See Superman Burn the Arms Off of a Man in the Latest Issue of Superman: American Alien

Friday, 18 December 2015 - 6:02PM
DC Comics
Superman
Friday, 18 December 2015 - 6:02PM
See Superman Burn the Arms Off of a Man in the Latest Issue of Superman: American Alien
Most people would agree that Superman isn't the type of superhero that would sever the limbs from his enemies' bodies.  Then again, the Superman in Max Landis' new American Alien comic series probably isn't the Superman most people know.  

Last month, the new limited series started with a bang by introducing this new take on an almost century-old character.  This Clark Kent has parents who take Prozac and worry if the son they're raising could end up being a monster - in other words, he has the same kind of parents that many modern adolescents living in a rural town could definitely relate to. Clark's fears and doubts about himself are all addressed in an emotionally spectacular fashion as this new Superman learns to fly. The issue concludes on a happy note, with a young Clark Kent trying to convince his parents to let him use his newfound ability to take them to some pretty sweet vacation spots.  Issue 2, however, takes a drastically different tone.  

In American Alien #2, a man tragically kills a store full of people before returning home to threaten the family that kicked him out.  Meanwhile, Clark is being tutored in French by Lana Lang and is invited to her house for a parents free rendezvous.  He then leaves to meet up with Pete before being approached by a police officer.  This version of Smallville is like many of the others - almost everyone has come to know Clark's secret.  So the officer then asks Clark to take a look around at the crime scene.  Clark and Pete are both clearly upset by what's taken place, and later on, Clark decides to seek out the murderer.  

Before he even gets to the door, Clark's shot, and hits the ground. Though he gives the shooter a chance, he doesn't listen, so the young Superman sends the murderer flying through the side of the house.  However, the other members of this man's lovely family begin to come out, and another man takes a shot at Clark. Before he can get another shot off, however, the Kryptonian teenager uses his heat vision to burn his arms off.  


Of course, it's not like Clark does any of this nonchalantly.  He clearly doesn't want to have to do such things, but they simply have to be done. Part of it was surely inexperience - it's hard to imagine a veteran Superman approaching the situation in the same way. Yet part of it is the fact that Landis' Superman is probably one of the most realistic iterations of the character to ever grace the pages of a comic book.  

This version of Clark seems to be just like any other teenager (well, except for the whole shooting lasers from his eyes thing). He tries to hide from the officer the fact that he and Pete are drinking beer, he interacts with his crush like many modern teenage boys would interact with their crushes, and he reacts to events rashly and emotionally.  

There will no doubt be certain readers that hate this version of the character, especially after how many fans reacted to Man of Steel. Landis' version of the character is even more realistic and gritty, and he has parents who (shocker) worry about him exposing himself just as much as they worry about whether he does the right thing. After all, what caring parent in the real world wouldn't? This certainly isn't Donner's Superman, though he still is very much the same character with a huge heart that wants to use his abilities to help others and bring evildoers to justice.    

American Alien has been a spectacular series so far - in fact, it may be the very best new series that DC has put out in 2015. It's emotional, it has the potential to relate to people on a personal level, and it's simply storytelling at its finest with one of the greatest, most iconic characters ever created.Comic fans who haven't been reading should definitely start before this amazing series passes them by.
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