Early Book Review: Brain Boy Archives by Herb Castle

Brain Boy Archives written by Herb Castle, with Gil Kane and Frank Springer as the artists, is a release from the archives of Dark House re-releasing the full six-issue run of a story original published in the 1960’s. It will be released on December 14 2011. The story is still fresh even though it seems to have been under-appreciated in its original run. The panels have the classic feel, because they were created in over fifty years ago. However, they still offer a surreal matching to the text and storyline. The premise of the story is that a freak car accident with an electrical tower affected Matt Price while he was still in the womb. He has surprising mental abilities that he has tried to keep from the world in order to blend in and succeed in daily life. During his prom Matt, is approached and recruited into the service of the government. In his new role, Matt is given the nickname ‘Brain Boy‘. He uses his mental gifts to battle crazy dictators and other dangerous situation in service of his country.

Brain Boy is busy on the first few years after recruitment. Fresh out of high school he is sent to deal with a power hunger dictator with plans of world domination. A thawed dinosaur with immense metal powers is another challenge that the young agent must battle with his mental abilities alone. My favorite issue is the last, when poor brain boy finally gets some time off only to meet with zombie-like individuals and the beginning of an alien invasion. While nothing in the individual issues stood out as completely new, with good reason, the execution is flawless.

Readers that pick up Brain Boy Archives will be able to delight in a story that still is still relevant, with unrest around the world and the idea of people with ‘special abilities’ forever fascinating. The artwork of Gil Kane and then Frank Springer is realistic and does an ideal job of capturing both the action and emotion involved in each of Brain Boy’s assignments. This is a beautiful collection, and a delightful read. However, at the price of around thirty dollars for purchase I do not recommend purchase for everyone. I do think that collectors and fans of the graphic novel should add it to their collection, but those of us only reading from curiosity or nostalgia I suggest finding it through a friend or your local library. Brain Boy Archives is definitely worth the read, but unless you are dedicated or a collector it might be better to borrow than buy.
Post a Comment