Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Super-Man #8 Review and **SPOILERS**



Back to the Essence

Writer: Gene Luen Yang 
Pencils: Billy Tan 
Inks: Haining 
Colors: Gadson 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Viktor Bogdanovic and Mike Spicer 
Editor: Paul Kaminski 
Group Editor: Eddie Berganza 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: February 8, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

I can’t wait to get back to that Academy of the Bat! You think they’d agree to calling it a Batcademy? Does that translate to Mandarin? You know what, Bat Academy is fine. Tales of the Bat Academy. Six-issue miniseries with an open ending to propel future stories. Written by Gene Luen Yang and drawn by…Howard Porter? Could be a lot of people. Let’s talk, Mr. DC, we’ll do lunch. The rest of you can read my review of New Super-Man #8 for a taste of this new Bat Academy-centered series.


Explain It!

Back to the Academy of the Bat! Baixi is on the green light-construct ropes, his frienemy Rongpei holding a Batarang to his throat. Plus, taunting him. I don’t think I approve of this friendship! Baixi kicks a smaller Batarang into Rongpei back, but when he stands the floor suddenly turns into quicksand. This gives Rongpei the upper hand—but what in the Chicago Black Sox is going on around here? Looks like the fix is in! Wonder-Woman catches someone in a freaky jackal mask tampering with the arena’s works—actually, her name is Alpaca, so she must be a llama. She’s all joker laughing and flipping murderous confetti at Wonder-Woman, but she brushes it deftly aside and captures Alpaca to find…it’s Baixi’s sister!
Let’s not forget about Kenan Kong, still trying to strike I-Ching once before he is struck eight times. He’s not doing very well. Like, I-Ching is housing him. Before his eighth strike, I-Ching tells Kenan to calm himself and listen, to use his earholes instead of his blindfolded eyeholes. Kenan gets his groove on, and then begins to hear…everything! Someone chopping Bok Choi with a knife, a man and woman fighting, some other guy riding his bike and listening to music on headphones—on headphones! Kenan can hear it all. It drives him bananas, so he takes off to quell the sources of all this cacophonous racket!
Back to the Academy of the Bat, with Alpaca in custody the arena stops jerking Baixi around, so he throws a bunch of bombs on Rongpei and wins the duel. Sort of a cheap move, but not something the American Batman wouldn’t do, and certainly much less than I would do—I would go right for the poison darts, I think. Rongpei grabs the, uh, headmaster of the Academy of the Bat and holds him hostage, demanding Baixi’s cowl. Baixi hands it over willingly, and upon receipt it blows some gas in Rongpei’s face. Later, Baixi confronts his sister, who explains that she wants him to lose the cowl so he’ll stop being a stooge for the Ministry, and then she drops a smoke bomb and leaves. Funny how everyone can just do that! After I-Ching tells Kenan how to calm his tits when things get too noisy, Kenan tells I-Ching that he went after every noisy disaster in Shanghai that evening and saved every situation. Kenan feels guilty that he acted selfishly instead of altruistically, and that’s when I-Ching tells him: American Superman saves people because he finds them noisy bastards, too.
Boy, did I enjoy this comic book! I went into good story depth, but I said nothing about the specific interactions, which are gold. Kenan’s whole trajectory with I-Ching is at once informative and hilarious. And oh god, how could I forget the last page! There’s an epilogue in the Crab Shell, that secret metahuman prison the Ministry built, and we see the other Chinese Superman from pre-Rebirth Superman, and he’s addressed by a guy who looks just like the guy on Detective Comics #1! From 1937! And the guy not only looks like him, the last page looks like the cover pictured below! I love stuff like this, and I love this book. Great job all around.
Not featured in this comic book...maybe!

Bits and Pieces:

This comic is so great, and I don't even want to give any of it away in this blurb. It looks terrific. The characters are unique and engaging. It is funny and intriguing. Don't miss the boat on this series, you can jump in with the last issue and follow along (I hope)!

8.5/10
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