Superman: American Alien #4

superman aa 4
Written by Max Landis
Drawn by Jae Lee
Published by DC Comics


This issue of the latest retelling of Superman features several first in the Man of Steels career. His first trip to Metropolis, and his first encounters with Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, Dick Grayson, and Bruce Wayne/Batman. Oliver Queen also make a return appearance from when he first met Clark, whom he mistook for Bruce Wayne, last issue.

Clark is Metropolis for some kind of context that a bunch of journalism students from across the country won to come to the city and write a story for a chance to get hired at the Daily Planet. That is what Lois is there for, as well. So right away this is another change to Superman’s backstory where, in most incarnations of the origin, Lois is already an experienced reporting working for the planet when Clark gets there. Both are covering some kind of press event at Lexcorp., where Luthor is due to meet with Oliver and Bruce. Oliver reconnects with Clark, whom he recognizes from the boat part a few years earlier, and the two talk on Oliver’s helicopter, where Clark admits his earlier deception. But this is a changed Oliver, this is after he spent time stranded on a desert island, so he is no longer the cavalier playboy that Clark encountered before, and he speaks more about doing something more to help the unfortunate. It’s unclear if he has already begun his crime fighting career as Green Arrow or not.

Batman, on the other hand, as been active for at least a couple of years, and has recently taken in Dick Grayson as his ward, although Grayson is not Robin yet. Clark meets, and recognizes, Dick at the Lexcorp tower, and Landis writes a very good meeting between the two, which shows off the young boy’s budding skills as a Detective. Clark’s meeting with Lex is brief, and the only thing we really get out of that is Lex’s arrogance, as this Lex is once again a self-made billionaire, which is the backstory I prefer to the idea that he inherited his fortune. Finally, back in his hotel room, Clark is confronted by the mysterious Batman, and I’ll just say that when it’s over, both men know a lot more about each other.

So not a ton of action in this issue, but that’s been mostly true of this series overall, so far. It’s a lot of talking head, but it moves the story forward. It’s implied that it’s due to his separate encounters with Lex and Batman that Clark got the idea of becoming a costumed superhero, which is an interesting little twist.

As for the art, I’ll say that while Jae Lee is not one of my favorite artists, his very specific style seems to fit the tone of this story.

Overall grade: B


Superman: American Alien #4

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