Scott Snyder Talks About the Man of Steel in the New Superman: Unchained

To my mind, Scott Snyder is one of the most exciting writers in comics today. His take on characters is always fresh, but with an expert's eye watching what's come before. He treats our favorite characters (both those created before like Batman, and those he's created, like Skinner Sweet) with a reverence and knowledge that can only come from passion. He infuses these comic books with love and care, which is why it's so exciting to see him setting his sights on Superman this week.

This week not only sees the release of the film, Man of Steel, but Scott Snyder's team up with artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee on the new comic book title Superman: Unchained. And after having read the first issue of the book and having seen the film, it's obvious Zack Snyder could have learned a thing or two about the Man of Steel from Scott Snyder.

Where Zack Snyder's film is full of dumb fun that resembles the clichés of Superman, Scott Snyder's comic book gets to the heart of a character he so obviously loves and understands, and sets up a new threat that can stand toe-to-toe with the big blue Boy Scout and General Zod alike.

I was able to talk to Scott about his new take on Superman and his plans for the Man of Steel.

It seems like 2013 is the year of Superman, what makes Superman Unchained special to you in that regard?
For me, I think of it as the book I would write if I got one chance to write the character, ever. And it's how I tried to approach Batman. With this, it really is everything I love about the character stuffed into one story in one place. It's really big and bombastic. It's got kind of a cosmic scale in terms of the threat and the conflict and yet at the same time it's pretty intimate and deeply about what I think makes Superman special.

Is there something here for people who might dismiss Superman as uninteresting because he's an invulnerable Boy Scout?

I think the thing that makes Superman relevant and deeply, deeply compelling is that he's not just some sort of Boy Scout who makes these decisions that are ethically right with no reservations, I think he doubts himself, and he knows what's right and at the end of the day he has to make the decision that he believes in morally. But great Superman stories, in my opinion, pit him against this huge tide of public opinion and also these huge threats, that essentially make it so that making the right decision is the scariest thing in the world. And when you boil it down, that's what Superman is to me.

He's somebody who shows us how to be the best we can be even when the circumstances are impossibly terrifying to make those kind of decisions. Writing him you really see that he doesn't always know the right thing to do it takes him a while to figure it out and when he does figure it out, he's sometimes scared of doing the right thing. He's one of us. He's human. He's got a lot of vulnerability and a lot of reservations, and when he finally does make that decision the whole weight of the world and the cosmos comes crashing down on him sometimes.  

Do you feel this book would be a great jumping on point for people who might not read comics generally, but interested in jumping on after Man of Steel?

Yeah! Definitely! It's designed to be 100 percent reader friendly to anybody that's never read a Superman story in their life. So if you've never read a superman comic, this is the book to hop on at #1 and welcome to Metropolis. If you've been reading Superman your whole life, there are a lot of Easter eggs and there is stuff in the book that makes it clear that this is part of continuity and respects and plays on the stories that you know and love. So it's supposed to be something that straddles that line, and can be picked up by a new Superman fan or someone familiar with the character for years.

To read the full interview, check out Big Shiny Robot!

Superman Unchained is a new, ongoing series from DC Comics that starts today with issue #1. Man of Steel comes out from Warner Brothers Pictures on Friday.

Bryan Young is an author and the editor-in-chief of the geek news website Big Shiny Robot!