Supes is back in issue #2 of Superman Unchained, after last month’s tease of a new villain. In issue #1, writer Scott Snyder and artist Jim Lee impressed with spectacle, mystery, and some insight into the man from Krypton. However, with creators like Snyder and Lee, Unchained must be held to a higher standard. These two have proven that they produce quality, and their readers expect it. This issue provides more setup for what should be an interesting turn of events.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
This issue continues Superman’s investigation of the being that stopped one of the satellites that fell in issue #1—along with starting two new plot lines. Lois is investigating a man supposedly from the Cyber-terrorist group Ascension, and Lex Luthor claims to be planning to save the world. With all that is going on, it’s hard to find a boring page in the comic; the issue involves some Clark & Bruce bromance, a confrontation between General Lane and Superman, Lois Lane on a falling plane, Lex Luthor breaking out of jail, and Superman coming face to face with Wraith for the first time.
Snyder continues to deftly write more inner dialogue for Clark, where we once again see the way he handles a situation. He must think quickly, second by second, to save as many lives as he can. The action being alongside Clark’s inner dialogue seems natural and it works to characterize him in dire circumstance. Superman’s fallibility and overwhelming power serve as good juxtaposing factors–and it will be interesting to see how this style of Supes continues on into the future. This is especially true when the new villain, Wraith, is theorized to be stronger than Superman by none other than Bruce Wayne.
Lee’s art works wonders for the comic. With great writing comes great responsibility for an artist. Jim Lee is a legend, but even so, his art must come together with Snyder’s writing, and Snyder’s writing must be worth the beautiful art from Lee. These two great creators not only are trying to make a fantastic Superman comic for their readers, but by working with each other, they can make each other better.
The epilogue has a nice moment clarifying the relationship of Batman and Superman, along with some subtle foreshadowing about what is to come.
The comic is a bit exposition heavy, but that comes with any science fiction story.
Snyder and Lee continue to show why they deserve so many fans. The comic weaves a few new plot lines while keeping the main plot clear and in focus, looking beautiful the whole time. Next month will be an interesting one.