The problem with the third issue is that it’s the third issue. It’s already been ordered by comic shops, pre-ordered by readers, the creative team is already working on the ending of the story line if they haven’t already moved on to the second arc. It’s settled into a comfortable formula that it’s made for itself. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that (unless you want to overhaul the entire comic book distribution system which no one wants to) unless you’re a reviewer. Oh, woe is me. You’re thinking with equal parts mocking and sarcasm. Yes, woe is me. Because after all, you’re here reading this aren’t you? And yet the first paragraph is all I have to say about the issue. Sure Kenan grows as a character, along with our supporting cast. Yes, there are new plot threads introduced and hinted at for the future of the series and of course there’s a cliffhanger to bring us back. But is any of it really any better than the first two issues? Not really. It’s pretty average, but it’s good average. It's where you want average to be. Even one of the best series in the last decade, Mind MGMT, had its average issues, and that was my five-star standard for its entire run.
Average comic books are a great thing because it lets you know that the writer isn’t just phoning it in. They are trying to razzle dazzle you to the point that the character is uncharacteristic or just going through the motions. You know, the problem everyone seems to have with a Superman story. Average is just fine by me because it’s below-average that chases me away, not average. This isn’t school, we’re not trying to get into a good college, we’re just reading a comic book. Average isn’t a dirty word.
The art still has its awkward moments, but I didn’t hate it. There’s a panel where Kenan is looking to the side, and we see part of his face that we wouldn’t be able to see. I get what they were going for, but Bogdanovic needed to adjust the rest of the face to match the mouth or just change the mouth. There are some great scenes, though, and Bogdanovic manages to capture a lot of emotion in the facial expressions when they’re facing the correct way.
Third issues suck to review. You’ll see a lot of sites drop them because of all the reasons I listed. I bother with them because that’s how a series is forgotten. We have so many comics competing for our attention now and whether the industry wants to admit it, a limited number of people buying them, meaning a limited budget to be spent. Every bit of exposure helps, even if it’s just an average scoring review for an average issue for one of the boldest comics DC’s publishing.
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New Super-Man #3 Writer: Gene Luen Yang Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital