Monday, August 1, 2016

Mini-Comic Review - New Super-Man #1

Name - New Super-Man #1
Published by - DC Comics
Written by - Gene Luen Yang

Art by - Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend, and Hi-Fi
Letters by - Dave Sharpe

Well, this definitely is not what I expected from the 'New Super-Man' series. This is a modern super hero done right; forget the conflicted new 52 Super-man, forget the old/rebirth Super-man who is just too good a person to be believable at times; this here is what should have been the modern version of Super-man that DC was aiming for. I am an Asian and am quite tired of portrayals of us Asian people by the writers at times, but Kong Kenan hits the nail pretty hard and does feel like what a modern day teen superhero from China (or as a matter of fact from Asia) should be. And the drawing does compliment this interesting character in a very fun way. This is what DC Rebirth should be, taking the classics and charging into the new age with style.

We get introduced with Kong Kenan through a confrontation with a super villain from China which just shows us Kenan is not Clark Kent, in fact he is kind of a bully. He is someone who likes to show off and doesn't really care much about doing the right thing either but only acts on an impulse to save a victim and later even demands payment for his actions, but he is much more human and much more realistic than the original Superman. He didn't have the caring parents nor did he get the childhood to make him idealistic and heroic. Rather he is a person much closer to a teen with good physique and hard working class upbringing should be, hating the rich and trying to get the easy way out through the use of his strength. He doesn't get the support he expects from his dad and joins the government experiment just to prove his worth. And he gets the power unlike he ever imagined, add this to the fun twist in the last page which hints at other superheroes from China and this gets more intriguing.

The origin story described in these pages was quite fun and new ages enough to make you wonder if may be DC was aiming for this with the 'New 52', Kenan Kong is the kind of Teen superhero that is much more realistic than some we do get at times. And his transformation from this aggressive and selfish teen to that of a superhero should be great ride if done right. The imagining of now-a-days China was quite spot-on in my opinion as the author doesn't hold onto the style that western writers keep throwing of Asian cities (old ages mystical vibe thingy, you do get what I mean) but rather does justice to Chinese people and their cultures as well as of the present state of affairs.  With the kind of quality hinted at this issue from the author I am quite hopeful.

The drawing felt a bit awkward early on but it did grow on me and eventually made the feel of Asian background more authentic. The coloring added to the experience of freshness and I am quite interested to see how the drawing holds up in case of action scenes.

All in all, to me 'New Super-Man' is so far the most promising title of DC Rebirth with its crisp storytelling, interesting characters and engaging drawing. It's quite hard not being able to read more yet, I want new issues now!

A well-deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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