With the release of Superman Unchained #1, top billed DC Comics writer (and all around cool guy) Scott Snyder takes on the most daunting task facing DC Comics ever: how to make The New 52 version of Superman not only interesting, but worth our time and money. With only one issue of Superman Unchained under his belt though, Snyder has managed to come up with a Superman story that this life long fan, and avowed detester of The New 52 Superman, is already looking forward to reading the second chapter of.
In "The Leap" Part One, Snyder manages to infuse The New 52 Superman with more interesting and nuanced character than a host of writers that have written the character thus far have been able to within their stories. Grant Morrison, Dan Jurgens, Andy Diggle (who was off to a good start on Action Comics), and even George Perez couldn't mount an arc in any of the Superman titles they wrote over the past two years that was truly standout or even captured the essence of what Superman is, despite whether or not the red trunks are there, or he sports a militaristic (and stupid looking) collar, or has stupid looking pointy sleeves as well. Snyder also manages to ground Superman in a plot revolving around an Earth based threat and not some alien menace (of the type he has faced over and over and over again the past two years).
Little to nothing more can be said about the quality and impact on the sequential art world that Jim Lee's art has had. The New 52 Superman has rarely looked better thus far into his short life in print. The only other version of this Superman to look as good was Perez's in the first few issues of The New 52 Superman.
I don't know if Snyder's singular talents will be enough to make this new Superman interesting and well developed enough to right the Superman franchise of comic books at DC Comics, but with the new Man of Steel (2013) film doing well at the box office and re-igniting interest in the character, DC Comics better get on the ball. If anyone can right the Superman ship though, it is Scott Snyder, and I will definitely be back for each issue of Superman Unchained as long as he's writing it.