By Kyle King
New Super-Man #11 was one of several Superbooks that began new story arcs last Wednesday. Writer Gene Luen Yang was joined by penciller Billy Tan for the opening chapter of The Zero Ultimatum. ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King, who covers every DC Comics hero whose chest is emblazoned with an “S”, brings you this review.
New Super-Man #11 Review:
Old friends, fresh developments, and unexpected enemies all make appearances in The Zero Ultimatum — Part One. When Kong Kenan experiences a breakthrough in the development of his metahuman abilities, will the New Super-Man’s new power be enough to enable the Justice League of China to defeat its greatest threat yet?
(Warning: Some spoilers follow!)
New Super-Man #11 Synopsis:
In the waters off the coast of Shanghai, Zheng Shiqiang makes a great discovery, but his celebration is cut short when the China White Triad slays the professor and his team so they can steal the apparent artifact he has found. Studying stillness under the tutelage of Master I-Ching, Kenan unlocks his super-speed, affording Avery Ho the opportunity to escape the boredom of being tested by Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman so the Flash can race her impulsive Justice League teammate.
When Dr. Omen makes Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman aware of Professor Zheng’s death, Peng Deilan recognizes his discovery as Sorcerer Monk Fahai, the turtle spirit who imprisoned her atop a mountain. Snakepit injects the Doomsday Virus into the seeming statue, awakening and empowering him. The creature thus created emerges from the ocean to attack Shanghai, requiring the Justice League to unite to combat him. Elsewhere, Amanda Waller (accompanied by Harley Quinn) confronts Lex Luthor about Kong’s recent visit to Metropolis, while Luo Longde — acting at the instigation of a hidden manipulator — forces Dr. Omen to unleash an unstable secret weapon.
New Super-Man #11 Analysis:
Because regular artist Viktor Bogdanovic’s distinctive stylistic signature is very nearly as strongly associated with this series as Yang’s unique writing, the graphics of The Zero Ultimatum — Part One initially appear somewhat jarring. Once the audience becomes accustomed to the unexpected imagery, though, there is much to like about the visuals of New Super-Man #11. Tan’s pencils, Tako Zhang’s inks, and Ying Zhan’s colors together effectively convey both motion and emotion in an issue that includes ample instances of each. There is a significant degree of fluidity to the portrayal of the race between Avery and Kenan, while the mutated Monk Fahai is rendered with a strong sense of menace and scale.
The sorcerer at the center of The Zero Ultimatum — Part One may represent the best blending of elements yet in Yang’s consistently inventive series. Fahai, who addresses Deilan as “Green Snake”, is a familiar figure from the White Snake legend who was given greater prominence by being portrayed on film by Jet Li. Yang proceeds to pump the Chinese legend up with superheroic steroids by infecting the monk with the Doomsday Virus from Superman: Doomed, and the Go to the full article.