‘Superman Unchained’ No. 7 preview: Man of Steel prepares for battle

June 29, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
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This variant cover for "Superman Unchained" No. 7 shows Jim Lee's pencil work. (DC Entertainment)

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Time's up: Things get rolling in a hurry on the opening page from "Superman Unchained" No. 7, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Jim Lee, with inks by Scott Williams and colors by Alex Sinclair. (DC Entertainment)

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The "dogs of war" make their approach while Superman readies himself in "Superman Unchained" No. 7. (DC Entertainment)

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Meanwhile, back at the Batcave, Batman readies for a battle of his own in "Superman Unchained" No. 7. (DC Entertainment)

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Superman readies himself for the worst in "Superman Unchained" No. 7. (DC Entertainment)

All along, “Superman Unchained” has considered the question of what it means to be a hero.

The Scott Snyder-written, Jim Lee-drawn series, which debuted June 2013, harkened the arrival of Wraith, an all-powerful alien who has been working with the U.S. Army in secret since World War II. The character represents a sort of alternate Superman whose existence has forced the Man of Steel into pondering his own methods and motivations, leading to a higher degree of  Sartre-level existentialism than typically seen in the average comic title.

But judging by the preview of this week’s forthcoming Issue No. 7, it appears that the series is also about to ramp up its action quotient as well.

Hero Complex readers can check out pages from “Superman Unchained” No. 7  in the gallery above or by clicking on the links below.

Cover | Andy Kubert variant | Jock variant | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 4 | Page 5 |

Raising the philosophical stakes for the Man of Steel was always part of the plan for writer Snyder, who spoke with Hero Complex about the “Unchained” series before its debut. He said his aim was to have readers “see things both artistically and story-wise that are going to knock them over and say, ‘I’ve never seen Superman done this way before, ever.’”

Jock's variant cover for "Superman Unchained" No. 7. (DC Entertainment)

Jock’s variant cover for “Superman Unchained” No. 7. (DC Entertainment)

To that end, Snyder and Lee have been successful, crafting a Superman tale that questions the very nature of the hero’s decades-long quest to protect his adopted planet (now 76 years and counting).

With his uneasy alliance with Wraith fully dissolved into an all-out battle at the end of “Unchained” No. 6, the Man of Steel is now facing an attack from multiple foes, with events irrevocably sliding toward a final showdown.

As Issue No. 7 opens, trouble is everywhere, with Batman facing a siege from Wraith in the Batcave and Superman and Lois preparing for an all-out assault. (Snyder also writes the Dark Knight’s flagship title.)

“Superman Unchained” is slated to end with Issue No. 9 in September, which means this issue marks the beginning of the third act of the series. Judging by the action in Issue No. 7, Snyder and Lee are promising no let-ups as they hurtle to the conclusion.

“Superman Unchained” No. 7 hits stores Wednesday.

– Justin Sullivan | @LATHeroComplex

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