What I Bought Today – Superman Unchained #3 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
WHOA, this is actually on time?! That’s right, it’s the return of…
So this week, there were some awesometastic comics released, so let’s check ’em out. But, since I have a lot I wanna say about one in particular, I’ve decided to give it its own individual post. So, the first comic up to bat today: Scott Snyder‘s Superman Unchained #3!
…Okay, I started this by making a baseball analogy, but I think football might be more appropriate here: Wraith (that’s the super-powered being they had underground) actually kicks Superman from the Salt Flats to Needles. However, it seems it was only to appease General Lane, after which Wraith asks Superman if he’d like to see his home…No, I’m not kidding. He comes off as somewhat socially awkward in that sense. So they go to his home, and Wraith and General Lane explain that in 1939, Wraith crashed into Earth and was found by General William Rudolph. Apparently he was involved in settling a number of wars over the past 8 decades, during which he was given the name Wraith, which stands for William Rudolph’s Ace In The Hole…and I will admit that I find that abbreviation kinda clever. Also, General Lane makes it clear what his problem with Superman is: It isn’t that he’s an alien, or that he finds him to be some all-powerful threat. Rather, Lane’s problem is that he WANTS Superman to go take down dictators and warlords, but instead he spends his time saving satellites and falling buildings, and by doing so, he lets more people die.
I should note for the record that I don’t find this being an example of Scott Snyder getting the message of Superman wrong. Rather, I believe he’s intentionally writing General Lane as someone who gets the message of Superman wrong to make a point. You see, if Lane had his way, Superman would have executed every last dictator in the world, as well as every single individual who was ever seen as a threat. However, Superman doesn’t do that, and with good reason: He’s not a one man judge, jury, and executioner. That’s not how he operates. To do so would not only compromise his ideals, but also put himself on too high a pedestal, which actually proves how wrong Lane’s got it, since he thinks Superman spends his time saving people to hear applause. And he doesn’t try to become overly involved in our every issue, because what would happen if we became so dependent on him and then, for whatever reason, he was gone? All that Superman can do is try to be the best person he can, so that we can learn from his example and be better for that, so that maybe someday we won’t need people like Lane going to war with evil diplomats, because there won’t be any. That’s something I feel a lot of writers continuously miss. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even necessarily blame the writers currently making that mistake, since that’s just been the way it’s been for so long. However, I can tell that Snyder CLEARLY gets the message of Superman, because, in an odd way, only someone who truly got it could write one of the antagonists as having failed to get the message as bad as Lane does here.
But anyway, enough ranting for now. While all this is going on, Lois Lane‘ plane has been forced down into the ocean by the Ascension group, but she and the others aboard are saved by…a bald guy holding a glowing blue crystal. I assume we’ll learn his deal next time. Speaking of Ascension, they start a ruckus in Tokyo, so Superman and Wraith go to deal with it. Wraith mentions that he feels very honoured to be fighting alongside Superman, but lets it slip that it’s also a shame. Why? Because apparently, sometime after they deal with Ascension, Wraith is going to have to kill Superman…Like I said, kinda socially awkward. And all the while, Lex Luthor is up to his old tricks, and has a super-suit stomping around, looking to do some damage, and eventually decides to go kidnap Jimmy Olsen…because Lois wasn’t home at the time, I’m guessing. lol
So I have a question: When this book is LEAGUES above Action Comics and the main Superman title, why did we have to wait two years to get it? I’m just saying, the team of Snyder, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Dustin Nguyen bring a MUCH better Superman book than we’ve gotten at LEAST since the beginning of The New 52. Heck, even Grant Morrison‘s run with Action Comics wasn’t all that good, and he’s the man who wrote arguably the greatest Superman tale of all time. The only thing I can think of is that Snyder was busy writing too many books at the same time and was only able to do this when he left Swamp Thing, and that theory falls flat when you realise he’s STILL writing a bunch of other books at the same time as this now, so…Yeah, I have no idea. Either way, though, this is the main reason I decided I needed to take this time to talk about this book on its own. I’m aware that there are a LARGE number of jaded Superman fans out there right now, and I’m just gonna say this: If you’re sick of how Superman is represented in the current crop of DC Comics, but you still want something new to add to your collection, this is your best option. Is it in the same league as All-Star Superman? Of course not, not even close. But it’s still the best Superman book going right now, and everyone NEEDS to know this.
So that’s Superman Unchained. Next up, time to take a look at the other books I bought today, and I hope you brought tissues for one of them, because if not, you are SO screwed. Ja né!
- Exclusive Q&A with “Superman Unchained” creators Jim Lee and Scott Snyder (kindlepost.com)
- REVIEW: Snyder & Lee’s “Superman Unchained” #3 (comicbookresources.com)
- Superman Unchained #3 (comicvine.com)
- SDCC 2013: Superman Unchained Panel (comicvine.com)
- Creator Interview: Scott Snyder (retcon-punch.com)
- SDCC: Snyder Takes “Superman Unchained” From Concept To Page (comicbookresources.com)
- CBR TV: Snyder Dives into Batman’s “Zero Year,” “Superman Unchained” (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Comics Solicitations for November, 2013 (comicbookresources.com)
- SDCC LIVE: Superman Soars Into The New 52 (comicbookresources.com)
- Threat Level Wednesday – Dinosaurs vs Cowboys, Trinity vs Infinity and Man vs Machine (whatchareading.com)
Posted on August 21, 2013, in What I Bought Today and tagged DC Comics, Dustin Nguyen, General Lane, Jim Lee, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, New 52, Scott Snyder, Scott Williams, Supergirl, Superman, Wraith. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.