Written by Max Landis
Drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards
Published by DC Comics
PREVIOUSLY: SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #1
Things take a bit of a darker turn in this issue. A teenager named Owen who was kicked out some time ago by his parents due to drugs (whether he was selling and/or using is not made clear), comes back with two associates (a young woman and an older man) with vengeance in his heart. The book opens with a shot of a dead police officer, whom we later learn that Owen killed, at the entrance to Smallville, and then we see Owen and his friends go to a local convenience store and ruthlessly gun down the owner and three customers. This type of violence is unusual in Smallville, so the whole town is shock.
Clark is a teenager in this issue (at least 16, judging by the fact that his best friend Pete Ross is old enough to drive a car here), at first is hesitant about whether to get involved or not. When he finally does, tracking Owen to Owen’s old home where Owen and his friends are holding Owen’s own family hostage, and the results are…bloody. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Clark uses his heat vision, apparently for the first time ever, and burns someone arms off. Let’s just say that Clark’s inexperience is obvious in this issue.
I have to say that when I first read this issue I didn’t like it at all, and wasn’t sure if I was even going to continue with this miniseries after this. But having just reread it now, it’s not as bad as I initially thought. I do have some problems with it, Clark’s reluctance to do anything when he first hears of the murders seem uncharacteristic. It’s reminiscent of the film MAN OF STEEL, in that this apparently stems from his parents telling him to hide his powers at all costs. Excepting it’s even odder because not only do Pete Ross and their friend Kenny know that Clark is an alien with super-powers (in their opening scene the two boys are needling Clark about using his x-ray vision to look at girls), but so does the local sheriff. So what’s he’d hiding for? I don’t know.
Tommy Lee Edwards takes the art reigns in this issue, and his darker style uniquely fits the darker tone of this story. I don’t have any complaints there. But storywise, I think I’d grade this a B-