It occurred to me that as big of a superhero fan that I am… I’ve never actually read a Superman comic. The shame!!! I rectified that with this one 😉
Catching space stations plummeting to Earth with terrified astronauts aboard – business as usual for Superman. Once he’s taken care of the wreckage, Clark Kent writes a piece about him. However, seems Clark got his facts wrong. He wrote that Superman stopped seven objects, but there were actually eight. Superman took care of all of them… right? In his investigation, he finds handprints in the steel. Not many could have pushed it off course and harmlessly into the ocean. But if it wasn’t Superman… then who? Clark is about to stumble upon a secret the U.S. Government has been sitting on for 75 years, and there are some who’ll do anything to stop him from discovering it.
I enjoyed it, but I think there was too much going on in this story. There are multiple plot points that come together messily in the end. One part I enjoyed was seeing Clark’s inner monologue during the fight scenes. There was a lot more science-y stuff than I expected: velocity, UV spectrums, etc. It shows how intelligent Clark is to be able to think of that stuff on the fly! It did slow down the pace a bit for me, but I didn’t mind too much. There is a bit in the middle/end about the philosophy and agenda (or lack thereof) of Superman, which I found really interesting. This deluxe edition had a good number of variant covers at the end, all drawn in the different styles of comic book eras.
Again, I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure this was a good “beginner” Superman book. The story is a bit convoluted and it drags. There’s more emphasis on the action than any character development. The art is very good; a few two-page spreads at the beginning completely blew me away with the amount of detail. You’d probably have to really like Superman to fully enjoy this book. However, I do like Superman, I should read more, and I’m going to!
Snyder, Scott, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Sinclair. Superman Unchained (Deluxe Edition). 2014.
March 12, 2018 at 1:14 pm
A couple of those splash pages at the beginning were done as a so-called “poster” when the first issue was initially out. I got suckered in on it, and was extremely disappointed that my “poster” was nothing but a couple of glorified over-sized splash pages that could easily have simply been double-page splashes or such.
Particularly in single-issue format, I often feel such pages are “cheats”–yes, they’re technically pages of story, but when there’s just a handful of words for multiple pages, I feel like I’m paying more to page quickly through (as it’s far quicker to take in a visual than words or the two combined).
This series did get me to buy one of the FEW variants I’ve actually had any interest in (Superman “victorious” over a green-suited Doomsday, by Dan Jurgens for #1–I believe it was in the cover gallery in the back of the hardback).
I also remember this series initially being rumoured to be called something like “The Man of Steel” or such, and briefly thinking we’d actually have “all 4 Superman titles” again (Superman/Action Comics/Man of Steel/Adventures of Superman) at the time.
I agree–a lot going on in the story, and not really a great beginning Superman story.
I’d highly recommend Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek–it’s a self-contained story set in a “real world” where a kid’s parents (last name Kent) named him Clark, and the life he faced from that–including a discovery of super-powers; and what it would be like for such a person in a world devoid of other super-powered beings outside of its comic book stories.
Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman is also a good one for a self-contained-ish Superman story; and Superman: For All Seasons.
I’d list off a bunch of others, but I’ve had nearly 30 years of reading Superman stuff…
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March 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm
Thanks for your recommendations and insights! I get where you’re coming from about the splash pages, but I enjoy looking at them nonetheless ;D It’s always fun to meet a long-time fan =D
March 15, 2018 at 6:54 am
Wow, your first superman comic. Doesn’t sound half bad for modern day superman stuff. Honestly, I prefer 90’s superman comics (you just have to get over the mullet sometimes.)
March 15, 2018 at 7:03 pm
Omg! I should have started with ’90s Superman! The mullet cracks me up every time X,D
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