Tree

OK I loved the comic and everything but there is something in the issue that is REALLY bothering me, perhaps because I have a Master's in History: Is there a reason why the bomb fell on Nagasaki in April 9, 1945 instead of August 9, 1945? Did they just get the date wrong or did Flashpoint change that key date in history, as well? It's one of the important dates in modern history and you'd think they wouldn't miss a massive mistake like that in editing unless there's a reason for the wrong date!

Mine said August.

Edited by batmannflash

this was great! plus Jim Lee's art is amazing! I thought Batman #21 didn't have anything going on yet, but Superman Unchained #1 started off with a boom

Edited by SOG7dc

@the_stegman:

me too. I absolutely hated it. was making a poster to come with it too expensive?

Posted by Booster_Bronze

@the_tree: Weird they must have caught the error and changed it for some issues but not others. It has the wrong date in the online previews that G-Man linked yesterday and I noticed it then, and my anal retentiveness immediately started to kick in. Did you get an alternate cover version?

Edited by The_Tree

@booster_bronze: I read it digitally, so maybe they fixed it with those but not print.

Posted by Hawkguy

One question... Idk why, but after Invincible it really bugs me... Sound in space? I enjoyed the issue but for some reason its really bugging me :/

Also, Zero Year and Unchained both had thicker back and front pages, is this the new standard for DC comics?

Edited by The Stegman

@sog7dc said:

@the_stegman:

me too. I absolutely hated it. was making a poster to come with it too expensive?

It just makes no sense, now I have to stuff it back in between the pages that it goes to.

Posted by amutant

I was wondering... if Lighthouse wasn't announced to the public as existing yet, then how did Jimmy Olsen know what it was called when he called Clark after it crashed to Earth?

Posted by SOG7dc

@the_stegman:

exactly. no I have to guy buy another copy so that when I open this one to read it again I have a bacup in case I rip it

Posted by Mezmero

I'm not really a Superman fan but I decided to check this out because it's Snyder. I wasn't digging the plot, characters, or action in this book but the art was gorgeous. I gave it a shot and it didn't sell me on liking Superman or anything so I probably won't keep up with it going forward. I see where you're coming from in this review I just can't get invested in Supes anymore.

Posted by ShadowSwordmaster

So does anybody have any idea who is the the blue guy here that went nuclear!

Posted by XXkaeselXY

The Bad: THE NAME! It just sounds so dumb! Why not bring it under the banner of one of the old Superman titles like Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Man of Steel, or title it based on a well-known moniker like Superman: The Man of Tomorrow, or Superman: Last Son of Krypton.

Adventures is in use. Man of Steel would cause branding issues with the movie. Man of Tomorrow and Last Son of Krypton are good titles but they are not as evocative as UNCHAINED.

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

I haven't been able to read the review yet (waiting till I read the issue in case of spoilers) but what is the deal with the pull out poster styled page(s) (front and back). I thought it was a poster but it is part of the story with dialogue.

Posted by red720

While we are being pedantic, Lex Luthor's power-plant design producing 600 Megawatts a day is up there with Han doing the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs.

Posted by red720

@hawkguy That was bugging me too, but a few panels later Superman says that he has to talk to them quickly before the station's atmosphere dissipates.

Posted by Humanoid

Jim Lee art is so ugly. Vomits.

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