Superman: American Alien #1

'Superman: American Alien' #1 artwork by Nick Dragotta & Alex Guimaraes
'Superman: American Alien' #1 cover by Ryan Sook
‘Superman: American Alien’ #1 cover by Ryan Sook
  • Written by Max Landis
  • Illustrated by Nick Dragotta
  • Colours by Alex Guimaraes
  • Cover by Ryan Sook

In this first issue, superstar artist Nick Dragotta (East of West, Fantastic Four) illustrates the story of Jonathan and Martha Kent as they struggle to deal with their 12-year-old son’s latest quirk-he’s been floating up into the air, sometimes hundreds of feet!

Pickup your copy of ‘Superman: American Alien’ #1 at Comixology now!

I think the easiest way to start this review and explain to you why we needed another Superman centric series in our lives is by starting off with the official press text to describe it:

Hollywood screenwriter and Eisner Award nominee Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN) joins forces with top comics artists including Jock, Francis Manapul and Jae Lee to bring you SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN, a 7-issue miniseries chronicling the life of Clark Kent and his development into the archetypal hero he will eventually become. But these are not the stories of the iconic “Superman” as you know him, but of the soft-spoken, charming, often-funny Kansas farm-boy behind the Man of Steel. With the tone of each issue ranging from heartwarming and simple, to frighteningly gritty and violent, to sexy, sun-kissed and funny, SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN is unlike anything you’ve seen before.

I’m going to preface my thoughts on ‘Superman: American Alien’ by saying that prior to ‘Man of Steel’ the movie I had very rarely read a Superman comic. I was a fan of the original movies, the animated series and the ‘Lois & Clark’ TV show. Never a fan of ‘Smallville’ and not all that interested in his main comic series or any other Super-centric title. ‘Man of Steel’ changed my mind… okay I still don’t really rate ‘Smallville’ that highly but I do now read ‘Superman’ comics and really enjoyed the ‘Superman Unchained’ series.

I read an interview somewhere in the world with Max Landis discussing his love of Superman and his idea to create a series that depicted moments in his life which put him on course to becoming the man his is today and I was intrigued. DC Comics love the chance to wheel out a star writers and team him (or her!) up with some of their best artists.

For starters this issue looks amazing throughout. It’s got a snazzy logo that breaks away from the standard ‘Superman’ text which emblazons the main series and much of the story is drenched in an inky blue from colourist Alex Guimaraes that makes the image jump off the page.

The colour palette isn’t hugely varied, daylight scenes stick to earthy tones whilst night scenes are immersed in aforementioned blue that I just cannot get enough of.

Environments are rich whilst characters have a childlike quality, there’s an anime-esque quality which just adds to the overall aesthetic. Dragotta and Guimaraes have really made a stunning looking debut issue for ‘Superman: American Alien’ so I only hope the other artists can live up to this excellent start.

The story is brilliant in it’s simplicity, it is simply the story of how Clark first flew. It’s a story so simple I can’t believe it hasn’t been covered in this manner before and also that I never thought of it! There’s plenty of room for showing off the familial bond between the Kents whilst allowing time to see Clark at school and socialising with his friends.

Extra points to Landis for being able to write in an ‘E.T.’ cameo and being able to juxtapose it with the story of Clark. The 80s setting again adds to the aesthetic.

‘Superman: American Alien’ is a well crafted, beautiful comic and an outstanding start to the series.

5 stars



5 stars

About Neil Vagg 4338 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG