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New Super-Man Vol. 1: Made In China (Rebirth) Paperback – June 27, 2017
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“NEW SUPER-MAN will break the mold.”—IGN
“Allows for thorough character set-up, the plot is as straight-forward and clean as they come, and the panels are colorful and kinetic.”—Newsarama
About the Author
Gene Luen Yang began making comics and graphic novels more than fifteen years ago. In 2006, his book American Born Chinese was published by First Second Books. It became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association's Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album - New. In 2013, First Second Books released Boxers & Saints, his two-volume graphic novel about the Boxer Rebellion. Boxers & Saints was nominated for a National Book Award and won the L.A. Times Book Prize. He made his mainstream comics debut on SUPERMAN, with artists John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson.
His other works include the comics continuation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. Currently, he writes NEW SUPER-MAN for DC Comics.
Top customer reviews
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The first few panels sold me. The idea that our protagonist was not a weak target, but instead a bully, was intriguing to me. Here was a character that wasn't Superman, who couldn't be Superman. But as the run progressed, and I saw the changes in our hero, it was... Refreshing. He isn't "good" nor is he level-headed. He is human, which is something we know Clark Kent is not.
Various runs were dropped, some were stuck with for the long run, but in the end New Super-Man is one that I have stuck with over the past year, excited for each and every issue. It's not for everyone, but I will say that it is one of the most easily recommended runs for Rebirth.
They eventually encounter the Freedom Fighters of China, with names like Human Firecracker and Sunbeam, who claim to be fighting for truth, justice, and democracy, three values that are scarce in China. Presumably the Freedom Fighters represent Chinese dissidents, but are they heroes or villains? And what about the original Chinese superheroes, the Great Ten? Good guys or bad guys? You need to read the story to find out.
Kenan has some family drama that turns into superhero/supervillain drama. The family angle evolves through the first four issues and takes center stage in issue 5. The plotting is surprisingly clever.
New Super-man had me chuckling consistently. It’s a commentary on China and on America, but it’s true value lies in its ability to demonstrate that people all over the world are the same … boorish, vain, shallow, self-involved, but occasionally capable of rising above their faults and doing the right thing. It’s one of the better attempts at DC to do something different without departing from the virtues that made the company a success.
The art is perfectly suited to the story, but it’s the sharp writing that earned my applause. The New Super-Man earns an easy 5 stars from me.
Kenan Kong is kind of a jerk. He bullies a rich kid for lunch money because the kid's parents own an airline that Kenan's mom was killed on. When Kenan makes a heroic act (against his own nature), he gets selected for a superhero program and his life changes. He joins two other young people who will make up a new Justice League for the nation of China. The two other heroes are takes on Wonder Woman and Batman. Kenan finds his powers come and go, and he needs to figure out how to make them work. Additionally, he finds himself at odds with his father. Can Kenan learn to be a hero, mend his relationship with his father, and figure out who is behind this new superhero initiative?
Kenan is a pretty unlikable character at the beginning of the story, and he stays that way for quite a while. He is arrogant and a bully. By the end of the story, things have happened to help move him towards being a hero, but it takes quite a few chapters before I liked this character much. I really liked the Wonder Woman and Batman characters and I hope they have more to do in the future. This is a very different take on DC superheroes and I liked the cultural shift in perspective that it takes.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.