As you read these words on this screen and click through the pages of this website, your brain is being infiltrated by a psychic. These words and your general surroundings are just figments he allows you to see while elsewhere your body is being dissected and experimented on. So keep reading and give into your illusion.
Brain Boy is a new series written by Fred Van Lente, but it isn’t anything new at all, the series is more of a revival of a vintage comic made in 1962 of the same name, it only ran for about 6 issues and was created by Herb Castle and Gil Kane, who was a legend in the comics world.
This iteration of Brain Boy is a whole new beast. Van Lente has modernized the character while expanding on his existing abilities in new and inventive ways. Van Lente was handpicked for this project and for a good reason; he knows the archetype of psychic spies and makes it work to every advantage. This “modern” version is a spy for the government who does covert ops on foreign dignitaries as well as other nefarious spy work. This comic wastes no time throwing you in the depths of the action and it never for a moment feels rushed or out of place. while setting up the perfect framework to introduce the character of Brain Boy…oh and don’t call him Brain Boy, he hates that, his name is Matt Price.
Price is blackmailed into reading the mind of a tyrannical dictator named General Ricorta in order to gain information about his past. He reluctantly does so and finds out that Ricorta himself is a very, very powerful psychic, even more so than Brain Bo...Price himself. This issue sees things cool down after a battle with Ricorta. Price still has to work to get the information about his past he seeks and in doing so everyone around him starts to die.
The way Van Lente writes the inner monologue of Price makes you feel like that maybe youre a psychic as well, reading all his inner most thoughts which it may not have been his intent when writing, but its how I viewed the dialogue and I rather enjoy that aspect of it. Price has a smug and stuck up attitude due to the massive amount of minds he unintentionally reads, it makes him feel superior to everyone. It makes sense though because in an instant he knows everything about a person he could ever need to.
All of the psychic tricks and powers that Brain Boy…dammit…Price has range from run of the mill to exceedingly interesting and well thought out. It gives a lot of range to his unique set of skills, and while maybe his motives are unknown he does seem to have a moral compass that points towards good, while Ricorta on the other hand is a genocidal madman who views himself as a god. The action and overall story of this comic is great, I bought this comic on a whim and I’m glad I did, its really, really fun to read and equally as captivating, I never for a moment was bored with anything that I was reading, if I was actually reading it and not having my brain psychically tricked into doing so by Brain Boy.
I love the covers for this comic that Ariel Olivetti has made, there is a great realistic style to it that really is striking to me,as well as the use of halos and other auras around Price that show off his psychic powers. The art for the interior of the comic is drawn by R.B. Silva and while I have no idea how he approaches his work, I get the feeling he has a lot of fun with this comic and is given free reign to just let the creativity flow. The psychic battle scenes are phenomenal and the final page of this issue is something to behold, it's gruesome and stark and sets a dramatic tone for the next issue. I really can’t recommend this comic enough, if you were on the fence about it, I dare you to not enjoy it. Oh and I hope wherever you are, you take comfort in reading these words longer while we continue to probe your thoughts, there are no subliminal messages in these words.