With everything that happened in the series and the journey of the series, we asked Scott some questions about the series and characters as well as whether or not we might see more UNCHAINED in the future.
COMIC VINE: What does Superman mean to you? How would you describe him to someone that somehow never heard of him?
SCOTT SNYDER: For me, the thing the story is really about is this notion that a lot of us think of Superman as this symbol of everything that’s right and someone who knows what he’s doing all the time. Like he’s leading the way for us and showing us how to be better people. What I realized I wanted this story to be about and what I’d tell someone interested in learning about Superman, personally, the thing I think is most inspiring about him is kind of the inverse of that.
When I started writing him in my version of him, he doesn’t always know. When you look at his decisions to be Clark Kent when everybody around him is going to age faster than him, to not align himself with any military when every military around the world will then start build weapons against him, to do a little and not more, to do a lot but not too much. Then you’re placing yourself right at the center, you’re plotting a point and it’s impossible to compete. In that way, I think he’s doubly inspiring. He actually shows us the way to be by not trying to. Meaning, as he makes it up as he goes along, and he does the very best he can, he always does what he thinks is right. Even if doesn’t make sense on paper. In that way, I think he’s actually more inspiring than he would be if he did think he knew the right thing to do and was very sure of himself all the time.
CV: It almost felt as if we were seeing more of a connection between Superman and Lois than we usually see. What are your thoughts on Lois?
SS: I really wanted to explore his relationship with Lois. If there was a way to make them romantically involved and that sort of thing…I love that relationship. Right now, given the way things are, I think he has a really interesting relationship with Diana and Lois is more in the companion sort of area. For me, it was about trying to show even if they don’t have a romantic relationship, they have this incredibly deep connection where she’s been the North Star for him.
They feel this connection because both of them do things that set them against forces that will probably end them. They do it because they think what they’re doing is right. They’re in search for a kind of truth. In that way, I think she inspires him. I think that’s why they have such a connection. And he inspires her in tandem.
That’s what I was really going for. Lois, out of all the characters in the Superman mythology, she’s the one that has the most similar compass to him. She sees a situation and doesn’t care what the consequences are. She does what she thinks is right. She does what’s right in that situation even if it doesn’t make sense to anybody else. That is the way Clark is too. And that’s why they have this incredible connection.
CV: Have you thought about how Wraith could return in his next appearance?
SS: Yeah! I definitely have. We’ve talked about with DC, but at the end of the day, I like to create things and then leave them for other people to pick up if they want. There’s certain things I come back to, like the Court of Owls and things like that. James Jr, for example. I loved making him up and then seeing what other people get to do with him. I’m very interested to see who picks up Wraith.
CV: Did the story turn out as you envisioned it in the beginning?
SS: Yeah, it really did. The only things I think are different are a couple beats in the middle that I realized I wanted to expand a little bit. That’s the way it always is for me when writing. The middle becomes a place where I get to expand and contract. The end is always kind of what I imagined in the beginning. That’s the fun for me, exploring in the middle ground and going on a kind of walkabout with it for a bit. There are elements there that changed from what I thought they’d be. Like the labyrinth in BATMAN #5. It was something we discovered as we were going. Originally it was going to be, “And then they lock him up! And they tell him all of these things.” Then it was like, what if we did a maze? Stuff like that is the fun of the discovery. When you get there, you realize you have a better idea for how to get across the point of how to explore the story than you thought, on paper.
CV: What’s been your favorite part of SUPERMAN UNCHAINED?
SS: I think my favorite part was getting inside Clark’s head. My favorite parts were writing his dialogue and his narration. At first, it was just a thrill to get to write him. Then ultimately what it really is is he’s a character I feel a lot of empathy for. As a kid, I always thought of Superman as how I was trying to argue against Superman in the story. I always felt he was this boycott and knew what he was doing. I always found that inspiring.
Coming into it and taking a different angle I realized his life is terrifying but he’s very brave. He has the strongest moral compass of anybody out there and not a compass that makes any sense to anyone but him. If he does something he thinks is right, if he thinks he knows what’s right, he will do that thing, even if everybody else thinks it’s the worst idea in the world.
CV: Any comments on the release schedule of the issues?
SS: I think both Jim and I thought we’d be able to do the monthly grind. We both have a lot of obligations. What it really boiled down to, honestly, I know it sounds weird, we had a lot of fun figuring things out as we went, visually sometimes. Like Jim would decided he wanted to do a scene a little differently. Then he’d start sending different images and it would give me ideas. It was a really fun way to go, back and forth.
I think we realized about half way through it was getting a little late and the schedule was going to be what it was. We sort of let go of it a little bit and said, “Let’s have fun and do it the way we’re doing it.” Big apologies to everyone out there that was hoping it would be a little more timely. At the end, we both were really proud of the way it came out. It gave us room to expand and do pretty much every issue oversized. All the issues are pretty much above twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four pages. I’m really happy with how it turned out. And again, we’re really sorry about the delays, but we just wanted to give you all the best comic that we could and have the most fun on it we could. That was really the way we figured it would happen.
CV: Could we someday see a SUPERMAN UNCHAINED Volume 2?
SS: Oh yeah, man, I thought we’d do it right after honestly. It really was just impossible, looking at the schedule for both of us. With his schedule and my schedule, it would have just been a grind. I think we both realized the easiest thing would be to just walk away from it now and just decide a little bit down the line.