Review: Superman: American Alien #6

by Eric Joseph
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Writer: Max Landis

Artist: Jonathan Case

When I’m not touting Superman: American Alien on social media, podcasts, or livestreaming shows I make guest appearances on, I’m eagerly awaiting the next issue. Believe me, there’s no agenda here. I seriously love this mini-series that much. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who is a Superman fan when I get the chance because only a few stories of this quality focusing on a specific character come each decade.

You can probably surmise from the cover art that Metropolis loves Superman. We join Clark about a year after he has put on the costume and has had a bit of time to adjust to being a celebrity. I mean, the guy is on billboards for Rao’s sake. All things considered, I think he’s made the adjustment decently well.

What made this particular issue special was that Max Landis allowed us to see Clark Kent through the eyes of some visiting friends from his hometown of Smallville. I say Clark Kent because that is really the persona this book has focused on, with Superman being an image created for the public – at least for now. Those same friends also aren’t afraid to give him a bit of straight talk, forcing him to truly examine his purpose in the world. Much like the previous issues, these topics are looked at from a unique perspective as only Landis can present. Heck, he even gives a practical reason for why Superman wears a cape.

I believe this also happens to be the first issue in which we meet this universe’s version of Jimmy Olsen (sorry, I’ve been reading A LOT of comic books in the past few months). He looks like he could easily be a younger version of the one seen on the Supergirl TV series, which is kind of cool when you think about it in that way. The CBS show has this undefined backstory for Superman and his supporting characters who existed long before Supergirl took flight. Perhaps I’m not the only one who tries to picture what those particular versions of Superman and Lois Lane look like and what adventures have been had. But I digress.

Other highlights include another reference to Batman and a few hints at other superheroes. There is also an awesome cameo by two Green Lanterns, but you will have to read to find out which ones and how it all went down. I will, however, say that I like how Landis finds a way to put all of these DC Universe Easter Eggs in the story without making it feel shoehorned.

Great Caesar’s Ghost! I almost forgot to mention this month’s artist! Jonathan Case stops by to bring this chapter of Clark’s life to, um, life. His visuals are a perfect fit for an optimistic character like Superman and the overall tone of this issue. Those who liked the certain “shine” he brought to Batman ’66 will dig this. And no, I’m not talking about the kind of shine Scatman Crothers had.

You may have put together that there isn’t much action to speak of in this issue – and that’s entirely okay. Landis is a master at crafting dialogue and this is but part of a larger constellation. It makes me really interested to see how this will eventually read as a trade.


DC Entertainment has kindly provided some images from this issue, which you can view in the slideshow above.

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