Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Superman Unchained #3
Snyder, Lee, Williams & Nguyen
DC has a lot of trouble with Superman and their portrayal of the character. This comic series throws their top creators at the character telling their definitive story and the first two issues started off well but this one is just another average Superman story. The character still feels very thin and the main plot that is moving around him isn’t original or that interesting. Snyder puts together smart dialogue and Lee provides great pencils but the story just isn’t much different from all the others unfortunately. I’m hoping the next issue picks this up again.
Basically, this issue allows for Superman to learn about the super-powered being that is working for the US government. He calls himself WRAITH. The information dump is broken up by some action and then wraps up with more action. First the pair fight then there is a team-up or do I have that reversed? You read and decide.
The book puts General Lane in the role of Luthor or Thunderbolt Ross here as he has a major problem with Superman and he lets him know about it. He doesn’t like that Superman simply won’t fly around and kill off all of the heads of state that the US deems to be threats. WRAITH is the enforcer that will get involved and carry out those acts but only when Lane lets him off his leash.
You’ve read all of this before in some form or another. The take on Superman is not very good which makes the story stand out all the more as being very average. Superman comes across as an uninformed brat that has little to no experience and has no charm to him at all. The character’s dialogue could easily have been spoken by countless other characters in the DC sandbox. Unfortunately this appears to editorial’s direction for the character and it is a very poor one.
On the upside, the complicated subplots that swirl around the main one are interesting. Snyder’s hold on Lois Lane’s depiction is terrific and I hope that she sees more page time in the coming issues. Snyder also introduces a very interesting multi-tiered threat by the book’s end that will seem to make the book less good versus evil and more gray areas against gray areas.
The artwork is good but not great. Scott Williams is listed as the sole inker but there seems to be more than one at work here. The pencils look crisp and detailed for some sequences and sketchy and loose on others. While the visuals look great in the fight scenes they seem to labor through the few pages that are heavy on dialogue. It’s a good visual book but nothing close to great.
Superman Unchained is a lot like any other Superman story. There are some brains behind something sinister plot, in this case General Lane, and some muscle to execute it, in this case WRAITH. There isn’t much in here that doesn’t read like a Hulk comic or countless other Superman stories. With the character of Superman being so lifeless there isn’t a lot to hold on to here. Hopefully the next issue will pick things up again.
2 out of 5 Geek Goggles