Print this page

‘Brain Boy Volume 2: The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T.’ – Advance TPB Review

The adventures of Brain Boy continue, and they are as weird as ever. For those of you just joining us, Brain Boy is the unwelcome nickname of telepath Matt Price, raised by future tech developer Albright Industries after his parents’ death and loaned out to the United States Secret Service for tasks that require an extra level of protection. Originally a short-lived sixties character, Dark Horse and writer Fred Van Lente have given new life to the mentally minded hero, and his world is spinning madly out of control as fast as it is expanding. The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T. compiles the second Brain Boy arc, while the overarching mysteries keep getting deeper and more intricate and intertwined. You could start reading Brain Boy with this volume, but then you would miss out on all of the amazing groundwork that Van Lente laid in the first volume, which introduced us to the troubled past of Matt Price and the laissez-faire lifestyle he was leading as the best of the best telepaths, until his world is turned upside down and everything he believes comes into question.

This is the Matt Price we meet at the start of this second volume. He’s still working for Albright Industries and his no-nonsense boss Georgina Delacorte, but he’s wary of what he should believe, and of what he can believe. With the enigmatic Agent Faraday watching his every move, there is a feeling that it is only a matter of time before things get dicey. Freddie Williams II’s art is energetic and kinetic, full of detail and grandiose flourishes that bring Price’s psychic warfare to exciting life. When much of the action happens inside the mind of the main character, it is important to relay that action in a way that can engage the reader, and Van Lente and Williams II succeed at that in spades. Van Lente’s narration lets us inside Price’s head in fun, interesting ways, allowing Van Lente to deliver exposition with humor and character and keep us up to speed on the various types of psychic forces Price encounters and battles. Williams II, aided by expert colorist Jeremy Colwell, makes the astral plane a vivid and violent place, and the action is chock full of bright, glossy, transparent psychic beings and blasts that translate beautifully in the physical world, while still maintaining their mental origins.

To talk much more about the story is to spoil much of the fun, but suffice it to say that Van Lente is moving Price down a possibly dark path, and as Price’s loyalties begin to waver, so does his restraint. Matt Price is a force to be reckoned with, and thereby a force that many believe needs to be controlled, but Price may just be at the end of his rope with others leading him along. Come for Van Lente’s witty dialogue and Williams II’s top-notch art, stay for the intriguing psychic battles and elaborate mystery.  Let Brain Boy into your head, and you’ll want the truth just as badly as he does, and you’ll find yourself investigating your own secrets in the meantime, because we may not all be telepaths, but we all want answers.