New Super-Man #1

by Ian B on July 13, 2016

Written by: Gene Luen Yang

Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic

Coloured by: Hi-Fi

Lettered by: Dave Sharpe



I went into this issue not really knowing what to expect. I am a huge fan of Superman, and was curious to see how wildly this new character would deviate from the normal Superman baseline, as well as what core values would be carried over. What I got was a slightly odd, yet enjoyable experience that takes many of the typical tropes of superheroes and presents them in an odd way, leaving me very curious about where this series will go.



The story follows Kong Kenan in the day or so leading up to him gaining the powers of Superman. After spending the first few pages of the book harassing and stealing from a fellow student, Kenan has a run in with the supervillain Blue Condor, who is attempting to kidnap said student to ransom him back to his family for money. Rather than run away, which is what he had planned and wanted to do, Kenan's instincts take over, and he hits Blue Condor in the head with a soda can, forcing him to drop the student who then runs away before Condor flees the scene. The best way for me to describe Kenan would be shallow. The character seems designed to represent the everyday jerk that many of us have encountered in life, but with a hidden depth that we have only been shown glimpses of. He has clearly made some bad choices in his life, and even thinks of doing the wrong thing when in danger, but his instinct is to do the right thing and protect people. I think it will be very interesting to see this character grow and nurture the characteristics in him hidden just under the surface that could make him a true hero.



The artwork is colourful and vibrant, with lots of colourful neon and beautiful skies. Kenan has a sort of perpetual smirk on his face which really hammers home the type of character that he is, with his arrogance plain on his face. Beyond that, the most noteworthy aspect of the art is the costume design. I really like the New Super-Man costume, I think that the reds and golds mesh well with the black of the cape, gloves and boots to make a very nice and stylish costume. His outfit is distinct enough from Superman's while also being obviously inspired by it, making it the best of both worlds.



Ultimately, I really enjoyed New Super-Man, I think the series has a lot of potential going forward. Kenan is, if not likable quite yet, then easy to empathize with when you begin to learn more about his past, and wishes to be a better person than he is. If the story follows his path of becoming the superhero he can be and leaving the past behind him, I think this could be a very enjoyable journey. Ultimately it's still too early to say definitively one way or the other as to how this series will turn out, but my expectations and anticipation have both been raised by the quality of this first issue and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different.

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