Today, Ryan D. and Michael are discussing Superman: American Alien 7, originally released May 18th, 2016.
Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the face.
Ryan D: Superman is known for having epic, city-leveling battles. That’s just status quo. But imagine one of these super-superpowered brawls with a Clark Kent who can bleed, one who still feels emotionally and physically vulnerable despite his abilities? Even better: while we’ve seen this Superman deal with mindless monsters and scheming billionaire magnates, imagine his first encounter with a being of deep moral apathy, with whom the Man of Steel may have more in common with than he does with the people of Earth. Max Landis and Jock tell an ambitious story in the ultimate issue of American Alien, concluding my favorite run with the character since Morrison’s All-Star Superman. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Ryan M. are discussing Superman: American Alien 6, originally released April 26, 2016.
Michael: It’s incredibly difficult for me to not let my opinions on the current DC film adaptations spill over into my Superman-related write-ups. Likewise, it’s difficult for me to write about Superman: American Alien and not repeat myself month after month by saying that Max Landis has proven that you can make Superman relatable without compromising the core of the character. What I’m getting at is that unlike Henry Cavill’s Superman, Superman: American Alien 6 demonstrates that you can actually tell a worthwhile story where Superman just happens to be…kind of an asshole. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Superman: American Alien 5, originally released March 16, 2016.
Patrick: You don’t really think of Superman having a learning curve of any kind. He’s basically invincible, faster than a speeding bullet, and stronger than, like, anyone. But there’s more to being Superman than just being a perfect physical embodiment of heroism. Like anyone, Clark needs to decide what he stands for and how he stands for it. These early days of “The Black Cape” (or any of those awful names) demonstrates just how much the character needs guiding principles. Hell, one of the biggest problems publishing this character is that the guiding principles need to be compelling on their own — the action doesn’t make Action Comics, as it were. Max Landis and Francis Manapul’s supurb Superman: American Alien 5 explores the origins of those guiding principles by emphasizing the “man” over the “super.” Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Mark are discussing Superman: American Alien 4, originally released February 17th, 2016.
Michael: When people ask me why characters like Superman and Batman work so well, my answer typically boils down to: they were the first ideas of their kind and in this case they were the best. The idea of Superman is incredibly simple and yet incredibly amazing. What a lofty goal it is to dream up the most powerful hero around who is a champion for good. Superman: American Alien 4 continues that trend of big dreams and hopeful ambition from all sorts of perspectives. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Superman: American Alien 3, originally released January 13, 2016.
Michael: Here are two words for you: Max Landis. It’s likely that you have one of the two following reactions: A) “I heard that guy is a conceited ass” or B) “I have no idea who that is.” Consequently, I’d bet that Max Landis himself would say that neither of those reactions bother him all that much. Nevertheless, when it comes to Max Landis I can assure you of this: the man knows Superman. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Superman: American Alien 2, originally released December 16th, 2015.
Spencer: As a rule, Superman is the last character I want to see explored in a “realistic” fashion. Superman is at his best when he’s larger than life, inspiring others by word and deed, making us believe a man can fly, not when getting bogged down by explanations of how he can fly or arguments about his inherent goodness being unrealistic. That said, there’s an exception to every rule, and I think Superman: American Alien is my exception to this rule. It helps, though, that in his exploration of a how a more down-to-Earth Clark Kent grows up to be Superman, writer Max Landis discovers that normalcy and Clark Kent just don’t mix — he transcends the reality of Smallville itself. Continue reading →