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Superman Unchained 2015 Wall Calendar
Superman Unchained 2015 Wall Calendar

12 full-color images. Includes 4 extra planning grids for September through December of 2014, plus full pages for January through December of 2015.

Superman Unchained 2015 Wall Calendar
Superman Unchained 2015 Wall Calendar

12 full-color images. Includes 4 extra planning grids for September through December of 2014, plus full pages for January through December of 2015.

CALENDAR

Noteworthy Superman dates to remember...
July 1: Marlon Brando, Jor-El in Superman: The Movie, dies of lung failure aged 80 in 2004.
July 4: Eva Marie Saint, Martha Kent in Superman Returns, born in Newark, New Jersey in 1924.
July 6: Writer and Artist John Byrne (Man of Steel, Superman, Action Comics) born in 1950.
July 10: Superman artist and co-creator Joe Shuster born in 1914.
July 11: Michael Rosenbaum, Lex Luthor in Smallville, born in Oceanside, N.Y in 1972.
July 17: Traditionally recognized as the birthday of Lana Lang, Clark Kent's boyhood friend.
July 22: Terence Stamp, General Zod in Superman and Superman II, born in 1938.
July 25: Traditionally recognized as the birthday of Lucy Lane, Lois Lane's sister.
July 26: Kevin Spacey, Lex Luthor in Superman Returns, born in South Orange, New Jersey in 1959.
July 26: Ilya Salkind, Superman movie producer, born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1947.
July 27: Jackson Beck, voice of Superman Radio Introduction, dies in 2004, aged 92.
July 29: Allison Mack, Chloe Sullivan in Smallville, born in Preez, Germany in 1982.
July 29: Writer Gail Simone (Action Comics) celebrates her birthday today.
July 30: Laurence Fishburne, Perry White in the 2013 Man of Steel movie, born in Augusta, Georgia in 1961.
July 31: Dean Cain, star of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan in 1966.

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What did you think of the ďBatman v SupermanĒ teaser shown at Comic-Con?

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Cura Te Ipsum

Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Unchained #7Print

Superman Unchained #7

Mild Mannered Reviews - 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)

    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.

Click here to read the complete review of Superman Unchained #7.


Comments

5277
#1 | lemarjones on July 6, 2014 9:52pm EST
Not entirely unexpected. The fact that the Fortress still ends up in ruins, AND Supers still gets his hindside handed to him speaks volumes. Oh the pain. The pain!
14766
#2 | Johnjones on July 6, 2014 10:07pm EST
^ I've almost become numb to it... almost. I'm really hoping this story takes a turn for the better. How are Lex and Jimmy going to factor into all of this after such a long absence and still retain some sort of relevancy?
37462
#3 | cor2879 on July 7, 2014 10:00am EST
I've always found it odd when writers have Batman go toe-to-toe with Superman-level characters. I don't care how good you are at hand-to-hand combat, there's no way you could block/absorb hits from a guy that is capable of leveling buildings with his fists.
5277
#4 | lemarjones on July 7, 2014 10:07am EST
After all these years. they will finally reveal that Booster Gold supplied Batman with a Brainiac 5 force field that protects Batman in those moments when he would otherwise die because he is so important to the...ahem...DC franchise.
37517
#5 | Meno on July 7, 2014 10:44am EST
@lemarjones, I would totally dig that answer. For some reason, Batman had future tech granted to him, that's why he's still alive despite all this.

I didn't think Batman was too intrusive in this particular issue, but I agree with everything else. Successful Batman writers (this includes the crew of Batman the Animated Series) do seem to use Batman as a writing security blanket. Superman doesn't get to star in his own book. Wonder Woman was just there to make sure Batman doesn't die. Finally, General Lane is a mustache-twirling villain. The art was the best part of the book.
14766
#6 | Johnjones on July 7, 2014 12:02pm EST
He's intrusive by way of being there to start with. Snyder said that if he were only able to tell one Superman story that this would be it. It's a little disheartening to find out that his one and only Superman epic required Batman's presence at all.
37517
#7 | Meno on July 7, 2014 12:57pm EST
@Johnjones,

Fair enough. I guess these days I expect a fellow DCU member to show up in a Superman story at some point. I agree it's probably too much Batman for an "if I could only tell one Superman story."

