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Review: Superman Smashes the Klan #1

Superman Smashes the Klan #1

Writer Gene Luen Yang is an ambassador of comic storytelling (literally). Superman Smashes the Klan #1 is a prime example why. Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial, the comic is a retro story in a way. Superman fights a KKK like organization who wants a new Chinese family to leave the neighborhood.

Yang is an amazing writer who infuses his own personal history, and history in general, with compelling stories. They can be enjoyed on a surface level or in a deeper way. They also often make you think.

Superman Smashes the Klan #1 is an example of his talent with an almost innocent style about it. It’s clear who the bad guys are and who the hero is. There’s no ambiguity about that. There’s a childlike clarity to it. With two children, Tommy and Roberta Lee, as the main characters, it’s fitting the story has this tone and sense of right and wrong.

Characters are depicted of the time with racist and now cringeworthy words coming out of their mouths. It captures the pervasive racism of the time and thought that anyone not white (which itself was defined differently then) was other. That’s on display here.

The story too gets Superman back to his roots. When he debuted in 1939 he fought crooked landlords and politicians not supervillains and here his battling hooded racists is on that level. There’s clearly more to come infusing a sci-fi aspect to it as the comic opens with him battling a Nazi powered by Kryptonite.

The art has a hint of Fleischer’s iconic Superman cartoons and Darwyn Cooke’s Justice League: New Frontier. Gurihiru’s art is amazing with an animated quality about it. There’s an innocence and such pure style about it that it makes the more uncomfortable scenes that much more so. Roberta Lee is adorable in so many ways, not just Yang’s writing, but Gurihiru’s detail in her body language. It’s just beyond perfect in so many ways.

This is an amazing release that exceeds expectations in every way and near perfection, if not achieving it. Beyond the story, Yang delivers a history of the KKK in the United States including some of his personal experiences with racism. In a world with right-wing fascism, hatred on the rise, and it all front and center, to have Nazi/racist punching so clear is a breath of fresh air. Superman is a symbol for fighting for what’s right and this comic embodies that clearly in every way.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Gurihiru Letters: Janice Chiang
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Superman Smashes the Klan #1 (of 3)

Superman Smashes the Klan #1 (of 3)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A/CA) Gurihiru
In Shops: Oct 16, 2019
SRP: $7.99

The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman!

While Tommy adjusts to the fast pace of the city, Roberta feels out of place, as she tries and fails to fit in with the neighborhood kids. As the Lees try to adjust to their new lives, an evil is stirring in Metropolis: the Ku Klux Klan. When the Lee family awakens one night to find a burning cross on their lawn, they consider leaving town. But the Daily Planet offers a reward for information on the KKK, and their top two reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, dig into the story.

When Tommy is kidnapped by the KKK, Superman leaps into action-with help from Roberta! But Superman is still new to his powers-he hasn’t even worked out how to fly yet, so he has to run across town. Will Superman and Roberta reach Tommy in time?

Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) presents his personal retelling of the adventures of the Lee family as they team up with Superman to smash the Klan.

Superman Smashes the Klan #1 (of 3)

Preview: The Terrifics #20

The Terrifics #20

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Stephen Segovia (CA) Dan Mora
In Shops: Sep 25, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Invasion of the backwards! The broken brute Bizarro accesses a time machine and decides to help the world by making it a better place-Bizarro-style! A misguided attempt at heroism turns deadly and only the Terrifics can stop the dawn of the broken age of man!

The Terrifics #20

Preview: The Terrifics #19

The Terrifics #19

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Max Raynor (CA) Dan Mora
In Shops: Aug 28, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Somewhere in a twisted, distant corner of the Multiverse, up is down, back is front, a smile is a frown-and Bizarro is king! But light is the head that wears the crown, and Lex Luthor’s offer of time manipulation has given our villain a new purpose: to turn back the clock on creation. To win, Bizarromust enlist the help of the only team that could tackle a task such as this: the Terribles!

The Terrifics #19

Preview: The Terrifics #18

The Terrifics #18

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Stephen Segovia (CA) Ricardo Federici
In Shops: Jul 24, 2019
SRP: $4.99

The end of the God Game is upon us-and technology has turned the Terrifics’ lives upside down! At long last, the secret origin of the mysterious technological being known as the Keeper is revealed, and this story is actually a tale as old as time. If the Terrifics are to shut the Keeper down and stop his tech infection from spreading worldwide, our heroes will need to do something they never thought they could: stop evolution itself. The Bizarro Terrifics were almost the most dangerous things in the universe. When Lex Luthor gives them a time machine, they become the most dangerous things in the universe. This will get weird.

The Terrifics #18

Preview: The Terrifics #17

The Terrifics #17

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Stephen Segovia (CA) Dan Mora
In Shops: Jun 26, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The mystery of the God Game deepens, and the Terrifics find themselves face to face with a being unlike any they’ve ever encountered before. But is this digital deity benevolent…or is this an angry god? When the team discovers Simon and Sapphire Stagg on the executioner’s block, the answer would seem to be pretty clear!

