Superman Unchained #6 (Comics Review)

DC is struggling right now. Two of its biggest books have been facing consistent delays, and that is just not helping anything. Hot on the heels of Geoff Johns and David Finch’s Forever Evil being delayed and with the final issue to come out two months from now, is the fact that the latest issue of Scott Snyder and Jim Lee’s Superman Unchained arrived in stores just this past week, after a month and a half of delay. Which means that its been two and a half months since we last had an issue of the series. There have been other delays also, and they certainly haven’t given me a good impression.

Given that its been so long since Superman Unchained #5 came out, I had to reread that issue before diving into this one. It let me take in the proper context of the story in this issue, and judge it accordingly. All of which means that I’m very disappointed in the new issue, because it mishandles several things. The story is nowhere near on par with the previous issue and even the art has quite a flaws in it, too obvious to ignore.

Superman Unchained 06I usually love Scott’s work. His Batman is pretty damn good, as is his The Wake for Vertigo. With Superman Unchained however, he has struggled. The first couple issues were downers, but then he slowly improved over the next three issues. Somehow though, we are back to how things were in the first two issues. The pacing is off, the story is not interesting, the characterisation leaves a lot to be desired and so on.

In the previous issue, we saw that the techno-terrorist group Ascension had simultaneously launched all the nuclear missiles in the world and that this was an extinction-level event for Mankind. Given the nature of the situation facing Superman and Wraith, the former calls in his Justice League friends to help out, but even then it is all a race against time. I liked that Scott brought in the wider DC universe to the series with this issue, but it was all a passing cameo and nothing more. I’m actually quite disappointed because frankly it was a great opportunity to show how Superman’s friendship with Batman is so much different than the professional relationship he has developed with Wraith, and that doesn’t happen. Batman and Wonder Woman are basically in and then out, gone before you can notice.

Wraith, who has been the odd man out in the series since it began, had just started to develop into a nuanced and deep character but in this issue all that goes by the wayside. What little dialogue he gets here is all something that we’ve seen before. He is, in fact, a cliche here, and that is the most disappointing thing of all. Because he really is nothing other than a physical opponent to Superman, and even the action sequences we get between the two of them are stilted. Nothing game-breaking, nothing startling. Not really.

Lois too is in a similar position as Wraith, because her character has been dialed down in this issue from the complex character she was becoming in the series, which was laudable since the main series hadn’t really been taking her in seriously.

But most of all though, I’m just confused where Lex Luthor and Jimmy are. The news that the series is getting canceled with its 9th issue had been a bit of a gut-blow, and now because of that, we are not going to get any more of this series after June. Which makes it just about a year from when this series launched. I don’t know why it is getting cut, but the delays contributed to the sales undoubtedly, given the gap between this issue and last as well.

On the art side, I don’t have many complaints. It was typical gorgeous Jim Lee work with excellent colours from Alex Sinclair and inks from Scott Williams. But, there were some downer panels for sure. Such as when Lois is struggling with a bunch of Ascension thugs. One of the panels in which he backsnaps her head at one of them is just totally weird because you don’t really understand what is going on. In the context, it makes sense, otherwise not. And these kind of things continue on, making the art a bit messy, truth be told.

Overall, I certainly wasn’t a fan of the issue. Scott and Jim can both do much better work han this, and that is what I want to see in the series. Sadly, with only three more issues to go, I doubt anything is going to change.

Rating: 6.5/10

More Superman Unchained: #1, #2-3, #4, #5.

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Posted on March 21, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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