Maybe it's a good thing Snyder is only telling one Superman story.
38098
#8 | Mia26 on July 7, 2014 1:53pm EST
Am suprised only just now are people realizing thta Superman Unchained was just another book where Snyder could tell us just how awesome and great Batman is. I knew he was headed that way when I read issue 2, I mean you can tell by how Batman talks to Superman and how he somehow manged to create a suit that can't be seen by Superman of course forgetting that Superman not only has super vision but also super hearing which renders his suit useless but yet Superman still couldn't find him.

http://dccomicsne...ined-3.jpg

The conversation also Snyder showing us how Batman's better, Superman is all "But your getting rid of it right ?" and Batman just says "Sure any day now."
39972
#9 | Hadrad on July 7, 2014 3:09pm EST
Yeah, I'm usually not much for negativity (and unlike most here, I'm actually not opposed to Batman's role in the story, as he and Clark are best friends, and you tend to include someone's best friend when writing your "one and only" story about them) but I'll have to join the bandwagon here. Unimpressed by this series since the very start and it simply hasn't gotten better. Snyder is an excellent writer, and Unchained did have some pretty cool moments, but overall it feels like the guy is trying to sew with boxing gloves on when he's writing Superman. It's just not a good fit.

Still, I suppose it put Superman back in the Top 10, if nothing else, so there's that.
38098
#10 | Mia26 on July 7, 2014 4:07pm EST
@Hadrad

I don't mind Batman or other superheroes being in Superman's books the problem is that in Superman Unchained it's been more Batman every time. Morrison had Batman pop up twice in his run and they were quick one scenes that contributed to Superman's character but never took over it.
14766
#11 | Johnjones on July 7, 2014 4:12pm EST
Are Clark and Bruce "best friends"? I thought that was suppose Lois' role in the N52 continuity. Either way, best friend or not, I stand by the opinion that Batman isn't needed for this story to progress naturally on it's own merit.
12984
#12 | copacetic on July 7, 2014 4:20pm EST
I had some high hopes for this series. Now they're dashed. Dashed, I tell you!

Seriously though, I love Batman and Snyder's current run on Batman has been consistently awesome. But in a Superman book, I'd like the character with the name on the cover to get that kind of love and creativity too. To contrast: Snyder's Batman run is currently using an old villain (Riddler) in an exciting new light. For Unchained, it's a boring villain and the presence of Batman to show us all how lame Superman apparently is. Why not take an old Superman villain and make him a real threat again?
37517
#13 | Meno on July 7, 2014 4:50pm EST
"Best friends" is kind of funny. When I was in my twenties, I considered myself as having two "best friends," as I couldn't really determine whom I was closer to, and each of them sort of filled a need/niche/whatever that the other didn't necessarily do as well.

As such, Lois is Clark Kent's best friend. Batman was the costumed hero Superman's best friend. In post-Crisis, Wonder Woman was repeatedly said to be Supes' best friend. The way I see it, there's no perfect overlap between Superman's social circles. Each person connects and empathizes with Superman in a different way. IMO, any of the aforementioned characters can be Supes' best friend, and you can even add Lana Lang to the mix.
14766
#14 | Johnjones on July 7, 2014 4:55pm EST
You touched on something I've thought about too, copacetic.

In a way, I thought Scott Snyder's Superman Unchained could have been the N52's answer to Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman (I plan to elaborate more on this in my final review of the series, btw). Meaning, I imagined it as Snyder and Lee's combined attempt at possibly spinning all the criticisms and jokes of N52 Superman into a positive light while "UNCHAINING" us, the reader, from our longing for the past. That's what I thought Wraith was originally intended to represent, our preconcieved notions of what Superman is "suppose to be".

It was a neat trick that Grant Morrison did rather seamlessly with Pre & Post-Crisis Superman continuity with his run on All-Star Superman. It was a story that reminded us of everything we loved about the character, while reintroducing concepts we might find dated/cheesy, or at the very least, incompatible with "OUR" perception of what SUPERMAN is.
12984
#15 | copacetic on July 7, 2014 5:59pm EST
Johnjones on July 7, 2014 4:55pm EST
You touched on something I've thought about too, copacetic.

