Superman Unchained by Scott Snyder

details
Title: Superman Unchained.
Writer(s): Scott Snyder.
Illustrator(s): Jim LeeDustin Nguyen & Scott Williams.
Colourist(s): Alex Sinclair & John Kalisz.
Letterer(s): Sal Cipriano.
Publisher
:
 DC Comics.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: March 8th 2016 (first published December 9th 2014).
Pages: 336.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401250935.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

thoughts

Only a couple of writers in the comic book business have an incredible understanding of Superman’s character. From his humanity to his destructive powers, his secret identity as Clark Kent to his mantle as the world’s greatest hero, there isn’t a more complex reality for him to embrace and only a few writers are able to grasp its subtleties and properly convey it in stories revolving around him. With the impressive and staggering creative power that comes with a team like superstar comic book writer Scott Snyder and legendary artist Jim Lee, there is no surprise that fans are rewarded with an exquisite character-centric plot, detonative action sequences, and marvelous artwork to complement it.

What is Superman Unchained about? While he vows to save anyone in danger, his actions still remain ill-advised by certain elites with power. Featuring key characters such as Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Lex Luthor, dawning their respective personalities to perfection, from sarcasm, comic relief to high-intellect cynism, this stand-alone graphic novel introduces a mysterious being who has been living right under the nose of Superman for countless years. While its intentions remain unknown at first, he serves as a messenger of change for Superman by questioning his title of a hero. While Superman is challenged on his beliefs and his way of life, his end is envisioned and only he can decide what will happen next.

Set within the New 52 era of DC Comics, the story focuses on Superman’s exploration of his own strengths, weaknesses, powers, and responsibilities. Collecting issues #1-9 as well as bonus material regrouping an incredible amount of variant covers for the single issues and a Superman Unchained Director’s Cut, this cutting-edge take on Superman succeeds in summarizing the reasons why he remains one of the greatest heroes alive.

Untitled

Self-contained, perfectly-detailed and rendered to perfection, Superman Unchained showcases the creative team’s ability to expand the Man of Steel’s lore while paying their respect to the multi-level story-telling that is often accomplished with this hero, from Superman’s personal growth to his intergalactic interventions. Seamlessly introducing a character without the struggles of achieving believability, Scott Snyder does a terrifyingly good job in establishing its personality while circumscribing it with a role in the grander scheme of things. Where the story also shines is in the colloquy between various characters, where intriguing questions are raised and answered, without overstretching the plot in unnecessary directions.

Just as expected from the title, Superman also goes all out in this graphic novel and proves the world why they should be happy that he is pure of heart. To brilliantly illustrate his godlike powers and the beauty of his strength, Jim Lee channels his greatest penciling skills and delivers eye candy. Highlighting the Man of Steel in all of his glory, Jim Lee’s visionary artistic style conveys all the ideas you would associate to this hero, from gracefulness to hope. Not only does Jim Lee fully uses double-page spreads to draw incredible scenarios and poses, the colourist who worked on this project elevated the artwork to unmatched levels with injections of explosive, bright, and dynamic colours. Even if the storytelling were to be unimpressive for the reader, the artwork alone allows this graphic novel to be relevant and a must-read for comic book fans.

Superman Unchained is an incredibly stunning and action-packed exploration of the Man of Steel’s devoir towards humankind as he’s summoned to make the ultimate sacrifice.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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17 comments

  • Glad to hear that this hit all the right buttons for you Lashaan. Supes does not do much for me, but this is still a fantastic review and makes me want to like Uberguy.

    I dig your slideshows, and yeah, the art and layout are outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, I’d rather be Batman if anything myself. And what’s great about this story is that there’s even some awesome bromance between Bats and Supes in there. 😀

      Thanks for the kind words, Icky! It’s always a pleasure to hear that it’s appreciated! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow…high praise indeed! As I mentioned before I think I’m not a huge Supes fan, but I do have to admit that this one sounds very good. I especailly like the fact that it’s a self contained story, and the art definitely looks amazing. I know Jim Lee from way back when he was pencilling the X-men and he’s always been one of my favorite comic book artists. I might go and check this one out. Fantastic review Lashaan! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Got to give it all the love it deserves after all! 😀 And yes, Jim Lee has never drawn anything bad since his X-Men days. He’s just that good! Good thing he also teams up with fantastic writers a lot of the times. 😀 I’m glad that he’s now DC’s co-publisher and Chief Creative Officer! We’re in good hands when it comes to comics with him. 😀 Thanks for reading, Michel!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I was out of the comics info for a bit, but was quite surprised when I heard he made the move to DC. I have some of his Justice League graphic novels and they are pretty good! 😊 Cool to here that he is now Chief Creative Officer 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  • SO glad you finally got around to checking this out my good man and even more so that you enjoyed it (as I knew you would). Your review was such a rich read and I feel you dug a lot deeper than I did in mine, it makes me love this story even more – definitely top tier Superman for me, even though it’s the New 52. Man, I wish DC would give us an Absolute edition…it’d make a great animated film as well!

    Have you ever read Superman: For Tomorrow? I think you’d enjoy that one too, it’s written by Brian Azzarello with art by our fave – Jim Lee! It’s one of the stories Henry Cavill has cited as wanting to tackle onscreen…if we ever see him don the cape again 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • A big thank you to you, sir, for giving me that extra push into picking it up sooner rather than later, especially after your review. It’s definitely good and Jim Lee makes it an irresistible gem. An Absolute Edition is a must! I don’t know why they didn’t do that yet.

      I have For Tomorrow on my list to be read. I’ve been hesitating a lot on picking up the Absolute Edition for it too. But man, if you put up a review for it before I read it, it’ll probably get me to read it much sooner than expected though! 😬😂

      Liked by 1 person

  • I read this mini series in its individual issues as it released. I remember it starting off very well, with a great exploration of Superman as a person, while also showing his abilities in a unique way. Scott Snider is known more for his Batman work, but he also writes Clark Kent very well. However after issue 4 or so, each issue got more delayed than the last. By the time issue 9 finally released, I had no memory of what happened in the rest of the series. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this more as a whole if I read it all at once, but I still haven’t done that. Maybe I should some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. He definitely understands both heroes quite well and it translates beautifully in his stories. I think you should definitely revisit the story in its graphic novel format. The delays in between issues make it insane for a reader.

      Like

      • Yeah, I believe there was more than 5 months between the last two issues. Jim Lee is a great artist once you get the final product, but he tends to draw slowly. He should probably focus mainly on graphic novels.

        Liked by 1 person

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