Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Super-man #3

In China, Dragons aren't mythological creatures of wonder. They're fucking pests.

The Review!
I haven't read this issue yet but based on how much joy Issues #1 and #2 gave me, I'm just going to go ahead and say this issue was also terrific. If you aren't buying New Super-man, you have made a poor decision in your life. Not quite as poor a decision as letting your first boyfriend touch you under the underwear. Although that's probably always going to be a poor decision and just something you need to get out of the way so you can have the confidence to approach the boy you really want to be touching you under the underwear. Sometimes it's just best to have a close friend be the first and call it "Playing Doctor" for some reason. If that's what you think doctors do, I have news for you: you were molested in the doctor's office.

The Non-Comic Book Stuff
I just got done watching the finale of Big Brother and I'm going to spoil it for you if you haven't watched it yet. Nicole won. I'm super happy about Nicole winning not just because I think she's fucking adorable and a kick ass snake. I also think it's important that she beat a man in a vote by her peers. One of the huge problems with Big Brother is when the final two contestants are a man and a woman. The game is complex and takes a lot of skills to successfully navigate to the end. Women and men generally have different ways of doing this which winds up being a problem because the way men win at the game is perceived as the "right" way to win a competitive game and the work a woman does is usually downplayed. I'm glad a jury finally didn't automatically assume the guy played harder and took more chances.

On the way to the comic book store, I was listening to my Shuffle and I made note of these lyrics that I really loved by the Indigo Girls in "All That We Let In": "Dust in our eyes our own boots kicked up". That's...that's just a great fucking line. Another line I love that I heard today was this one from Frank Black and the Catholics "All My Ghosts": "If I could live to be several hundred. I could take a walk and really wander, really wander." It's a bit of what I was getting at in a previous commentary about how I'm nostalgic for my twenties. If we could live longer, we could really fucking take some shit in without feeling rushed. That's how my twenties felt. Like I could live to be several hundred. And what did I do during those year? I really wandered. I really fucking wandered. Part of where I wandered was China and New Super-man takes place in China and that's the segue, folks!

The Commentary!
At the end of the last issue, Kenan revealed he was New Super-man on Chinese national news. Since it's a communist country, that probably means they don't have live television, right? Doesn't that shit have to be censored before the masses are ready for it? Maybe China isn't that communist. When I was there, I even went to places they called Free Markets. Unless, and I don't want this to sound racist but it's just the facts of how things went, they were saying "Flea Market". You can see how maybe the Chinese think America is a shithole when we brag about our Flea Market society, right?! Again, that's not racist! It's just the way words and accents work! I was there! I heard people describe a place that looked like a flea market as a free market and I didn't know which they were actually saying it was! I also saw row after row of dog and cat skins hanging from bars so if you want to get mad at anybody, get mad a culture that thinks that's okay!

Why do Laney's cheeks need glasses?

Kenan also announces on live television that he leads The Justice League of China. I bet the Chinese government really wished they had some kind of delay on live television now, don't they?! Because calling your superhero group "The Justice League" is sure to bring unwanted American attention to your country. Batman is probably already trying to invest! Oh wait. That's an example of wanted attention! Unwanted attention would be like some guy across the subway trying to look up your skirt. I mean, if the guy wasn't totally cute and shit and you weren't trying to let him get a peek. I don't want to assume anything of the imaginary people I just put into an imaginary situation that doesn't mean anything at all to anybody!

One group that gets a bit pissed at the Justice League of China thing is The Great Ten. They're all, "Whoa whoa whoa! Nobody is going to Peking pay attention to us now! I mean Beijing pay attention to us now! Although that doesn't quite sound sweary enough without the hard 'K' sound."

Laney Lan is so freaking cute that I'm forgetting all of the other comic book females I've had crushes on. I mean, seriously, I can't remember any of them! Not even Vampire Tig!

Hee hee! He called him "Tubby"!

I think if you're on a superhero team with a tubby person, you're allowed to call them Tubby. It's either that or give them the nickname "Tiny" which really isn't any different from constantly reminding them that they're actually big fatties. Seems rude!