In a way, I thought Scott Snyder's Superman Unchained could have been the N52's answer to Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman (I plan to elaborate more on this in my final review of the series, btw). Meaning, I imagined it as Snyder and Lee's combined attempt at possibly spinning all the criticisms and jokes of N52 Superman into a positive light while "UNCHAINING" us, the reader, from our longing for the past. That's what I thought Wraith was originally intended to represent, our preconcieved notions of what Superman is "suppose to be".

It was a neat trick that Grant Morrison did rather seamlessly with Pre & Post-Crisis Superman continuity with his run on All-Star Superman. It was a story that reminded us of everything we loved about the character, while reintroducing concepts we might find dated/cheesy, or at the very least, incompatible with "OUR" perception of what SUPERMAN is.


Yeah that's along the lines of what I thought this series was going to be - repurpose the old to fit with the new, put a new light on "tired" concepts to make them fresh again.

Problem is, Morrison and Quitely's run used Superman as a sci-fi fantasy character, so there was this lovely dreamlike quality to the book. There were goofy elements but you went along with it because the tone matched throughout every issue. This Unchained run doesn't seem to know exactly what tone it wants to set, or a clear character study. Shouldn't Superman be front and center? Shouldn't we be seeing his supporting cast round out his character in general? Shouldn't you want to root for the main character?

Don't get me wrong, there have been elements of this run that I've enjoyed immensely. But it always felt like something was lacking, some key element. Call it soul, call it characterization, call it lack of innovation, whatever - but there was some vital thing that seemed to elude it.

It puzzles me because Snyder IS a good writer. His work on Batman, The Wake, American Vampire etc. shows his talent. There's something about this N52 Superman that seems to throw otherwise good writers. I hope the similar affliction doesn't fall on the team of Johns and Romita JR for the regular Superman book. Greg Pak has more or less delivered solid Superman stories while working in the N52 framework, but his Superman/Batman books were still a little uneven.

So is it editorial mandate that's keeping books like this from being all they can be? I honestly can't tell. I find it implausible that a table of higher ups at DC or WB are telling their writers "and feel free to slack off on Superman, phone it in, we don't care. We don't care what you do with the character, but just avoid this, this and this." Unless DC actively WANTS to torpedo the character. In favor of what, I have no idea.
34808
#16 | Marc Pritchard on July 7, 2014 6:37pm EST
Unless DC actively WANTS to torpedo the character

No one thinking clearly about these things can possibly think this could be literally true.

In favor of what, I have no idea.

Exactly. There is nothing else, all super-hero roads lead back to Superman.

The "problem" is they are trying to make him relevant to the majority (not we the minority) of current readers while also trying to attract new readers. But the attempt is necessary -- call it one of the costs of doing business -- and is therefore bound, as it always has been, to lead to things that don't work, whether or not they're ever identified as bona fide mistakes.

All we can do is talk about it, pay for it or not, and try not to take it personally.

Who's with me? Cool
35927
#17 | liheibao on July 8, 2014 12:28am EST
Who's with me? Cool


I was with you up to here:

The "problem" is they are trying to make him relevant to the majority (not we the minority) of current readers while also trying to attract new readers


A problem, yes, but it's because they're trying to make him sell, much more than they're trying to make him relevant. They're not augmenting what makes him unique, but more trying to pin him an invented zeitgeist. If they truly "unchained" Superman, we'd see a much wider range of stories, and probably better ones.

I agree that it's something they have to do, but with only three years in, they're in a serious rut. A new team comes on, readers are hopeful, and it doesn't pan out. And these teams have been some of the business' best a la Scott Synder and Jim Lee. However, look at the make-up of the Unchained story. It draws heavily from previous stories such as:

The Dark Knight Returns
Camelot Falls
For the Man who Has Everything
Hush
For Tomorrow
Batman vs Alien
Trinity
and it makes use of a current Internet meme: http://media-cach...d2cf85.jpg

Most of which feature Batman and/or Wonder Woman. It's almost as if a Superman story with any gravitas has to include Batman, Wonder Woman, or a Superman analogue (which is how Johns' run has just begun).

