As a child of the 1980s, I remember when there was a great influx of comics talent from overseas. This was when we started seeing names like Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and when Neil Gaiman came on to the scene. We also got some excellent Canadian artists in the way of Todd McFarlane. We also got some raw talent from the Philippines in the way of Whilce Portacio, a still hidden gem of an artist.
This influx of talent to our shores also offered differing point of views at a time when the narrative in many of the comics became repetitive. As these talents went from burgeoning artists to full on rock stars, the craft evolved and became what most know now. These auteurs pushed canons to the brink of collapse, and even made us look at superheroes differently, like Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons did in Watchmen. Rarely, among this renaissance, did we see anything from the Eastern part of the world. This is why the importance of the narrative and the world building cannot be understated in the third volume of Gene Luen Yang and Billy Tan’s New Super-Man, as the world not only gets a Chinese version of DC’s most popular heroes but also the sensibilities and philosophies of that part of the world along with it.
Kenan’s mind is reeling from revelations about his parents. Meanwhile, his teammates in the Justice League of China are dropping one by one. And from across the globe, Task Force X Director Amanda Waller has sent in the one force that can stop the chaos and carnage from spreading: Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Killer Croc, a.k.a. the Suicide Squad!
But the Emperor isn’t the only Super-Man they’ve been licensed to kill. Unless Kenan acts fast, he’ll become a casualty of war.
Yet even as the struggle rages on, the New Super-Man is transported to Old Gotham City, to the era when the magic that fuels his powers began…and where his true enemy will reveal himself at last…
Overall, a sweeping epic chapter in the adventures of Kong Kenna and the Justice League of China, as he can be more than the typical superhero and may be more powerful than his Western version. The story by Yang is relatable, funny, action packed, and full of intrigue. The art by Tan is gorgeous and complements the story well. Altogether, a trade paperback which addresses some sociopolitical issues, dealing with wretched history, and entertains, all in one book.
Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Billy Tan
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy