Johnny Bullet
DC Comics
Review: New Super-Man #14
By Andy Frisk

August 16, 2017 - 22:43

Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Gene Luen Yang
Penciller(s): Billy Tan
Inker(s): Karo
Colourist(s): HI-FI
Letterer(s): Tom Napolitano
Cover Artist(s): Billy Tan Elmer Santos

New Super-Man leads The Justice League of China into battle against the self styled Chinese Emperor Super-Man (New Super-Man's predecessor) and the escaped super criminals that form his retinue. Meanwhile, romance blossoms between Bat-Man and The Wonder Woman of China while The Suicide Squad slowly moves into place to make a move against...everyone?


New Super-Man has managed to develop its own smart and engaging cast of characters under the direction of writer Gene Luen-Yang. Each of them are well developed and do not behave like cardboard cut outs of their original inspirations. Luen-Yang has built up a great supporting cast of characters to support each of the main characters including Dr. Omen and New Super-Man's superhero antagonist father. Any one of them (New Super-Man, Wonder Woman, or Bat-Man) could carry their own series. Yes, they are that interesting. So why is the Suicide Squad making an appearance and starring in most of the next issue? This reminds me of how Marvel Comics used Wolverine, before they killed him off to starve out 20th Century Fox's movie franchise. When a title was lagging in sales, a last ditch effort was made to bring in new readers and hopefully get some of them to stick by dropping Wolverine into a guest starring role. Usually, it meant a title was headed towards cancellation. Unfortunately, The Suicide Squad (and Harley Quinn in particular) stand in for Wolverine in similar instances with DC Comics titles. I truly hope this isn't the beginning of the end of New Super-Man.

If it is, at least the title will look great as it begins its swan song. Billy Tan has made the characters his own artistically and they are grandly represented through Tan's particular artistic talents. Oddly though, his version of the Suicide Squad, in particularly Harley, isn't visually striking. In fact, they look downright bland. Maybe it's my own reader response reaction as I detest their appearance here that is coloring my view of them, but nevertheless, they've looked better elsewhere.

Let's get this Suicide Squad cameo over and get back to the characters that matter. The characters that make New Super-Man unique amongst the regular superhero titles on the monthly racks. 

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