Thanks to a secret government agency, Kong Kenan has been given incredible superpowers.  Trouble is, he’s not the only one…   Your Major Spoilers review of New Super-Man #2 awaits!

NewSuperMan2CoverNEW SUPER-MAN #2
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Penciler: Viktor Bogdanovic
Inker: Richard Friend
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in New Super-Man: “The New Super-Man must face off against the Justice League of China? When Kenan Kong was imbued with the powers of Superman, he didn’t waste any time using them! Now it’s up to the New Bat-Man and New Wonder-Woman of his home country to bring our hero back down to earth—just in time to stop the attack of the deadly Sunbeam!”

THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF CHINA

We pick up where last issue left off, with the newly christened Super-Man under attack from Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman, two more heroes created by the Bureau Of Self-Reliance as part of their initiative to create China’s greatest super-team.  I’m impressed by the way Yang scripts the segment, showing us the obvious strengths of the other two heroes without completely undermining our main character, and using the fight to show that Kenan’s powers are, as yet, unreliable.  Things progress quickly from there, with Dr. Omen ordering Kenan to do his superhero homework (after announcing that he’s been co-opted into her super-team), Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman setting off on a mission that coincidentally needs Kenan’s skills, and several interesting plot complications that lead to a truly shocking final page reveal…

“THAT DUMMY!”

This issue reveals more about Papa Kong’s activities with his “writing group”, making me think that we’ll be seeing some serious intergenerational conflict, and also once again establishes that, while New Super-Man has been impetuous and selfish in the past, he still has the stuff of heroics.  I’m a real fan of Gene Luen Yang’s writing in this issue, giving each character their own voice (Wonder-Woman is particularly fun, dubbing Kenan “dummy” in a sibling-rivalry kinda way), and I was honestly surprised how this issue came together.  Add in a reference to the Great Ten, establishing that previous DCU Chinese stories are still in play, and we have a well-plotted issue.  Viktor Bogdanovic has an interesting style that combines a little bit of cartoon looseness in facial expressions and poses with intricate machines and background, making the book feel less like an American creation, much less a DC Comic.

THE BOTTOM LINE: CHARMING STUFF

In short, this book hits the same “teenager coming to terms with sudden super-humanity” notes that Jaime Reyes did as Blue Beetle, and even some early Peter Parker, albeit with a much sassier and less noble central character.  New Super-Man #2 deepens some mysteries, reveals some others and inverts at least one important superhero trope in daring fashion, with well-done art, earning a very impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I was initially skeptical of the idea of another character calling himself Superman, but the creators make it all work admirably…

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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