By Fred Van Lente, Freddie Williams II & Ego
The updated take on Brain Boy has been an interesting series. This style of supernatural espionage is prone to some exciting stories, and after the first arc we’re treated to a bit more backstory on Matt Price himself.
Brain Boy #0 shifts the story back in time to one of the earlier missions of the protagonist. This issue was a fun self-contained story with a lot of action and intrigue, much of which appears like it will tie in to the overall plot somewhere down the line. In this way the story was actually moved forward despite the latest installment being a flashback. We also get to peer deeper into the control the Biovancements Company takes in Price’s life. Furthermore, Fred Van Lente has introduced some intriguing moments which provide more into the different types of gifted individuals in the world of Brain Boy. While the story was a good mini-thriller which also included some great humor, issue #0 had the same writing drawbacks as previous installments; while a relatively minor issue, it often feels like there is far too much exposition and many panels felt weighed down in narrator explanation.
Freddie Williams II takes over illustration duties for this issue and he does a magnificent job. The characters retain an appearance consistent with previous issues in the series, but there is a somewhat reduced emphasis on an overall anime-type appearance with more realism and character details. The visuals in issue #0 had a bit more substance to them compared previous months, particularly the backgrounds. This is in no small part due to Ego’s excellent colors; the whole book was very vibrant and the each panels had a lot of life.
Brain Boy is a fun book from Dark Horse, and the latest issue provided an enjoyable stand-alone experience which simultaneously expanded on the overall plot. It will be interesting to see where this story goes in the future as many elements currently remain cloaked in shadow.