Bottom of the Pile #4: June 12, 2013

Super late, which is weird because its also super short.  I read a ton of comics but really only a couple qualified for the "Bottom of the Pile" status, in stark contrast to what happened last week.

Superman Unchained 1

I have to apologize to Scott Snyder and the rest of the Superman Unchained team for this.  Initially I simply didn't believe that Scott Snyder's Superman would be anything we hadn't seen before; it was just going to be a vanity project for Jim Lee to tie-in with the Man of Steel movie that was released last week.   As it turns out, I was very, very wrong.  Superman Unchained #1 honestly should have been Superman #1; it manages to use all of the core characters of the Superman mythology, introduce something new, and tie it all together into a neat little 22 page package that was an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Seriously, there's so much I loved about this issue:

- Superman feels heroic.  The issue starts with him having already stopped seven satellites from crashing into heavily inhabited parts of the world and he's working on the eighth, a particularly troublesome one.  He uses pretty much all of his skills to get the job done, proving that this was really a job for Superman.

- Lois is awesome, without being emasculating.  You're welcome to disagree, but it just made Superman look lame in Superman #1 when it ended with him basically overhearing Lois talk about how "Clark is just a friend.." just before getting it on with her new boyfriend.  He's from the House of El, not the House of Cuckold.  In Unchained, Lois is showing off her expertise as an editor at the Daily Planet while simultaneously helping Clark *and* proving she hasn't lost her reporting chops at all.

- Following up on Clark's continued existence as a freelance investigative reporter made me grin from ear to ear the rest of the issue.  They could have easily went the "oh this is timeless" route, and ignore the recent continuity changes to the Superman mythos, most recent (and interesting) of these being that Clark quit the Daily Planet because they weren't interested in real journalism anymore.

- Jim Lee.  I like Jim Lee's art, but a lot of times the crosshatching gets to be too much and art that would be gorgeous gets slightly...murky?  That doesn't happen here.  This is Lee's best work in ages, and I loved every page. 

- The twist ending.  If this new retcon is real, then DC has gone a long way towards making their fictional universe more science fiction than attached to the real world, and I love that.

Superman Unchained just might be the Superman series people have been looking for since Grant Morrison's Action Comics became a little too experimental, and it'll be the first time in several months that I'll be actually anticipating the next issue of a comic featuring the Man of Steel. 


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