Comics/Graphic Novels

New Super-Man #1 (2016) Comic Book Review

Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, its a plane, no it’s Super-Man fighting for truth, justice and the Chinese way? Kenan Kong (pronounced like “Keh-nahn”, rather than “kee-nen”) is our newest man of steel. He is proving to be an interesting inheritor to the title. Simply put at the beginning of the story he comes off as an arrogant pretty boy bully, everything that Clark Kent (Not Kal-El) was the opposite to. But as our story progresses you see the tragedy in his past with his mother’s death, his distant (but not uncaring) father and the fact that he is on the lower rings of China’s culture. Kenan isn’t a bad guy he is just angry. A lot like young Bruce Wayne he is lost afloat in his sea of rage without any guidance. It’s easy to look at these fictional characters who turn their tragic pasts into these great goods, but Kenan is still just a kid and he has not had the opportunity to turn his fortunes around, though there are some brief glimmers of hope for him like when we see him save the life of his intended bullying victim.

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Kenan is not the only current Super-Man, after his apparent death we have now been left with the original Superman, his son, Lex Luther and another Clark Kent all in the mix, plus more Supermen on the way. This made me think of both Robin and the Flash, in recent story arcs for both characters we have seen massive expansion, though again for both there have always been multiple Robins and Flash’s but this expansion has created legions of both, are DC testing the waters to add more diversity or are they just creating a lot of chaos by throwing a metaphorical bomb into the room and seeing what happens? Though at the same time we may have had multiple Supermen in the past, there only truly has been one true blue Superman so this is a very different situation.

The most appealing concept of the character is the fact that he is not western in any way he is a Chinese hero and he has to operate under a different legal system than other heroes, he also has to see what it means to be a hero in China and then what it means to be a hero to himself, he needs to earn this and if handled well could be some of the best story telling of the 21st century.

For DC this story line as a lot of potential to be great, please keep the course and show the people out there that Superman isn’t just a singular character as he is an ideal that can be embodied by multiple men including this one. Don’t abandon Kenan he might very well be one of your most important creations to date.

New Super-Man #1 is available to buy from today by clicking here or by visiting your local comic book retailer.

1 reply »

  1. Hey, yeah, I agree. He’s a good character and we shouldn’t dismiss him. It really is about who and what Superman stands for. That’s what I really like about this book, that it’s his hero’s journey, but he has the weight of carrying that name, and there’s meaning behind it. I started a feature on my blog called “Super for the Soul” and it’s all about inspiration and heroes. This was the perfect book to start with, and I ended up writing about the 2nd issue too. So far I think I may just write about this book for now. Anyhow, if you have any interest in Superman and the idea of Superman, you should check this out. Thanks. https://kcrrlives.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/the-new-super-man-1-super-for-the-soul-sfts/

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