Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Superman Unchained #8 Review (Scott Snyder, Jim Lee)

Well, this was a nice surprise! I thought Scott Snyder and Jim Lee were done with Superman Unchained for a while, especially as the hardcover collecting #1-7 was announced a while back (I guess that’s going to change?), so it’s nice that they’re still aiming to finish up the 9 issue series sooner rather than later. 

At the end of the last issue (which I had to go back and check, it’s been so damn long!) Wraith had been blasted by Batman’s computers in the Batcave along with Wonder Woman, and Superman had dealt with General Lane’s robot army attack on the Fortress of Solitude. Superman Unchained #8 opens up feeling like we’ve skipped an issue, or at least missed out on a few scenes. 

There’s no mention of Batman and Wonder Woman - of course they survived but still - and Superman and Wraith are in the midst of a battle. It’s a helluva battle though! They literally go through the moon and then go way down through the Earth’s crust. But we’re talking about two super-powered beings - how would anyone win? And that’s what’s interesting. 

Superman manages to level the playing field and it becomes about who’s a better fighter. Because Superman learned to fight, even with his superpowers, he’s able to beat Wraith, who only ever relied on his powers to win fights. Without them, Superman’s able to use human cunning and ability to defeat him. A brilliant move from Scott Snyder! 

The comic closes out with an interesting dilemma - to save the world, Superman must sacrifice himself. Will he? It ties into The Iliad, which Lex was reading in the first issue, foreshadowing this finale. 

Jim Lee draws some of his famously BIG scenes with a cargo ship appearing on the second/third pages and several moments throughout of Superman and Wraith duking it out against a series of dramatic backdrops. To be honest, there’s nothing here that’s truly memorable or breathtaking - if you’ve seen Lee’s art before, it’s basically more of the same here - but it’s certainly not bad art either. 

I have to say that DC’s ad placements in this comic are really outstanding for one of the Big 2. There are ads on the inside flaps and on the back but only one in the middle of the comic (for Arrow) - the rest is uninterrupted story! Well done, DC, let’s have more of this from now on, please! Marvel: take note - your comics are starting to look like catalogues!

Superman Unchained #8 is a good Superman comic that’s a fun read, though I do think that the series has lost a lot of steam due to its untimely release schedule. I’m on board for the finale though and I’m sure it’ll read great in collected format too.

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