Clark Life

SFX - - Reviews - Lan­dis’s par­o­died Su­per­man’s con­vo­luted death and res­ur­rec­tion in a 2012 short: http:// bit. ly/ deathre­turn.

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher DC Comics Writer Max Lan­dis Artists Var­i­ous

If there’s one char­ac­ter we re­ally don’t need to see an­other “rein­ter­preted ori­gin” for it’s Su­per­man, but DC’s lat­est minis­eries shows there are still in­ter­est­ing an­gles to ex­plore on the Man of Steel’s for­ma­tive years. In­stead of sim­ply re­hash­ing the clas­sic ori­gin story, Su­per­man: Amer­i­can Alien is a col­lec­tion of six stand­alone tales ( each with a dif­fer­ent artist) that fo­cus on defini­tive mo­ments in Clark’s life, from his dis­cov­ery of his flight pow­ers to his first con­fronta­tion with crim­i­nals.

Writ­ten by Chron­i­cle screen­writer Max Lan­dis, Amer­i­can Alien is a grit­tier take on Su­per­man’s early years than comics fans are used to. How­ever, while Lan­dis adds rougher edges to Clark Kent’s day- to- day ex­is­tence, he also makes sure the char­ac­ter’s es­sen­tial de­cency still shines through.

He’s helped in this by the artists who bril­liantly cap­ture the spe­cific mood of each is­sue, from Nick Dragotta’s en­er­getic work de­pict­ing Clark’s boy­hood, to Tommy Lee Ed­wards’s much more at­mo­spheric and noir- ish por­trait of Su­per­man’s teenage years. Three is­sues in, the an­thol­ogy style is work­ing well, matched with Lan­dis’s smart take on the char­ac­ters and a more re­al­is­tic ap­proach to di­a­logue.

In fact, Lan­dis gets so much right that it’s a pity when he makes a few mis­steps, es­pe­cially some over­played mo­ments of vi­o­lence in the crime- based se­cond is­sue. Nev­er­the­less, so far this is one of the more in­ter­est­ing por­tray­als of Su­per­man that we’ve seen for some time, and proof that DC is still ca­pa­ble of putting out ad­ven­tur­ous su­per­hero comics when they re­ally try. Saxon Bul­lock

Is it a plane? Er, yes.

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