Superman: American Alien

Max Landis et al. DC, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4012-6256-3
One might think the very last thing the comics world needed was yet another twist on the Superman story—until one picks up this awesome story from Landis (Chronicle, Green Valley). Things start as usual with an alien boy in Smallville and progress swiftly through the different stages of Clark Kent’s early life. Key characters are seeded in: Lex Luthor’s genius billionaire megalomaniac—who seems to get richer, smarter, and more tiresome with each DC reinvention—Bruce Wayne’s nosy rival superhero, and a highly enthusiastic Jimmy Olson, who in this incarnation is black and gay. Landis brings a fresh and lively humanism to each of these tales, tangling throughout with Clark’s uncertain feelings about his powers and fracturing the Smallville narrative with small-town jealousies and a meth-fueled crime rampage. The art runs the gamut from rich manga speed to washed-out jottings, though some might wish they’d picked one style and stuck with it. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
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