Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman" Comic Books

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Superman #6 Superman #6

Superman #6

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 19, 2023
Cover date: November 2023

"The Chained" - Part One

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Gleb Melnikov
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Cover Artists: Lee Bermejo, Rose Besch, Tiago Da Silva
1:25: Alex Saviuk & Christopher Sotomayer
1:50: Gleb Melnikov & Alejandro Sánchez
Acetate Variant: Mikel Janín

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

Lex is at death's door after being beaten to a pulp in prison.

Superman is working overtime as Metropolis' protector, working so much he doesn't even have time for niceties. Even Lois is struggling as editor at the Daily Planet but she still has time for Clark. The two discuss the mysterious clue from Pharm and Graft about Luthor's secret 'Project: Chained', and with Lex now in a coma Superman will have to play detective.

Mercy has had very little luck, but Luthor did leave an AI programme to assist. LL-01 reveals that Stryker's Island worked with Luthor to create a sensory depravation prison level for the deadliest criminals in existence, but only one cell was ever created and to this day holds a single mysterious captive. Who the captive is has been erased from records and the cell has been sealed and buried.

Superman and Mercy locate the cell and Superman breaks into the chamber and releases the mysterious prisoner. Almost on cue, Lex wakes from his coma. When the prisoner, a powerful telekinetic, hears the news from Mercy he makes use of his newfound freedom to escape. With Mercy and Superman trapped in the underground cell it looks like this is a job for... Lex Luthor!

To Be Continued... in Oversize Superman #850!

5Story - 5: I absolutely love the writing in "Superman" at the moment! That said... something I am not a huge fan of is storylines with unanswered threads and storylines spread thin that it hurts the readership. "Knight Terrors" was shoehorned into the timeline and then there was the Annual. It's starting to to get dangerously close to territory where it's getting a little hard to follow. Nothing has yet been resolved in the previous stories and we're jumping into a new arc.

To be clear I'm enjoying the book but keeping track of different stories is starting to get harder.

4Art - 4: This issue's art style had a very animated look that made scenes like the car chase really entertaining. It worked really well keeping my attention and even gave 'The Chained' a nuanced tortured darkness. I think the coloring and inking being a little darker would have helped with the atmosphere.

I may be alone here, but given the writing, 'The Chained' seems oddly familiar and the art makes me feel like this has a 'Smallville' connection... someone with the initials L.L? Maybe I'm imagining things!

5Cover Art - 5: This montage cover is reminiscent of Marvel movie posters. There is definitely a feel that this is the beginning of something.

5Variant Cover 1:25 (Alex Saviuk) - 5: A "Reign of the Superman" cover? Alex Saviuk? YES! 1000 times yes! I wish there was a back-up feature or story with Saviuk's art looking into this more!

4Variant Cover 1:50: (Glen Melnikov) - 4: Loved this as interior art but seeing it chopped in half as a cover takes a little away from how cool the scene is inside. I really wish it wasn't repurposed art, while this is still pretty cool, it would have been so much fun to have a new piece.

5Variant Cover A: (Lee Bermejo) - 5: Breathtaking! The minute detailing on the different textures is captivating. The S Shield alone looks spectacular!

4Variant Cover B: (Tiago Da Silva) - 4: I still get a feeling that Mercy's loyalties still lie with Lex and even here there is still a little darkness. I love her character and I hope Mercy has more of a focus in future storylines. She really is an interesting character that is often overlooked. This artwork style needs to be a series of character spotlights because it really gives the character a moment to shine!

4Variant Cover C: (Rose Besch) - 4: Who doesn't love some Chibi style artwork? This is cuteness to a factor of 11, does it fit the book? No. Is it still a vibrant and fun look at Superman? Yes! Do we all need a fun Superman in our lives? Yes! So thank you! Love it!

5Acetate Variant: (Mikel Janín) - 5: I wish Janín wasn't so shackled to the Batman family books! This cover is pure brilliance, I love its uniqueness. All of his variants have been fantastic! Can we campaign for Mikel Janín to have a stint on the Man of Steel books?

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.

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