When the Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered, Bruce Wayne decided to fight crime as Batman. But on the other side of the world in China, Bat-Man is decided by one-on-one combat from crimefighting pupils. Welcome to the Academy of the Bat in Gene Luen Yang’s New Super-Man from DC Comics.
In Yang’s New Super-Man #7 out today, Wang Baixi, the Bat-Man of the Justice League of China, spends the Lunar New Year with his sister at his alma mater: the Academy of the Bat, the secret school from the Ministry of Self-Reliance, China’s government branch overlooking its state-approved superheroes. Upon his return, Baixi is challenged by an old rival to settle unfinished business. Baixi agrees, and wagers his Bat-Man mantle in the process. Meanwhile, Kenan Kong — the arrogant Super-Man — tries to renew his spirit following his father’s death by taking up mentorship from an old and quirky kung fu master.
Yang spends issue #7, the beginning of the book’s second arc, “Training Day,” revealing more behind the curtain of the Justice League of China. Each member of China’s League, aside from Wonder-Woman (Peng Deilan) and Super-Man, has its own academy. So far, only the Academy of the Bat and a new Academy of the Lantern (which hints a Chinese Green Lantern on their way) are revealed.
The Academy of the Lantern assisted the Academy of the Bat in building a sparring arena made from hard-light constructs. Below, Bat-Man challenges his old foe in the “Gotham Arena.”
Things go south, which leads Wonder-Woman to investigate.
The comic doesn’t reveal the winner between Bat-Man and his rival. When Wonder-Woman suspects foul play, she finds a masked rogue — who has been pulling off pranks at the academy — tampering with the arena. The story will continue in New Super-Man #8, slated for February 8.