Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Super-Man #19 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Stay in Your Laney

Writer: Mariko Tamaki 
Penciller: Brent Peeples 
Inks: Richard Friend 
Colors: Hi-Fi 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover By: Philip Tan and Rain Beredo 
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: January 10, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Here’s a special one-off issue not written by Gene Luen Yang, while he prepares to re-launch this series as New Super-Man and the Justice League of China. And I’m fine with that! If ever a series earned its “Day in the Life” issue, it’s New Super-Man. I expect this will be a chilled-out issue with no conflicts or problems whatsoever! Dive right into the soothing viscosity of my review for New Super-Man #19, right here!


Explain It!

This issue takes place six weeks after the debut of New Super-Man, so it happens between issues #6 and #7 of the series. It involves Laney Lan, a reporter for Primetime Shanghai, someone who figured prominently at the beginning of this run but who I’d frankly forgotten about. I think we’ve seen her pop up now and again, but I’d started to take the character for granted as “generic newsperson’s face” whenever we saw a bit of a report about a giant turtle destroying Shanghai or whatever. But no, it looks like she was intended to figure more prominently in the series, and this issue might indicate that we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in New Super-Man and the Justice League of China.
To this point, we’ve known very little about Laney Lan: she’s a sassy reporter, Kenan is sweet on her, and she always wears a backwards baseball cap. Also, she is not impressed by Kenan Kong in the slightest. Moreso she is interested in the nefarious goings-on behind the scenes in the Ministry of Defense, which is why she presses Kenan and Baixi for clues…which they don’t give up. She also doesn’t give up what she knows about Kenan Kong: that Dr. Omen is his mother. We know that now, having learned it five or so issues ago, but it looks like that fact was out there a while ago. I wonder how it might have changed things if Kenan learned this now.
We also find out that Laney went to college in the U.S., she resents having to do fluff pieces for Shanghai Primetime, and her father, who resides in the U.S. on business, has a secret American family. Which would be more of a bombshell, I expect, if I had more than an issue’s worth of familiarity with Laney Lan. Still, it’s pretty messed up, and certainly explains why she was recalcitrant to call him on his birthday despite being reminded by her mom all day long.
And…that about sums it up. If you’ve been missing Laney Lan and wanted to know more about the character, today is your day. If you’re a fan of this series, then you’ll enjoy this issue too. It was well-earned and plenty deserved, and it was cool to see people interacting without the threat of imminent danger. Uh, except for a little bit of danger mid-way through the issue, but Bat-Man and Super-Man handle it okay. The big downside of this issue is the art. It just doesn’t look great. But I’ve certainly seen worse, and I’m too excited to see what comes next to dwell on this issue. Onward!


Bits and Pieces:

Laney Lan fans rejoice! Your day has come. Other fans of the series should enjoy this issue as well. It provides a good amount of background and colors in a little more of Kenan Kong's world. Plus, I suspect Laney will be more important to the series when the title changes next month. It's a little poor visually, but not offensively.

7/10
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