Review: Superman: American Alien #4

SMAA_Cv4Clark travels to Metropolis for the Cerberus Summit, a rare meeting between three of the world’s most prominent young chiefs of industry: Lex Luthor, Oliver Queen, and the enigmatic Bruce Wayne. Landing an exclusive interview with any of the three would all but guarantee Clark a prestigious internship with the Daily Planet…but Clark runs into some unexpected competition when he meets another college journalist named Lois Lane.

I’ve generally really enjoying writer Max Landis‘ exploration of Superman. Bouncing around through his life each issue sports a new artist, this one is Jae Lee. After looking at his youth and teenage years, this one has Clark heading to Metropolis to begin his early career at the Daily Planet… with an internship. There he meets Lois Lane, who looks Asian? The art is a little odd at times in Lee’s distinct style.

What I like what Landis has done here is that he uses the rather bizarre third issue which had Clark being mistaken for Bruce Wayne by Oliver Queen. That continues here as Queen, Wayne, and Luthor come together for a meeting of the giants and Queen again mistakes Clark for Wayne.

While we do learn a bit more about Clark, I think the bigger thing here is a focus on Oliver Queen and Lex Luthor (and a cameo by a certain Batman and Dick Grayson). A lot of the issue feels like it’s Queen and Luthor discussing their visions, what they’re hoping to accomplish, and their philosophies. This issue isn’t about Superman as much as it is about the corporate pillars of the DC Universe.

What Landis does fantastic is giving Luthor a philosophy that’s hard to argue against. It’s his view, for good or bad, and it’s an interesting one, especially when he compares himself to Wayne and Queen. What drives those two to do good and Luthor to go his route? Some of that is laid out here.

As I said above Lee’s art is hit and miss. Some times I enjoy it, some times I don’t and this issue is a mix. Some of it, especially panel layout, is fantastic, but tere’s something I don’t completely dig, especially is character design. Lois, and Clark at times, look Asian at times, which is a little weird. Also is an issue is that Dick Grayson looks like a miniature version of Clark too, the faces don’t vary much. What I do dig is Lee’s Lex Luthor who looks fantastic.

Overall, the series is a solid one and I’m enjoying where it’s all going. This is one I think the whole will be better than individual issues, but those individual issues are pretty damn good.

Story: Max Landis Art: Jae Lee
Story: 8.2 Art: 7.2 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review