COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 – Parrot | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 – Parrot

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 - Parrot

Writer: Max Landis

Artists: Joelle Jones, Rico Renzi, John Workman


DC Comics

Writer Max Landis set out to re-envision a DCU staple with Superman: American Alien, and well, he’s definitely succeeded at that. The series takes a look at the life of Clark Kent, and now on issue three out of seven, has covered boyhood through early twenties, each issue having a new set of artists.

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 - Parrot

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Artists Joelle Jones and Rico Renzi work out well on this issue. The scripting is very loud and is set at a party full of drugs, booze, and debauchery. Their collective artwork is crisp on the character design, and is vibrant in its use of color. All of the panels fit well into the story and are complete with eye-catching panel breaks that do quite well at adding to the narrative of the issue. Scenes later in the book show a comically drugged version of Clark Kent, slurring his words and acting like an overall nincompoop, and the art shines most on those, the most ridiculous of pages.

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 - Parrot

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This issue starts out with Clark crash-landing in the ocean with the terrified pilot of a prop plane. Needless to say, it’s not a scheduled landing, and Clark learns that he is capable of drowning. The two find themselves hopping aboard a conveniently located yacht, and stumbling into the twenty-first birthday party of Bruce Wayne. Clark is mistaken for the man under the cowl, and the boat load of partygoers tandemly embrace him in celebration. Among guests are playboy Oliver Queen, and for some reason Victor Zsasz with a full head of hair, and his wife. Clark is reluctant to take on the personality of Mr. Wayne, that is until he is confronted by a young girl who whisks him away from all the pomp and circumstance. Ultimately, the two fall for one another and go their separate ways by the end of the book, giving Clark that weekend Spring Break fling that every normal American boy in the movies has. At one point, Clark’s champagne glass is dosed with poison by Deathstroke, who appears to lay in wait in the bathroom until Clark’s inevitable arrival. Slade is confounded when his sword, or the poison, just won’t do the trick on the yet to be named Superman, and the intoxicated young Kent dispels Deathstroke like a home run with the flick of a finger.

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 - Parrot

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Though I suppose that this story is entertaining in the way that it places Clark in the middle of a National Lampoons story line, I can’t find any reason why it belongs in the series. It doesn’t do much to further the story of Clark as an individual and is on a whole a wildly different character than in previous issues. Given that the intent of the series is to re-imagine Clark Kent as a character, that all makes sense, but to re-imagine him in every single issue does not, and ultimately detracts from a viable story arc as the reader is presented with an overwhelming supply of inconsistencies.

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 - Parrot

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If each issue were taken as a self-contained narrative vignette, then the progression of Clark as a character and the inherent differences in each issue would make some sense. However, given that each book has its own ascending issue number in the series, and that each issue is following the same chronological timeline, it’s difficult to take it as anything more than a series of run-on ideas on behalf of the writer. At this point, the series reads as if Landis jotted down a lot of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” notes and filled in the blanks with large injections of his own perception of typical American life, all of which lead to the inescapable holes in the overarching plot.

COMIC REVIEW: Superman: American Alien #3 - Parrot

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The “Best There Is:” The art team of Jones and Renzi put in substantially good work on this issue. The style is fitting of the narrative, but shows a depth of talent and creativity. The panel breaks are highly stylized and serve the setting well, helping the reader sink into the party scenario that they’re confronted with.

The “Not Very Nice:” The series as a whole thus far has been basely inconsistent. It’s hard to draw any parallels between the different versions of Clark depicted in each book, as their personalities are immensely removed from one another. Superman: American Alien #3 does not add to the series at all, and does nothing to add to the character development of the re-imagined Clark Kent.

FBI Score: 4.5 out of 10. Superman: American Alien has been a series of missteps thus far. The narrative is seemingly more derisive of the source material than it is a retelling of it. Though the art team did a phenomenal job in this book, it’s hard to approach Superman: American Alien #3 with anything resembling seriousness.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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