Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Moose here and this week I have a story that is out of this world! DC and Max Landis bring us the 7 issue miniseries Superman: American Alien which hurdles us into the back story of “Big Blue”. As I have not read anything by Landis via comics, it was very alien to me (see what I did there?) to see what he had to offer a strong character like Superman. Only knowing him as the writer of the movie Chronicle he won me over with that story. Even with me not being a fan of the “found footage” style of camera work that Chronicle had, I found that story was strong enough to get me past my prejudice and just enjoy it. Within Superman: American Alien, we are re-introduced to a young Clark Kent at an age where he is trying not to be that weird kid, but sadly is having a hard time finding his place.
With this first issue, I was not disillusioned and it came off as a quick read, but with a respectable amount of emotion. Landis nails the feelings that a young Clark would have had once his powers started developing and with the added downfall of causing issues for him. The story was filled with many heartwarming moments and some that made me laugh out loud as you would if you witnessed a little kid’s comical outbursts.
The art was done by Nick Dragotta, the heart behind the Image series East of West and was a perfect match for the story. It was clean, crisp and fun and Dragotta really illustrated how Clark would have looked at this young age. With the combination of story from Landis and Dragotta’s art, it was really hard not to scream at the little kid in those panels, knowing that he would eventually be the man of steel and just tell him. “I know that times are hard now dude, but one day you are going to be something GREAT!”
To be honest, the main reason why I was introduced to this series was issue #2 still written by Landis, but art done by an associate and friend Tommy Lee Edwards. Having known TLE for a few years now, I have really enjoyed all the work he does on pretty much anything, even the stuff that he thinks wasn’t good, but in my eyes was perfect for that project.
Landis’ story is still strong and progresses with Clark being older and having more issues on the road to becoming the man that would be Superman. Landis’ story paired with TLE’s art works flawlessly together when telling the second part of this series. The art is real and emotional and perfectly conveys Landis’s version of a 17 year old Clark.
The best part of issue 2 was on page 5, where a likeness of a mutual friend is gunned down by thugs. Knowing the mutual friend well enough, I have to admit I snickered more than I should have when seeing him get blown away. Issue three of the series is out today and I suggest that if you’re not reading this that you should head to your local comic shop and get all three! Once more, a grateful comic geek’s need for great art was completed by both Dragotta and Edwards and just as importantly, my need for a great story of an iconic character was fulfilled. A strong start to this miniseries and I hope that feeling continues with the issues to come.
Thank you gentlemen, mission accomplished.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Moose.