This series is strange, but not for the reason’s you’re like to think of first. It’s not that the story is mind-bending and different, it’s that it has this strange back and forth between being great and just okay. At times I will really like an aspect of dialog, the plot or even just a concept introduced to the issue; but then at the same time any one of those things can be a reason to dislike it as well. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing, but it does make reading the series interesting. You never can say which way it will go and good or bad, that’s actually okay with me. I am not of the mindset that every issue of a comic is going to be great, but that it’s trying to be. There are going to be times that the creative team falls or stumbles and that’s what makes the story/medium interesting and some of these blunders cause creators to lose their jobs, but imagine if they hadn’t. What if you were just able to ride the story out like a starting pitcher rather than being pull too soon. Now I’m not saying that this issue is a stumble or a fall, but it’s not great either. I think that’s what makes it so interesting to talk about is that it’s this strange zig-zag that goes back and forth.
In the last issue we learned that the very man that Brain Boy was protecting is actually a powerful reader, one that is apparently stronger than him. They begin to battle, but course not of Brian Boy’s choosing. There’s a great scene with him falling out of window and his narration telling the reader what that’s like. Ricorta begins talking to Brain Boy via his mind of course and Brain Boy continues narrating to the reader until Ricorta responds to him. At this point Brain Boy’s narration breaks the fourth wall and I didn’t care for that. I don’t know why I’ve been seeing so much of that in comics lately, but it’s almost always terrible and that’s no different here.
Brain Boy gets a communication via his ear piece and suddenly a concealed sniper tranqs Ricorta. The woman tells him that he’ll be out for a bit and asks him to meet her. Before that though he receives a call from his handlers about the information that he requested on the agent that he replaced for this duty and sure enough, things are not as they seem.
The problem I had with this issue is that Brain Boy’s personality is inconsistent. At times he’s smart and suave, but then other times he’s saying things like, “jagoff” and forgetting that a reader can hear his thoughts. I understand that part of it is that he didn’t really have a childhood and so there’s this childish element to him, but it’s the times in which that personality gleams through that are awkward. When he talks to his surrogate mother he’s like a kid, but at the same time he’s planning his next move like a trained agent. It just doesn’t work. I got the impression that he was supposed to be James Bond with mind powers, but instead he’s like James Bond Jr. with mind powers.
Otherwise the story is interesting and the supporting cast is fun as always. I’m not sure who the cameo suit woman is, but she’s interesting and probably smarter than Brain Boy or at least better trained. Except for when she shot a sniper rifle while handing upside down. Also she has “love interest” or at the very least “friends with benefits” written all over her.
The art is good. Silva has an interesting style that ranges from very detailed to stylistically void of details. For instance when Ricorta is in “reader mode” his face is basically a mustache and eyes, with shades of coloring for details like the nose and chin. It works, but it’s a weird blend of details that falls in line with the rest of the story. I have to say that I think that the Silva’s facial hair is very cool. It almost looks like everyone that has a beard or mustache is wearing a fake one, but it’s cool looking to me.
I’m definitely going to continue reading Brain Boy. I don’t always know if it’s going to be great or even good, but it’s interesting. I’m waiting for the bigger story about his parents to be revealed more and hope that it will be worth sticking it out. I can’t tell you if you should stay or go, but if you liked the first issue then you’ll dig this issue as well and vice-versa if you didn’t like it.
Writer: Fred Van Lente Artist: R.B. Silva Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 10/16/13