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‘Brain Boy #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Psychic battles, mysterious assailants and motives, and an all-knowing, jerk hero named Matt Price.  This is the first issue of Brain Boy, a revamping of a six-issue comic from 1962 called – you guessed it – Brain Boy, and it delivers a funny, action-packed wallop straight to your cerebral cortex.  The truth of it is, you immediately like, don’t like, and want to be Matt Price, the psychic mind reader who has it all, or so it seems.  When anyone’s mind is your oyster, things come easily, and coasting through life is a breeze. Even if you’re a super-secret agent for the United States Secret Service, as Price is, on loan from Albright Industries’ Bio-vancement Division, for his talents and expertise in being able to see what is inside the mind’s eye, with or without your knowledge or consent.

Written by Fred Van Lente, known for IDW’s newest flagship G.I. Joe series and the newly reborn Valiant Comics title Archer and Armstrong, among a slew of other credits, and penciled by R.B. Silva from Jimmy Olsen, with inking by Rob Lean, who has worked with Silva on DC’s The New 52 Superboy series, this title comes alive right out of the gate, and doesn’t slow down, amping up the action and mystery and surprises until you’re as floored as Matt Price by how out-of-control this average day has gotten for him.  Brain Boy is a tale of high espionage, where you don’t know who to trust, so you just have to trust Price, because he’s the only person who is honest with us.  As far as he is concerned though, trust is a non-essential element – when you can read minds, you don’t need to have trust. Instead, you just know . . . until you don’t, and being caught off guard and not knowing is one thing that rocks Price’s world and throws it into an exciting tailspin.

The art in Brain Boy is classic and clean, and I feel it echoes that original ’60s series in its deliberate simplicity – there are not a lot of bells and whistles in Price’s life.  Since his mind is the weapon, he doesn’t need any fancy gadgets or have any deadly hand-to-hand combat skills, but he is a snazzy dresser, laid back, supremely confident, and funny, especially after he gets peed on. (You’ll have to read it to find out how that comes about.)  When he uses his psychic abilities though, the bells and whistles explode, and we get to see just how powerful Price actually can be, in and out of the battlefield of the mind.  The way his skills are presented is wonderfully active and intriguing, and there is a visual electricity in how he uses his powers. 

This isn’t your parents’ telepath, but I’m sure they would enjoy this book, as well.  I’m excited to see what’s in store for Price in the following issues, both in the real world and in his mindscape.  Brain Boy gives you a glimpse of how awesome it could be to read everyone’s mind and how much of a jerk that would probably make you, but also how adventure could come out of the simplest of tasks, and how that might be kind of annoying.  And, if you want to know what Matt Price thinks about being called Brain Boy, then you better check out this book, because he knows your question before you ask it, and he really doesn’t care to answer.          


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