Superman is a tricky character. Created in 1933, the last son of Krypton has always been an aspirational superhero. He's moral and good…a boy scout. Over the decades – as audiences became more jaded – it became harder to hold onto Superman”s ideal. To make him relatable without making him boring or breaking his character to the point of being unrecognizable.
Then along came Max Landis with his seven part comic SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN.
The Superman of AMERICAN ALIEN pulls off the hat trick of retaining Clark Kent”s inherent goodness while turning him from a myth into a man. Issue #1 focused on child Clark and his first foray into flying. What begins as a terrifying new power he can”t control turns into hyperactive jubilance by the end. Issue #2 turned the “Keep your powers a secret” trope on its head. Everyone in Smallville knows a now teenaged Clark is an alien. It”s a source of town camaraderie to keep him safe. But when a brutal murder takes place, the local police aren”t above asking the high school junior to use his powers to help.
Throughout the series, the theme is constant: Superman isn”t a god, he”s just a regular guy with insane powers trying to make the right decisions. For myself, it”s been the best comic book run of the Man of Steel since FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
So I was thrilled when HitFix Harpy was offered an exclusive look inside the pages of SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #3. Catching up with Clark Kent post-high school, Landis and artist Joëlle Jones drop him – literally – into an uncomfortable situation. It”s just a bonus they”re poking fun at the old “Batman and Superman look the same” trope.
SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #3 goes on sale January 13.