Comics: Superman: American Alien

November 5—Superman is an iconic character, but also a character that creators can use as a role model.

This means that Superman is definitely certain things but big enough that certain creators can do different things with him.

Even title a book “Superman: American Alien” with a tagline: “This is not a Superman comic.”

And the title and tagline are correct.

Max Landis, who is better known as a screenwriter than a comic book scribe, created the miniseries a few years ago that brings something new to history’s most famous superhero.

Everything is familiar here but everything is different.

The Kents find an alien baby and raise it in the Midwestern town of Smallville. They name the boy Clark. He has powers. He eventually moves to Metropolis to make better use of these powers. He becomes a journalist. He meets Lois Lane. He has a secret identity. He flies, fights bad guys and helps people, dressed in a blue suit, with a red cape and a big yellow S. It’s Superman.

It’s all there, but so is Pa Kent a bit doubtful about raising a super-powered alien boy. Given the size of Smallville, everyone knows young Clark has powers but they keep them a secret when Clark moves to Metropolis.

Clark gets the idea to wear a costume when he meets Batman.

So many nuances that make the familiar story something new.

Really, “American Alien” is the coming-of-age of a good boy named Clark Kent, who happens to have superpowers and wants to do the right thing.

Each chapter of the Complete Edition of “Superman: American Alien” has a different artist, offering a different look at young Clark as he grows from a child to a grown man.

“American Alien” may not be a Superman story, but it has everything that makes a great Superman story.

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