Avery Ho and Kong Kenan race to see who is the fastest person in China. Meanwhile someone from Deilan’s past looks to cause trouble!
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Billy Tan
Colourist: Ying Zhan
This was a satisfying issue. After what felt like an interlude during the last arc Kong Kenan is now back in China. Yang managed to be subtle with Kenan learning his powers. Most other coming of age superhero stories usually find a way to rush through the hero’s new found powers in the opening arc. But here we are in issue 11 and Kenan is just discovering he has super speed.
The idea of having New Super-Man’s powers develop through the trigram is a fascinating idea. At first it felt like an excuse to have a Chi master character to mentor Kenan, but now it really feels like a deep part of Kenan’s character. The fact that this man has to work hard and focus works well to parallel the original Superman who just stumbled upon his powers as he grew up.
Technically Kenan is stumbling too but there’s clear growth as a character here, as he has to physically focus each time he wants to do something super. Having Kenan be a bully was a great idea as each new trigram activation emphasises how far he’s come as a person. He’s not just a great guy quite like Superman.
Billy Tan is on art duties this time and he feels like a great fit for the series. His eastern influence really compliments Yang’s script. Kenan and Ho’s race through China gives Tan plenty to draw this month. An entire portfolio is near enough created here.
Personally the colours by Ying Zhan are a little flat for my taste. Everything feels very two dimensional. This definitely doesn’t detract much from the issue however.
New Super-Man continues to be a series that you should be picking up each week.
Recommendation: pick up the issue