‘Brain Boy: The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T. #2’ – Advance Comic Book Review

Picking up high in the sky, right where writer Fred Van Lente left off at the end of the first issue of Brain Boy: The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T., issue two continues telepath Matt Price’s psychic tussle with the shadowy organization known only as G.E.S.T.A.L.T.  Frustrating for Price, but intriguing for us, the name is still all he really knows about this group, except that they are also quite powerful, and it turns out very well financed.  We are introduced to a new form of psychic warfare, as Price finds himself physically trapped on an airplane, forcing him to astral project his consciousness in order to battle an onslaught of intangible enemies. That’s already almost too much information, so I’ll just leave it at that, though I will say that Van Lente’s description of the Astral Plane is hilarious.  This issue has the same level of laughs as the previous one, and it is entertaining to see Price flex his psychic muscles beyond what we’ve seen and to find himself out of his comfort zone and even in a new outfit.

Van Lente and artist Freddie Williams II are constantly expanding and inventing the world of Brain Boy, so as the story builds, so does Price’s world and character.  In addition to Price tapping into as-yet-unseen abilities, we also meet an awkward and obnoxiously comical villain, and I look forward to the eventual meeting of this new foe and Price, and especially the dialogue that is sure to ensue. Williams II keeps the action engaging and injects the psychic confrontations with a kinetic quality, making the danger more tangible for us.  Jeremy Colwell’s colors do a stellar job of rendering the metaphysical bodies of Price’s psyche and his enemies to give them an ethereal quality that contains and lacks substance and depth, all at the same time.  Along with Agent Faraday’s suit, this issue is bursting with bright and shiny blues, purples, and yellows, which nicely contrasts the mental mindscape Price operates in and the drab, grounded landscape seen by normal eyes.  Nate Piekos of Blambot again delivers on lettering that switches deftly between narration, dialogue, and psychic conversation, keeping all of Price’s various lines of thought in their proper place, so that we know exactly who Price is talking to throughout the issue, including when he’s talking to himself.

By the end of issue two, it appears Price is in the right place at the wrong time, which he’s getting used to, but still on the right track to nab his target, possibly with more than a few unexpected obstacles getting in the way.  As Brain Boy: The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T. reaches the halfway point, Van Lente has successfully immersed us in an elaborate mystery with bizarre, unknown stakes and has largely kept Price in the dark, which is saying something since he’s a telepath.  I can’t wait to see what comes next, because I truly have no idea, and this is one time I’m glad I can’t read minds.

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