It’s not always the underdog that becomes a hero in New Super-Man #1.
Don’t worry, they’re not replacing the new version of Clark Kent just yet. This is actually China’s answer to the Man of Steel. The interesting twist that DC Comics have created is that this new hero is a bully. He’s completely unlikable. But he’s thrust into the limelight when he’s caught on TV saving the kid he was just bullying from a super-villain. From then he’s taken on a whirlwind adventure that to him must feel like his dreams come true. He’s granted all of these incredible powers, via the wonders of science. Still a bully though.
Whilst he has some of the key makings of a hero (tragic backstory, will to do good, reluctant to get the powers) – the only thing that trips New Super-Man #1 up is that we still don’t like the guy. If DC are going to give us a brand new hero, fantastic. But it’s hard to relate to a character who is quite frankly, a bit of an arsehole. And whilst he’s funny in places – super powers in the hands of a bully will never end well. But maybe that’s the point? This could be DC’s ace in the hole.
It would be fascinating to see them start a solo series of a character who intends to be a hero – but ends up becoming a villain. Especially if DC play the whole concept off as a hero before throwing the curveball. Maybe that’s us just speculating and hoping, but it’s undeniable that it would make for a great story. Overall, it’s an interesting issue that manages to set up a world that we haven’t really seen much of in DC Comics. Not from a solo issue’s standpoint anyway.
What is slightly confusing (and again, this could be us over-examining it) – is how the issue ends. Two other heroes burst in and announce that they’re China’s versions of Batman and Wonder Woman. Well, we’ve already got those characters. Why not craft their own identities instead of copying the other two? It’s relatively easy to get similar sounding or relatable names. Nightwing is synonymous with Batman for example. It just felt a little too on the nose for us. However, for all we know they might be interesting characters further down the line.
New Super-Man #1 isn’t a terrible issue, and it’s a great concept to flip the hero on his head and have him start out as the bully instead. However, we can’t exactly see the longevity of the series, but who knows. It might just be the next great classic. Or it might be cast adrift on the sea of forgotten comic-books.
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This seem to be DC Comics' wildcard amongst their new Rebirth titles. This is either going to work very well, or it'll disappear within a year or two.
- Reluctant Hero
- Tragic Backstory
- China's answer to... everything.