By Max Landis, Joëlle Jones & Rico Renzi

This third issue in the mini-series throws readers into the slice-of-life of 21-year-old Clark Kent. After a death-defying accident, Clark boards a cruise ship and everyone on board mistakes him for another young man who looks eerily similar…Bruce Wayne. Needless to say, this complicates things for Kent, especially when he meets a girl who sees right through his charade.

The previous issue was an absolute mess; writer Max Landis took some extreme liberties just for the sake of trying to go against the grain and deliver shock value.As a result, one would likely have extreme trepidation reading this comic, but surprisingly it’s better than issue two even if it’s really not hard to improve on the material after that prior debacle. Landis took a step back and focused on the introspection of the iconic character. That’s what this series should be about: chronicling the hardships of youth through the eyes of a man from another world and how different/difficult that must be. Perhaps it’s just easier to write for a 21-year-old than say a 16 or 18-year-old, regardless Max did much better this go around.

The majority of the issue is the interaction between two characters, which sounds boring as can be, but the dialogue and the artwork allows the material to come to life well. Joëlle Jones varies her page layouts so the imagery never becomes dull. With Rico Renzi bringing a vibrant color palette to the Caribbean setting, the panels just pop off the page. Jones’ work might be new to some, but her work on this title merits investigating her other comic work.

Landis has taken a step in the right direction with this issue of American Alien. Readers should still be wary because it is by no means perfect due to some lines and story beats that seem out of character and/or forced. All the easter eggs were a bit unnecessary as well; he doesn’t have to try to establish his “geek” cred by name-dropping characters like Bobby Milestone because the plot and story should be enough to establish that. The cliffhanger of the issue is extremely promising and definitely clinches whether one should pick up issue four or not. Here’s to keeping fingers crossed, hoping the book delivers on the promise! In the meantime, give this one a shot. It’s nothing exemplary, but it’s a nice little Superman story.

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About The Author Erik Gonzalez

I was exposed to comics early on, one of my earliest vivid memories was picking up the entire run of Dark Horse’s Aliens vs. Predator(1990). Odd and perhaps morbid choice for a kid, I know...At the same time, I was immersed in the pop culture of the time which included, but not limited to: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and of course, Batman: The Animated Series. Upon reflection, it’s fairly evident why I’m such a zealous geek. My day job is in television operations, so basically I’m exposed to media at every turn, which is where I want to be! Writing comic book reviews is another outlet to convey my respect and fanaticism for the this graphic medium. I hope what I have to say will resonate with others and also spark heart-felt discussion. Simon Pegg said it best, “Being a geek is extremely liberating.”