Kudos to Synder, who obviously did his homework, something most writers are lax with, but even with his diligence, he's still missing the mark on the details; a basic understanding of Superman's powers and with it, a less than whole story. Does Superman need to put armour on over armour, only to still be beaten? Batman's suit hides him across the spectrum, but as he has no face mask, the carbon dioxide he's exhaling makes him immediately visible. Lois Lane's involvement is welcome, and feels foreign at the same time. The book as everything it needs to be a stellar run, and yet it's still not there, hence why I don't see them pushing for relevancy.

Tom Taylor, of all people, did that with Earth 2 #25.

Of course DC wants Superman to be successful, and it's in their long term interests since comic books are a niche market for him to be a best seller. However, no one has hit a stride with any Superman book, and Morrison's run was much, much too short.

Other than that, I'm with you.
34808
#18 | Marc Pritchard on July 8, 2014 1:49am EST
^ You misunderstand me, though I suspect if I can be clearer you'll also no longer be with me.

The problem is not the fact of the effort to be relevant or to sell -- and I'll just go ahead and call this a mere semantic distinction, as I don't mean to editorialize on the ethics or taste of consciously doing one or the other, though it seems clear to me that you make the distinction in order to cast efforts to sell Superman [rather than make him relevant] as being necessarily suspect. There are times when I'd be similarly inclined, but the point I'm trying to make today is independent of any such bias.

I'm saying the "problem" is a force of nature, a fundamental condition of the culture -- where not only the creators but also the fans feel a personal sense of ownership of the characters. Unfortunately, only the creators (and here I'm using that term very, very loosely) have actual legal ownership of the characters, combined with an imperative to, yes, sell them -- which they do by trying to make him relevant (call it "fresh" or "new and improved," in the parlance of our times), even if that means they sometimes "fail" and end up alienating some portion of the readership/fandom (because of course another part of the "problem" is that the content of the discourse is almost entirely subjective and, frequently, not completely rational. [Somebody has to say it from time to time. Wink ]).

I'm no great fan of DC's current continuity -- hell, I recently turfed almost every superhero title I was regularly buying from my monthly pull list -- but their failure to connect with you is not simply because they've lost their way or are unethical, irresponsible or uncommitted. And I don't see any reason to conclude that heightened vigilance on the literal operation of Superman's powers will necessarily lead to stories that resonate more fully or widely (to put words in your mouth, which of course everybody loves). I can understand why you'd say that, but I can also envision very turgid stories emerging from such an approach.

So, what's my point? I'd thought I'd already made it. Here it is again, paraphrased: criticism and dissent are necessary and to be encouraged, but we shouldn't take any of it all that seriously. Grin
15275
#19 | smallvilletna on July 8, 2014 2:02am EST
4 out of 5 for me. I LOVE this comic and I'm gonna really miss it when it's gone.
35927
#20 | liheibao on July 8, 2014 10:58am EST
@Marc Pritchard

Actually, I don't disagree with any of what you stated above. The problem is a force of nature, one that I usually call history, and we all remember what Santayana said, right?

DC's failure to connect with a reader like myself stems from my having read their comics for so long, and their inability to recognise what and who their readership is composed of. I and other reader like me are not the ones who stated: "Superman does this or that," we don't have the ownership to do it. However, readers did accept what was given, and that acceptance was built upon for a number of years. Now, if you want to change what you've invested your readership on. JohnJjones said it pretty eloquently:

I imagined it as Snyder and Lee's combined attempt at possibly spinning all the criticisms and jokes of N52 Superman into a positive light while "UNCHAINING" us, the reader, from our longing for the past.


Most readers will follow DC's direction so long as they do writing 101: allow a reader enough familiarity to connect, and have a cathartic, if not happy, ending at the end of the day.

In my review for Earth 2 #25, I make mention of the need to let go and Taylor's use of Earth 2 Superman as an example. However, Earth 2 offers Val-Zod, who is at the same time new, yet familiar enough to keep readers, at least a reader like myself in the fold. Why do you need to keep long-time readers? You're not bringing in new ones. Why? As I've said before, you don't market the characters (aside of the most popular one(s), well. I've argued for making comics accessible to kids, but even if you don't want to do that, you need to have a gateway for kids to be interested beyond the bi-annual film.

