Superman Unchained #8 | Writer: Scott Snyder | Artists: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Dustin Nguyen | Colorist: Alex Sinclair | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com
Scott Snyder has done a fantastic job of giving Superman some opposition in Wraith that has taken him to his physical and mental limits.
Their give and take with one another over the course of events in Unchained has shown Wraith big brothering Superman, to a degree. You knew that their ideologies were going to create a rift in their “relationship” and that they would eventually come to blows.
Now we all know that Superman always finds a way to win; however, Superman being put into check at every turn by Wraith made me scratch my head and wonder how he would obtain victory.
Everything has led to this issue where two superpowers come to blows in a grueling showdown that spans the globe and beyond.
This wasn’t just a slugfest for the sake of Jim Lee’s amazing splash pages. It was a methodical but fierce attack that had Superman coming up with idea after idea, only for his plans to be turned around on him tenfold. Snyder’s inner dialog presented an opportunity and displayed concern as thinking, “What would Batman do” when trading blows was kind of surreal.
Superman is kind of a one-trick pony when it comes to fist fighting; he is the king of the overhand right. That wasn’t going to cut it this time around, and he needed to feel out Wraith to find his range and get in his comfort zone. Jim Lee should always draw a Superman book. He perfectly captures the sense of wonder and despair when illustrating the Man of Steel’s exploits. There is one scene where Wraith spins Superman around, by his cape, like a helicopter blade, and throws him from the Gobi Desert to the Arctic. I thought I was looking at a 3D image; it was drawn so well. It’s a bummer that this is the second to last issue.
The Synder/Lee dream team has done what no one else has done since the genesis of the New 52, and that makes Superman compelling. I know he is a hard character to write for because he is virtually indestructible, along with a whole laundry list of other reasons. The trick isn’t simply giving him a stronger foe but putting him in a situation that tests his limits while highlighting the core essential elements of what makes Superman, well, Superman.
Scott Snyder and Jim Lee get it, and they did a wonderful job giving us a fight, one year in the making, that exceeded expectations across the board.
Score: 4.5 out of 5