New Super-Man 1: Made in China

new super man volume 1 made in china cover trade paperback dc rebirth
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Fun twist on Superman

Could be a bit more punchy

Comic Info

Comic Name: New Super-Man

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Gene Luen Yang

Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2017

new super man #1 cover dc comics rebirth

New Super-Man #1

Reprints New Super-Man #1-6 (September 2016-February 2017). Kong Kenan is one of the greatest gifts to China…just ask him. Undergoing an experimental procedure at the Ministry of Self-Reliance, Kenan is labeled Super-Man and proclaims himself the new leader of the Justice League of China. When the Freedom Fighters of China rebel, Super-Man, Wonder-Woman, and Bat-Man face off against the “villains”, but Kenan is about to get the surprise of his life.

Written Gene Luen Yang, New Super-Man Volume 1: Made in China is a DC Comics Rebirth title. The series continues the events of Superman: The Final Days of Superman and features art by Viktor Bogdanovic.

New Super-Man was one of the titles I was most interested in when I heard about Rebirth. I thought the idea was clever (and realistic) that China would try to directly compete with the United States superheroes. New Super-Man shows hope in his first outing.

What is different about New Super-Man is that Super-Man is the bully. He’s not the brightest guy, he’s angry about his life, and he’s a loner. Being Super-Man gives him an identity and recognition. Instead of wanting a secret identity, Kenan wants everyone to know who he is and what he can do. He’s like a sports star who wants to merchandise his popularity.

new super man #5 cover variant

New Super-Man #5 Variant

Of course, Kenan isn’t a villain by heart and the series seeks to explore the world of a bully and his motivations. Kenan’s actions are quickly explained and he finds himself caught between two warring groups and one could be the cause of his mother’s death. It sets up a nice dynamic for the series and potential storylines.

The story also sets up the idea of redemption. Kenan’s powers literally work by centering himself and finding inner peace. It is a little cliché that an “Eastern” hero would have an Eastern philosophy to his powers, but it is a fun spin on the Superman-clone aspect of the story. It makes Kong Kenan more than just a Superboy character.

New Super-Man is a fun, quick read. It is loaded with classic superhero tropes, but also relishes the fact that they are superhero tropes. I like the character, I like the idea, and I want the comic to punch it a bit harder, but I look forward to seeing where the New Super-Man flies to next. New Super-Man 1: Made in China is followed by New Super-Man 2: Coming to America.

Related Links:

New Super-Man 2:  Coming to America

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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