Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #21 Review and **SPOILERS**



I Created an International Incident Because I Care

Writer: Gene Luen Yang 
Pencils: Brent Peeples 
Inks: Matt Santorelli 
Colors: Hi-Fi 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Philip Tan with Rain Beredo 
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: March 14, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Ripped from the headlines! Something in this series has forced a conflict with North Korea, kinda like what’s happening in the real world! The difference is that in the real world, it’s a couple of blowhards mouthing off to each other, while in this comic book, it’s a man who can control fish. But still! There are similarities! Find out of there are more in my review of New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #21, right here!


Explain It!

There’s a Western belief that the undemocratic governments of other nations are wrong. And, to be sure, the dictatorship of North Korea is wrong, and has been wrong for many decades. But people living under that system, they may not perceive anything as being “off.” And it might not just be a lack of information—Ahn Kwang-Jo, currently on the run from North Korean military after being kidnapped from his interrogation room by giant spider crabs, first came under suspicion for his illegal viewing of American cartoons—but because they have ways within the system they live where they can advance live fruitfully. Relatively speaking, of course. But who among us has not had a job that didn’t require that we humbly eat shit to get some middling raise or recognition? We may not have sent successive generations of our family to labor camps for sedition, but we build our own mental labor camps, and justify our own incarceration.
The spider crabs attending Ahn Kwang-Jo’s escape know Deilan from her days as a gigantic snake princess goddess, and so secure her promise that they’ll protect Ahn, the ruler of whatever passes for East Asian Atlantis. Baixi, the Bat-Man of China and also Deilan’s boyfriend, is against harboring this refugee and potentially setting off an international incident—a point driven home when the Justice League of China are confronted by the Chinese government, who insidst Ahn be returned home. And to make matters worse, when Ahn comes to, he agrees with ‘em! His brainwashing was so complete, he feels that if the Supreme Leader wanted him dead, then he should obviously be dead. Now that’s loyalty you can’t buy with any amount of money. Nope, it’s gotten be done with hypnosis and mortal dangers.
Deilan is very protective of Ahn, and Avery even feels super-bad about missing one projectile in a hail of bullets that grazed Kwang-Jo’s face. It’s messed up his left eye, but otherwise he escaped a public military assassination attempt unharmed. When he awakes, he is still on that Dear Leader kick, then Deilan shows him a Chinese market, where people freely mill about and eat food that wasn’t scraped off of a political leader’s boot (for that, you pay extra.) Kwang-Jo notes that even dogs are better fed in China than people in North Korea, and just then he breaks with the Hermit Kingdom for good. Which was a pretty convenient turn of events, but bound to happen is this fella is gonna be part of the JLC anytime soon. Later, while Ahn sleeps, a bunch of sea creatures create the skeletal form of his real father—a water dragon named King Munmu, the Great Dragon King of the Eastern Sea! He speaks to Ahn in Korean, and says that he’s the new champion of North Korea—Dragonson! And he’s got a fairly bad-ass version of the current Aquaman costume, but with horns and a sword…you just have to see this to understand.
There’s also a bit where Dr. Omen is told to stop holding back with the Chinese Green Lantern Corps, and turn them loose on these JLC nitwits, and a near-kiss between Avery and Kenan that is interrupted when his current(?) girlfriend Mingming shows up to warn him that assassins are looking for eighty-six Ahn Kwang-Jo. But just the main story, Deilan hurrying Ahn Kwang-Jo to safety while everything seems to close around our heroes, is such a rollicking fun ride that I can barely stand it. I call this book a good time, and dare say that you should read it if you like fun. Can’t wait to see where this all goes.


Bits and Pieces:

The stakes are raised and the action is intense in this second installment about a guy defecting from North Korea under pressure from some friends. Those friends happen to be giant mythical spider crabs. This book is well-paced and very engrossing, and if you didn't jump onto this series last issue when the status quo changed, get off the fence and check it out!

9/10

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