Review: American Alien #5: “Eagle”

by Steven Brown
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Clark Kent is living the good life! Working as an intern for the Daily Planet, a great new apartment, and flying around Metropolis as a masked hero! For the last few months Clark has been flying around Metropolis saving lives and stopping crimes. Everything seems to be going good–however Clark begins to wonder what’s next? Where will this new path lead him? And what will he call himself?


The Positives

“Eagle” written by Max Landis and penciled by Francis Manapul is a good coming of age story. Manapul’s artwork is put on display on every page as you can literally see the struggles of the characters on the page. Here we find Clark enjoying using his powers for good. However his conversations with Lois start to make him wonder–just where is it all going? Clark is starting to question his purpose–and how best to serve the citizens of Metropolis. I like how he and Lois have a conversation on what “the flying man” should stand for. Lois has no idea that Clark is this “flying man”, and its funny how Clark refers to himself during the conversation and Lois never picks it up. During the course of the book, Clark finally has a run in with the man of Metropolis himself– Lex Luthor. Although they’ve met before this is primarily Lex’s first encounter with “the flying man”. Landis did a great job of showcasing Luthor’s mental strength against Clark by winning their first initial showdown–without even moving. Luthor shreds into Clark’s psyche and damages his ego in this encounter, however Clark returns the favor at the end of the book and actually found myself laughing about it. Landis does a great job of showing off the strengths and weaknesses of both Lex and Clark here, and it makes you want more of it.


The Negatives

The only real complaint about this issue is the lack of action here but that’s ok for me. This issue serves strictly as a coming of age issue and it’s a great read for that purpose. I went into it knowing that Clark hasn’t become Superman yet so he isn’t saving the world or facing down an alien invasion. He does have an encounter with an energy based being though and that results in an interesting fight. Not to spoil too much but the character seems to be an origin point for one of Superman’s first villains–but I’ll you figure out who.


The Verdict

“Eagle” is a great read if you treat it as what it is–an coming of age issue. Here we have Clark still trying to identify himself with something–he’s still trying to attach himself to an ideal and we see him struggle with it in this issue. Landis and Manapul do a great job of showing us Clark’s humanity in some pages, and his ego in others. However if you’re a real Superman fan you’ll especially love the exchange between Clark and Lex in the end, it really shows you perfectly how the rivalry between the two will start and exactly where each man stands in his beliefs. Enough of me telling you about American Alien #5– read it for yourself!


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