Max Landis’s American Alien is quickly becoming my favorite take on the Man of Steel since Millar’s Red Sun. Obviously, not as dark and heavy as the Iron Curtain, but American Alien does give weight to Superman’s human side. He has all this power but is scared to use it. He’s an outsider.
True, we’ve seen these themes before, but Landis dips it in a glossy wax like new Corvette. The sheen is of course brightened by the terrific talents of artist Jae Lee and colorist June Chung.
Like the previous episodes of American Alien, this is a self-contained story if you could call it that. I feel like each episode has been a glimpse into someone’s memory. Each one a snapshot of Superman/Clark’s life, as if he was remember them as an old man somewhere.
Issue 4, entitled “Owl”, finds Clark in Metropolis for the Cerberus Summit. Where Lex Luthor, Oliver Queen, and Bruce Wayne have convened to discuss industry and the future. Clark is dead set on proving his journalist worth by snagging an interview with the three titans. Landing the interviews would grantees him an internship with The Daily Planet, but he finds stiff competition from another young, determined college student, by way of Lois Lane.
You can find other reviews for spoilers, but you know me, I avoid them. I will say…
Landis has an expert grasp on young Clark. His determination, the isolation is very relatable. The inner study is what I’ve most enjoyed from this series. His portrait of a young Lex Luther is savage. Landis’ Luther gleams with lust of power and is void of any moral compass—I loved it. The scenes with Luther are worth the $4 bucks alone, well that and the art it’s unworldly good.
For some, Landis is a tough pill to swallow. I don’t really have an opinion on his films one way or the other. Thought Chronicle and American Ultra were solid flicks, not flawless but fun to watch. All I know, is unique take on Superman/Clark Kent and the DCU is extremely enjoyable.
On Shelves At Your Local Comic Shop Now.