Subway Shorts – Working Vacation

The New Super-Man of China takes a trek to Metropolis at Lex Luthor’s side and gets involved with the Chinese mafia. Because of course he does. Speaking of stereotypes, Josie & the Pussycats go to the fair.

New Super

New Super-Man 9
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend, Jonathan Glapion and Mike Spicer

New Superman 9I really want that scene to explored more than it was in this issue, because what the hell? Is this the New 52 Superman popping out of what this issue refers to as “Hell” to attack Kong Kenan? And why would the New 52 Superman be in hell? That character wasn’t THAT bad. I mean, he certainly redeemed himself at the end with some good stories when he lost his powers. But I’m getting off track here.

Lex Luthor, who also has been calling himself Superman, comes to China to enlist the aid of the New Super-Man of China back in Metropolis. Kong Kenan’s new mentor, I Ching, is brought along for the comic relief. And even in the first issue of this new “COMING TO AMERICA” arc (without a stop in Queens, the story is already losing points with me), everything goes kind of wonky, including the appearance of a very decomposed dead Superman. Luthor is dealing with a Chinese speedster who belongs to the China White Triad, so he brings the only Chinese superhero he knows to deal with them.

There’s also the little matter of the doorway to hell that Lex has in his lab that the Triad wants to keep closed. None of this goes right in any way and it was, in fact, a job for Superman. The real one. Thankfully, he shows up on the last page, and I’m betting he’s a bit perturbed about all of this. This issue got more than a little wacky and for the first time, I really am looking forward to the next issue to see where things are going. Here’s hoping they keep this up.

Josie & the Pussycats 5
Written by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio
Art by Kelly Fitzpatrick, Audrey Mok and Jack Morelli

Josie 5Last month, I expressed concern about the great humor that has been present throughout this series would eventually fall flat. While it didn’t happen last issue, it seems to have finally happened here, although I don’t think we’ve hit an irreversible point of no return. Just a little bump in the road for the group of hopeful musical superstars.

In previous issues, Josie, Melody and Valerie got involved in hi-jinx that were happening around them, but here the hi-jinx are caused by Josie’s self-esteem issues after being used by Alan M in Rome. The group is playing a State Fair in the hopes of getting a spot on Cheri Overwood’s next album, but instead get shown up by a young singer named Felicity Mountain. And Josie goes mental, trying to prove that Felicity isn’t who she says she is, alienating her bandmates at the same time. So we get a “personal growth” issue for Josie, who has to work through her self-esteem problems, her relationship woes and her desires to become famous.

And it all just felt a little forced. Especially the names of the country singers that the girls encounter.

It’s not a bad issue by any means, but I didn’t think it lived up to everything that was established over the last few months. I’m sure the book will bounce back with issue 6.