‘Brain Boy #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Issue two of Brain Boy takes off, in a very literal sense, right where issue one ended, and the action here, part two of a three-part story arc titled Psy vs. Psy, is just as top-notch as in the premiere issue.  Writer Fred Van Lente, penciller R.B. Silva, and inker Rob Lean continue to develop the retro-futuristic spy world vibe of the life of psychic Matt Price.  On loan to the United States Secret Service to protect a foreign dignitary, things take a turn for the bizarre, and Matt isn’t sure how much longer he’ll be working for the USSS, either by his choice or theirs.  Trouble is coming to a head, and Price isn’t exactly sure how he is going to keep his, both physically and psychically.

This issue is full of some absolutely wonderful moments, including one where Price displays hearfelt emotion, usually protected by clever quips and snarky comments, to be honest with someone who needs to know his intentions are true.  And then, that moment is immediately followed by a hilarious, unintentional (on the part of Price) joke.  Van Lente keeps the dialogue smart and funny, though he never panders to create laughs just for the sake of laughs, the humor comes straight from the characters, and especially in relation to Price.  The comments he makes, he makes because that is who he is, plain and simple.  Another moment of genius writing is when Price realizes that his enemy can read his mind, which to us is the narration.  This moment showcases just how smart Van Lente is at naturally setting and maintaining a tone.

The colors by Ego are also phenomenal, vividly portraying powerful psychic battles and the chaos that they cause internally and externally.  This issue is full of answers but also presents new, more complicated questions as events build on top and around each other.  It’s getting to be more than one psychic can handle on his own, though Price is no quitter – he just doesn’t know who he can trust.  At one point, a character calls out how complex the intricacies of the unraveling plot and all its possibilities are, and Price acknowledges this, but that’s just the way things are when you’re dealing with espionage on not just the physical plane, but the mental one as well – things get messy.  But, that is part of the fun of Brain Boy, and Van Lente relishes in the twisting, turning story.  Price hasn’t had to play spy in a long, long time, if maybe ever, so we get to travel with him as he forges new ground and moves completely outside of his comfort zone, all while trying to make the right choices and keep himself, and those around him, from getting killed.  And, that’s another part of the fun, and the final part of the fun is the humor in Brain Boy.  Put all these parts together, and you have one enjoyable series and entertaining second issue.

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