Review: Battling Boy by Paul Pope

battling boy

Battling Boy by Paul Pope

This is the first book in a new graphic novel series.  Monsters are attacking Acropolis but they are protected by the hero Haggard West, until he is killed.  Now their fate is in the hands of a young twelve-year-old sent from outer space.  He has powers of different animals that he accesses by wearing different t-shirts.  He can fight, but the monsters are cunning and strong.  Teens from his planet go rambling, but few return.  Battling Boy must not just save Acropolis, he has to prove his worth, make a cunning plan, fight epic battles, and survive.

The reader is quickly thrown into the story in this graphic novel which lays very little background at all.  That approach is perfect for this fast-paced storyline where everything is explained on the fly and the reader has to pick up on clues to put it all together.  Even as the reader is wondering about some things, the action has picked them up and moved them onward.  The result is a brawling book that is a surprisingly engaging read.

Pope’s art has a wonderful vintage comic feel.  The storyline also has its vintage moments but also bursts of surprises.  The melding of steampunk, deities, outer space and monsters makes for a fresh read.

Young fans of graphic novels will find a lot to love here: big battles, a young hero and a mashup of genres.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from library copy.