Written by: Max Landis
Art by: Joelle Jones
Cover by: Ryan Sook
Ah, to be 21 again, a time when everyone’s looking for an excuse to party and their identity, as they realize the life that awaits them after the party is over. Alcohol flows, the hormones haven’t died down, and everyone just wants to have a good time, regardless of who you are and where you come from. In Superman: American Alien #3 this is especially true for Clark, who is mistaken for someone he isn’t, thrust into a world opposite of his humble upbringing in Smallville, and finds himself a hero, not even knowing it. Max Landis brings us into the life of Clark in his early 20s in this issue, and in a single boat trip gives us the gambit of emotions of someone trying to figure out who they really are, making the reader question even themselves. Max Landis delivers on his promise of Issue 3 being sexy, and weaves in some honesty that surprised me.
Issue 3 doesn’t beat around the bush, telling us a story about a young man learning who he is as a person. With sex, drugs and alcohol strewn all around, and being mistaken for someone else, Clark comes to his senses and brushes it all to the side. Landis does an excellent job at bringing us on the roller coaster of emotions that Clark goes through in this book. From “I’m about to die” to “You could have been the one” and everything in between, this book has more to offer than what the surface has to shown. With only one person who can see Clark for who he is amongst the crowd, Clark is able to open up. With a romantic interest, we get a feel of Clark’s humanity and vulnerability, realizing that he’s struggling with being an alien on Earth and nobody knowing about it. With an interesting cameo from a well-known DC Villain, the flick of a finger gets rid of that pest quickly, reminding us that Clark Kent is still, indeed, the Man of Steel.
Joelle Jones nails the art in this book, bringing to light the party and Miami Beach vibe that Max is presenting throughout the issue. From the vibrant colors that pop off the page to the feel of an 80’s movie, the scene and environment are captured so well. Expressions are honest, chemistry oozes off the pages, and action is impactful. Jones does a great job capturing moments through the eyes of the characters, giving you a glimpse into their souls at just the right times, bringing impact to specific moments with precision timing.
Superman: American Alien is truly a coming of age story, with Issue 3 being what feels like the turning point, or at least the start of it. Landis does an amazing job with his word play in this book, as well as giving us insight to who Superman is at his core. With 4 more issues left, I’m looking forward to see where things go from here, and am enjoying every moment of it.