Book Review: Battling Boy by Paul Pope

This review can also be found on Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars Reason for Reading: I’m in a bit of a book slump, and my co-worker suggested I read some graphic novels and this was one of them. Goodreads’s Summary:

The adventure begins. Monsters roam through Acropolis, swallowing children into the horrors of their shadowy underworld. Only one man is a match for them–the genius vigilante Haggard West. Unfortunately Haggard West is dead. Acropolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.

Reading the summary/back cover, this novel did seem interesting. A demigod child trying to prove himself, saving the city from monsters, a dead hero…my kind of book. Or so I thought. I was a bit confused by Battling Boy. Does he only have special abilities when he wears one of the 12 shirts? If so, is he really a demigod (besides being the son of a god, I mean) or just someone who is powerful because of magical items? Even the bad guys say that Battling Boy gets his powers from his shirts. I didn’t know that this wasn’t a complete story. When I got to about 10 pages left and realized the story wasn’t going to be resolved, it was a bit of a letdown. I think all stories whether they’re novels or graphic novels, if it’s part of a series, the first book should be able to stand on its own. This book was a lot of buildup for the sequel, but this one wasn’t enough for me to go and pick up the next one. The enemies were a little corny, but I was okay with that. The Mayor and his crew were just what I expected. I wish that Battling Boy put up a little more of a fight. He did tell the Mayor not to make him do anything he didn’t want to do, and the next moment he has a new name, a parade about him, a new hairstyle, sitting with some random famous teen. Yes, he’s only 12 so he’s probably going to not fight against authority much, but still…. Last thing, does Battling Boy have a name? Maybe I missed it, but his mom only calls him “son”, his father calls him “boy”, and when the Mayor and crew asked what his name was, he couldn’t answer. Will we ever know his name?


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