Battling Boy Fights For Family Fun!
He came from a mythic land, a 13 year old Demi-God sent to an earth ravaged by grotesque monsters and bereft of a hero to defend them. Can Battling Boy and his magic t-shirts save Earth from the seemingly undending deluge of terror?
An amazing combination of art and concept, created and perfectly executed as a true All Ages book that kids will love and parents will read after the kids are asleep.
What I've always been amazed at when it comes to Paul Pope is the sheer kinetic quality of his art. There are few living artists who can match his fluid line in this regard. Names like Jack Kirby being mentioned in the same breath as Paul Pope can seem like heresy, but I think the comparison fits.
The sheer overload of ideas and color and enthusiasm present in Battling Boy reminds me of how casually characters seemed to be born in newsprint in the early days of the Fantastic Four.
At one point in Battling Boy, his father and mother point to one of the many Earths in a spinning 3 dimensional map. They ponder sending their son to become a man there and then dismisses the thought in a short conversation.
"There are so many heroes there," says the Mother Goddess. It is a world built for heroes...And yet, you are right. It is not the only one" utters the Father God (who looks a lot like Thor).
I can't help but think that this is Pope's nod to Kirby. A proverbial nod, but also a bit of a cocky one. Because Pope has built a new hero on a new Earth born from an imagination unfettered by the constraints of an adult world.
Battling Boy is child-like without being childish. And, that, is an accomplishment that would make any King proud.
Darren Thomas is General Manager of both Earth-2 Comics, 15017 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, and 8967 Reseda Blvd. in Northridge, California. A poet and a preacher, Darren is extremely well-read and a connoisseur of the finest alternative music. Looking for recommendations? Digging the shop music? He's the man to talk to--especially if the topic is crime fiction.
As always, look to your local comics shop for the books discussed here on Fanboy Planet -- Earth-2 in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, Illusive Comics & Games in Santa Clara would all be great places.
But if you live in an area where you are not served by a comics shop (GASP!), we do provide a helpful Amazon link.