New Super-Man comes out swinging like a major contender
During the DC Rebirth rollout announcement, the reveal of New Super-Man Do we really need yet another Superman flying around in the DCU? After the first issue of New Super-Man that answer is a decisive yes.
The title may be a bit misleading as the comic reads more like Superboy than the Man of Steel. As a huge fan of the 90s Superboy series, New Super-Man fills a much needed void in the DC stable. That of the young hero trying to deal with his occasional self interest to mature to become a selfless hero. If readers give it a chance, Super-Man could become DC’s answer to Invincible.
There’s none of that stuffy overwrought teen drama that ruined the new 52 Superboy series almost right from the start. Instead, this is a title that immediately establishes itself as one of DC Rebirth’s freshest, fun and enthralling series so far.
Kong Kenan narrates his origin story. Kong isn’t the regular hero without powers. He’s a bit of a jerk bullying and stealing from a weaker classmate. He’s more the Flash Thompson of this story. Kong has a fresh voice we don’t see enough of in the more self-serving millennial age.
Basing Kong’s adventures in Shanghai was a smart move for writer Gene Luen Yang. There’s an overall sense of newness to the title that’s aided by the location. And with a hero based so far out of the DC heroes’ jurisdiction, Kong’s experiences will be more unique than the standard character.
The teen hero/guardian dynamic also gets a nice shake-up as Kong’s father is a writer trying to expose a clandestine group. That same group plays a direct role in Kong becoming the New Super-Man making for an interesting conflict of interest.
Viktor Bogdanovic wasn’t an artist I was familiar with until this issue, but I’m a big (new) fan. Bogdanovic gets the tone and feel of the character and book instantly. There’s a lightness to it without being too cartoonish. The action moments feel appropriately big while the quiet scenes are handled with equal importance. That’s not an easy balance to accomplish, but Bogdanovic makes it look easy.
There’s a welcome newness here that left me wanting to know more about everything. From the rise of the American-style super villains, China’s efforts to increase its superhero population and how Super-Man fits into the equation. This was a book I had little interest in when it was announced, but will now be one I’m eagerly anticipating the next issue each month.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Image Credit: DC Comics