Even in quiet Smallville, bad crimes can happen. This is the case in Superman: American Alien #2. Titled “Hawk” we find a teenage Clark Kent who’s grown more accepting of his powers. Clark has to use his powers when Owen, a young kid on a killing spree starts shooting innocent people–starting with a officer and innocent bystanders. What happens however when Owen takes his own family hostage? How will an inexperienced Clark Kent respond?
American Alien #2, written by Max Landis and Tommy Lee Edwards is a good read. If you’ve read issue number 1 you’ll really appreciate the growth and progress we see Clark Kent go through. Here we find a more confident and relaxed Clark Kent who has friends such as Pete Ross that know about his abilities. His friends often joke about what Clark can do, and it’s great that Landis shows us how Clark’s friends will form the trust and relationships that will essentially build the character of Superman. I love how the shock of a shooting has affected such a small town, and Edwards does a great job of showing the emotion of the characters in this story. A real particular scene that stands out is when Owen holds his family hostage towards the end of the book. It’s very climatic and powerful and it shows us exactly what a small line even a teenage Clark Kent must walk between right and wrong.
My only negative about this issue is the pacing. It comes across as pretty fast and wrapped up easily towards the end. Landis and Edwards do a great job with the story, but it’s so good that when it’s over you want more. Maybe the pace should’ve been slowed or maybe I’m just greedy—quite sure it’s the latter. However Landis and Edwards show you the characters of Smallville so well that you want to see more–and that’s great.
In my opinion American Alien is a good read. This book shows the growth of the Man of Steel and gives credence to how he establishes his beliefs and code. I love character backstories and Landis and Edwards do a great job of giving us that. I look forward to seeing more issues of Clark before the cape. It’s a great testimony to the character and core ideals of what make Superman a staple character. Good job Landis and Edwards–definitely grab a copy!!