Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New Super-Man #2 Review and *SPOILERS*


Written By: Gene Luen Yang
Art By: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend, Hi-Fi
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 10, 2016

*Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom* 

It's time to continue the adventures of the New Super-man! Our first issue had us follow Kong Kenan as a shocking act of defiance against a super villain caught the attention of Dr. Omen, who is in the middle of making her own Justice League for China. She believes that Kenan is the perfect candidate for being the New Super-man, which he obviously accepts. As soon as he gets his new powers, though, Kenan really can't control them and begins firing heat vision everywhere. Dr. Omen, a little bit worried about how the lab is going to hold up, calls in the other two members of her Justice league: The Bat-Man and Wonder Woman of China.

This book really surprised me if I can be entirely honest. This seemed like it was going to be a miss on paper, but when I actually got the first issue, I actually had fun with it. The art was good, with the exception of Muppet neck Kenan, and made the world feel very unique. Sure, Keenan is still a little bit of a jerk, but I definitely can see him turning into one amazing hero add to the DC universe.  Can the creative team keep it up? Let's dive in and find out!

So we open right where we left off last issue... with the Bat-Man and Wonder Woman of China jumping in to fight Kenan. What does Kenan use as his defense? Hit on Wonder Woman with a cheesy pickup line and make fun of the 'tubby' Bat-man. Totally would have them back down right? Wrong. In fact, it makes them hit him harder. When Kenan tries to fly, he falls flat on his face, which surprises everyone. It gives Kenan a chance to throw stuff at his attackers, but soon Wonder Woman has him tied up and Bat-man knocking him out.

When Kenan comes to, he quickly grabs his phone because his father must be so worried for him right? Wrong again. When he calls to say he's alright, his dad says that he assumed he was home all night... Okay, I know this is the second issue, but I REALLY don't like Kenan's father as a character. Last issue, I thought his cold demeanor was because he was disappointed at how his son was bullying a kid, but now I see it's because he is so wrapped up in his conspiracy club! Now I understand that a widower often distances him/herself emotionally, but they also become VERY CLINGY to the family they have left. Before Kenan can tell his Father about what happened, Dr. Omen takes the phone and plays a recording to make it seem like Kenan is off studying... Kenan's father doubts it's authenticity, but ends up going, "eh, #%^* it" and goes back to his club. WHAT FATHER DOES THAT?!
Dr. Omen explains that Kenan can't leave the tower yet, especially with his powers shut down. Since he hasn't gone through a training academy like the other two members of the JLC(Justice League of China), she gives a visor that will project videos of justice league missions for him to study… As well as keep him in line with a shocking feature. Obviously, Kenan is against it, especially when he has to do homework, but the doctor doesn't give a crap.

While this is going on, the Bat-man and Wonder Woman learned that a super villain named Sunbeam just popped up and is attacking the CEO of a large data firm in her home. While Kenan wants to 'help', The pair are prepared to leave without him, even ready to knock out security guards to get into the compound the CEO's house is located at. However, Kenan says that he can actually get into the place, due to the fact that he knows the passcode from the bullying of Lixin. Seeing as they have no other choice, they bring him along.

When they arrive at the house, clean and is ordered to stay behind with the Batmobile(which looks like a Bat-minivan) well the "professionals" deal with the problem. Soon after the pair goes inside, Wonder Woman brings out the CEO's daughter and leave her with Keenan for protection. Again Keenan is not amused, but truthfully what teenager wouldn't in this scenario. That's kind of why I like Kenan as a character. Despite him living in this fantastical world and is granted the powers of its greatest champion, he still acts like a teenager. Maybe we need a more realistic and take on a person, rather than over-the-top heroic characters.

Batman and wonder woman bring the fight outside and the little girl starts to cry… Which reminds Kenan of the day he lost his mother... and refuses to let this little girl suffer as he does. Despite the visor keeping him in line, Kenan gets out of the Batmobile and tackles the villain, allowing te CEO to escape. Sunbeam, clearly furious, aims her solar gun at Kenan, blasting him with full force... which should have killed him right? Of course not! In fact, it does the opposite! As this is a gun that fires solar energy, it reactivates his powers, allowing him to break the weapon and beat the villain.

The book ends with Laney Lan and the rest of China's news outlets approaching the Justice League with questions. Now Kenan wouldn't possibly do something stupid in an attempt to impress a girl like revealing that it's him under the visor, right? Wrong again. Not only does Kenan reveal it to her, but he reveals it to ALL OF CHINA... In the words of China's Wonder Woman, "What a dummy!" but it also makes me wonder... Why does the series feel so rushed? Not that it's being rushed out uncompleted, but we are on the second issue and he just revealed himself to the rest of china! In a story arc, this would probably be either the final issue of the arc or the middle as a climactic moment. It's really more of a nitpick, but if they keep going the way they are, will be best the first arc by the third issue!

The art of Viktor Bogdanovic looks as great as usual, and this time, there is no "Muppet neck" the scenario as there was the last issue. I am really digging the character designs of the Chinese Justice League, making it feel reminiscent but still new.

Bits and Pieces:
This new Superman delivers another great issue for us to enjoy! It has great action, humor where it needs to be, but also has a flaw in the form of pacing and the character of Kenan's father. Viktor Bogdanovic's art is still amazing, and I'm completely in love with the designs to the Justice League of China. I can't wait for the next issue.

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