DC Comics has revealed a new cover for July's New Super-Man #1, and with that a revised name for the Chinese superhero. In an essay by Gene Luen Yang, the series writer describes how the character went from being called 'Kenji Kong' to Kenan Kong' to avoid the misconception that he didn't understand Japanese culture.
"There was a problem, of course. Kenji is a common Japanese name and this would probably cause some confusion, at least at first," Yang writes. "I was only thinking about how I’d make this character and his name work in the particular story I was going to write. I’d missed the forest for the trees."
After consulting with his editors, creators with ties to China, and his own parents, Yang settled on a new name: Kenan Kong.
"Ke means 'to overcome.' What could be more Super-Man than 'to overcome'?" The writer explained. "Nan means 'south.' Appropriate for a kid from Shanghai, since folks from Beijing like to call folks from Shanghai 'Southerners.'"
Read Yang's full statement on New Super-Man and the thought that went into the character and his name at DCComics.com.