Daily Archives: November 5, 2014
“Years ago, back when the world was on the brink of war, we sent a message into space. An equation that was more emotional than mathematical. An equation that added up to more than the sum of its parts–nonsensical, but aspirational. An equation that called out, and said ‘Help us be better’. We should never have turned to the stars for guidance. If there is an answer, it’s here on Earth with us. For years, I thought Superman was trying to be the answer to that infernal equation. And I hated him for it. But I see now what his actions say–There is no answer. Figure it out yourself. How to be better. As he is trying to do…And perhaps, now, at the end, I can admit that in being the farthest thing from an answer to that equation…he might have been the closest we’ll come to one.”
Superman Unchained, particularly this last issue, tells a story of Superman that shows that, even in being imperfect, even in not always knowing how best to do a thing, he is nonetheless an inspirational figure. He inspires by trying and doing what he believes to be the right thing, and while that might sometimes end in disaster, he nonetheless presses on and continues to inspire others to do the right thing, and to make themselves better for it. And, as we learn, he does so both as Superman and as Clark Kent, always fighting for what he believes in, even if the world begged him not to, because it was the right thing to do. As we see in this issue, he is given the means by which to save the world, at the cost of his own life, and is willing to make that sacrifice, to put the lives of many over his own. Yet, he’s still saved in the end, and not by a friend, but by an enemy. The story of Superman Unchained has not only been about Superman’s own struggles against Ascension, General Lane, and Wraith, but of Wraith himself. We see by the end of this issue that Wraith was so changed by his encounter with Superman, his enemy, that he gladly took his place at the last moment, sacrificing his own life in the Man of Tomorrow’s stead while showing no regrets upon doing so. And that is Superman’s greatest asset: Not his astonishing superpowers, nor his brain that processes information thousands of times faster than the average person, but his ability to inspire others to be the best person that they can be.
Scott Snyder once again has told an epic of a tale with Superman Unchained. I don’t think it’s his greatest work, but it’s still pretty damned awesome. I will say that part of what makes it so easy to enjoy this book is how much it feels like a legitimate Superman story, something that I feel has been missing from The New 52. Also, I don’t know exactly what went wrong with the publication dates and why the last few issues were set back as much as they were, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that Snyder, and Jim Lee for that matter, were simply so busy with other projects that things had to be pushed back, though I could be mistaken, and I apologize if I am. Still, even with that in play, I loved this book, and am going to miss it now that it’s over. Here’s hoping that Scott Snyder gets another crack at Superman someday.
…Oh right, Superman’s in Batman Endgame, isn’t he?! I suppose that should count for a great Superman re-
……………Or not. lol