On powers, and this is just me from a writing perspective: if you don't understand how Superman's powers work, you're missing out on an opportunity to do something NEW with the character. Morrison did it in Action Comics #2, and it's one of those rare moments where you say: "I didn't know Superman could do that!" It was cool, and it kept me reading. Then he did it again in issue #12! When Synder introduced that spectrum suit, it just seemed like a reason to throw Batman in the story later, which he did almost every issue. Mind you, it's no different with Batman, Wonder Woman, or the Flash. If you've the World's Greatest Detective being stumped by something readers can sort out easily, how entertaining is that, unless you've a story that really supports it?

So let me attempt to make it a wee more succinct:

I agree with all of your points on the culture, problem, even the fans. However, DC has to do a better job of addressing these aspects of their business, and soon i.e. the next 2-3 years. They could definitely look at Earth 2 #25 and my review (shameless!) for some pointers.
34808
#21 | Marc Pritchard on July 8, 2014 12:39pm EST
^ By the way, when I wrote "we shouldn't take any of it all that seriously," I meant the work (i.e. the comics etc) as well as the criticism and dissent -- not just the criticism and dissent. And by "all that seriously" I mean we shouldn't be jerks to other people -- creators (including actors etc) or fans -- just because their good intentions pave the road to our hell.

On powers, and this is just me from a writing perspective: if you don't understand how Superman's powers work, you're missing out on an opportunity to do something NEW with the character.

Yeah, no, I get it. It's what Henry James said: "What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?" And actually here's where I especially agree with you when you say it takes a top-notch writer and story. Because it does. Curiously, you've also said it's "easy" to write Superman, but I think you're running out of contemporary evidence to support that conviction. Grin

Meanwhile, yes, it sure seems like the "unchained" business still isn't making any real sense . . . in my review of issue #1 (http://www.superm...nchained01 -- shameless indeed! Cool ), after a few introductory paragraphs discussing the big poster that was included in it, weighing the pros and cons of whether to remove the poster from the book, I wrote this:
I get it - this little gimmick serves literally to "unchain" our boy from the confines of standard comic book dimensions, just as Lee and writer Scott Snyder, whose work on the New 52 Batman has made me a fan for life, will endeavour, one expects, to unchain him from...well, whatever it is he has been chained to (that part hasn't been made clear yet).

If I had to advance a theory in the case of this first issue, though, I'd say it's history. Superman has been chained to history, his own especially, and that's all about to... something. Change, maybe?


But I like Matt's take on it, too, and see it as a second half to what I was saying.

I also don't disagree that DC "has to do a better job," and I think Marvel's in the exact same boat (I gave up more Marvel than DC books in my recent purge, but almost everything from both). Image, in my view, is the publisher to rally behind now (I turfed none of their books from my pull list, including Super-Dinosaur).

There may also be a small new creator-owned publisher on the horizon . . . Hard to say whether they'll publish any super-hero stories, though. Wink
35927
#22 | liheibao on July 8, 2014 1:27pm EST
By the way, when I wrote "we shouldn't take any of it all that seriously," I meant the work (i.e. the comics etc) as well as the criticism and dissent -- not just the criticism and dissent. And by "all that seriously" I mean we shouldn't be jerks to other people -- creators (including actors etc) or fans -- just because their good intentions pave the road to our hell.


Yes, we shouldn't be jerks, unless they're jerks first. Hear that Tom Welling? David Goyer? Scott Lobdell? Be nice.


Because it does. Curiously, you've also said it's "easy" to write Superman, but I think you're running out of contemporary evidence to support that conviction.


Well, actually I've said it's not hard, but I won't quibble. It's easy! However, I wouldn't reinvent the wheel, change his outfit, reduce his supporting cast, kill off his parents, give him an adversarial relationship with his cousin, or shack him up with Wonder Woman. That makes it considerably harder, but even then, you can do it if you've an understanding of the character, and it shouldn't be: "His heart is in the right place, even if he doesn't do the right thing." He's the World's Greatest Hero, why not tell a story involving heroism?

There may also be a small new creator-owned publisher on the horizon . . . Hard to say whether they'll publish any super-hero stories, though.


