Over the weekend at WonderCon, DC Comics unveiled the creative teams behind its upcoming "DC Rebirth" event, the company's latest attempt to relaunch the DC Universe with new series, characters and lineups.
DC Rebirth: All The Teams and Announcements From WonderCon
As a comic book reader, these overhauls can be kind of exhausting, but the Rebirth series we're most excited about is New Super-Man from Gene Luen Yang, which re-imagines Superman, sort of, as a Chinese kid.
New Super-Man, launching in July, follows a Shanghai teenager named Kenji Kong who must learn to be a hero when he suddenly gets infused with the powers of Superman. The new monthly title will be written by Gene Luen Yang, with art by Viktor Bodganovich.
Gene, of course, is the award-winning graphic novelist behind such books as American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints and The Shadow Hero. However, he's also no stranger to the Man of Steel, having been writing for DC's ongoing monthly Superman title for the better part of the past year.
At Saturday's DC Rebirth announcement event, Gene said that New Super-Man presented a unique opportunity to take the universal ideals of iconic character and transplant them into another milieu.
"Superman is the embodiment of a universal ideal," Gene said. "He crosses cultures. What I'm really excited about with this book is that I get to take that ideal and play with it within another cultural context."
It's a context that's obviously close to Gene's heart, and setting a Superman series in China offers some exciting storytelling possibilities. Gene added that Shanghai is "kind of like a real-world Metropolis."
While it's not yet clear how Kenji miraculously gains the powers of Superman, Gene explains that the powers don't just make him faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings, et cetera.
"Kenji starts off as kind of a jerk, but then he gets infused with Superman's powers. These powers don't just affect him physically, but they also affect his heart.
This series was initially announced as "The Super-Man," but according to DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, the book's title was changed when Gene came on board and pointed out that there is no Chinese word for "the."
Nor is this "the" Superman. That moniker still belongs to Clark Kent. But which one? There appears to be some confusion over whether the DC Rebirth Superman will be the New 52 version of Superman or the pre-New 52 Superman. (If that last sentence made absolutely no sense to you, don't worry about it.) Whatever.
What matters here is that we'll get to see a Chinese Superman and Gene Luen Yang is writing it. I'm sold.
New Super-Man #1 hits stands on July 13. I cannot wait.
More here: WONDERCON: DC Comics Reveals "Rebirth" Creative Teams, More New Details