Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BATTLING BOY by Paul Pope Kirkus Star


From the Battling Boy series

by Paul Pope ; illustrated by Paul Pope

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59643-805-7
Publisher: First Second

A young boy with a divine pedigree may be Earth’s last chance to rid Arcopolis of its scourge of monsters.

In Arcopolis, the streets aren’t safe to roam past curfew. Luckily for its denizens, the hero Haggard West helps battle the evil forces of Sadisto and his hooded ghouls. However, in a shocking turn of events, evil triumphs over good, and the metropolis is left without protection. In a world far, far away, a 13-year-old son of a god has been chosen to help Earth fight the onslaught of monsters as a rite of passage. Sent with only a few possessions, including an array of magical T-shirts, Battling Boy helps the city—but he finds he cannot do it alone. Pope’s creation is a fast-paced, taut, capes-and-tights tale successfully incorporating all of the elements needed to construct a winning superhero yarn. It’s got a twist that is sure to appeal to every young reader; who doesn’t want to see a superhero who’s their own age, free of all the pain and heartache most adult superheroes have these days? Pope’s art isn’t for everyone; it’s frenetic and distorted—not the usual slick, superhero stuff. However, those who pick this up will not regret it: Battling Boy is an accessible superhero anyone can enjoy. An abrupt ending will have readers on tenterhooks for the next installment.

A masterful nod to the genre. (Graphic adventure. 12 & up)