The Terrifics #17

ALA 2019: DC Reveals a Massive Slate of Graphic Novels Geared Towards Young Adults and Middle Grade Readers Releasing Through 2021

The 2019 convention for the American Library Association (ALA) kicked off with huge news that DC was consolidating its line under three “brands.” That left many to wonder about the future of the DC Zoom and DC Ink graphic novel lines. Launched last year, the new graphic novel imprints were focused on the young adult and middle grade readers and have been hits so far. DC followed up those concerns with an announcement of a slate of graphic novel releases aimed at those young adult and middle grade readers.

These graphic novels continue the focus on stories not part of DC’s ongoing continuity making them accessible to new fans. The releases also focus on the original mandate of YA titles being about “everyday aspirations, struggles, and triumphs,” while the middle grade releases being focused on stories about “friends, family, and growing up.”

Spring 2020 Lineup

Young Adult Titles

  • Gotham High – Written by Melissa de la Cruz and illustrated by Thomas Pitilli (February 2020)
  • The Oracle Code – Written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano (March 2020)

Middle Grade Titles

  • Green Lantern: Legacy – Written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Andie Tong (January 2020)                       
Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime
Zatanna & the House of Secrets
  • Batman: Overdrive – Written by Shea Fontana and illustrated by Marcelo DiChiara (March 2020)
Batman: Overdrive
DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless
  • Anti/Hero – Written by Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta and illustrated by Maca Gil (April 2020)
  • ArkhaManiacs – Written by Art Baltazar and Franco and illustrated by Art Baltazar (April 2020)
My Video Game Ate My Homework

Upcoming Titles Debuting in 2020 and 2021

  • Upcoming Young Adult Titles (Not all titles are final)
    • Catwoman: Soulstealer – Adapted by Louise Simonson from Sarah J. Maas’ DC Icon prose novel and illustrated by Samantha Dodge
    • Galaxy: The Prettiest Star – Written by Jadzia Axelrod and illustrated by Cait Zellers
    • House of El Book 1 – Written by Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
    • I Am Not Starfire—Written by Mariko Tamaki
    • Mister Miracle – Written by Varian Johnson
    • Nubia – Written by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith
    • Swamp Thing – Written by Maggie Stiefvater and illustrated by Morgan Beem           
    • Teen Titans: Beast Boy – Written by Kami Garcia and illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
    • Victor & Nora: A Mr. Freeze Story – Written by Lauren Myracle and illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
    • Whistle – Written by E. Lockhart and illustrated by Manuel Preitano
    • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – Written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Leila del Duca
    • You Brought Me the Ocean – Written by Alex Sanchez and illustrated by Julie Maroh
    • Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend – Written by Alys Arden and illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon
  • Upcoming Middle Grade Titles (Not all titles are final)                         
    • Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Written by Shannon and Dean Hale
    • Batman and Robin…and Howard – Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
    • DC Super Hero Girls – Written by Amy Wolfram
    • Dear Super-Villains – Written by Michael Northrop and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte
    • Green Arrow: Stranded – Written by Brendan Deneen and illustrated by Caleb Hosalla
    • Indestructibles Book 1—Written by Ridley Pearson
    • Lois Lane – Written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Brittney Williams
    • Metropolis Grove – Written and illustrated by Drew Brockington
    • Primer – Written by Thomas Krajewski and Jennifer Muro and illustrated by Gretel Lusky
    • Superman Smashes the Klan – Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Gurihiru
    • Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis – Written by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Ile Gonzalez          
    • Teen Titans Go! to Camp – Written by Sholly Fisch
    • Teen Titans Go! Roll with It – Written by Heather Nuhfer and P.C. Morrissey 
    • The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel – Written by Ryan North and illustrated by Derek Charm

Preview: The Terrifics #16

The Terrifics #16

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Stephen Segovia (CA) Evan Shaner
In Shops: May 22, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The Terrifics have entered cyberspace for a battle unlike any they have faced before. It’s a battle against…God? Well, the science is still out on that, but as our heroes face off against all manner of monstrous plagues, things do seem to be reaching biblical proportions. Could the key to all this be the mysterious Pixel?

The Terrifics #16

Around the Tubes

Secret Coders Vol. 1 Get With the Program

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – RIP Justin Ponsor – Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

CBC – 15 Canadian comic book creators you should know – This is a great list to check out.

SFGate – Graphic Novelist To Be Given Honorary Doctorate – Congrats to Gene Luen Yang!

Al.com – Alabama Public Television refuses to air Arthur episode with gay wedding – Not sure what to call this other than bigotry.

Kotaku – Popular Streamer Sues FaZe Clan Over ‘Illegal’ Contract, But The Organization Says The Contract Is Fine – This is a lawsuit to watch as it may have an impact on all streamers.


Talking Comics – War of the Realms #4

Preview: The Terrifics #15

The Terrifics #15

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Stephen Segovia (CA) Evan Shaner
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The next turning point for the Terrifics starts here! It’s a new chapter in the lives of Mr. Terrific, Phantom Girl, Meta-morpho and Plastic Man as their renewed mission of exploring the Multiverse and protecting Earth’s place amid the cosmic tapestry hits upon a terrifying message hidden within their own technology: something big is coming. When a distress call from Bgztl heralds Armageddon for planet Earth, the team must think bigger, trust no one and fight with everything they’ve got to save the planet from… the Megacosm!

The Terrifics #15
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