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Fred Van Lente Day Review: Brain Boy #0-3

Fred Van Lente Day continues well into the night! We continue our FVL Day reviews with Brain Boy #0 (reprinting the initial Brain Boy arc from Dark Horse Presents) and the just completed Brain Boy mini-series by Fred Van Lente, Freddie Williams III (artist on #0) and R.B. Silva and Rob Lwan (artists on the mini-series).

Brain Boy was a short-lived superhero in the 1960s for Dell Comics (co-created and drawn by comic book legend Gil Kane!) that is being rebooted by Dark Horse Comics.

The revamped character was introduced in a three-part storyline in Dark Horse Presents that was later released as Brain Boy #0…

Beyond a powerful introduction to the character, what I like best about the initial story arc was how well Van Lente used the serial nature of the story. I’ve written in the past about the problem some writers have with “Formatitis,” where they have difficulty adjusting to different formats. Like they would be able to write an 18-page story fine, but if they have to write 3 6-page installments of a story, things fall apart (or vice versa). Van Lente, though, manages the serial nature beautifully, nailing the cliffhangers and making the story run smoothly as a coherent whole while working as installments.

Silva takes a different approach on the mini-series, but while his art is slightly less dynamic than Williams, it is stylized in a different fashion. It really looks cool…

Also, what Silva lacks in dynamism he more than makes up for in storytelling. He’s a very strong storyteller.

With just three issues to tell the story, Van Lente has to develop characters quickly, and he does so, when Brain Boy (Matt Price) comes across a protester of the South American general he is protecting…

Good stuff.

Van Lente goes wild with the crazy applications of Price’s mental powers and the end result is a wild ride filled with a ton of action and a good deal of intrigue (what does Price do when he discovers that the General he is “guarding” actually has powers TOO?).

Brain Boy was a fun mini-series and the character is well set-up for future sequels.

5 Comments

And the trade is available for order in the latest Previews, and I do believe I’ll be adding it to my list.

I had no idea this even existed. I freakin’ loves me some Brain Boy. The original series is ’bout my favorite Dell/Gold Key comic ever, except for the one where Kona: Monarch of Monster Isle fights a giant cat.

Damn. The story looks very interesting, and I like the art. Definitely going to look for that one.

I remember the Brain Boy story where he fights the psychic t.rex. It was an interesting Dell series–I’ll have to check out the new version.

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