Hard Times For A Teen in “Superman: American Alien #2” (Review)
Written by: Max Landis
Art by: Tommy Lee Edwards
A young man’s teen years can sometimes be some of the hardest years of his life. Hormones are raging, your trying to find you place in the world and every decision feels like your last. Now imagine being a teenage boy experiencing all of this and your an alien from another planet with god like super powers. Superman: America Alien #2 gives us a look at what life is like for a teenage Superman. We see how Clark coups with trying to maintain some normalcy, but still wanting to use his powers to do the right thing. Its a concept we have seen before but writer Max Landis turns this period of Clark’s life into a grounded, character driven story I never want to stop reading.
Superman: American Alien #2 is a small story that tells us so much about Clark, his relationships, and his abilities. Its just a normal day for Clark and his friends until a murderous young man returns to Smallville to seemingly make his mark on the town and the people he feels wronged him. Landis does a great job of capturing the teenage point of view. He brings a sense of realism that many of us may have reluctantly ignored. For example Clark’s friends and Law Enforcement all seem to know who he is and that he has powers. And why wouldn’t they? Anyone who has lived in a small town knows that keeping any kind of secret is impossible let alone, for a teenageer, and one as big as Clark’s. Landis understands the character and the world around him. You see his love for Superman inside every panel.
On art duties this issue we get Tommy Lee Edwards. His rougher style is a little jarring at first and necessarily wouldn’t be my first pick for Superman. That being said this isn’t a Superman’s story, not yet at least. This is Clark’s story and Edwards captures the rough, country look and feel of Smallville. Edwards’ art fits this stories setting very well but it also enhance the dark and more violent moments. Its a fitting style for this story and without it I do believe the tone Landis is trying to achieve would be lost.
Superman: American Alien continues to be an interesting and unique look into the early life Clark Kent. Landis really shines in his character interactions as the dialogue is as entertaining as the action. He knows Superman’s world so well and I am having a ton fun watching him play in it.