A man like Lex Luthor keeps many secrets. But what is the truth of Project: Chained? Your Major Spoilers review of Superman #6 from DC Comics awaits!
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Gleb Melnikov
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Editor: Paul Kaminiski
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Previously in Superman: After the horror of Knight Terrors, Superman has learned that Lex Luthor kept a prisoner beneath Stryker’s Island for decades. Who are they and why did Lex lock them up?
Can Superman unlock the secrets of the Chained?
THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF LEX LUTHOR
Last issue, an imprisoned Lex Luthor was stabbed, near-fatally, in prison, an attack that was coordinated with a super-battle to keep the Man of Steel from hearing and intervening. This issue opens with Lex in surgery, while Superman keeps himself busy by stopping a robbery in an unusually brusque style. When he finally gets to the Daily Planet, Clark Kent takes a meeting with new Editor-In-Chief Lois Lane, who suggests that he use his new job as the head of the former LuthorCorp to figure out the biggest skeleton in Luthor’s closet. With the aid of his new executive assistant, Mercy Graves, he discovers that Lex built an inescapable prison cell buried deep beneath the Stryker’s Island prison, a facility designed to hold a single occupant.
And they’re still down there.
MOOSIE DRAPER IS CANON AGAIN
As someone who likes Gleb Melnikov’s art, evoking as it does bits of Tim Sale and Joe Quesada, there’s something about the color in this issue that doesn’t work for me. It reminds me of when the Big Two publishers reprinted something from the Golden Age with full computer effects, distracting not only from the coloring but from the positive aspects of the art itself. Williamson’s story gives us some interesting developments with Lois’ promotion and Lex’s murder, but like so many modern stories, it gives us a conspiracy that has “always” been part of Metropolis. It may have worked with the Court of Owls over in Batman, but there comes a point where diminishing returns set in. Still, the first meeting of Superman and The Chained goes very badly for the Man of Tomorrow, which leaves us with an exciting cliffhanger ending.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT FOR ME
There are some good ideas in play in the pages of Superman #6, but like so much of DC’s output after Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, it feels divorced from the rest of the DCU, and the mismatch of coloring and art style is problematic enough that I don’t feel the need to come back for more, leaving this issue with 3 out of 5 stars overall. If you’ve been following the goings-on in Metropolis (and you’re not bugged by another retconned-in conspiracy), you’ll likely find more enjoyment here than I did.
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Williamson's script does some impressive lifting, but the clash between art and coloring/production makes it an odd reading experience.