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Battling Boy

(Battling Boy #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,283 ratings  ·  445 reviews
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.
Paperback, 202 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by First Second
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  3,283 ratings  ·  445 reviews

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Jan Philipzig
Battling Boy is the son of a mighty God. He spent his childhood among his own kind in the so-called Starry Lofts - sounds pleasant, doesn't it? On the eve of his adolescence, however, he is sent all the way down to good old Planet Earth... or something like it, at least: to a city called Arcopolis.

Arcopolis is a place overrun with terrible monsters that, for reasons unknown, specialize in kidnapping the city’s children. The children’s sole protector has just been slain, and now Battling Boy is
Dan Schwent
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, 2019-comics
Haggard West, hero of Arcopolis is dead. Fortunately, Battling Boy has arrived to prove himself to his parents and take up Haggard West's fight against the monsters plaguing Arcopolos. But what of Haggard West's daughter, Aurora?

I've got a couple of old issues of Paul Pope's THB and I liked his Adam Strange feature in Wednesday Comics so when I found this on the cheap at V-Stock, I snapped it up. It was easily worth my four bucks.

Paul Pope's art is what originally drew me to this. It's part prim
Sam Quixote
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I feel like Battling Boy should his own 80s kids cartoon theme music.

Battling Boy! Battling Boy!
Fighting monsters ‘stead of playin’ with toys!
Battling Boooooooooy!

He’s a space prince come to save the world
There a Batman character who’s also a girl
The boy’s got a cape that’s big and red
He’s basically young Superman - yeah!

Battling Boy! Battling Boy!
Nothing rhymes with Battling Boy!

(To the tune of something awesome and ‘80s rockin’ with a montage of Battling Boy punching bad guys and then look
Nicola Mansfield
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I don't have much to say about this one. Having noticed the other high star ratings this book has received I realize I am in the minority in my opinion but I just didn't like it. I really wanted to though!. It sounded so like my type of book but it just didn't do anything for me. Even though it was full of monster-battling action from beginning to end I found myself bored and wanting the book to hurry up and be over. The Hero's son being sent to battle monsters to prove his coming-of-age and her ...more
Emilia P
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Why do superheroes wear such silly hats? I mean, seriously, Thor-esque-God-dude, you lost me at the Rambling. I will say two things. I was singularly unimpressed by the superheroes in this story and I thought the storytelling was clunky and uneven and I gave not one hoot for the titular Battling Boy. I gave slightly more of a hoot for of-this-world daughter of the fallen human superhero guy, but, eh. I have no desire to root for them or reflect upon the tropes and responsibilities of superheroes ...more
Jeff Jackson
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Some of Paul Pope's best work. Nominally aimed at a YA audience, but it remains graphically sophisticated and never dumbs down the narrative. Interested to see how the story unfolds in the upcoming volumes.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-books
Ok, I'm biased. I'm a fan. But good-golly-miss-molly this 200-page graphic novel reads like a 22-page Kirby slugfest. I hate to say that Pope is at the top of his game because he just seems to keep getting better and better, but Battling Boy is a definately a treat. This frighteningly fun read is chock-full of fascinating characters, exciting action and exciting new worlds to explore. Sure Pope builds on architypes of the superhero genre with Haggard West is a very Phantom/Shadow/Spider/Batman t ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting and not your usual take on the "heroes protecting the cities" stories. Very good artwork & nice story until now. ...more
Kevin Wright
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
For the record, I’m a huge Paul Pope fan. I think he’s one of the few real visionaries working in comics today, one of only a handful of artists who are really challenging the pre-conceived notions of the craft of comic book storytelling. He can crank out pages when he has to, but only after he’s thought about what he’s going to draw for a long time. He doesn’t do things by rote. He seizes the opportunity to say something new in everything he does. Ultimately, he has the potential to be a waters ...more
Jessica at Book Sake
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Book Review by Chris for Book Sake
Battling Boy is just so stylish, you don’t have any choice but to fall in love with the book. The story, the art, the dialogue all harken back to the 80′s sci-fi epics of old. It’s so grand, but in such a grounded way. I have flashes of Flash Gordon, Buckaroo Banzai, and maybe touches of The Last Starfighter.

Battling Boy is basically the daydreams of my youth coming alive on page. Maybe my adult daydreams as well. A super powered kid battling giant monsters? I s
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Awesome monsters, epic settings, and a magical suitcase of tshirts. Srsly. This is so much fun. Pope should do more comics that work for the middle school set, bc I can totally see him riding the wave of Doug TenNapel and Pinocchio Vampire Slayer into the hearts of middle schoolers everywhere.

This thing is beautifully colored and though the illustrations are a touch cramped at first glance, when you actually focus on each panel in turn (as you're supposed to), everything makes sense and sucks yo
First Second Books
Oct 30, 2013 marked it as first-second-publications
We think this book is super.

