Rating: 5/5 – Great New Character and Supporting Cast Can Stand on it’s Own!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I was completely expecting New Super-Man to be a disappointment. When compared to Marvel, DC hasn’t had the best of success when it comes to introducing new characters, especially in the years since the New 52 and struggling with the direction of their legacy heroes. Marvel has had great success with Ms. Marvel and is now benefiting from the time spent keeping Miles Morales and X-23 in the spotlight, embracing them as “All-New” as well as showcasing diversity. New Super-Man seemed somewhat of an “us too” when first announced and writer Gene Luen Yang’s run on New 52 Superman starting at issue #41 was disappointing to me, so I had low expectations. After reading this first issue, it’s actually one of my favorite Rebirth issues so far!
New Super-Man feels a bit old school in its writing. It’s quickly paced and a lot happens in this first issue that sets up the series. We’re introduced to the new hero and Yang is starting to build an interesting and deep supporting cast. This isn’t just a Super-Man in China although there are plenty of parallels. For instance, there’s a female reporter named Laney Lan and this Super-Man is named Kenan Kong so alliteration is alive and well in this first issue. That being said, Kenan isn’t Clark Kent. When we first see him he’s bullying a fellow student and stealing his lunch. We also see his relationship with his parents that’s much different from what we’ve seen before. There’s quite a bit in this first issue and instead of the story being deconstructed, Yang moves it along and gives us an origin of his powers without ever feeling rushed. The art by Viktor Bogdanovic is fantastic throughout and he’s able to tell a clear story despite all that’s within. Kenan is drawn like a teenager should look, and the supporting cast are all realistic looking as Bogdanovic grounds them in reality even with his somewhat cartoony style. I enjoyed the art just as much as I enjoyed the writing.
I’m excited for the future of New Super-Man. DC needs to allow this new character to establish himself on his own before throwing him into any crossovers and/or events, so I hope they allow him to stand on his own for a while. So far, it seems as though he can and I’m excited for what is in store next.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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