Written by Max Landis
Drawn by Francis Manapul
Published by DC Comics
PREVIOUSLY: SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #4
With this issue, we jump ahead 6 months, Clark and Lois are interns at the Daily Planet together, and Clark has been going out in a makeshift costume, which includes the cape he took from Batman, and going out to help people and stop crime. But he’s not sure if he’s going to be doing this forever, when on the phone with his parents (yes, both Ma and Pa Kent are still alive), he implies that this is just a temporary thing. And, for the moment, he does “one good deed a day” (I wonder if Landis got that from Mark Millar’s HUCK?).
While out on patrol one day, Superman encounters his first supervillain, The Parasite (although he’s never referred to directly by that name here). He’s out of control on rampage through Metropolis, and Superman teams up the Metropolis SWAT teams to take him down. First, let me just note that it’s good to see that the police clearly recognize Superman as a good guy and accept his help, despite him still being relatively new to the city, instead of assuming he’s a threat too. Anyway, after an extensive battle, Superman defeats the Parasite, and then this leads to an encounter with Lex Luthor, which very cleverly sets the stage for their bitter ongoing feud.
Oh, and it’s also thanks to Lex that Clark officially adopts the name “Superman.”
This was a very good issue. Ironically, it felt like a perfect “ending” to this retelling of the Superman origin, although there’s still 7 issues to go. But these first 5 issue, while not perfect, form a nice solid Origin of Superman for the modern era. You could just start a new ongoing Superman series from here, in my opinion. So that makes me even more curious to see where Landis goes with the rest of this series.
And once again, he and DC found the perfect artist for this particular (for those who’ve forgotten, a gimmick of this series is that each issue has a different artist), Francis Manapul has a nice clean style that works well for Superman (although he doesn’t get the chance to draw him in his traditional suit). All around a very good issue here.