Friday, September 16, 2016

New Super-Man #3 Review and *SPOILERS*



惡人

(The Wicked)

Written By: Gene Luen Yang

Art By: Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend, Hi-Fi
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 14, 2016

*Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom* 



I'm not going to lie to you, readers. As much as I love a good origin story, I was ready to watch Kenan and his series crash and burn after the first issue... Maybe it's because I was still recovering from the DC You disappointments, or Earth 2: Society, but I was ready for a smack in the face. To my surprise, it didn't come. What did come though was a fun book about a teenager getting the powers of Super-Man. He can be a jerk, has a massive ego, and might not be the sharpest tool in the shed; he has shown that he has the potential to be good(Kind of like Billy Batson in the Shazam origin for the New 52).

So what makes him different than our mightiest mortal, and every other hero in the DCU? He's a big enough dummy to unveil his identity on television. Yeah, a very dumb move especially when Dr. Omen's secret project... How will she react? Let's dive in and find out...


We open up with Kenan continuing to blabber on about his secret identity and even revealing that there is a Justice League of China. This sparks the interest to people from the main Justice League to Lex Luthor, but most importantly, The Great Ten. To those who haven't read the Final Days of Superman Arc, The Great Ten are a group of Chinese superheroes that are the Justice League of China, except with no government support. They teamed up with the New 52 Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to take down Dr. Omen, but unfortunately, the doctor was released, and now here we are. Before Kenan can reveal the identities of the other two members, Omen orders the pair to bring him in before he can reveal more.


The Justice League then head off to drop off son being at the craft, which is a meta-human prison for China. As the lead leave sunbeam in, we catch a few glimpses of other inmates, two of which are very familiar(I expect Jim to rub one in my face later), but one recognizes Kenan… And he knows his father. Now remember this moment, I'll be bringing it back up near the end of the review.


When they return to the tower, Dr. Omen just gets off a call from the Great Ten's leader, August General in Iron, who threaten her over the existence of the New Super-Man. She shrugs it off at first but then takes out her anger on Kenan with what appears to be a kryptonite gun, which shakes the other two members of the team. Kenan says that she can't do any of what she's doing, from holding him hostage to imprisoning people in the crab without due process. She tells him she can, and orders him to shape up... What a jerk.

Later Kenan sits on the roof of the Tower, studying the patterns of the American Justice League again. Deilan(Wonder-Woman) floats up to check on him and asks was the stunt of revealing his identity just to impress the reporter, because she gets it if that's the case. This is where the book surprised me once again. If you only read the first issue of the series, you would think that Keenan is just a jerk and a bully… But he isn't. Time and time again we see him change in one way or another. Last issue we saw him jump into a situation where both the League and Dr. Omen thought he would surely die, but he was ready to make that sacrifice for another human being. Now this issue we see him being friendly with the other members of the league, holding back insults when Baixi(Batman), and was ready to reveal why he revealed himself to the world: To get his Father's attention. While I may have complained that the series feels a little bit rushed when it comes to pacing, I do enjoy when it slows down a bit to better understand our main character. He's young and brash but proves that he has the potential to be good.

When Baixi arrives, he tells the others that the targets are linked. In the first issue, Luo Lixin, the son of an Airline CEO, was attacked but was saved by Kenan. Last issue, Wei Li was attacked by the League stopped Sunbeam. So what's the connection? It turns out they are two of three investors of the Dr. Omen's Ministry of Self-Reliance. These villains are targeting the Ministry. Once again, I ask you to remember this part. Baixi tracks down the final investor, Zheng Shiqiang, at the Shanghai Ocean University. The trio agrees to go after him, even though they are grounded due to Kenan's actions.

That night, the Justice League make it to the University, but Zheng believes that the trio is working with the villains, so he releases his most recent experiment: A F%^&ING HYDRA?! I know that this guy is a part of the Ministry of Self-Reliance, a group that makes superheroes, but if it's supposed to be a secret group, how did they plan on hiding that?!
Despite my complaint on the ridiculousness of what they're fighting, it's a very epic scene. It's awesome to see this new Justice League team up to fight this giant beast as equals rather than rely on one member's skills. As they fight, Kenan rips off one of the monster's antennae, revealing it has acid blood. This gives the team the edge by using the antennae to blind it. The cherry on top is Bogdanovic and Friend's art for the team taking down the very well drawn beast. I don't know if this team will be sticking around past this first volume, but they have made this series a delight to look at.

Before they can fully grasp in their victory, Blue Condor arrives, and with power over the air, begins to suffocate Kenan as his leader Flying Dragon General arrives and orders that the League stand down... I have no doubt that this group is Kenan's Father and his writing team. Why? Well, remember those plot points I emphasized? Well let me ask these questions:

1: Why would a villain know Kenan's Father?
2: Why would this group of villains only be targeting the Ministry of Self-Reliance?
3: Don't you find it odd that Kenan's Dad said that his group is trying to expose the Ministry's corruption, and the villain group's name is THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS OF CHINA?!

This would have been such a fantastic reveal if this was the penultimate issue of the first arc, with little hints sprinkled in!  Once again it's the pacing of the story that's the problem. Let the story breathe and spread out. It'll make people interested if it wasn't so quick to reach the end.


Bits and Pieces:
Once again, The New Super-Man continues to soar with the rest of the Rebirth titles. It has great humor, action, and continues to develop the character of Kenan extremely well. That being said, it also feels like Gene Luen Yang is holding down the fast forward button on the story, not giving us time to take it all in. If the pacing can be fixed as the series continues, along with reining in some of the sillier aspects, I think this series could be as good as any main Justice League book.
8.5/10
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5 comments:

  1. This sounds like a better Justice League book than the Shitty Justice League books we have now. You've convinced me Jody, I'm going to pick this up next week.

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  2. It's so great that Batman is over weight in this book! Heroes are always in perfect shape, it's always the same thing.

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    Replies
    1. Even as an overweight guy, id still not mess with this batman!

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  3. I was really sceptical on the series but with each book I fall more and more in love.

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    Replies
    1. I agree...it's become one of my favorites!

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