KindleDownload iBookBuy Now

Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman Unchained" Comics

Superman Unchained #7 Superman Unchained #7

Superman Unchained #7

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 2, 2014

Cover date: July 2014

"Out of Time"

Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams

Reviewed by: Matthew Balinger (aka Johnjones)

Click to enlarge

Superman Unchained #7 Superman Unchained #7 Superman and Lois are barricaded in the Fortress of Solitude as General Sam Lane and the military sit outside demanding Superman hand over the Earthstone. Meanwhile, Wraith, who is upset over the "Synthetic Mineral," has infiltrated the Batcave. Batman uses his stealth suit to face-off against him in a game of cat and mouse. Back at the Fortress, Superman apologizes to Lois for not taking her to a safer place as he refuses to surrender to General Lane. Superman puts Lois in a specially constructed chamber built to withstand the pending assault by the military. At the Batcave, Batman unleashes his arsenal of vehicles upon Wraith in an attempt to slow him down until Wonder Woman's arrival. Superman suits up in extra armor and squares off against General Lane and his men as the Fortress crumbles around them. Superman is overcome, and narrowly saved by Lois, who uses the Earthstone to stop the military's weapons. Superman disables their machines and rushes to Batman and Wonder Woman's rescue. The final page ends on a cliffhanger, with Superman stating, "All right, Wraith. Let's step outside, shall we?".

2Story - 2: Batman Unchain... I mean Superman Unchained #7 was a mixed bag for me, it really was. I desperately wanted to enjoy it on every level. On the one hand, it had great character interaction and vulnerability, as seen between Superman and Lois, which is an extreme rarity in the New 52. On the other hand, it had a ridiculously over-the-top villain and enough destruction within 32 pages to make Michael Bay or Zack Snyder blush. Seriously, has there ever been a more laughable portrayal of General Lane? If humorously exaggerated villainy was the goal, then Scott Snyder slam dunked it, ripped off the rim, and shattered the backboard. As I said in the synopsis, Superman chooses to fight General Lane and possibly risk Lois' safety once again. He suits up in double armor (seriously, double armor all the way) and engages the General head-on. The battle itself was visually satisfying I suppose, but it accomplished nothing more than what most writers do these days with Superman. It showcased him as mere mussel that's more than capable of punching things and taking loads of punishment himself. Of course, the entire fight was rendered mute, as Lois saved Superman with her brain, using the Earthstone to stop the military's onslaught. It was an anti-climatic ending that had me scratching my head and wondering why Superman hadn't thought to use it in the first place. It seems the Fortress he was so adamant to protect was destroyed for no reason.

At the Batcave, our hero of the night, Batman, was flaunted with cheesy one-liners and as indestructible as ever showing that he could withstand hits that should have left him little more than a splatter on a wall. Tactically, I'm not sure unleashing your entire arsenal of vehicles, that run on rocket fuel, as the safest means of distracting your foe. Especially, if you have a mansion resting just above your head. Personally, I felt the entire encounter was shoehorned into the story, as Wraith specifically states he is there for revenge due to embarrassment. For a character like Wraith, there were more important fish to fry. Scott Snyder is not the first successful Batman writer that couldn't help himself from forcing The Caped Crusader into a Superman story. At least this story required Superman (hopefully) to save the day at the end. Speaking of the end, who didn't get those nostalgic Christopher Reeve goosebumps when Superman uttered the lines that were most likely a slight nod to Superman II?

Final thoughts: Was this issue worth all the delays? I say absolutely not. Also, were there not extra pages promised with this issue?

4Art - 4: The art was really good this issue. Snyder called for a lot of action, and Lee was more than willing to accommodate. For what was demanded by the story, Lee accomplished what was asked.

4Cover Art - 4: It is brilliant, eye-catching, and sort of contained a scene from the story. It is about all you could ask for in a cover, with the exception that it shows Superman being pummeled.

3Variant Cover Art - 3: This was all we got from Dustin Nguyen this time around. It is simple and to the point. It is also not my favorite piece of work from him either. In my opinion the pose and detail indicate the sketch was completed in about five minutes. This is also another instance of DC artists apparently attempting to permanently change Superman's eye color to red (they might as well at this point).

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2014.