Superman Unchained #1 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee hit shelves this week, just in time for the release of Man of Steel. I’m of two minds regarding the issue. First, I did like the issue. I thought it was nicely written, and you get the Jim Lee art when he’s had time to work on it. Not the more “scratchy” style it takes on when he’s in a hurry. Here you have a friendly Superman doing Superman things. Early on, he absorbs the impact of a space station, saving the people inside it, and where it was going to land. And yes, that sounds a bit ridiculous, but come on. It’s Superman. It was written and drawn in such a way that the reader is just pulled into the scene. It was awesome. And it was followed up with Superman joking about how the people on the space station should got out for drinks and celebrate, being that they just broke about 7 Guinness world records. I like that Superman. Clark Kent written just as well. The exchanges between Clark and Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane were just as good. I highly recommend that you read this issue. But, I really emphasize the “read” part of that last sentence. Should you buy the issue though? That’s a different issue and question. Which takes me to my second mind.
The book cost $4.99. It cost $5 for what was in actuality 24 pages of story. Sure, two of those pages are the size of a small poster, but there was no reason for it. One side might make for a decent poster, but you have to leave it with the comic because the other side is part of the story. Therefore, it can’t be hung on the wall, like poster-sized things should be. And it looks like things only get slightly better. The next issues will be $3.99. Unfortunately, it seems like the page count is going to remain the same, making this DC’s first 32 page book that is $3.99. Normally, their $4 books are expanded to 40 pages and contain a backup story.
I hate talking about price points. It’s boring, and it’s all relative whether or not something is worth the price on the cover. There are some books that I wouldn’t pay $1 for and some I’d pay more for. You get the idea. In short, I hate paying extra for gimmicks that add nothing to the issue. And yes, the “unchained” part of the title is silly. But who cares? It’s just a title.