Well, I'll be on the look out for it. I hope they will publish superheroes as well. They may just show DC and Marvel how it's done.
34808
#23 | Marc Pritchard on July 8, 2014 2:15pm EST
I hope they will publish superheroes as well

Well, hey, they might . . . assuming all the standards we talk about all the time are met. Grin
33044
#24 | borikua on July 8, 2014 2:33pm EST
Its easy to criticize DC for how they are currently handling Superman with all the changes "his outfit, reduce his supporting cast, kill off his parents, give him an adversarial relationship with his cousin, or shack him up with Wonder Woman" etc. But what was there before, the lack of change, wasnt working. If sales had been high, trust me DC would not have changed anything (Ex: Green Lantern and Batman books) but sales were NOT high. And havnt been for quite some time. Marc is right when he states that there is less and less evidence to support the fact that its easy to write Superman. Say what you will about DC, at least they tried new things. And some of it, in my opinion, were successful. Its hard to please a fanbase that rejects change AND change things enough to break the conception to potential new readers that Superman is not your same old boring Superman. Its hard striking a balance.
35927
#25 | liheibao on July 8, 2014 3:01pm EST
^

1) They removed Superman from his books for 2 1/2 years. That's enough to drive ANY character's sales down. When he did appear, he was Grounded or was busy renouncing his American citizenship. You know? Stuff that's just bound to bring the readers in. Mind you, Grounded as a story wasn't bad, but ill-timed after so long of an absence.

2) Lack of change? There was too much and there still is. With WONK Superman was in flux and still is. He was off-world, out of issue, away from Loid, add 100,000 extra Kryptonians, then kill 100,000 Kryptonians, Mon-El, Nightwing and Flamebird, General Lane, 7734, Atlas, Lana Lana terminally ill, etc. it was Hyper-Action Comics, but it barely connected to Superman most of the time. Those changes didn't work so what did we get? More change! The changes I've all ready stated above. To say that Superman readers are resistant to change is totally unfair. What needed to change was the quality of the storytelling which hasn't happened and leads to:

3) Sales are are low now. Time for a change?
14766
#26 | Johnjones on July 8, 2014 4:04pm EST
So you're saying after all the "effort" DC put into these SUPERficial changes, they should get a pat on the back for leaving Superman titles selling just slightly better than a time where he was barely present in his own books?

The launch of the N52 was handled very shoddily, especially for Superman, my personal feelings about the costume and the multitude of other alterations notwithstanding. I think enough time has passed and enough creative teams have tried their hand at telling N52 Superman stories that even the most loyal of fans should be able to admit it now. At the very least, they should be willing to acknowledge there is a fundamental problem afoot.

Due to this arguably negligent approach at a relaunch, I think they should be held accountable and that they have earned the criticism they get. Same for Ford's Edsel, Coca-Cola's New Coke, Ayds Diet Candy, Netflix's Qwikster, etc. as history and bad ideas chug along.

Sadly, Superman Unchained could/should have been a great opportunity to remedy some complaints, or just outright remove the lines in the sand. Perhaps this great feat has been assigned to Geoff Johns and JRJR.

So, borikua, what are your thoughts regarding Superman Unchained and the direction it has taken thus far? Good, bad, or somewhere between?
33044
#27 | borikua on July 8, 2014 5:49pm EST
Im confused, isnt that what theyre doing now? Bringing in more familiar elements (Lana, the Daily Planet, Lois Lane) and getting rid of things that didnt work (the "loner" Clark, Wildstorm enemies, a unsympathetic Superman). I see them trying. Ive said it before, and Ill say it again, they will never please everyone, and they should really stop trying.

So, borikua, what are your thoughts regarding Superman Unchained and the direction it has taken thus far? Good, bad, or somewhere between?
Ive actually enjoyed. I dont have Cowl envy so I dont mind Batman appearing. Especially since it was so minor. The book was still Superman heavy. And besides, there best friends. Its like Brad Pitt appearing in George Clooneys movies. Or James Franco in a Seth Rogen flick. Its expected. They're friends. And they just work so well together.

Now I have a problem witht he main villain just because he is yet ANOTHER Superman clone. I for one am a bit tired of most of Supermans enemies being "dark" paralells of the character. Its a bit on the lazy side IMO. I mean and Im not even talking about Bizarro, HE'L or Cyborg Superman. Im talking about Doomsday, All American Boy, Wraith and now with the upcoming new villain with a greek name (his name currently escapes me) its just too much.

