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Battling Boy

Review

Battling Boy

With great power comes great responsibility. With a great Paul Pope superhero book comes a whole lot of fun.

The city of Arcopolis is overrun with “monsters” --- incredibly evil gangs of masked men who kidnap children. They pluck children off the street with wild abandon, and the city is seemingly powerless to stop them. Only the hero known as Haggard West --- great name --- dares to fight these monsters. With his Batman-like powers and persona, he fights (and kills) monsters whenever he can, along with his trusted sidekick, his young daughter Aurora. But when the monsters kill Haggard West, the city of Aurora seems to have no hope.

Except that a new hero is about to emerge --- one from a world very far away. Battling Boy has been sent here by his father on the eve of his thirteenth birthday to prove his mettle as he begins his journey into adulthood. Gifted with T-shirts made of enchanted fabric (with the pictures of various animals depicted on them), Battling Boy can assume the powers and abilities of a T-Rex, lion, leopard, orangutan, boa constrictor, fox, wolf, griffin, bull, pterodactyl, elephant, and, uh, a field mouse. He’ll need all of them to battle the evil around town, as well as to put up with the town leaders, who want to turn him into a marketing tool.

Even worse, our hero is decidedly unsure of himself and of his powers. More than that, though, he really has no idea how to fight his battles (ironic, given his name). His lack of skills is endearing, but it’s also a great storytelling device that leaves him with much to overcome as he tries to assume the mantle of hero.

The amazing Pope combines multiple styles of storytelling for BATTLING BOY. It’s by turns action-packed and hilarious, as well as poignantly evocative. That mix of pacing is superbly done, as is the incredibly thrilling artwork

Reviewed by John Hogan on November 4, 2013

Battling Boy
by Paul Pope

  • Publication Date: October 8, 2013
  • Genres: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: First Second
  • ISBN-10: 1596431458
  • ISBN-13: 9781596431454