Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Gleb Melnikov
Color Artist: Alejandro Sanchez
Cover Artist: Jamal Campbell
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman is on the case of the evil scientist brothers Graft and Dr. Pharm, but the brothers struck their deadliest blow – Lex Luthor was stabbed in prison on their orders. With Luthor in critical condition, Superman must now try to thwart the evil brothers’ scheme on his own and his only lead is a name they gave him “Project Chained”, an old secret Lex Luthor buried long ago. See what awaits the Man of Steel in Superman #6 as he seeks to uncover just what Project: Chained is.
The issue starts off pretty straightforward with Lex getting hospitalized and Superman in action doing some crimefighting while Livewire hosts a podcast (from prison) that’s used to update readers on the major events of the last issue. The action scene is quick and effective as Superman stops a high-speed robbery in short order but as noted by the police, it’s quicker than he normally solves them. From there, the comic doesn’t waste time and gets right to the heart of the story of Superman trying to uncover what Project: Chained is.
As readers will notice, the main artist for this issue is not Jamal Campbell anymore. This is disappointing on various levels, the biggest one being that this reviewer at least wanted to believe that there would be a consistent interior artist for the main Superman title like with its companion series Action Comics by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Rafa Sandoval. Plus, Campbell art just looks very good and suits Superman and his supporting cast very well. However, Gleb Melnikov’s art is more than sufficient for this issue and the story being told as he does a solid job with the action, panels, faces, and dynamic movements. The art won’t pop like Campbell’s, but it’s still good.
Then there’s the whole mystery of Project: Chained and just what and why Lex Luthor would keep it buried for years. Now, I won’t give away SPOILERS, but the issue does reveal some things about it but not the whole picture. By the end, it’s clear that there’s more to this secret of Lex Luthor’s than anyone realizes. Superman does encounter a new threat but it’s far too soon to say that they will be a genuine new addition to his rogues gallery. To me, this new threat is more of a creator-contained character, meaning that unless they have real staying power, cool factor, and fan appeal, they’re not really going to show up anywhere else except in titles with the same writer.
So, readers can expect there to be more reveals in the following issue which will be Superman #800 in the legacy numbering. Sadly, Jamal Campbell’s art will not be returning in the interior for the next issue or the following issue after that.
Superman #6 starts the new Chained story arc as Superman seeks to uncover Lex Luthor’s secret Project: Chained. While the interior artist did change, the art in the comic is still good when it comes to depicting Superman and the other characters. The story quickly brings reader into the story and gets right to what people are here for. The introduction of the new villain is intriguing but it’s too early to tell whether they will be a good or bad addition to Superman’s roster of villains.