[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artists: Viktor Bogdanovic & Jonathan Glapion
What does a rambunctious, stressed, impulsive teen do when investigating the murder of their parent? If this was Scooby-Doo I’d say they would investigate and solve a crime. Sadly for Kong Kenan, Lex Luthor has invited him to Metropolis and the Ministry of Self-Reliance has voluntold him to go and see what Luthor wants. To Kenan’s benefit, his lack of English means that he is getting a translator and who would be better to go with him than Master I-Ching?
The opening page of this issue is a single panel showing Kong Kenan with his Bagua on his chest. The Bagua is the representation of reality’s eight foundational principles. Each is linked to a part of the body and each holds a key to Kenan’s powers. The path to unlocking those powers also creates the iconic “S” on his chest. The way that Yang and Bogdanovic have chosen to represent the iconic symbol for the Super-Man of China is fantastic, not only is it visually striking but it also is linked to Chinese history and philosophy around Qi.
The art in this issue is fantastic as each of the previous issues drawing by Bogdanovic has been. I especially enjoy the looks and styles of the large number of new characters that we meet. Not to mention that Luthor looks absolutely awesome! He is drawn with such an evil look with sharp features and a seriously intense look on his face which carries through various expressions.
There is a lot of new characters and artifacts in this issue and they quite literally burst onto the scene. This leaves us without much information on them while it feels as though we should given the context. This made the ending of the issue feel a little bunched together.
New Super-Man #8 is exciting and shows just how many different people have their eyes on Kong Kenan. With the epic ending to this issue, #9 is sure to be on the scale of the titans.