Review: New Super-Man Vol. 1 Made in China

“Superman” is synonymous with the best a person can do and especially when they go beyond. I’ve always wondered would Superman ever really look like one of us? I know the new show Krypton, shows the planet has as many shades as Earth does, even giving the ficticious world its first black General Zod. This has been a major milestone for the character’s canon, one which mostly has shown the character and his cast a certain way. Caucasian actors have usually occupied the roles. The world has become more “woke” and so has comics leading to their onscreen portrayals to follow suit.

This is especially true in comics which has seen heroes become more aware of the consequences of their actions and the social issues affecting their readership. The advent of Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams at Marvel has shown depictions of heroes as more progressive. At DC’s house, they have been slower to progress with more recent changes like the revival of Black Lightning. This was not the only sea change in recent years at DC as Gene Luen Yang has re-imagined another young man taking over a well-established mantle in New Super-Man: Made In China.

We meet Kong Kenan, a teenager whose father is an auto mechanic and lives in Shanghai, and who unexpectedly beats back a villain through sheer luck. This catches the eye of the China’s Ministry, who gives him powers and also catches the eye of the Justice League Of China. As he gets better at his job, his heroics also catches the eye of the supervillain group, The Freedom Fighters Of China, one that looks to have their way without any “superheroes” in their way. By book’s end, the JLC wins the battle against the Freedom Fighters, but has lost someone close to him.

Overall, an excellent introduction to a superhero that never want to be but stepped regardless. The story by Gene Luen Yang is funny, relatable and emotion tinged. The art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend complements the story well. Altogether, a familiar cape and suit but with a different flavor all his own.

Story : Gene Luen Yang Art: Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy