Superman: American Alien #4

Superman: American Alien #4

Writer: Max Landis Artist: Jae Lee Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: February 17, 2016 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 26 User Reviews: 19
8.2Critic Rating
8.7User Rating

Clark travels to Metropolis for the Cerberus Summit, a rare meeting between three of the worlds most prominent young chiefs of industry: Lex Luthor, Oliver Queen, and the enigmatic Bruce Wayne. Landing an exclusive interview with any of the three would all but guarantee Clark a prestigious internship with the Daily Planetbut Clark runs into some unexpected competition when he meets another college journalist named Lois Lane.

  • 10
    Comix I Read - Kyle Pitman Feb 17, 2016

    Superman: American Alien #4 is the perfect issue for those who just don't "get" Superman. Between the well-defined characters and explanations for Superman's M.O., there's plenty here for both rookies and veterans alike. Read Full Review

  • 10
    ComiConverse - Kyle King Feb 19, 2016

    Max Landis has given readers a lot to unpack, but this revealing tale is well worth the effort. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Book Resources - Jim Johnson Feb 19, 2016

    Landis and artist Steve Dillon close out the issue with a straightforward and standalone one-page feature encapsulating the origin of the Parasite. Like every issue thus far, "Superman: American Alien" #4 is a beautifully captivating examination of how the world shapes a young Clark Kent. It's not the origin of Superman at all; it's the story of a young man finding his way, learning that he just might have what it takes to be the world's greatest hero. Read Full Review

  • 10
    The Kliq Nation - Timdogg Feb 22, 2016

    Superman: American Alien #4 brings us closer to Clark Kent becoming Superman. You can tell how much fun Max Landis is having taking segments of Clark's origin and spinning them into brand new tales. The final pages really demonstrate the intensity Jae Lee brings to his pages. Prominent DC characters provide building blocks to the creation of Superman. Their inclusion is what made me really enjoy this issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    AiPT! - David Brooke Feb 17, 2016

    I'm not sure you can get a better collection of Superman character-first impressions than in this series. Come for the dialogue but stay for the fun and surprising moments. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    PopOptiq - Matthew J. Theriault Feb 18, 2016

    Early on in the issue, a throwaway line indicates that the train Clark's riding on is approaching Morrison Boulevard and Quitely Street " a clear call-out to the creative team behind All-Star Superman, widely regarded as the greatest story ever told about the greatest hero the world's ever known. A sympathetic reading of Landis' intentions would regard the reference as an homage honoring the two titans of the medium. But another reading would claim Landis is drawing comparison between All-Star and American Alien with respect to their artistic quality. It is impossible to discern for sure what Landis' purpose in doing so was. But after reading the series thus far, and based on this fourth issue in particular, this much is certain: American Alien is sure to be mentioned in the same breath as All-Star for decades to come, and the comparison will be favorable indeed. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    GWW - Mopeymac Feb 17, 2016

    Once again American Alien has maintained its place as one of my favorite series coming out of DC. To write this review is incredibly difficult because part of me wants to write about the series so far when I need to focus on a single issue. Number four unlike other issues seemed to focus more on bringing other characters to the light and showing us how some of Clark's relationships would develop in the future. I enjoyed this issue each time I read it just like I've enjoyed each issue previous to it. The one page comic of Parasites origin illustrated by Steve Dillon was wonderful and my favorite so far. If you haven't read the previous issues you're really missing out on an excellent series. Read Full Review

  • 9.4
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Feb 18, 2016

    This comic has no business being as good as it is. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Bounding Into Comics - John F. Trent Feb 17, 2016

    Superman: American Alien #4 captures DC's iconic characters, but also makes you think about them and what they mean to us as readers. Jae Lee's art is gorgeous and his Luthor panels are absolutely phenomenal. This book may just set the bar for Clark Kent's first day in Metropolis, it was that good. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Big Comic Page - Craig Neilson-Adams Feb 17, 2016

    SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN continues to provide a wonderfully unique look at the formative days of the Man of Steel, shifting both visual and narrative and styles with every new issue, making for a truly captivating read. Personally speaking, the Superman character has always felt a little direct, a little larger-than-life for my tastes, but these fleeting snapshots, delivered with emotion and humour, are going a long way towards changing my mind. Landis is creating something truly special here, and the addition of Lee for this particular chapter is simply the cherry on an already mouth-watering sundae. Highly recommended. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    We The Nerdy - John Newby Feb 17, 2016

    Thank goodness that Superman: American Alien exists, because its the best form of Superman around. Reading this series honestly helps build the excitement for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Dark Knight News - Eric Joseph Feb 18, 2016

    And while I just said it's early in the game, I'm going to make a bold statement after only four issues have shipped: this is the best limited run to feature the Man of Steel sinceAll-Star Superman. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Wednesday Comics - Garrett Walz Feb 29, 2016

