Sunday, March 27, 2016

Superman: American Alien #5

Clark knew he could have spray painted a skull, right?

Rating: +3 Ranking to 10 of 51 DC Comics. This comic book reminds me why I like comic books. At least, why I like comic books that are written the way I think comic books should be written. The stories have a reason for existing. The characters are true to themselves, or at least true to how I think they should be (which is really everything, right?). There's action but it isn't the main reason for the story. There's human moments. There's great dialogue. And there's humor. Good fucking humor and not stupid lines like "I've got your meatball sandwich right here! *PUNCH!*" I want more comic books like this. Forget about big blockbuster crossovers! I want stories about the characters! I'd love for characters to have guest appearances in each other's books to keep the whole universe feeling shared but they don't need to all take a back seat to some universal threat that eats up the majority of the pages with a shitty end of the universe plot. I want heroes being friends and helping each other! I want supporting casts who have their own identities and who have personalities or abilities the hero finds valuable. I want writers who plan scripts around the characters instead of putting the characters into plots the writer wants to tell and will tell no matter what character DC lets them write. Oh, and I want comic books that look as good as Francis Manapul makes comic books look!

• I've heard it said (or just made it up in my own head right now) that Max Landis writes as if he wants people to talk about how Max Landis writes. I know that's how I write! I mean, so people talk about how I write and not how it's painfully obvious I've stolen everything I write from Max Landis. All I know is that Max Landis writes the perfect Superman in the first three pages of this comic book. It's simple. It's text book. How is it that other writers miss the entire point of Superman and Max Landis can whip out a three page story that says, "This is Superman. Write Superman stories like this but longer."

• Some people are probably thinking to themselves, "What the fuck are you on about, Tess? How about actually writing something coherent instead generalizing and sucking off Max Landis.

• In the opening scene, Superman stops a crime. He stops people from getting hurt. He does it without using violence. He destroys weapons that might eventually hurt somebody. And he gives the criminals a second chance. He's more compassionate than Jesus. Or maybe just as compassionate. I can see Clark nitpicking shit about Lois and Jimmy and Perry over dinner too. "Perry denied my articles! Lois betrayed my love! Jimmy neglected his pet dog!"

• Lois and Clark have lunch where Lois explains copyright law to Clark and how the "superman" is going to lose out on all of his rights to the name he eventually chooses if he remains anonymous. I bet Bruce Wayne winds up with the trademark.

• Superman makes a note to never save the deli that put too many onions on his sandwich from robbers or vandals.

• Superman comic books need more interactions like this. It continues on the next page and it is adorable. Superman needs to be seen as adorable more than he needs to be seen as a violent bad-ass.

• Parasite begins attacking a mall and Superman flies in to help. Instead of the cops mistrusting him and acting like they don't need his help, they accept him as another tool to help stop the violence. Imagine that! Good people working together to stop a disaster!

• Superman stops Parasite by dropping him in the bay where he loses all of his energy and reverts to a naked human. Before the guy passes out, he tells Superman that Luthor did this too him.

• Okay, it's time to spit Landis's dick out of my mouth and point out where he went wrong. When Superman goes to confront Luthor, he throws the poor naked guy through the window of Luthor's office. Superman might be naive (like in how he trusts the guy's word that Luthor was behind it (Max gets that right when Luthor questions Superman on accepting anything he hears)) but why would he figure Luthor victimized this guy and then use the guy as a battering ram to break Luthor's office window? What a dick! Oh wait! Landis got that part right too! Superman, even when he's being written well, always winds up doing something totally dickish! Let me put Landis's dick back in my mouth.

• Fsh maad me lurh--SPITTOO! Sorry. This made me laugh!

• Luthor hands Superman his verbal ass and Superman slinks off to think of a comeback hours later that he should have used.

• Lois gives Clark a pep talk which he really needed after Lex shit all over his Superman idea. And now he's ready to be the good guy Metropolis needs! You know, until they all act like xenophobic jerks and pretend they don't need him anymore.

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