There's actually a lot of name calling in this comic book which I find refreshing. I've had it up to my eyeballs with people declaring that they'd rather be kind than smart and then go on to prove, with their actions and Twitter feeds, that they aren't kind at all! And hardly ever smart anyway (which is probably why they desperately want to be seen as kind! It's nice to think, "I can't think of anything witty to say to smart alecks so I'm going to declare I'm kind and don't want to be smart if it means being witty!")! I'm glad to see people who don't really like each other actually calling each other dope and tubby and doof and moron!

Meanwhile, Kenan's dad's Book Club is all, "We have to finish our books now! That's code, remember? We aren't actually a book club! We're revolutionaries!" I read a bit of a book today when I was eating lunch at Hot Lips pizza. They had the book of Pippin in their little library and I read the chapter with the grandmother who was played by Irene Ryan in the original version. That's Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies for young people who don't know about geniuses before their time. Every few months, I wind up on Youtube just to hear her live performance of "No Time At All". It's fucking great. Do yourself a favor. You can also watch the Martha Raye clip if you want to see it performed and have better audio quality. But, come on, Granny!

Bat-man and the others take Sunbeam to The Crab Shell, an underwater prison to house criminal meta-humans. I hope the warden is Chinese Aqua-man! That sounds like an Aqua-man I can get behind. Not in a gay way!

One of the villains in the prison is another Super-man! This must not only be a place where they keep criminals but also dissidents, troublemakers, and super powered experiments that went wrong! Also aliens! Because Starro is in The Crab Shell! I can't believe it! Starro! I bet he's being experimented on to figure out how to create mass mind control to keep the public from enjoying Western and democratic ideas.

Later, after Dr. Omen yells at and punishes Kenan with some kind of Kryptonite Spray Gun, Deilan (Wonder-Woman!) decides to give Kenan a chance and has a cute conversation with him.

Oh man. If Wonder-Woman calls him dummy one more time, I might forget about Laney Lan completely.

Bat-man joins them and lets them in on some detective work he's been doing. By checking out the previous two people almost kidnapped by supervillains, he has figured out who will be next. He has also determined that the victims are all private investors in The Ministry of Self-Reliance. That's ironic, amirite?! Anyway, the three decide to do some private investigations without telling Doctor Omen because the stuff they're investigating is stuff that Doctor Omen obviously doesn't want them knowing. It looks like The Justice League of China has already gone off the communist rails!

Dr. Zheng, the third investor that Bat-man has decided will be the next victim, has also realized that he's probably the next victim. So he's ready when three people with super powers show up at his door. He unleashes a water hydra on them! That's the worst kind! Water hyrdras are almost always deadly poisonous! Or so I've heard. Or possibly made up in my head after reading three paragraphs in a fifties encyclopedia on cottonmouths.

And then it happens. The panel which put the third exclamation point on the statement "I love this comic book!!" Three is the most you can have as an adult. As a teenager, you can use as many as you want because you don't know any better. But as an adult? Three exclamation points are permitted for things that are super duper cool. And this comic book, due to the following panel, has just exceeded super duper cool status.

It's almost as if this comic book were written for an audience of me!

I want to take a moment to say the use of dialogue and Narration Boxes in this comic book is a good mix. The dialogue is all well done and sounds like some young adults getting to know each other. And the Narration Boxes? They're just the right amount of letting the reader inside Kenan's head. Especially when you have a character who is, like Kenan, a bit of a dick. We need to see a little bit more humanity than he might overtly show to his comrades. We also, at times, need to see a little bit more of how much of a dick he is but which he chooses not to share with his comrades. But the bottom line? This is just really well-written shit. And I love the art, too. It fits the content perfectly.

That should be part of the review part, right?! Bah! I don't have an editor telling me how to "improve" things and, in the end, just destroying my soul. So fuck it! It stays where it is!

The water hydra isn't any simple, regular, run-of-the-mill water hydra. It's actually Xiangliu, a serpent older than civilization! Um, what the fuck is a marine biologist doing with it?

While the Justice League of China defeat Xiangliu, The Freedom Fighters of China grab Doctor Zheng. And by "Freedom Fighters of China," I mean "Book Club of China," right? Probably? The members of the Freedom Fighters are Blue Condor, Flying Dragon General, and Ghost Woman. The issue ends with them threatening to suffocate Super-man with Blue Condor's powers if they don't let them go with Zheng. What do they want with Zheng? I'm sure he hasn't read the book they're currently discussing!

+3!!! Because this is my favorite Rebirth title so far!

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