“DC Comics announced a new addition to the Superman lineup at WonderCon last weekend. “New Super-Man,” an upcoming comic series by writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Victor Bogdanovic, will feature a first for the Superman mythology: A new character from Shanghai, Kenji Kong, will inherit the powers of Superman.
“Everybody in the world recognizes Superman,” Yang told NBC News. “The reason he transcends cultures is that he embodies these ideals that are international, that are cross-cultural. We wanted to tell a story that was about the Superman ideal but tell it in a different culture. Regardless of where you grow up, you know what he stands for.”
DC Comics has yet to release details about how the 17-year-old Kong will acquire his Superman-like abilities and impact the DC universe, but the company has told fans that inheriting the powers — and the mantle — will be a struggle.
“Getting those powers, it changes his body obviously, but it also changes his heart,” Yand said. “When he starts off, he’s kind of a jerk. Once he gets this piece of Superman in him, it will change who he is.”
Yang said he didn’t come up with the base idea of the character that would become Kenji Kong. DC co-publisher Jim Lee and chief creative officer Geoff Johns came up with the idea of an Asian Superman and gave him to Yang to develop into a full character. For Yang, that meant doing some homework to develop an authentic Chinese character…”