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Is It Good? Superman Unchained #3 Review

If writer Scott Snyder’s Batman work has taught us anything, it’s that he’s not afraid to shake things up when it comes to the DC reboot. Well, a pretty massive psychological change occurs this week in Superman Unchained #3. Is it good?

Superman Unchained #3 (DC Comics)

Check out our review of Superman Unchained #2 here.

Last issue, Superman wanted to have a talk with Mr. Lane, government general and all around douche. When Superman took a step towards the man he got blasted with tanks. Ouch. Supes wants some answers as to what sort of alien weapon they’re carrying and he gets to go punch him around a bit this issue to figure that out.

Man what a dick.

Superman fights this superhuman mostly because comics require it. Their fighting signifies more how Superman is a bit hot headed, especially in comparison to this super-villain man.

His opponent is in fact saying, “Please don’t fight,” while Supes is jumping to conclusions and using his fists. It’s an interesting characterization Snyder is using which helps set this new Superman apart from what we’ve come to expect over the last few decades.

Temper temper…

The real meat of this issue comes with Lane’s characterization of Superman. He basically tells him right to his face that he’s a coward because he doesn’t take out dictators and save the starving; that he only does heroic things to get acclaim.

He does have a point, which also tackles a topic people have had with Superman for ages. It also helps make Lane less prejudiced, because in the past he hated Superman becauase he was an alien, and moves it into a realm of warlike and “realistic” thinking. It also ties into current politics when it comes to assassinations, drones, etc. How far is too far for the government to go to keep the peace?

Why does that say, “Child’s toy diorama?”

There also appears to be a massive change for Lex Luthor, at least at the moment. Jim Lee continues to do good work, albeit a bit sloppy from time to time. The man certainly isn’t breaking new ground when it comes to layouts, but the figures are all in his customary hyper detailed pencils. I keep getting the sense that his full page drawings are more filler than anything though. When you have a page that doesn’t tell much of a story it’s as if he’s padding it out to draw less.

Which doesn’t help the decompression going on here. Sure we get some answers as far as how Mr. Lane views Superman but there’s not a lot of ground being made in this series. Tidbits or scrap is about all we get, with some wasted pages and double page spreads to boot.

Nice clap panel there.


  • Dig why Lane hates Superman
  • Art looks good and storytelling wise is serviceable
  • They fight because…I guess it’s required?
  • Decompressed much?

This series will most likely read quite well when collected, but at the end of the day decompression wins again! There are interesting elements and changes to Superman going on, but it’s all coming at super slow speeds. Hell, we didn’t even get the name of this new super man…and he tried to tell us! Moments like that scream, “Okay they’re not pulling the curtain back fast enough.” Still, it looks good and it’s far better than Grant Morrison’s run already.

Is It Good?

Decent. This is a title that’ll be best read collected. Single issue reading is a meh.


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