After a stunning first issue the second issue follow-up is less than spectacular. It’s still an enjoyable issue and I’m looking forward to the series overall, but there is definitely its share of pacing problems plaguing the sophomore follow-up. The most interesting thing to me about this issue was the character development, in some cases it was adequate and other cases it was underwhelming. Kong had one good scene towards the end. The final pages are another story and while I won’t spoil it, I will say that it did more for his character than the rest of the issue, because it showcased his personality. Really it was a great moment in which Gene Luen Yang captures one of those human moments in which our bad habits outshine our logic. Otherwise the issue spends a great deal of time building the characters of China’s Justice League. Which I actually really enjoyed, but it felt to soon to be building that aspect when we're still learning about our title character. Yang somewhat goes out of his way to establish the differences and similarities between China’s Justice League and the other Justice League. It’s quite smart, but it’s just a bit too obvious that it’s happening. That and a lot of it is telling via dialogue, rather than showing it through their actions.
In the issue itself a fight breaks out between Batman Wonder Woman and Superman. Which is kind of a dream come true if they were the original characters. Here it’s kind of curious as to why they’re actually fighting when no one’s taken the time to talk to Kong about what he’s doing. They assume he’s lost control and attacking, but he’s just freaking out due to the process they used to give him powers. What’s worse is that Kong’s arrogance is a lot like Peter Parker’s in that he only cares that someone is trying to fight him, not that he should stop and think for a moment about what’s going on with himself. When I say Peter Parker I’m referring to the origin in which Parker doesn’t stop the thug that would eventually kill his Uncle. Not that it’s the same thing, but the same thinking of “not my problem.” Kong loses his powers and basically spends the rest of the issue calling Batman “Fatty” and asking what he did to him.
Again, the issue isn’t bad at all. The art continues to be very good, but there were definitely a lot of weaker panels in this issue. I didn’t stop my overall enjoyment, but looking at a few of them again there’s some really glaring problems that I hope doesn’t end up plaguing the series. Facepalm Batman in particular is really hard to look at.
What continues to be interesting to me is Kong. In some ways he reminds me of Booster Gold, but with this really dark element to him that we haven’t seen fully exposed yet. He doesn’t seem like the type of person that you would feel safe with having Superman’s powers which is still an incredible feeling to have. Why? Because I’m sure that’s exactly how Lex Luther feels about Superman… makes you wonder what Yang is going for or just how good of a writer he is. It’s messy, but it’s still one of the best DC books to be buying.
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New Super-Man #2 Writer: Gene Luen Yang Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital