Monday, November 18, 2013

Superman Unchained #4 Review

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Jim Lee
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6, 2013

Keep Your Friends Close and Let Your Enemies Save You

Scott Snyder is a Comic Book Rock Star.  His Batman is the crown jewel of the New 52 and whatever he writes seems to turn to gold.  However, I must admit that I had trepidation when I heard he'd be penning Superman Unchained.  I was afraid that his layered writing and strong monologues that make Batman so special would not work with the Man of Steel.  Superman is a hero who always wants to do the right thing and punches things...real hard.  It's strange to admit it now, but I thought Snyder might be too smart for Superman.  As is usually the case, I was dead wrong.  Scott Snyder gets Superman and him and Jim Lee are already taking us on a hell of a ride.

Explain It:

Superman is fighting Ascension with the help of Wraith.  Yes, we aren't really sure of the brute's motives, but he seems to be on Superman's side...for now.  No matter the reason, Wraith is really laying it out there to save Superman's hide.  Meanwhile, Lex Luthor has taken Jimmy Olsen captive is is not so much torturing him as he is mentally abusing him.  He is making origami figures of Batman, Wonder Woman and of course Superman and asking Jimmy cryptic questions about how they will die.  There might not be anything creepier than a grown man making paper dolls, just saying. 

There's lots going on in this issue because at the same time Lois is recovering from Ascension crashing her plane.  She seems to have survived with the help of a blind man with a shard similar to the one Superman has in the Fortress of Solitude.  He tells Lois the shard is the secret to everything right before Lois is knocked out guessed it, Ascension.

The Issue ends with Superman in dire need of medical attention, Lois learning that Ascension has some personal ties and Lex telling Jimmy that he will kill Superman.  Holy Crap!

Scott Snyder is a master storyteller.  He gives you enough to whet your appetite while leaving so many things unexplained.  This issue goes in so many directions, but your happy to follow them all.  What makes the book so special is Snyder's take on the characters.  Superman wants to help everyone, but can't even seem to help his dearest friends or himself.  Lex is bat-shit crazy and a genius at the same time which makes him all the more scary.  Lois is strong and independent, but still needs Superman's help.  Everything fits so well.

Speaking of masters, Jim Lee's art is second to none.  His work here is so vibrant and detailed and his action scenes are awesome.  I know the guy has problems meeting deadlines, but when the work is done it is worth the wait.

The only problem I have with this issue is that it gives more questions than it answers.  It is a minor issue and one that I know will eventually pay dividends in the future.  I'm just nitpicking so I don't seem like I want to have Snyder and Lee's baby.

Bits and Pieces:

Superman Unchained #4 continues Scott Snyder and Jim Lee's run as the best Superman book in the New 52.  This issue is action packed, mystery filled fun and excitement.  The storytelling and art combine to make this one special book indeed.  Must Read.


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