BATTLING BOY by Paul Pope gets a starred review from Publishers Weekly !

Paul Pope. First Second

The future of Arcopolis, a city under siege by daily monster attacks, is in jeopardy after its champion, Haggard West, falls in battle. Hope arrives in the form of Battling Boy, a pampered 13-year-old warrior god whose initiation into adulthood is to become Arcopolis’s new protector. Even with magical powers imbued by a set of totemic T-shirts, Battling Boy grapples with both the onslaught of monsters and his newfound publicity. Meanwhile, Arcopolis’ resident villains plot to keep their city hero-free, and West’s daughter, Aurora, looks to take up her late father’s mantle. Alt comics mainstay Pope, in his first work for young readers, trades his signature dark and heady aesthetic for a pulpy Technicolor fantasy with a flair that is expected of one of the industry’s most acclaimed creators. But the book is more than just eye candy, matching its style with substance and tackling all-too-human problems (despite a cast of mostly otherworldly characters) like the fear of failure and the pressures of legacy. It’s another notch in Pope’s belt, and a worthy addition to any comics fan’s library. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)

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