    Jae Lee's art in this issue is absolutely amazing, it is the best I've seen of him. It could be the Superman fan in me but wow, Lee's art on point this issue. I have to praise his art because his sketching of characters and the shadows he plays off creates a contrast of why Clark Kent Superman is a hero of the light. He shows great strength with shadows, especially when a certain Bat comes into play. The last page, as I said above, is one of the greatest scenes I have seen in comics in a very long time. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Slackjaw Punks - Duff Feb 18, 2016

    For some, Landis is a tough pill to swallow. I don't really have an opinion on his films one way or the other. Thought Chronicle and American Ultra were solid flicks, not flawless but fun to watch. All I know, is unique take on Superman/Clark Kent and the DCU is extremely enjoyable. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Pop-Break - Marisa Carpico Feb 18, 2016

    Bruce has been flitting about the edges of the comic for awhile and he finally appears here, cape and all. At one point, a young Dick Grayson says to Clark, “Batman needs a counterpoint.” And while Clark may not understand the full truth of that statement at this stage, the issue makes it clear just how true that is. All the heroes Clark meats in this issue (Oliver, Dick and Bruce) chose to become more than what they were because of trauma. Clark is the only one who chooses to help people because hes good and he can. He embodies hope. Realizing how important that is is what makes Superman a hero. Read Full Review

  • 8.3
    Weird Science - Jim Werner Feb 17, 2016

    I liked this issue, but after loving the first two, this one fell a bit flat.  The setup was there for a kick ass issue, but it was overly forced and I didn't like Jae Lee's art one bit.  Still, seeing an alternate take on Clark's first (well, second in Ollie's case) meetings with three of DC Comics biggest names was cool and still better than most of what is on the shelf these days.  This one still gets two snaps, but not the twist. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Graphic Policy - Brett Feb 17, 2016

    Overall, the series is a solid one and I'm enjoying where it's all going. This is one I think the whole will be better than individual issues, but those individual issues are pretty damn good. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Feb 17, 2016

    But despite this detour into the greater DC Universe, I do feel like Landis is onto something with this issue of Superman: American Alien, as he's buoyed by the spectacular artwork of Jae Lee and June Chung. Whether you love Landis or hate him, it's clear that he's brought a ton of thinking about the structure of DC's superheroic pantheon, how they fit and interact with one another, with clearly defined points of view and methods of operation. That's the kind of deliberation that often gets ignored in today's event- and reboot-centric superhero marketplace. But ultimately, for a series that is ostensibly rooted in reinventing the Man of Steel, this issue instead finds fertile ground in DC's other heroes. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Vine - Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring Feb 17, 2016

    American Alien tells the story of the "missing years" of Clark Kent/Superman and does so pretty well. This issue primarily focuses on characters that will play a bigger role in Clark's life later on, but what this issue does exceptionally well is show that while Clark has powers, he can become something greater. The only downside is that there are a few scenes that drag on a tad, but overall, this is a fantastic issue. I highly recommend checking this out. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - Gary Moloney Feb 17, 2016

    Superman: American Alien is a thoroughly stimulating read, that you don't need heavy action to sell a book, but rather an intellectually engaging story that speaks to own experiences. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    DC Comics News - Steven Brown Apr 5, 2016

    If you've been reading Superman: American Alien from the beginning then naturally you'll want to pick this up. I only say this cause reading it by itself it'll come across as a bit slow. However when read as part of the series it looks great. So far we've seen Clark as a kid, make mistakes as a teenager, and now he's in college preparing for his future. It's a completely different side of Superman that we've never seen before and I think that's what makes this series so good. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Batman-News - Jay Yaws Feb 17, 2016

    Still imperfect, but an entertainment in its own right. Clark is starting to become a character we actually recognize, and Landis' writing is getting tighter as well. There are still a few hamfisted lines here and there, but seeing Clark actually being a reporter and interacting realistically with different people shows a good grasp of the character. Batman's portrayal may be too irreverent for some, but hey, sometimes you need to be able to laugh at what you love. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Bastards - Asa Giannini Feb 17, 2016

    Thanks in large part to the art, this issue feels like one that could have been excellent with some polishing. As it is, it comes off as the ambitious but self-indulgent work of a young writer (and impression not hurt by Landis' public persona). Early on, a once again too-cute reference is made to Quitely and Morrison's All-Star Superman, which is a sad reminder of what can be done with a Superman re-imagining. I remain excited to see where things go from here (there is some hint things will be more serialized going forwards), but I hope that future issues will focus more on Clark and less on the DC universe. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Black Nerd Problems - Oz Longworth Feb 18, 2016

