New Super-Man #1 – A (Comic) Book Review

I won’t even pretend to be objective during this review.  I am a Gene Luen Yang fan.  I first discovered him when I started teaching American Born Chinese, and he just keeps winning me over.  After all, the guy is the official National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature!

So, it’s probably obvious I’m going to sing New Super-Man praises.

Yang is no stranger to Superman, having written the character before, but New Super-Man is a world away from everyone’s beloved Clark Kent.  New Super-Man is Kong Kenan, a young man in China who is not particularly nice, humble, altruistic, or, well, heroic.  He’s a bit of a bully, doesn’t get along with his dad all that well, and has attitude to spare.

So how does he become New Super-Man?  You’ll have to read the book to find out, but, as one would expect, Yang lays the groundwork for a very rich, complex character that I’m sure will become even more layered as time progresses.  After all, Yang excels at depicting relatable characters overcoming internal turmoil.  There are some fun bits of action, moments of quirky Yang humor, and the last page will force a double-take.

I love the entire premise of what Yang is doing with New Super-Man — I’m frankly surprised DC went for this idea.  It’s funny, but even though this book literally uses the name of the most famous super hero in the world, it is by far the most original comic I’ve read in ages.  Sure, Yang borrows from Superman mythology, but he does so with a wink and a nudge.  Anyone who believes this book is a ripoff is not paying close enough attention.

Packed full of characterization, action, humor, and heart, Yang’s New Super-Man is off to an exhilarating start.

… That last page.  This is going to be interesting.



2 thoughts on “New Super-Man #1 – A (Comic) Book Review

  1. Hi Scott, just having a look at your blog here and was wondering if you’d be keen on sharing your work on Moviepilot/Creators. I’d love to hear from you if you’d like some additional information. You can find my contact details on my blog.

  2. carlkli says:

    Awesome review. I too hope people give it a chance since I was worried that it’d be a cheezy knock-off thing too. BUT, I’m glad I picked it up and was very surprised by it. It’s probably one of the best Rebirth title I’ve read so far,… there are a few actually. Anyhow, love your enthusiasm, and love that you taught American Born Chinese! Where was that class when I was in school! I also see you have a post about the psychology of Superman. I have a feeling you might find my post on the New Super-Man interesting, if not, I hope you atleast would appreciate it as I look at the book from the perspective of the idea of Superman. I recently started a feature on my blog about inspiration and super heroes and found that this book was perfect for it. So far I’ve only written 3 posts for it, and two are about The New Super-Man! Well, I hope you can check it out and let me know your thoughts. I need the feedback so I can do a better job in the future. Here’s the link if you have the chance. Thanks, Carl Li

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