I did enjoy how it give an internal struggle to Clark and how he views his place in the world. Also how he views his presence and the effect it has on his friends. Last issues moments with Lois were especially good.

I had more trouble with Sam Lanes portrayal. I mean I half expected him to twist his mustache and laugh maniacally as he strapped Lois to the Train tracks. I mean his attack on the fortress was over the top and made Kryptonian technology weak. I thought the role of uber villain should have remained with Lex Luthor.
33044
#28 | borikua on July 8, 2014 5:51pm EST
Wish I could write more (and with better spelling) but its exhausting to write on my Smartphone. I'm mid flight on a business trip.
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#29 | Meno on July 8, 2014 6:00pm EST
With the lack of data on digital sales, it's hard to get a good grasp of how sales in 2014 compare to 2009. Just FWIW.

I do find a lot of the things they tinker around with Superman to be puzzling. I quit reading Superman from about 2007-2010, I don't remember the exact range, but it just wasn't interesting to me. I know it was pointless for me to read Action Comics during that time. Grounded was terrible. New Krypton was too silly for me. Personally, I think just about everything they're doing now is better than that time period, but I know many here won't agree.

I do wonder, though, if you can ever make Superman consistently sell in the top 15 without putting a headliner on the creative team. My gut tells me no.

On the other hand, I do think it's possible to make Superman more popular with TV and movie audiences, though. I would say one way to do that would be to make sure that the story isn't anything like what we've gotten in "Unchained."
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#30 | cor2879 on July 8, 2014 6:15pm EST
Methinks it's time for a new Mxyzptlk story arc. And not the crappy New 52 version either.
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#31 | Johnjones on July 8, 2014 6:31pm EST
I'm with liheibao in the sense that I'm not sure how DC writes Superman out of the N52 corner without another huge reboot. It's obvious, as borikua pointed out, they have recognized there's a problem and they are slowly but surely reestablishing a more familiar status quo. That however, is another topic for another time.


Ive actually enjoyed. I dont have Cowl envy so I dont mind Batman appearing


It's easy to dismiss it as "Cowl envy", but it's an honest observation and criticism. I've never had an issue with Batman as his own character or even appearing occasionally in other books. What is going on with Batman at DC currently is another thing entirely. The crutch of inserting Batman in a story for sales and popularity boosts where he is otherwise not needed is becoming an epidemic. This problem extends far beyond Scott Snyder's capabilities as a writer, of course.

I appreciate the honesty in your response, though.

Methinks it's time for a new Mxyzptlk story arc. And not the crappy New 52 version either.


I love Mxy, and would really enjoy another great story with him. Even though it wasn't Mister Mxyzptlk, I thought Morrison's idea of Superman battling a 5th dimensional being across time was a neat one.
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#32 | borikua on July 8, 2014 6:53pm EST
@Johnjones, I think its rather simple. Batman is filling a void left in a post new-52 world that was previously filled with other characters. I mean before the heavy hitters would turn to Oracle, Steelworks, Toyman (Hiro Okamura), CADMUS, Professor Hamilton and Star Labs for these scientific help. Well post New-52 Oracle is back to being Batgirl, Steelworks is now a metahuman prison (although theys till occasionally help Superman), Toyman is no where to be seen (although we had a Toy Master), CADMUS seems to be back to its old evil ways, Professor Hamilton hasnt been seen since his stint as Ruin pre-New 52, which leaves us STAR Labs. Being regulated to more as Supermans "cleaning crew" than anything else. So your really only left with Batman.
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#33 | liheibao on July 8, 2014 7:33pm EST
How about letting Superman do it by himself? He has the technology, intelligence, etc. why dies he need Batman, STAR, Steelworks, or anyone else do deal with Wraith? A little Emersonian self-reliance wouldn't be unwarranted.

Ive actually enjoyed. I dont have Cowl envy so I dont mind Batman appearing. Especially since it was so minor. The book was still Superman heavy. And besides, there best friends.


