Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artists: Richard Friend, Viktor Bogdanovic
China has a rich history full of great warriors, amazing battles, honor, brotherhood, and legacy. Modern day Shanghai even has its fill of these extraordinary things. For little Kenan Kong, life is pretty far removed. He is a bully to be frank and has a quick wit which benefits him in most situations. Where that fails him, his biceps can take over.
One day, during one of his routine shakedowns for lunch money something unexpected happens. One of China’s very own super villains, the Blue Condor, strikes, and Kenan’s target now has bigger problems. Not knowing what to do, Kenan tosses a pop can and hits the villain in the face. He drops the boy and looks at Kenan. Maybe he fears the lad, or maybe he just had enough that day, but the Blue Condor takes off.
Did Kenan save the day? Well 5 million YouTube views and a hot report seem to think so!! Soon Kenan finds himself wrapped up in an experiment to bring a new Superman into the world. Much like the genesis of Steve Rogers, Captain America! Along the way we get to meet Kenan’s father, his mother, and a secret conspiracy working within China, at least Mr. Kong thinks so.
What could be in store for the new YouTube star, Kenan Kong, or as he soon will be known, the New Super-Man?
This series has opened with a great anti-hero that readers will love to hate. He isn’t really smart, but he’s got street smarts. His character is definitely not what I was expecting but will enjoy what becomes of him. The writing is great and the cultural details they add in really make it feel realistic.
Through out the issue, we are presented a bully, then a boy hit with hard times and tragedy. We are meant to dislike him at first, then pity him for the hard times he has fallen on. As a reader I did not feel that at all. Kenan’s attitude continues to be super smug and narcissistic. The reader won’t feel like he’s a good guy, instead you are left with a feeling of neutrality toward him, the future needs to clear this up.
Overall, New Super-Man #1 was a fun read with some interesting characters. It feels fresh and interesting to read.