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review 2017-08-14 03:56
New Super-Man, Vol. 1: Made in China
New Super-Man Vol. 1: Made In China (Rebirth) (Super-Man - New Super-Man (Rebirth)) - Gene Luen Yang,Viktor Bogdanovic

This book had a weak start, but a stronger finish. It started off with Kong Kenan bullying a classmate. When that classmate was attacked by a supervillain, he threw a can at him and managed to save his classmate. This was caught on camera and Kenan pretended to be a hero to impress the cute reporter interviewing him. Based on this action alone, Kenan was chosen by a secret government organization to be turned into the New Super-Man and be part of the newly created Justice League of China along with the Chinese Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man. The two people chosen to be Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man were both vetted and trained before given powers, but not Kenan. For some reason it was deemed a good idea to give him the powers without any further research into him.


Kenan then had difficulties controlling his new powers, understandably, so was told to research the original Justice League members to learn more. When Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man were sent out to save someone, Kenan convinced the leader of the project to let him go to because he knew the passcode to get into the place the woman lived. I didn't understand why they didn't just make him tell them the passcode or even just have Wonder-Woman fly herself and Bat-Man over the gates since she can fly. Kenan's powers were unstable and he'd had no training at this point. And he did indeed proceed to mess things up in a huge way. The secret organization just made a lot of highly questionable decisions in the beginning of the book that had me wondering how they'd managed to get this far.


Luckily things improved once the story focused more on Kenan's relationship with his father and his maturing as a person as he began to realize the new responsibility he suddenly had with these powers. Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man were a good balance for him as more veteran heroes who have a better handle on their powers and the responsibility that comes with it, while still having room for character growth as they bonded with the New Super-Man. I liked their group dynamics.


I do feel like there were too many characters introduced in just one book though. In addition to the 3 superheroes of the Justice League of China, there were 2 opposing teams introduced, resulting in about 20 superheroes and supervillains introduced in just 6 issues. And that's not counting the non-supers also in the book. One of the teams didn't get fleshed out at all, so I'm guessing they'll get more focus later, but it was just hard to keep everyone straight with so many people getting introduced.


Despite a weak start due to a lot of questionable decision-making from the government agency giving the powers to the New Super-Man, the 3 members of the Justice League of China made an endearing team that were fun to watch work together. And with Kenan's relationship with his father, this book created a nice foundation for Kenan's journey to being a hero. I look forward to seeing where this series goes next.

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review 2017-07-30 05:16
Secret Coders: Paths & Portals - Gene Luen Yang,Mike Holmes


This is book two in the Secret Coders series. 


Hopper, Eni, and Josh meet Professor Bee, founder of the Bee School, which has been mostly demolished and replaced by Stately Academy (the school all three friends attend). Professor Bee teaches them to code (program a robot turtle to follow specific paths). But Principal Dean and the rugby team are following them and trying to discover a secret.


The Secret Coders series follows the friends as they learn coding and try to solve the mystery of Stately Academy. Gene Luen Yang, along with being a “graphic novel superstar” taught high school computer programming.


The website (www.secret-coders.com) offers videos, activities, information, and coding lessons for interested readers.


This book is fun to read and kids could learn something too. 

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review 2017-06-06 00:00
Saints (Boxers & Saints)
Saints (Boxers & Saints) - Gene Luen Yang I love Gene Luen Yang's work. It always hooks me right away, keeps me wondering, and sticks with me long after finishing. Saints is no different.

I felt so bad for Four-Girl! And I was really hoping for a different end, even though I knew better. I honestly wasn't expecting the prologue at all though.

Like I said for Boxers, this is a much better way to learn about history, IMHO.

No matter what's next for Luen Yang, I can't wait to read it!
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review 2017-06-05 00:00
Boxers (Boxers & Saints)
Boxers (Boxers & Saints) - Gene Luen Yang Reading Saints Now!

I read American Born Chinese first and loved it so when I saw Boxers & Saints, I knew I had to read them. This comic confirms Yang as a must read author.

My library has them in two installments instead of a single volume which is sad because Boxers ends on such a cliff hanger! If you can make sure to have both on hand or go with the combined edition.

History is fascinating but often bogged down in tedious details, dates, and memorization requirements. If history in schools were taught like stories, brought to life in different formats like this, then it wouldn't be so dull and difficult..
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review 2017-03-29 16:18
4 Girl and her destiny
Saints - Gene Luen Yang

Saints by Gene Luen Yang is about this Chinese girl that was call "four girl" and how her grandfather never liked her especially right after she accidentally broke a Chinese god sculpture. After that she was called a "devil" and because of that she started to make weird faces. Then she was sent to see a doctor and after a while she found out he was a "devil". Years past and "four girl" decide to be with the "devil" doctor and end up in this village filled with "devils". She later found out that the "devils" were actually Christians. And since their was a lot of christian in china their was war. Before the war she was giving the name Vivian and she end up dying being christian and believing in god.


This connects  to some parts of the world because a lot of people believe in things that others don't believe in. And because of that many people die for believe in things. That is kind of effecting a lot of people because it's basically saying that you shouldn't believe in something that others can't believe in and if you do believe in something you would get hurt.


I would recommend this book to people who like graphic novels or "comic books". This book is actually a good book to read and anyone who likes reading would enjoy it. Also if your into non-fiction books that would also be good for them. But no matter what this book is very interesting and fun to read.

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