Superman: American Alien #6

Written by Max Landis
Drawn by Jonathan Case
Published by DC Comics


Max Landis continues his rewrite of Superman’s origin. It’s a year since the previous issue, with Clark firmly established in his duel-identity of Superman, who has become quite a citywide sensation. Clark’s childhood best friend Pete Ross and Kenny Braverman, who still live in Smallville, have come to Metropolis to visit him. He takes them around the city, as they discuss his career as Superman, and their concerns about him going public and what that means. Clark is still surprisingly blase about it, at the moment he’s not even expecting to be Superman, thinking it’s just a temporary thing. But Pete, especially, tries to drill it in to Clark’s head that everything has changed. That Superman’s arrival, his presence in the world, is changing history, and that there is no going back.

What I particularly love about this issue, is that Landis manages to take this “fantastic” premise of a story, the existence of Superman, and effortlessly ground it in something simple and relate-able to almost of all us. This is a story about growing up. It’s about friendship and how it evolves. Clark, Pete, and Kenny all grew up together, but things have changed. Clark is not the same kid they knew from Smallville, he’s moved to the “big city” he’s experiencing new things, while Pete and Kenny are sort of left behind, still back from where they came. Kenny reveals a major upcoming event in his personal life, which Clark has been too “busy” to pay attention to. Outgrowing old friendship is something that a lot of have experienced (or will experience at some point), and it’s not always easy to deal with.

But make no mistake, this isn’t some brooding “talking heads” issue either. There is some outer space action, where Clark meets some alien members of the Green Lantern Corps., who fill him in on the history of Krypton. So this is a major event in the life Superman, and it’s a very enjoyable read.

I will also say that while I initially skeptical about the “gimmick” of having a different artist for each issue of this miniseries, it’s turned out pretty well, with the chosen artists all fitting very well with each story. And this one is no exception, as Jonathan Case steps in and does very fine job with the illustrations. I was unfamiliar with his work before this, but now I will definitely be looking out for his future projects.

Oh, yeah, we meet Jimmy Olsen in this issue. This version is Black, just like the Supergirl TV show. I’m cool with that. Bring on the White tears!


Superman: American Alien #6

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