It does this long-time comics reader’s heart good to see Superman holding down the top position in sales as he has the last two months (and I hope he’ll do it again for August). What better way is there to celebrate the Man of Steel’s 75th birthday?


When you put some of the top talents on a classic character, sometimes it just soars!
Lots of action and suspense team up with 24-style multiple storylines to keep the reader as well as the Man of Steel occupied.
You have to read the previous issues to “get” what’s going on, but that’s common these days.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in SUPERMAN UNCHAINED: Superman’s found out the secret the U.S. Army tried desperately to keep from him—or more specifically, that secret’s found him! But with a hijacked drone aircraft tearing Tokyo apart, there’s not much time for mystery…and with Lois Lane on the case as well, what’s in the darkness will come to the light!


Batman remains my favorite comics character, so it’s no surprise I was happy to read Scott Snyder’s take on the Man of Steel. DC also did an excellent job when they scheduled the first issues of Superman Unchained to appear in shops the same week that the Man of Steel film arrived in movie theaters.

Snyder and Jim Lee are two of comics’ brightest stars, so putting them on Superman was a dream come true for me.

What I enjoy about this comic is that Snyder is taking something of a 24 approach to Superman. He’s got many storylines taking place at the same time, the way that Jack Bauer used to have to run from place to place (with his cast mates) to resolve a lot of things happening at the same time.

Superman is dealing with Wraith in the main plot. Lois is in a crashing plane, another plot. Lex Luthor has set himself up as a future foe for the Man of Steel to fight. Also, in the back-up story, Luthor approaches Jimmy Olsen, asking him to be HIS “pal,” creepy as that is.

There’s action and suspense galore, which propels me quickly from page to page.


Jim Lee’s style meshes well with Superman. He excels at dynamic sequences, and I thought the rocks and machines were flying right past me, they seemed to be so real. I know some folks want the Man of Steel back in his “satin drawers,” as I like to call them, but Lee’s armor feels much more modern and realistic for today’s audiences.

In the back-up story, Dustin Nguyen does well at telling a much more confined story since it takes place in Jimmy Olsen’s place. He does do a great job on making Lex tremendously villainous.


I realize that Mr. Snyder and Mr. Lee will always be big draws for this title as well as Clark is, but sometimes it’s good to put the “big guns” on a character that deserves it. And that’s what I feel DC has done with Superman Unchained.

I know some people don’t like it when this happens. I’ve read negative reviews of this book, and I realize that ambitious foldout in the first issue turned some people off. I was able to open it pretty easily, so it wasn’t a problem for me.

Long may Superman Unchained fly to the top of the charts!

Rating: ★★★★★

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  1. August 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    Is it sad that I knew this was going to be a ‘5-star’ review just by seeing the by-line?

  2. September 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    Frankly, I’m a bit tired of every foe that Superman faces to not only be more powerful but laughably so. When they came up with the idea of the Elite, it was strange to see Superman so outclassed. Now it’s every month a new god-like villain comes down from space and basically looks at Superman and goes “Meh”. There needs to be foes that are in his same class that can challenge him without power level escalation. I feel like I’m watching Dragonball S or something.

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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.