Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #23 Review and **SPOILERS**

Goth Kong Kenan

Writer: Gene Luen Yang 
Pencils: Brent Peeples 
Inks: Matt Santorelli 
Colors: Hi-Fi 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Philip Tan with Rein Beredo
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editor: Paul Kaminski 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: May 9, 2018


Let me tell you, this tale of North Korean oppression and Chinese diplomacy has taken a new cast, what with the Presidents of North and South Korea meeting and starting some kind of meaningful dialogue—the first such dialogue in more than sixty years! As a show of good faith, South Korea dismantled its gigantic speakers that used to blare propaganda about the good times down South, and North Korea has…advanced its clocks a half hour to be in line with their democratic neighbors? I mean, why bother changing the time a mere thirty minutes? It’s not like the citizens of North Korea would know the difference. They should be looking at a clock face of chickens and beans in place of numbers. Anyhoo, none of that is relevant in the story as presented in New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #23, and you can read my review of it right here!

Explain It!

I think we are conditioned to believe that the entirety of North Korea has been “indoctrinated with evil”—as they are likewise subject to propaganda about the Western world. But, of course, not everyone can be evil, or else there wouldn’t be a word for good. And the work-a-day shlubs and farmers being threatened by the oncoming flood of ancient waters brought forth by Dragonson are certainly not evil. I mean, I’m sure they watch pirated movies, but that’s really due to circumstances beyond their control. After some prodding by Avery, Dragonson realizes that maybe he doesn’t want to submerge North Korea, going against the nagging voice in his head that’s exhorting him to do so.
Just then, All-White, All-Yang-infused Kenan tries to knock Dragonson for a fatal wallop, and might have done it had Avery not worked with the Green Lantern Corps of China to trap him in a construct cube. Avery locks eyes with Kenan and gets him to go full-color again, but the Lanterns are still going to bring Kenan to the Crab Shell Prison (for metahumans) where he will, as one explains, “rot away in prison.” Just when Dragonson is about to turn off the ancient water faucet, a Green Lantern binds him, and so the water continues to pour forth while he can’t do his magic hands or whatever.
Meanwhile, at the Ministry of Self-Reliance, Alpaca continues breaking her brother Baixi out of prison, which includes a full-out brawl against prison guards that is a little unbelievable, but pretty gratifying. Seeing Alpaca was cool, even though she didn’t figure largely into this story, what we got was interesting. Over in North Korea, Kenan decides to do the reverse of what he’d done to go All-White, and that’s to absorb the essence of I-Ching. This turns him into an All-Black version, that slips through the Lantern’s construct cube and is impervious to their attacks, but can render them inert with a tap on the exposed gems in their foreheads. Kenan does this to the guy binding Dragonson, who then sucks up all the water he let loose, returning North Korea to its normal damp state and making me have to pee really bad.
In the end, Kwang-Jo decides to join the Justice League of China (even though he doesn’t know who this “Aqua-Man” is that he keeps being compared to) and will satisfy North Korea’s need to keep him as a political prisoner by maintaining a water-based construct there. This means his attentions will be divided, but I think it’s more likely that the jig will be up when Winter hits and Kwang-Jo turns into an ice sculpture. Kenan mediates to chat with I-Ching, to find that when he tapped into his powers and turned into Goth New Super-Man, he acquired the powers of a ghost—which means, therefore, that I-Ching is a ghost or something. I dunno, but whatever it is leads into the next story arc. I enjoyed this issue a lot, it moved along at a great clip and even had time to bring Alpaca back into the mix. I don’t know that this series is continuing long enough for us to see her in a meaningful way, but even the implication that she inhabits this universe is pretty cool. And the best part? This story arc was over in four issues! I think it still could have shed an issue, but I champion this wherever I see it!

Bits and Pieces:

A fast-paced, action-heavy issue that will satisfy fans of the series. This is the kind of comic bookery we like to see! Not just in this series, but throughout the four-color world(s).



  1. Superman and purple girl have a thing for each other or is it just me? Kenan is a player.

    1. oh for sure! I don't know the series will last long enough to see it come to anything, though

    2. Word is it's cancelled at 25