Joy and Frustration in New Super-Man 17

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

There’s a lot of joy in the opening pages of Gene Luen Yang and Joe Lalich’s New Super-Man 17 as Kenan Kong and his Justice League of China friends get to meet their older, more experienced OG idols. Super-Man and Superman already met a few issues back, and Avery and the Flash are already buds, but this is the first time Bat-Man gets to meet Batman, and Wonder-Woman gets to meet Wonder Woman, and it doesn’t disappoint.

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New Super-Man 16 Drags Historic Racism into the Present

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

Recently on my morning commute, I’ve been catching up on the Washington Post‘s new(ish) podcast, Constitutional. The podcast’s third episode, “Nationality,” traces the story of Wong Kim Ark, a man born in San Francisco to Chinese parents whose Supreme Court case determined that being born in America made you an American citizen. And while that brief summary makes it sound like his story is a victory for the foundational ideals of America, the details paint a much less satisfying picture. It’s no secret that America is historically a deeply racist country, and that efforts to make forward progress are continually contested making victories hard-won. New Super-Man 16 reminds us how casually pervasive racism used to be, but also provides a measure for some of the progress that has been made. Continue reading

The Art Fails the Cast of New Super-Man 15

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

Gene Luen Yang hasn’t shown much interest in subtlety throughout the run of New Super-Man, but even by those standards New Super-Man 15 is remarkably direct. Multiple times during the action, characters directly address the differences between the West and China. These differences — language, cultural, and especially political — come into literal conflict when the Justice League of China brawls with the Suicide Squad. It’s not subtle, but it is exciting. All of the action, plus the Kong family’s domestic drama continuing to build, makes for the most thrilling issue of New Super-Man to date. Continue reading

Chinese Folklore Makes Revelations Fresh in New Super-Man 12

by Mark Mitchell

New Super-Man 12

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

I’m a big theme park nerd, so the 2010 announcement of Shanghai Disneyland was big news. For anyone who followed the development and construction of Disney’s first resort in mainland China, the guiding design principle you heard over and over from those involved in the project was “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” — melding the spirit of Chinese culture with the best of Disney. New Super-Man was launched by Gene Luen Yang 12 issues ago with a similar promise, to pair the best elements of superhero stories with Chinese folklore to create something entirely new. New Super-Man 12 is the first issue to really deliver the full potential of that promise. Continue reading

DC Round-Up: Comics Released 5/10/17


How many Batman 
books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing Gotham Academy Second Semester 9, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 20, New Super-Man 11, Shade, the Changing Girl 8 and Wonder Woman 22. Also, we will be discussing All-Star Batman 10 on Monday and Bug: The Adventures of Forager 1 on Wednesday, so check back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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DC Round-Up: Comics Released 1/11/17

dc-roundup69

How many Batman books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing All-Star Batman 6, Detective Comics 948, Flash 14, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 12, New Super-Man 7 and Wonder Woman 14. Also, we’ll be discussing Gotham Academy Second Semester 5 on Tuesday, so come back for that! As always, this article containers SPOILERS!

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Superman 50

superman 50

Today, Michael and Mark are discussing Superman 50, originally released March 16th, 2016.

Michael: Mark, I’ve had a problem lately — the impending arrival of whatever DC Rebirth shapes up to be has been coloring my read of nearly every DC book. The creative behind-the-scenes shuffle that must be going on fascinates me — creators rushing their stories to conclusions earlier than they anticipated, etc. Superman 50 is the conclusion of Gene Luen Yang’s run on the book. And while it is an awkward, frantic, and deflated conclusion, it kind of seems like that’s what Yang intended all along? Continue reading

Superman 44

superman 44

Today, Michael and Mark are discussing Superman 44 originally released September 30th, 2015. 

Michael: Modern superhero tales have a troubled history with placing too much emphasis on the “how.” How did they get their powers? How did they become a superhero? How would this actually work in the real world? As always, there are exceptions to the rule, but many creators often spend too much time focusing on the “how” instead of placing the emphasis on what happens next. Case in point: Gene Luen Yang and John Romita Jr.’s Superman 44. Continue reading