In Superman: American Alien written by Max Landis and drawn by Matthew Clark we find a 10 year old Clark Kent experiencing his powers for the first time. Martha and Johnathan- Clark’s parents are obviously placed in a difficult position. While some parents have to worry about their kid’s puberty revolving around acne or voice changes, Johnathan and Martha have to worry about Clark floating at inappropriate times, or punching a wall with his super strength cause he’s angry. What is a parent to do when you’re raising a near invulnerable alien as your son?
I thought the story itself was told in good fashion. Max Landis actually puts you in the position of Johnathan and Martha Kent, a couple who’s really out of their depth when it comes to raising their son Clark. Clark, who’s struggling with the control of his powers starts out the story wanting to be just a normal kid. He has a problem with seemingly just floating at random, although it really happens at times of extreme distress–such as when he attempted to kiss Lana Lang. The artwork by Matthew Clark is also done well as the characters are drawn with great detail and I love how you see their actual expressions as matters are discussed. The duo of Landis and Clark actually does this story justice.
If you’re expecting a super powered slug fest in this story then I’m sorry–its not for you. Now we all know I’m action oriented person but this however is really a coming of age story and I respect that. While you think its just Johnathan and Martha raising Clark on their own its actually not. Johnathan and Martha trust a few with their secret such as the local doctor who gives Clark a check up and notices their is a small amount to microwave energy coming off of him. The doctor advises the couple that someone else should have a look at Clark, however Martha is dead set against it, while Johnathan is actually considering it. Although the story starts off slow you come to appreciate that later on as you continue to read.
I really thought Superman: American Alien was good, solid read. Although it’s not some action packed slug fest like I’m accustomed to, I still feel like this was a story that needed to be told–and I’m glad Landis and Clark did it. We find a nervous, unsure Clark Kent trying to make sense of the world with the abilities he’s been given. Early on we see him having the idea to use his abilities for personal gain, and you really can’t be mad at him cause he’s only ten. However Landis does a great job showing you why Martha and Johnathan were so crucial–they were Clark’s moral compass. Each time a decision whether good or bad was made we find Johnathan and Martha there to console and put Clark’s mind at ease. Superman: American Alien shows you exactly who Clark is at his core and that’s a good person who always wants to do the right thing–powers or not.