Battling Boy

Battling Boy

Graphic Novel - 2013
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A New York Times bestseller
An NPR Best Book of 2013

The adventure begins in the new graphic novel by comics legend Paul Pope.

Monsters roam through Arcopolis, swallowing children into the horrors of their shadowy underworld. Only one man is a match for them - the genius vigilante Haggard West.

Unfortunately, Haggard West is dead.

Arcopolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.


Publisher: New York :, First Second,, 2013, ©2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781596431454
Branch Call Number: J GRAPHIX POP
Characteristics: 199 pages : chiefly colour illustrations ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Sycamore, Hilary - Illustrator


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CRRL_CraigGraziano Jun 26, 2015

Battling Boy has twelve t-shirts, each with a different creature emblazoned on the front. Apparently, they give him his powers, but he does not quite know how to use them yet. You see, Battling Boy is in training to be a superhero.

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theorbys May 21, 2014

I certainly enjoyed this, and better than anything I have read from the majors in quite awhile. It has a sense of fun and the art is inventive. Pope's challenge will be to stop with the "I am just 12 and am overwhelmed by everything" a la Blue Beetle and get down to being a good mythology superhero. It is also very refreshing in that Battling Boy is not one of those, "I must not kill any murdering fiends" superheroes.

JCLChrisK Mar 25, 2014

A bit superhero comic, a bit mythology, and a bit horror. Arcopolis is a vast metropolis besieged by monsters, trying desperately to fend off the encroaching darkness. The Boy is a young godling from a warrior culture in the heavens on the threshold of thirteen, sent without warning and little preparation by his father on a "ramble" as a coming-of-age ritual. His first taste of life outside his sheltered existence, and he has to figure out how to negotiate both fighting monsters and dealing with fame among frantic politicians clinging to their positions in a world desperately in need of heroes. The gritty action--happily--takes a backseat to character development, world building, nuance, and complexity--there is much more going on in the story than hinted at in this brief summary. An excellent start to what promises to be an intimate epic. I can't wait for the next installment.
"What will become of them, Father?"
"Oh, it is the old story . . . The humans will lose, their bloodlines reduced to dust. Thirsty, weedy brambles will break the paving stones of smitten streets. The four horrible horsemen will have their day."
"That is, unless you succeed."
"Huh? Wait . . . you--you don't mean . . . I, I . . . "
"Aye!! I mean, Aye! Aye! This scattered scene of fervent calamity is to be the theater of your passing stage, aye!"
"But . . . "
"Man is no match for the monsters, Son. It is why we have come. Arcopolis needs her hero. Thus, do your labors before you lie . . . "
"But--but when I woke up this morning I didn't know that. And--I mean, I can't stay here 'cuz I don't have any of my stuff with me."
"Yes, we've seen to that. Under my supervision, Perithalia--the Lord of Wandering Duration--has packed this kit for you. Everything you will need is inside."
"But . . . "
"Enough!! You well know all of those of the starry lofts must face adventure perilous on the eve of adolescence, son. It is our way. I faced my own, once. Long ago. And so this is yours."
"Arcopolis, huh?"
. . .
"Farewell, my battling boy! You know what must be done!!"
"Don't let us down!!"
"Hey, Dad! Do I have to wear the cape?"

SkycycleX2 Dec 02, 2013

I liked Paul Pope's 100% and Batman Year 100 so I was disappointed with Battling Boy. Pope's art and writing can be rough. It sometimes has an unfinished feeling. That can give his stories a raw sense of immediacy, but in Battling Boy it becomes kind of irritating. Maybe because of the magic created in Pope's earlier works I expected too much from Battling Boy.


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olive_bird_01 Jun 13, 2015

A twelve-year-old demigod is sent to help the people of Arcopolis, a city infested with monsters.

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