[WARNING – This review contains SPOILERS.]
New Super-Man reaches its sixth issue, concluding the character’s first arc entitled “Made In China”. This book is severely underappreciated and it’s been one of the strongest titles from DC’s Rebirth. Kenan Kong is a superhero unlike any other, and this introductory arc is far from traditional.
Last issue, Kenan was reunited with his father, with whom he has teamed up with to rescue his Justice League Of China compatriots from his dad’s former ally, Human Firecracker. Kenan and his father must rescue a commercial plane filled with civilians and heroes alike, which our villain has used Starro to commandeer. Super-Man overcomes his recent loss of power and becomes the hero he was meant to be, but not without suffering a major loss – his father. Yet in his trials, Kenan does gain a stronger bond with his Justice League teammates.
Writer Gene Luen Yang has scripted a glorious introduction to his character creation, and this six issue arc has been nothing short of spectacular. Upon completion, I reflected on the character’s short history and was amazed by how developed these characters already feel. Yang has done for the Superman brand what Bendis did for Spider-Man, and I get a very similar feeling of joy from Kenan that I did when Miles Morales was first introduced. This comic book is not getting talked about enough, but it will definitely be among my top ten for the year.
Richard Friend and Viktor Bogdanovic combine for another fantastic looking issue. There’s a ton of action in this issue and all of it is crisp, clean, and easy to follow. There’s also plenty of emotion in this book to illustrate, which had them drawing many different expressions and uses of body language, all of which are executed with exceptional precision. Nothing seems reused, every page stands apart as its own moment. Hi-Fi also does wonders with the color here, allowing this book to really come to life and visually stands apart from other DC titles.
Do yourself a favor and read this arc, and then spread the word to your comic book enthusiastic friends. New Super-Man is my pick for most underrated comic book of 2016 and deserves more attention. Gene Luen Yang has taken a very different approach to the most stereotypical superhero model and created something beautiful. Character introductions don’t get much better than this.