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COMIC REVIEW: FTN reviews Superman Unchained #1 Director’s Cut

July 25th, 2013 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Jim Lee

Back up art by Dustin Nguyen

Published by DC Comics

Director’s Cut, when you hear these words you immediately think of movies. You think you are going to get 15 seconds of added footage, more in depth commentary and possibly some behind the scenes footage you hadn’t seen on the extended cut or the unrated version.

Well Scott Snyder and Jim Lee give us exactly what we want with Superman Unchained Director’s Cut. From the main cover of a sketched Superman that is slowly in the works of being colored to the completely sketched issue, this is a thing of pure beauty.

Let’s start with the art itself, the entirety of this issue is sketch, the only colors that are present are in some of the sound effects and the text boxes. You find red outline in the word “BOOM” and yellow print on sound effects such as “Beep”, other than that, the story is a spectacular look at the work that Jim Lee put into creating this book.

Not only do we see each panel as it was when Lee drew it, they went one step further by adding in the grid lines that show you where the “Live Area” is (the area that will be the final product), it also shows up where the panels were cropped from its raw state. Add those to the notes inside the panels that Lee made to convey what he was drawing to the colorist and what you get is an issue that from cover to cover is breathtaking. Not to be outdone, the epilogue of the issue by Snyder and Nguyen is a black and white inked portrayal of what was in the original issue.

If that wasn’t enough to capture your optical senses, they also were kind enough to add in the entire final draft script of the issue. What caught my eye was the first page of the script containing a message from Snyder to Lee stating if anything could be better or done in a different way than what he wrote, then just go ahead and do it. This showed me the respect that Snyder holds for Lee, a respect that I personally think we should all have for this fantastic artist.

The script goes on laying out panel by panel what is to take place and also has notes from Snyder to Lee to convey what his thoughts were when he was writing it, giving Lee a mental image of what Snyder saw in his mind’s eye as he was putting this great tale down on paper. This insight into what it takes to make a comic and the way the writer and artist collaborate is something that I was happy to see. I think a lot of times we don’t see all the work and dedication that goes into making our favorite reading material, but this showed it perfectly.

Add in artwork from artists such as Lee, Bruce Timm, Dave Johnson, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Trish Mulvihill, Neal Adams, Alex Sinclair, Jerry Oroway, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Lee Bermejo and Andrew Dalhouse in a look at Superman throughout his long history and you have a book worth adding to your collection.

I can’t say enough about this book, I loved the original issue, but the Director’s Cut has given me a much more definitive love of this title. Now some may not pick it up thinking they already have it or maybe the $5.99 price tag may turn people off, but trust me when I say this is a book worth picking up.

Beautiful artwork, a look at the making, and just the pure respect between writer and artist is enough for me to say this is spectacular.

5 out of 5 nerds


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I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.