New Super-Man #2

by Ian B on August 11, 2016

Written by: Gene Luen Yang

Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic

Coloured by: Hi-Fi

Lettered by: Dave Sharpe



In the previous issue, our hero, Kong Kenan, after beating up a classmate for a soda, saves said classmate from a supervillain trying to abduct them. Seeing his apparent act of heroics, Dr. Omen from the Ministry of Self Reliance offers him a position as the New Super-Man of China. Seeing a chance for fame, Kenan jumps at the opportunity, never really thinking about the repercussions of his decision until the experiment is underway. The experiment appears to be a complete success until his powers begin to go haywire, requiring the intervention of two more of China's superheroes, the Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman of China. It was a good introduction to the setting, as well as the tone of the book and a look into Kenan as a character, both why he acts the way he does as well as what drives him to do good in spite of his more arrogant and selfish nature.



This issue begins with Kenan facing off against Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman when suddenly his powers give out, and he is easily beaten and rendered unconscious. Waking up, he is greeted once again by Dr. Omen, who informs him of her plan to create the Justice League of China and beat the west at their own game. She gives Kenan a visor that will prevent his heat vision from going haywire again when his powers reemerge, and reveals once he has them on that they double as a compliance device that will give him a shock if he disobeys orders. Just then, Omen is called to a meeting with the rest of the league, who are sent on a mission to protect a business woman from a supervillain called Sunbeam. Kenan tags along with the group and is ordered to stay in the Batmobile due to his lack of powers, but when he sees the business woman threatened in front of her daughter, he flashes back to the loss of his own mother and springs into action, despite the compliance device's effects. He is shot with Sunbeam's weapon, regenerating his powers and allowing him to easily dispatch the villain, tearing off his visor and proclaiming to the nearby news camera that he is Kong Kenan, the new Super-Man. This issue gives us a much better look at the other characters that will likely play a big part in the ongoing story, and in looking at these characters we can begin to see a theme being created; arrogance. It's Kenan's main character flaw and it seems to be shared by many of the other characters in the story as well. Hopefully future issues will delve into this more deeply, but I am very excited to see where this goes.



As I said about the previous issue, the artwork in this book is great. The backgrounds are colourful and vibrant, the characters are varied in both aesthetic and design, and the action is fluid and entertaining. While I'm still unsure how I feel about the Wonder-Woman costume, I will say that I enjoy the Bat-Man costume quite a bit. The main colour being blue is very reminiscent of old costumes for the original Batman, and his slightly pudgier physique gives him a fairly unique look, adding in his unique sense of humour and arrogance gives him a very well-rounded appearance and character, and I look forward to seeing how he develops.



Overall, I enjoyed this issue quite a bit. We saw another example of why Kenan does the good things that he does without losing the basis of the character as a bit of an arrogant narcissist with a good heart. As we go deeper into the Ministry of Self Reliance, I find myself becoming more and more curious about where the series will lead, with things like the compliance device giving the organization a bit of a more sinister feel, but the creation of a Justice League to do good muddying the waters. Time will tell if this series makes good on all the promise that it shows, but I'm very excited to see how it does.

Our Score:


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