It’s the end of the road for Kenan Kong and his League. Will their last mission be a success or is it the Bolivian Army ending? Your Major Spoilers review of New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #24 awaits!
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Penciler: Brent Peeples
Inker: Matt Santorelli and Scott Hanna
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Paul Kaminski
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 13, 2018
Previously in New Super-Man and the Justice League of China: Imbued with the powers of the then-dead Superman, Kenan Kong became a New Super-Man. Joining forces with a tech-genius Bat-Man and an ancient creature calling herself Wonder-Woman, he formed the Justice League of China, all the while struggling with controlling his powers and learning how to be a man and a hero. Once a brutish bully, Kenan has worked hard to embody what his name makes him out to be.
TO FREE HIS LOST TEACHER
Last time, Super-Man activated his ‘All-Yin’ state, transforming into a strange ghostly state (that, in a nice touch, is reminiscent of the Black Lantern Corps in some ways.) This issue begins with Super-Man using his heat vision to annihilate Bat-Man completely!
Of course, that’s seconds before we discover that Kenan and Kwang-Jo, the “Aqua-Man” are playing a video game. When Super-Man speaks to the spirit of his teacher, I-Ching, he is warned against trying to use the Yin state, but in order to save his teacher, Kenan tries, only to transport the entire JLC into the ghost-world with him, and forcing them to face their own worst fears about themselves and their future. As his partners battle their shadowy selves, Kenan is distracted by a vision of himself as the jerk bully he used to be, not realizing that his OWN counterpart is missing.
”EVEN BALANCE ITSELF MUST BE BALANCED…”
First of all, the art in this issue is REALLY good, especially in the design of the ghost-JLC, and in Kenan’s counterpart, Perfect-Man especially. The art team makes great use of subtle changes in coloring and linework to give us the Yin realm, and even though the combat isn’t exactly the focus of the story, it’s all well-rendered and interesting to look at… There’s a sense of finality in these pages that doesn’t feel nihilistic or futile, like so many last issues can, and seeing Kenan accept that he has to let go of his past and the pain of his family and what he used to be feels natural and organic while also putting the final touches on the journey we’ve seen Kenan on for the last couple of years. The last two pages of New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #24 are a little bit sniffle-inducing, as we see the JLC continuing on with their lives and careers, ending on a big splash page of the whole team in action.
BOTTOM LINE: GONNA MISS THIS BOOK
I’ll be honest: When I heard that this book was going to be set somewhere other than New York or a New York analog, I expected that it wouldn’t last for long. I didn’t expect comics fans to get attached to something this unfamiliar, but I’m really glad that I did, as this issue is really well done. New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #24 works as a single issue story and as the final chapter of Kenan’s adventures, with very strong art and a story that works on an emotional level, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. I really hope this isn’t the last we see of these characters, but at the very least, this story provides some closure for the Justice League of China, so that if they get the usual DC treatment of “getting killed in the next big crossover”, readers aren’t left hanging.