By: MJ Rawls
I’m pretty sure you heard the cliche, “with great power comes great responsibility”, but this is a sentiment that rings true throughout the fibers of Kenan Kong and the New Superman series. This theme is even more present in the fourth issue. Here, writer Gene Luen Yang uses the previous mythology of the Superman character to bring revelations into his eastern variation. There’s still a certain air of arrogance that is around Kong that is in all honesty, refreshing. In all of the splendor and wonder, Superman still has to strike a balance between the right and wrong ways how to use his abilities. Back in issue # 2, Kong has revealed to the world that the Justice League of The East exists. It’s funny that Laney Lane serves as both Kong’s love interest and his sudden moral compass towards the end. There are consequences for being such a boisterous super hero and it finally hits Kong. Even on the other side of the country, there are relationships that have some sense of familiarity like Kong and Batman, Lane and Kong, even with a revelation of one of the Freedom Fighters of China towards the end. All serve as a natural progression of Kong’s character.
Artist Viktor Bogdanovic uses the red stanzas to create an internal dialogue that Kong runs within himself in conjunction with the story line. The artwork continues to draw a distinct sense of Eastern style and big actions such as the earth cracking depicted as these huge words. They give an importance to actions such as the earth cracking or a being kicked into a wall. You read it visually and can have the suspension of disbelief of feeling it as well. There are little touches such as the “swoosh” motion of a character being thrown that Bogdanovic accentuates giving more validity to those actions. The ‘Made In China’ story line continues to sore peering into a confident, yet insecure superhero and how he tries to exist in the world with these great attributes and how to temperament restraint.