Graphic Novel Review: Brain Boy Archives

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Graphic Novel Review: Brain Boy ArchivesBrain Boy Archives by Frank Springer, Herb Castle
Published by Dark Horse Books on December 6, 2011
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

A freak accident with an electrical tower affected Matt Price''s brain while he was still in the womb. Ever since then, he''s had mysterious mental powers, such as telepathy, the ability to levitate, and mind control! Naturally, the government recruited him straight out of high school, and now he battles mad dictators and thawed-out dinosaurs as Brain Boy!

The comic was published during 1962 and the artwork is reminiscent of that of the original Superman comics (Gil Kane). This should give comic book readers some idea of what to expect from Brain Boy Archives. Of course, some things one never expects, like aliens that vaguely resemble gooey green cats trying to take over the world via the water supply. If someone tells you to swim in the lake, don’t do it.

Brain Boy’s mind powers permit him to do some cool things, like communicate telepathically with other telepaths, read minds, get people to do his bidding and even fly. His flight rather resembles that of a Dalek, creepily enough. For the most part, I found the Brain Boy comics pretty silly and not necessarily in a good way. His adventures include the aforementioned alien attack, taking on an evil dictator and battling a telepathic t-rex. For reals.

The most interesting thing about Brain Boy was the historical time period in which it was written and how that impacted the plot line. Unlike a lot of contemporary comics, the Cold War is neither the main plot line, nor is it ignored entirely. Instead, Castle created another country, Xochtan, which is ruled by the aforementioned evil dictator. Xochtan aims to take over the world via nefarious means, such as tricking the US and the Soviets into turning the Cold War hot. Given that the Xochtanese (?) are clearly of South American descent, I wonder if this is intended to be a comment on Castro’s Cuba.

If you enjoy reading old comics, you will be thrilled to check out this brief run for a strange hero, even if it is pretty evident why the series did not last longer. Of course, the $50 price tag may make this a bit less tempting, or just encourage library usage!


One response to “Graphic Novel Review: Brain Boy Archives”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This would be an intresting archive to read considering that I’ve never heard about it before.

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