Battling Boy (First Second) Comic Book Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Battling Boy

First Second

Oct 08, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT Bookmark and Share

Paul Pope’s Battling Boy has been talked about as the artist’s next big project since 2006; plenty of beautiful art’s been teased for years as well. Even with the long anticipation and hype working against it, this first in a two-volume series of original graphic novels blows the lid off of expectations.

Battling Boy mines comics’ rich history of pulp heroes, science heroes, and all things Jack Kirby, especially Thor and giant monsters. Yet it’s still highly and wholly original despite drawing from these sources. Much of the appeal is in the wonderful grotesqueries and the awesome (in the true definition of the word) sci-fi retro-cool trappings of the story’s main playing field, Earth city Acropolis. But it’s the coming-of-age element that gives the book so much heart. Both Battling Boy, who is cast from his Asgard-like home by his godly father for a coming-of-age quest, and Aurora, the teen daughter of deposed science hero Haggard West, have some obligation to protect Acropolis from a plague of monsters. Battling Boy’s mythic arsenal is inventive and delightful, and his relationship with the players in his newly adopted city is a biting commentary on the nature of people and politics.

Unsurprisingly in a work by Pope, the art’s really the thing. It makes the story live and breathe; makes the villains slimy and incorrigible; makes the action dizzying, uncomfortable, and amazing. When’s volume two coming out? (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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