Superman

Superman

American Alien

Book - 2016
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"Hollywood screenwriter and Eisner Award nominee Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra, Adventures of Superman) joins forces with top comics artists including Jock, Francis Manapul and Jae Lee to bring you Superman: American Alien, a new epic that chronicles the life of Clark Kent and his development into the archetypal hero he will eventually become. But these are not the stories of the iconic "Superman" as you know him, but of the soft-spoken, charming, often-funny Kansas farm-boy behind the Man of Steel. With the tone of each issue ranging from heartwarming and simple, to frighteningly gritty and violent, to sexy, sun-kissed and funny, Superman: American Alien is unlike anything you've seen before. Collects Superman: American Alien #1-7"-- Provided by publisher.

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m
mikemarotta
Dec 30, 2017

In this version by Max Landis, Nick Dragotta, John Workman, and their collaborators, we meet a Superboy with whom Smallville is more or less adapted. Clark Kent's super powers still surprise him. Clark Kent's challenge after moving to Metropolis is to discover the range and limits of his abilities, and how to best use them--for his own good, and perhaps for a greater good. That greater good is also a challenge, though this version has no soul searching.

Canon exists. Once you stray from canon, you go from a slippery slope to a reductio ad absurdum in which all you have is an empty name. A Vegetarian Big Mac has no meat. Alternately - and it is all about alternates - once a new poet recasts a myth, broad reception and acceptance can solidify that new interpretation into a classic. The Argonautica, the Ring of the Nibelungs, the Arthurian legends, all were re-written and retold.

How many times has Superman has been re-imaged? How many timelines and alternate universes exist? Even Bizarro Superman has re-instantiations. And if Superman is variously vulnerable to the many forms of kryptonite, why is he never affected by his own costume, the space ship that brought him here, or Supergirl? (Riddle me that, Batman.)

As Montag said in Fahrenheit 451, inside each book is a man. Superman and Clark Kent meet Batman and Bruce Wayne. We have the wider field of vision, of course, perhaps even an x-ray vision by which we see their inner processes as they meet. But Max Landis has written without the deep philosophizing of self reflection.

m
mammothhawk229e
Jun 21, 2017

Liked the provincial Midwest aw-shuck instead of usual confident cosmopolitan tone in book.
Hello! Nice...character designs.

k
Keogh
Mar 16, 2017

Not in continuity, which perhaps makes it the more interesting. The author gets to work with several artists on telling a story of the Man of Steel progressing from boyhood to a young man just starting out on the road of heroics. The tone of each chapter is different, and the art for one will appeal more than the art for others, depending on personal taste. The result is a surprisingly appealing take on Superman, with characterization among certain characters that rings true- especially his Lex Luthor. There are also surprises along the way, such as interaction with a familiar Wonder Woman adversary long before she's reached her destiny.

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