This is gross oversimplification of what was being pointed out, using cowl envy to keep from engaging legitimate points.
In 7 issues of Superman Unchained, Batman has appeared in nearly all of them. Hes had more appearances than Clark Kent, and his actions haven't been minor. He's constructed a spectrum-suit used in this issue, the ring used to defeat Wraith, and in thus issue, he's fighting Wraith. Minor indeed. Why Wraith feels the overwhelming need to fight Batman, rather than the one who actually bested him, Superman, especially since he's armored up now, makes little sense for a character that's been displayed to be all about fulfilling the assignment that's been given him. If this is off the books, why fight Batman? Just drop the bloody cave on him and cook the rubble. Conscious or not, there is a need to achieve parity for Batman with Superman, even in friendly situations.

I said as much when Wonder Woman appeared in Batman/Superman for no reason other than she was Wonder Woman, and I don't recall being accused of Amazon Envy (TM).

Lastly, if the point you're making about Batman absorbing the roles of STAR and other people and entities is sound, how in the world could you accuse anyone of cowl envy, when Batman is so obviously being overused and overexposed?
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#34 | borikua on July 9, 2014 6:52am EST
I wasn't talking about you, but you have to admit many Superman fans automatically hate the idea of anything Batman related. Im not one. I like both heroes and see the strength (and weaknesses) of both. And i was never a fan of the All-Star Superman who can do everything in his fortress. So in my case, I don't mind the supporting cast.
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#35 | liheibao on July 9, 2014 8:42am EST
I wasn't talking about you, but you have to admit many Superman fans automatically hate the idea of anything Batman related.


Is that a general statement? If so, you're ignoring the points made about this comic and this thread. No one here has stated that they don't like Batman, but that he is overexposed in this story and elsewhere. The point you raised about Batman filling the void goes right along with what others are saying.

Some readers, in spite of his lessened popularity, believe that Superman is too perfect, too this, too that, and due an eternal comeuppance. Batman has been building that same belief for some time now, and it isn't aided by him being plastered everywhere you look.

If Batman actually served a conducive role to the story, by say, being a detective, training Superman in escape art, which would be really cool, I'd be on board. Instead he's just here to be here, fighting Wraith no less. Sweet Grace, he's actually fighting Wraith in a super-suit an another hero comes to save his bacon; how many times do I have to read TDKR?
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#36 | borikua on July 9, 2014 9:27am EST
I see, I think the confusion on my part was thinking we were talking as a whole. Why I explained that Batman fills a role in the DC Universe as a whole. In this comic, I can see what your getting at. I guess Im not that bothered because he has appeared in other comics with so much frequency and its usually arole filled by another character that no longer exist, Ive become numb to the idea. Plus I like Batman. I have no problems with the character. I wish other heroes would visit Gotham even more. But how much of a challenge would The Penguin or The Riddler really be to Starfire, Superman or Wonder Woman. So I get why they dont fight his villains. But I digress. I see why you have an issue with Batman, i just dont have the same problem.
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#37 | liheibao on July 9, 2014 3:27pm EST
I wish other heroes would visit Gotham even more. But how much of a challenge would The Penguin or The Riddler really be to Starfire, Superman or Wonder Woman.


Exactly. It goes into what I said about parity. You can't have the above mentioned heroes in Gotham because it defeats the purpose of Batman. Gotham has to be his problem or he becomes irrelevant. However, by the same logic, if you bring Batman to the other heroes' dilemmas, in order for him to be relevant, the other heroes are usually lessened. Morrison is one of the few writers I know of who made Batman enjoyable in an ensemble.


I see why you have an issue with Batman, i just dont have the same problem.


Sweet Grace, I don't have an issue with Batman, with is just as pejorative as saying cowl envy, I have an issue with his overuse and over saturation. It's not healthy for the character long-term. Batman is supposed to be a bunch of things, but he's not a panacea for DC's problems.
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#38 | borikua on July 9, 2014 3:39pm EST
Fiiiine, Ill re-edit, but Im sure you know what I meant. But here...

I see why you have an issue with Batmans overuse and over saturation, i just dont have the same problem.


I didnt think I had to spell it out like that seeing as I understood what you meant to say after you explained it.
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#39 | Marc Pritchard on July 9, 2014 4:11pm EST
Sweet Grace, I don't have an issue with Batman, with is just as pejorative as saying cowl envy,

Fiiiine, Ill re-edit, but Im sure you know what I meant.

Guys, why must everything constantly devolve into pissing matches over the tiniest of details? Is it absolutely necessary that we take every disagreement so utterly personally? Come on already.

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