Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Superior Superman

Hype in comics is a funny thing, it usually involves taking the best writer, someone known for writing a book that brought characters to life and made you read as fast as you could to solve the plot. And then teaming him up with an artist who's style is known worldwide, who has inspired thousand of others and can keep your eyes glued to the pages for hours on end. You take these two elements and combine them with a hero or a team who have a legendary status in the world of comics, and you got yourself quite the anticipated book on hand. Fast forward to a few weeks from the highly anticipated summer blockbuster, Man of Steel, and DC comics releases the dynamic team of Scott Snyder and legendary comic artist, Jim Lee to take on the tasks of brining Superman Unchained to life! But with great hype comes great pressure to deliver, some books have risen to the occasion and others have crumbled on that weight. But how exactly did Unchained go, well I will break it down to you what I thought of the new man of steel adventures. 

As with a lot of these reviews be aware of potential spoilers. 

So the story begins with a scene that takes place in Japan during the war, a bomb is seen drop from an American plane. The bomb is then revealed to be something else, or someone else. I loved the classic lines being used to describe what was in the air, a twist on the lines especially considering its a sign of doom, as opposed to hope. Tip of the hat to that. The story then zoom out to space, with Superman coming back to the planet, but not before crashing through a falling space craft to save the crew inside. This of course is the pullout page, which is an interesting take on the layout, a huge shot of Superman going through and on the back an up and close shot of him rip through all the steel. Call it a gimmick if you want, but I thought it was a really neat idea, not to mention seeing the pencils of this large shot is something to stare in awe and wonder. This is the power of Jim Lee, giving everyone a reminder of his pencil power. And to that degree, I am not complaining, this is what I love to see in comics. As soon as he makes sure everyone is fine, Superman goes to confront Lex Luthor, who is seen to be possibly attempting to escape with other inmates. Although you couldn't tell cause he is seen to be reading and not paying any attention to the chaos around him. Lex is accused to be behind bringing down the space station but denies any involvement, saying he only wants to do good for Metropolis and the world. I loved seeing how calm and cool Lex is, especially when talking with Superman, his life long enemy. After sending Lex back to the authorities, Clark Kent is working away on writing about the rescue, we get to see the classic characters of the Superman world; Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. The characters play well with Clark, especially the interaction between Lois and Clark, the classic back and forth. From his news report, he then realizes something missing from the days event, another space station that collapsed in orbit was placed down on Earth, but not by him. When looking for the answers, he is at the ocean floor when he is attacked by an American submarine. We find out, the military is trying to keep something a secret. What that secret is an alien life form, who is said to be capable of defeating the man of steel. But what and who is it?

So of course it goes without saying, the art was absolutely incredible. Jim Lee has the power to work on any book and make it absolutely eye popping, so it's a no brainer he is able to bring to life Superman with no trouble. That being said, I wished we had a few more large page spanning panels, but a story needs to be told, so we may have to wait for some of the later issues. As for the story, I liked the fact that this felt like a Superman story we know, but adding new elements as well. You have a collection of characters from the past like Lois and Lex, and you have a new and unknown threat as well just over the horizon. The characters we know, including Superman, stay very true to the stories we know and love, which is a good thing. No one seemed darker or edgier for the sake of being darker and edgier. As the first issue, Superman Unchained was really good in my opinion, I was never too big on Superman, so this book felt like a good spot to start following the stories and adventures. And honestly, if you wanted a good book to start collecting Superman comics, this would be the place to be. And the team behind this book is as talented as they are devoted to bringing you the best Superman book that they can, so I can't wait to see what exactly they have in store for the next issues. 

So there you have it fans of the big blue and red, if you haven't picked this book up yet, I highly suggest you to make it part of your collection. They released a series of alternative covers for this one as well, which I am sure many collectors have gotten there hands on, the covers each done by various different artist shows Superman through different iconic moments in 75 year history. If I had the money and the chance, I would totally get the Bruce Timm cover, love his work from all the DC animated series. But these are limited to a few numbers to each store, so if you can by all means pick one up.

That's all the time I got right now, thanks for reading and remember to subscribe to this blog to follow all kinds of comics news and reviews and inside look at the world of comic books. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, by following @ChileanStorm. I am also on YouTube, doing Time Well Spent on the Maddsketch channel and also doing my own Storm VLOG videos. And be sure to like the Spent Pencils page on Facebook, one like goes a long way. I am ChileanStorm, and remember to embrace the storm and keep running forward.