Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Regard, child. What do you see below?
... I see a humongous city under siege, father.
Indeed, yea... a city and a siege. How grim, they call this city Acropolis. Her vast city walls hugging mountain and glen from sea to sea. A city the size of the land itself! Grim for now a plague of monstrosities pours down upon her, battering her buttresses under abusive burden.
A monstrous city overrun with monsters?
... AYE! Sadly, it is not the first.
What will become of them father?
... Oh, it is the old story... the humans will lose, their bloodlines reduced to dust... thirsty, weedy brambles will break the paving stones of smitten streets. The four horsemen will have their day.
That is unless you succeed.
Huh? Wait, you... you don't mean... I... I...
AYE!!! I MEAN, AYE! AYE! This scattered scene of fervent calamity... is to be the theatre of your passing stage, aye!
Man is no match for the monsters, it is why we have come. Acropolis needs her hero. Thus, do your labours before you lie...
But... but when I woke up this morning I didn't know that, and... I mean, I can't stay here 'cuz I don't have any of my stuff with me.
Yes... we've seen to that.
You will believe that a man can die. Gasp, no, please say it's not true, not the invincible Haggard West, scourge of monsters and protector of the good folk of Acropolis! Who can possibly save them now?!! Enter a twelve old demigod whose parents have decided a little solo holiday to Acropolis might be just what's required to toughen him up a bit. Packed off with nothing more than a few t-shirts, each bearing a design of a different animal... and being the secret source of his wondrous powers... he quickly finds himself battling the bad guys and lauded as the city's new saviour. His name?
ARCO-LAD!!? What's this?! My name is Battling Boy!!
Yes... we've been meaning to talk to you about that... we've done some focused market research, and...
... Battling Boy is perhaps a bit too drastic, too violent for your target demographic. Arco-Lad is a fine name! Distinguished, civic-minded, unique!
It's a stupid name.
It's catchy! It'll look good on merchandise. You must consider these things now, Arco-Lad. You're a public hero.
Sheesh, Bruce Wayne never had to put up with being told what to call himself by local politicians and their attendant PR busy-bodies. And whilst having a thunder god for a father might at least prepare you a little in the smashing monsters department, dealing with bureaucracy and red tape is an entirely different matter! Ah, Paul Pope, I always forget he's not just a brilliant artist, but a fantastic writer too. In fact I'm going to stick my neck out and make a bold statement now. I think, given BATTLING BOY is intended to be an ongoing work, if he can actually keep turning it out on at least a semi-regular basis (THB anyone?), this could well turn out to be his magnum opus. He's clearly given a lot of thought to what his vision for it is, I just hope he can maintain his own interest, because he's certainly going to capture everyone else's. Near perfection.