Up in the smog! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Chinese Superman Kenan Kong!
The most recent issues of DC Comics’ Superman have left fans mired in confusion. Regaining his powers and getting back to regular superhero business after a particularly nasty brawl, it seemed all would return to normal. Shockingly, things have taken a turn for the worse. The bare-all issue, Superman #51, revealed the Man of Steel’s time on this Earth is coming to an end.
But never fear, citizens of Earth! According to an extensive DC Comics interview, a whole crew of superpowered newcomers will continue Superman’s legacy of defending the planet, including a Chinese hero from Shanghai named Kenan Kong. Will he be as heroic as the toddler who fought off a whole crew of chengguan to defend his grandma?
Gene Luen Yang, writer for the upcoming DC series, The New Superman, explained the process of naming China’s caped defender:
For a few days, Chinese characters flew in and out of my inbox. We finally settled things this past weekend. New Super-Man’s official secret identity will be: 孔克南 Kenan Kong.
南 Nan means “south.” Appropriate for a kid from Shanghai, since folks from Beijing like to call folks from Shanghai “Southerners.” 克 Ke means “to overcome.” What could be more Super-Man than “to overcome”?
Kenan isn’t quite as easy to pronounce (in Chinese, it’s closer to “Ken Ann” than “Key Nan”), but it’s pronounceable enough.
While some have said the latest movie adaptation, Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice, was a massive disappointment, it looks like plenty of thought is being put into the development of China’s Superman.
The first issue of the New Superman will be published later this year on July 13th, available in both print and digital download. In the meantime, China’s heroes can be found in all walks of life. Like this man who saves stray dogs from the slaughterhouse or these firefighters who saved a woman from a toilet.
By Matthew Patel
[Images via DC Comics]