In today’s edition, the New Super-Man of China continues to explore his growing abilities, with a little help from the original. Over in Gotham, Black Canary expands her Canary Cry in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey 9
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Roge Antonio and Allen Passalaqua
As the team searches for the mysterious Blackbird, Black Canary Dinah Lance goes undercover as a trainee looking to expand on her power base, as the heroes assume Blackbird is amassing an army of super-powered people. We start the issue off with Roulette‘s underground super fight club, where Canary impresses everyone, except maybe anyone who was hoping for a clever undercover name.
Dinah has a much higher opinion of her wit than maybe she should…
After getting inside Blackbird’s organization, Canary starts training to “expand her abilities,” and the villain even teaches Canary how to use her power to fly. I was a little worried that the investigation into what Blackbird is doing would go on too long, but thankfully, we got a lot of movement in this issue. The reader sees what Blackbird’s actual plan is and we have a new premise for the next issue. Julie and Shawna Benson continue to keep a good pace with the book and the story never feels like it’s getting stagnant.
With Green Arrow coming in to town to find out what’s happened to her – she has been undercover for a few weeks, after all – we should have a lot of fun with the next issue.
New Super-Man 10
Written by Gene Luan Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdonovic, Jonathan Glapion and Michael Spicer
The original Big Blue Boy Scout makes one of several guest appearances this week in this book, as Kong Keenan is still in Metropolis, after Lex Luthor brought him in to help him with a situation in the Big Apricot (Does DC Comics still refer to Metropolis as the Big Apricot? Or was that one of the things rebooted a few dozen times since the 1990s?). But things got out of control last issue, and Superman had to come in and clean up Lex’s mess.
The situation puts the New Super-Man of China in a tough position: does he continue to train with Master I Ching and get his abilities the hard way or does he follow Luthor’s path and try and get his powers the easy way? Luthor, by the way, has his own motivations for having Kong Keenan open the pathway to Hell.
With Superman there to inspire him to go down the right path, the New Super-Man helps to overcome the China White gang and take the ancient artifacts the gang was after off the board. And, he got to have a moment with the Man of Steel.
When this book started out, Kong Keenan was very unlikable and it really hurt the book, but writer Gene Luan Yang has really turned the book around since the end of the first arc, and it’s become a lot of fun. The two-issue story with the New Super-Man coming to Metropolis was a great arc and I find myself looking forward to new issues when they come out.
With Superman’s warning that he may need Kong Keenan’s help in the future – hinting at what happened in the SUPERMAN: REBORN story – I assume we’ll see more involvement in the Super-family for the Chinese hero.