Wednesday, March 8, 2017

New Super-Man #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

Metropolis is Alright If You Like Lexophones

Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Pencils: Viktor Bogdonavic
Inks: Viktor Bogdonavic and Jonathan Glapion
Colors: Mike Spicer
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Bogdonavic and Spicer
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: March 8, 2017


At what point can we drop the “new” from New Super-Man? In one year? Five? Ten? I feel like it is earned after a certain amount of time, and doubtless there will be another person attempting to take Superman’s title in the near future. Let them be the “new” Superman, and Kong Kenan can just be Super-Man. Or the Super-Man of China, if you prefer. Looking forward to those days! But right now, we’ve got my review of New Super-Man #9 to look forward to. So proceed in a forwardly direction!

Explain It!

Kong Kenan has been training with his sarcastic sensei I-Ching, but all he’s mastered so far is flight and invulnerability—he can turn on his super-hearing, but can’t control it from driving him bonkers. Despite how green he is, the Ministry of Defense has determined that it’s fine for him to go back to Metropolis with one of their benefactors, Lex Luthor. He still thinks Kenan can speak English, which is pretty funny, but to ease communications the Ministry is allowing I-Ching to go back to the States with Kenan and Lex, as a translator. This leads to many funny exchanges where I-Ching translates Kenan as being very grateful to Lex, but translates Lex as being quite dismissive of Kenan. Some good dialogue here folks, that should elicit a chuckle.
Kenan does want to go because he, Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman are on the hunt for whoever killed Kenan’s mother. Bat-Man now has a sidekick, Robinbot, which is this awesome hovering little droid painted in the familiar red, green and yellow of the traditional hero. Baixi mentions that he’d had another Robin lined up, but it didn’t work out—this refers to the last issue, when his little sister became a Joker-esque nemesis named Alpaca. Robinbot is pretty great, though, and is able to scan digitized records to discover a secret laboratory in the Shanxi Province of China, from where he gets a particular record that is of interest to Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man…and which we will find out about next issue! Back in Metropolis, Lex Luthor gives Kenan and I-Ching a tour of his secret underground exosuit-building facility, and there reveals that he speaks perfect Mandarin. He was merely feigning ignorance because Luthor can be a prick like that. Lex takes Kenan and I-Ching further, to a gigantic set of doors with pulls resembling an angry-looking bull and horse. Luthor says these are the ancient Chinese Ox Horse Door Pulls, and if Kenan can yank them open he’ll get all of his latent powers in a hurry.
Despite his master’s suggestion that the quickest paths are not the most fulfilling, Kenan says he has to try, so I-Ching helps him focus his qi into his hands to give Kenan the strength to yoink the doors open! Once he does, out spills a creepy skeleton in a Superman costume, which somehow does zap Kenan full of power. Just then, the Chinese Triad show up: speedster Avery Ho, big brute Snakepit, Strato the Cloud-Maker, and their leader China White, who can levitate and order people around. Avery informs Kenan that he’s opened a portal to Hell, which doesn’t bother Lex Luthor. China White directs Snakepit to close the portal, and once he does Kenan’s extra powers dissipate. Lex has Avery in his clutches, so Strato creates some smog to force Lex to drop her as well as show the reader his power set. Some great wind whisks the smog away, and on the last page we find that it is Superman! The American one!
Another great issue of New Super-Man from Gene Luen Yang and the crew. Viktor Bogdanovic is back on art duties, which is nice to see, but frankly the visual quality of this book has been very high all along. I loved the interactions between I-Ching, Kenan and Lex Luthor, and even enjoyed the two pages of Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman which kept that “find Kenan’s mom’s killer” plot in play. I really can’t say enough good about this book, it’s one of the most consistently good titles coming out from DC Comics, and if you’re not reading it I feel like you’re missing out on something fun.

Bits and Pieces:

Kong Kenan makes his way to Metropolis, and it's hilarious. It's also very dangerous, but there some very funny dialogue to keep things light. The introduction of some new Chinese characters with super powers only increased my enthusiasm for the book, and the hopes of a new Justice League of China. This is one of DC Comics' greatest books, and you do yourself a disservice to avoid it.



  1. This is one of my top 5 favorite Rebirth books it never disappoints me and every time a new character shows up I almost instantly love that character I hope this book sticks around for a long-time cause I think it's just gonna get better and better.

  2. This is one of my favorite books of Rebirth... and this issue was amazing: take a short cut and have all my powers now or do it the right way and work for it... nah short cut time what's the worst that could happen!!!

    1. Seems totally in keeping with Kong Kenan's character, too!

    2. I liked all that only thing i didn't like is the villian vibe they were giving lex but everytging else gold

  3. I love Robinbot, and I love that it popped up now because the plans for human Robin "Didn't work out." Really like this book.

    I was a little thrown off by this Lex though, it just didn't come off as the same Lex as usual.