    Don't get me wrong… there were some redeeming moments like our introduction to Lois Lane or Clark's interview with young Dick Grayson (yes, Dick Grayson just happens to be here in Metropolis for reasons unknown), but claiming you're writing a story about Clark Kent as a character outside of the Superman stuff and then giving us an prequel that is almost completely Superman stuff makes Landis guilty of the same sins as Jeph Loeb when he worked on Smallville. The saving grace, as usual with this series, is the artwork. It was actually surprising the way Jae Lee switched up his style to fit the old school utopian feel of Metropolis. His character work is so definitive and striking, the individual personalities just radiate off of the cast even without the dialogue. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Newsarama - Justin Partridge Feb 22, 2016

    Max Landis is a divisive character on his best day, but Superman: American Alien #4 isn't going to do much to help his case with his critics. Bloated with side characters and severely lacking in its understanding of Clark Kent as a character, this fourth issue pulls this series into the realm of officially sanctioned fan-fiction. Landis once said that he wanted American Alien to be the opposite of All-Star Superman, and in a dubious manner, he's succeeded. In All-Star Superman, Superman is the lead of the story, but American Alien #4 makes Clark a co-star in his own title, and I can't think of a more opposite approach to take than that. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Nerdophiles - Jackson Adams Feb 22, 2016

    Landis' saving grace on American Alien has been his artistic collaborators and now more than ever, it's clear that he needs to emphasize the top talent this project has attracted. Panels are still bogged down in dialogue that's at best distracting and much more frequently, ruinous to the story that's being told. When he gets out of his own way, tries not to get into a long box measuring contest with the readers, or show off his perceived nerd bonafides, these comics are fine, but his fussiness and flourishes are actively distracting from the story he assumedly wants to tell and the character he claims to focus on. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Vancha Apr 1, 2016

    This is handled so well. So many pivotal characters meeting each other for the first time, and each meeting is handled perfectly. The best one of all for me though, was young Grayson. Not only do we rarely get to see him during his boy-wonder days any more, but seeing him training his ability to read people was a lovely moment. His comments about light balancing darkness also happened to tie almost too perfectly into the art of this issue, being drawn by Jae Lee who is by far my favourite comic book artist, we see a lighter edge to his usual style. Going from constant sunlight and blue skies to the Kidz Zone, then to an arcade and back into sunlight for most of the remainder of the issue. The colours seem a little bolder and the characters less intimidating, be it Clark and his little jig of joy, or even Batman being less cloaked in shadow than a typical Jae Lee portrayal. I came into this with high expectations, but even still it's hard not to geek out over an issue like this.

  • 8.5
    Kitaru Jun 23, 2016

    Great interactions between three pre-Legendary characters. Max Landis is writing Clark the best he has been written is some time.

  • 7.0
    BrightestDaycare.com Feb 25, 2016

    This was a really great story, and I liked how effortless the longwindedness of Lex Luthor felt in this book, but Jae Lee, who I usually don’t mind on art, just made this book look so different from how the story and dialogue (I felt anyway) was supposed to make you feel. There were some great panels, and the ending of the story seemed okay, but most of the artwork just didn’t really grab me like the earlier issues of this series had. The parasite backup story was fantastic, but for a single page story, it wasn’t enough to bolster this book beyond a middling score. I have hopes for the last few issues to really ramp things up and get back to what we got in the first three issues, because this book was okay, but it wasn’t anywhere NEAR as great as what I was hoping for as I came in. I loved the page with the layout working around the skyscraper with the glass-walled external elevator where Lex is giving Clark Kent some seriously high-concept blurbs for his “quote” he was offered by Oliver Queen. I loved his moment of “wait- what?!?” when Lex uses the phrase “availability cascade” which had me just as confused as Clark- so im glad he asked. Seeing just how megalomaniacal Lex is even in these early stages is really driving home who this guy is, or who he THINKS he is, and that he so casually belittles Clark Kent by dropping him off in the LexCorp Kidz Zone, (that’s “kidz” with a Z) was a great parting shot dig at him. Again, the art felt a bit distracting, but the story was right on point so that helped to save this book from a worse score.

  • 10
    Hilbut Feb 17, 2016

  • 10
    jjoao.vvic Apr 21, 2016

  • 10
    Pundo Jun 1, 2016

  • 10
    SkyroCBR Jul 22, 2016

  • 9.5
    RufflesTheArmadillo Feb 22, 2016

  • 9.5
    Redeadhood Feb 24, 2016

  • 9.0
    Veido Feb 26, 2016

  • 9.0
    SwampyCA Jun 13, 2016

  • 8.5
    Rotivv Feb 17, 2016

  • 8.5
    Zumba Feb 19, 2016

  • 8.5
    drwasheewashee Feb 20, 2016

  • 8.0
    Gunnarthehuman Feb 17, 2016

  • 8.0
    DXO Feb 20, 2016

  • 7.5
    Tensay Feb 20, 2016

  • 7.5
    Sayrus Mar 21, 2016

  • 7.0
    JuliusMc Dec 26, 2016

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