[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Billy Tan, Haining & Gadson
“Training Day, Part 2” is an awesome issue that can be broken down into two stories. That of Baixi & Deilan where we get to explore the history of the Bat-Man of China and the Academy of the Bat. The second is of Kong Kenan and his fist real training session with a new master.
This issue is packed with a lot of extremely interesting story elements for these characters. Especially as a reader of western origin, as many of the readers are. Baixi’s story has a very brief but amazing political, or rather, ideological idea brought up with regard to freedom.
Less political, but more amazing in this issue is the exploration of Kong Kenan’s power by his master. While the character presented is slightly cliché, it is always a cool character and how they show Kenan’s powers and what he needs to do to control them is exciting. It combines a lot of philosophy and shows the extent and thought that went into the story of China’s New Super-Man.
If all of this wasn’t enough, Gene Luen Yang gave us the single biggest and longest throw back to comics history possible! When I saw it I honestly screamed. For anyone that has been reading comics for a long time or has researched the history of comics, you’ll love how this issue ends.
Gene Luen Yang has put some incredible thought into this issue and a lot of love. The art team on this issue also does a fantastic job at emphasizing the right details to show how awesome this world and it’s characters are.
Something I have appreciated and it’s a small detail but of huge importance, is the physical features of the characters. When illustrating the characters in this comic the team is careful to really show that they are Chinese. I have seen before where a creator says that a character is from a given culture but has drawn them exactly as they would another character from another culture. This team uses the right skin tone, the physical features, but even what they wear and how the environment works and looks. It’s a secondary detail almost but it makes this series realistic and fantastic. As someone living in Hong Kong, I love it.
I love this issue and this series. There are so many little things that make this issue feel amazing and readers will love it!