Review: New Super-Man #13

New Super-Man #13, despite picking up where the previous issue left off, served as the start of a new story arc. Writer Gene Luen Yang and penciller Billy Tan joined forces for the team-up tale of Shanghai Under Siege – Part One, and ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King has some thoughts to offer on the most recent issue.

New Super-Man #13 Review:

Dr. Omen has just offered a shocking revelation to Kong Kenan, but should the Shanghai Super-Man trust her to speak the truth and does he have time to mull over the implications of her startling claim while faced with a new danger?

(Warning: Major spoilers follow!)

New Super-Man #13 Synopsis:

As she falls from the toppling Oriental Pearl Tower, Dr. Omen cries out to Kenan that she is his mother. Super-Man doubts her declaration, but he leaps to save her, nevertheless. Before Kong can reach Dr. Omen, though, Project Zero – now calling himself Emperor Super-Man – flies by and captures her. The Flash and Master I-Ching arrive to aid the confused Kenan, who impulsively rushes off to the now-empty secret laboratory on the Loess Plateau.

Master I-Ching helps Kong to calm himself and see the proper path forward. While Super-Man undertakes to reassemble the Justice League of China, the Emperor and the sinister shadow of the Master attempt to intimidate the kidnapped Dr. Omen. They threaten to boil Flying Dragon General – her husband – alive, thereby forcing her to free the imprisoned supervillains (including Feng Rongpei) from the Crab Shell. With Shanghai under siege, Super-Man tracks down Bat-Man, then they and the Flash take off in search of Wonder-Woman.

Credit: DC Comics

New Super-Man #13 Analysis:

The quality of this series has been so consistently high that a merely solid issue may seem somewhat pedestrian by comparison, but Shanghai Under Siege – Part One, while workmanlike, nevertheless was well constructed, evenly paced, and entertaining. For instance, Tan’s pencils, Haining’s inks, and Gadson’s colors generally give the visuals of New Super-Man #13 an unembellished forthrightness unencumbered by undue adornment, but the artwork’s clarity should not be mistaken for plainness. Fine lines, subtle shadows, and distinct hues give texture both to Emperor Super-Man’s headgear and to the ice in which he encases Kenan through the use of freeze breath.

Such touches appear throughout Shanghai Under Siege – Part One, from close-ups on the distressed faces of Kong Zhongdan and Dr. Omen to Feng Rongpei’s ill-fated attempt to re-create Bane’s infamous breaking of Batman’s back. Stylistically, Tan’s figures are blockier and less fluid than those of the title’s original artist, Viktor Bogdanovic, but the penciller of New Super-Man #13 lends impressive nuance to the characters’ facial features using remarkably few lines. The combination of crisp definition contributed by Haining and soft luminescence provided by Gadson gives a moving moodiness to such a physically active issue.

Similarly, Shanghai Under Siege – Part One appears at first to possess less depth than most issues in this series, yet this largely is a function of rapid story advancements initially masking the richness underlying those developments (much as the recent plot-driven Part Nine and Part Ten of Twin Peaks: The Return may not have seemed as profound as the more abstract and impressionistic Part Eight). The usual allusions to Chinese culture and history are significantly more subdued in New Super-Man #13 – where they are confined primarily to a jumble of Chinese characters and a brief mention of Xiang Yu having Zhou Ke boiled alive – but, with a dozen prior issues having previously been published, this title now has its own mythology upon which to build. Yang takes full advantage of that fact.

The Ministry of Self-Reliance’s secret laboratory in Shangxi Province has been a foreboding presence since the last days of the New 52. The audience has long known that Flying Dragon General survived in a state of stasis, and readers have suspected for quite a while that Dr. Omen actually was Kenan’s mother. Our hero may not yet have learned that Master I-Ching has a nefarious double, but we have been aware of that fact for some time. The revelation in New Super-Man #13 that Project Zero is really Kenan’s older brother is a tad too Racer X for my tastes, yet Yang’s masterful weaving of this title’s unique lore – coupled with the hero’s growth from superficial youth to emerging leader – makes this a forgivable trope that scarcely diminishes Shanghai Under Siege – Part One as a strong, if not superb, story.

Follow your qi into the comments and ComiConverse with us about New Super-Man #13!

T. Kyle King is an Expert Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

The post Review: New Super-Man #13 appeared first on ComiConverse.

Meet the 2017 BE Modern Men: Week 1

Randal Pinkett, one of the 2017 BE Modern Men

Did you miss any of our first crop of BE Modern Men for 2017?

This year’s 100 Men of Distinction started out with a bang, with well-known businessman Randal Pinkett of The Apprentice fame. Our first 10 honorees also include men working to support small business or get families physically fit, mentoring aspiring artists, building our technological capacity, and lobbying for our communities.

BE Modern Man Randall Pinkett Randall Pinkett

Meet The Wealth Creator Dr. Randal Pinkett

CEO, BCT Partners

While the world is calling you to be successful, God is calling you to be great.

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man Walter Tucker Walter Tucker

Meet Mr. Music Walter J. Tucker

President and Founder of LiveThe.Biz, Music Executive, and Adjunct Professor

Write down your vision and be accountable for your own dream. No one is responsible for manifesting your vision but you.

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man James Methu James Methu

Meet The Small Business Analyst James Methu

Senior Business Analyst, Office of Small Business Development, City of Milwaukee

Don’t be afraid to be who you really are. Understand what makes you tick and don’t be afraid to stand out.

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man Kimatni Rawlins Kimatni Rawlins

Meet The Fit Father Kimatni D. Rawlins

Founder & Publisher of Fit Fathers / Founder & Publisher of Automotive Rhythms

Determination has to be followed by action. We all have ideas, but what will become of them if there is no execution?

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man Damien Horne Damien Horne

Meet The Inspiring Musician Damien Horne

Musician

All of us have gifts and talents that we can build with, no matter what else we may be lacking. Just start with what you’ve got. Doors will open up.

Read his full profilehere.

Leonard Edwards

Meet Mr. Philanthropy Leonard M. Edwards II

Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships for the Prudential Center, New Jersey Devils, and Team Dignitas

Be genuine and don’t compare your path to someone else’s. Your time is coming. There is enough out here for all of us to be successful.

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man Fabian Elliott Fabian Elliott

Meet The Tech Maverick Fabian Elliott

Founder and CEO, Black Tech Mecca

Instead of looking to others, pose the question to yourself. Sometimes we look everywhere else except to ourselves for answers when they are within us the whole time.

Read his full profile here.

Phillip Singleton

Meet The Hip-Hop Statesman Phillip A. Singleton

Founder of Singleton Consulting, Lobbyist/Government Affairs Consultant

Most people will listen to naysayers and lose faith in their personal belief. Regardless of what people say, trust your intuition and follow God’s will for your life.

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man Ash Cash Ash Cash Exantus

Meet Mr. Money Ash Cash Exantus

Wealth Coach

One of my business mentors always says to me: ‘It is always too early to quit.’ Obstacles and setbacks cannot stop [us] unless [we] let them.

Read his full profile here.

BE Modern Man Ahmad Roper Ahmad Roper

Meet ‘Mr. Education’ Ahmad Roper

Educator, Head Track & Field Coach, Speaker, and Community Activist

Figure out your why. Your heart will always tell you what’s your true purpose and passion.

Read his full profile here.

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow@BEModernManand join the conversation using #BEModernMan.

Come celebrate theBE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinctionat the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.