Martin Deer reviews the first issue of Superman Unchained....
After his stellar work - and it is stellar, despite my own criticisms of some elements - on Batman since the reboot back in September 2011, Scott Snyder has been handed the reigns to Superman in an entirely new title. Since the New 52 launched, Superman has not fared too well. In fact, his treatment has been woeful. In his own title book Superman, there has been nothing to like about the character at all. In Action Comics, Grant Morrison got the character off to a great start, but depending on your particular tastes, that title went in a strange direction that didn't see it pick up again until Andy Diggle and Tony S. Daniel took over on issue #19. And were immediately announced to be leaving. So, things have not been great for the Man of Steel in comics of late.
Enter Snyder and Jim Lee, given a whole title to bring a Superman we can care about to the masses. At last. Sort of. This was an interesting story, and there is a bigger, much more interesting story that is going to play out in the coming months. There is, a slight problem though: Jim Lee. His art is gorgeous, there is no denying that, however why does Superman look so angry? Why is he frowning and looking so aggressive? I hope that Lee can dial that back a bit as Superman doesn't need to be angry and pissed off for no reason.
The story has a very nice touch in that Clark no longer works for the Daily Planet, as he feels the Planet is not in the place it should be right now and isn't reporting the stories it should be - the people stories. Hopefully Snyder might take this down a route that has something to say about journalism today. It could be very interesting how this develops. Snyder has done something interesting with one of Superman's villains, which again, will be interesting to see how it develops. Whilst this may not be a brilliant issue it is a very solid start and gives me hope that Snyder can do for Supes what he has done for Bats.