The Ninjabot

Comic Review: Superman Unchained #5

Posted on January 4, 2014 at 12:01 am by Heather Antos

SU5Written By: Scott Snyder

Pencils By:Jim Lee

Flashback Pencils By: Dustin Nguyen

Colors By: Alex Sinclair & John Kalisz

Published By: DC Comics




It seems only fitting that Superman Unchained #5 takes a glance at the past and looks towards the future in the last comic release of 2013. 2014 began with a bang as creative team Scott Snyder and Jim Lee continue to surpass all expectations in DC Comics’ Superman Unchained #5. This team continues to prove to their fans that no matter how long it goes between issues, it is a wait worth every second.

The terrorist group known as “Ascension” continues to threaten the fate of the entire world, and now they have Lois Lane aboard their ship and in their claws, where she learns about their creation and dark purpose involving not only her father but many past world and military leaders. Superman continues to talk with and learn about Wraith, who is currently working for General Lane and is supposed to be ‘eliminating’ Superman. Wraith’s warning to Superman is that he will have to leave his mask of Clark Kent behind one day. We also get the treat of seeing a glimpse of Superman’s childhood as Clark Kent in Smallville, Kansas, as he quickly experiences a threat and danger of man for the first time.



The parallels that writer Scott Snyder brings from Clark Kent’s past to Superman’s present is told in both very simple and very complicated scenes. The message is clear, however, as Kal-El is realizing that he can’t live masked forever. Snyder continues to amaze with his captivating story-telling abilities as his script paves a very tense and heart pounding adventure for all characters involved. The pacing in Superman Unchained #5 was slower than the previous issues, but that could also be due to the fantastic paralleled plots of Kent’s past and present. My only complaint for this issue is that we didn’t get to see any peaks at what the infamous Lex Luthor is up to, which was especially disappointing after the great writing Snyder provided for Superman’s archnemisis in Superman Unchained #4.


The art is the best yet in this series, as Jim Lee continues to prove himself a legend in his penciling for Superman Unchained #5. Whether it’s a panel of just Lois’ eyes, a glimpse of Superman’s future, or one of the many action packed splash pages that fill this chapter, Lee’s pencils help turn Superman Unchained #5 into quite the page turner. Dustin Nguyen joins in as a guest artist on Superman Unchained #5 to provide the pencils for the stunning, watercolor-esque flashback sequence. Though a very contrasting style in comparison to Lee’s flashy, superhero pencils, Nguyen’s panels stand out as they provide a very foggy, dream-like style to Superman’s memories as a young Clark Kent in Kansas. Both the muted flashback watercolors by John Kalisz and the bright primary reds and blues by Alex Sinclair mesh well with the world’s created by Superman Unchained #5’s pencillers.20140101_155818

Snyder may have possibly ended the fifth installment with the series’ best cliffhanger yet; not only are Superman’s and Lois Lane’s fate on the line, but the entire existence of humanity itself is now under threat of the anonymous terrorist group “Ascension.” Will Lois escape Ascension’s hold unscathed? Will Kal-El join Wraith on his secret agenda? And will the Justice League be able to stop the latest threat against humanity? We’ll find out in Superman Unchained #6, no matter how long we have to wait for it!

Story: 9/10

Art: 10/10

Overall: 9.5/10

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