We hope you do, too.
Emma Deneault
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Battling Boy, a bright and action-packed comic by Paul Pope, unveils a post-apocolyptic experience for a young boy forced into the role of a hero. The reader is immediately dropped into a strangely familiar scene of the distressed city of Arcopolis, dressed in monsters and fairy-tale antagonists alike. The city's previously reliant hero is sadly exterminated in battle, subsequently initiating a terrifying sense of vulnerability. Young Battling Boy is just as surprised to become the city's new he ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed this. Great set up where you have the cosmic gods in their home with a ritual where their children are sent out to a world with a duty or project and they must accomplish whatever it is out there to become adults they are intended to be.

A Thor look a like drops his son off in a 1940s looking world with a huge city that is slowly losing a war against monsters. Our hero, the Battling Boy must defeat the monsters. Sadly, the book sets everything up very well and gets Battling Boy'
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked this up at my local library, as I have been interested in reading some Paul Pope for a while now, having previously only read his Batman story from Batman: Black & White Vol. 2 and his Adam Strange story from Wednesday Comics (as far as I can recall), and having been more than a bit annoyed when I borrowed his Batman: Year 100 at the library only to discover that their copy had pages missing.

At any rate, I did not know quite what to expect. Pope's visual aesthetic is intrigu
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The wait is finally over and Paul Pope once again delivers the goods. It's obvious that Paul dug deep into himself for this one. The art is breathtaking, both kinetic and expressive. There is a consistent inventiveness that just pops off the page, transforming old ideas (like Haggard West and Humbaba) into something fresh and new. And the story, as the first chapter in an expanding series, pulls you through at a lightning pace, introducing dozens of characters and several worlds that would be gr ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I finally found this in the library after having it on my to-read list for so long. It's interesting that it's considered a kids book (or at least a PZ 7 in LC). There are several panels of action that I guess is kinda violent but I had no idea what was actually happening. Maybe that's fairly realistic if you think about it.

ANYWAY. This is the only thing I've read by Paul Pope, so I'm struck by his style. Everyone is, well, ugly. Everyone looks like they've got some miles on them, as my Mom woul
Trey Piepmeier
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun read. I think I need to read up on Greek Mythology to get more out of this story.

I was already a big fan of Paul Pope, and this book just reinforces that. It would be so easy for this story to be gratuitously violent, sexual, or use foul language, but it doesn't, and that really makes it stand out. There's no reason kids couldn't read this book.

The art (especially the bright colors) and the juxtaposition of seemingly normal everyday things with monsters and gods is delightf
Robert Rivera
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of this book at the book expo and it was awesome!!! I never read any of Paul Pope's other books but I really want to now. Never before have I seen a marriage of the superhero and classic myths genre done in this way. Teens will love this story as the main character is hurled into a coming of age tale of heroism and responsibility. I highly recommend this book, it's an instant classic.
Candice M (tinylibrarian)
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Can monster-plagued Arcopolis be saved by a twelve-year-old demigod? Compelling and action-packed from the get-go, readers follow the intersecting paths of Aurora West, teenage daughter of slain hero Haggard West, and tween demigod Battling Boy, both on quests to prove themselves and save Arcopolis from the monsters plaguing it. In trying to find their way as young heroes, Aurora and Battling Boy discover that lack of self-confidence may be the most dangerous monster of all.
Scott Robins
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-kids
A little bit of Roald Dahl, a little bit of Tim Burton's Batman, a little bit of Dick Tracy, a little bit of classic mythology all wrapped up in an off-the-wall superhero story about a boy discovering what it means to be a hero. Delivers on all levels.
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
It was like falling into the nightmare of a young boy with ADD. Beautiful and gripping. One of the best graphic novels I've read this year.
Eileen Kinnane
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
A New York Times best-seller, Battling Boy is a superhero-themed graphic novel written and illustrated by Paul Pope and published by First Second Books. Paul Pope is an American writer living in New York City. Along with Battling Boy, other works of his include The Rise of Aurora West, PulpHope, and Escapo. Although adored and praised by many, I found Battling Boy to be a very well illustrated graphic novel, but one which lacked enough detail in its plot for me to consider it a 5-star story.

Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is the first book in the Battling Boy series...although it appears no more books were ever released in this graphic novel series. This was okay. It's just the start of an adventure that was never continued. I like the premise but the artwork was just so-so. It was also a bit hard to follow; the story jumps around without letting the reader know where you are.

With Haggard West dead the Arcopolis needs a new hero. Battling Boy is sent to Arcopolis to complete a coming of age ceremony and find
Peter Derk
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I've been talking a lot about syndromes that I've invented. Or not so much invented as noticed and name. I guess if I was inventing syndromes, I'd probably be too busy to write reviews of comics.

Is there such a thing as a good syndrome? One you'd want to have?

Anyway, Battling Boy, for me, suffers from what I like to call How I Met Your Mother Syndrome.

It goes like this.

The show How I Met Your Mother has some good laughs, and its success is almost certainly due to the cast. However, most noticeab
Maurice Ruffin
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
We're living in the post-post modern age of comic books. Everyone is on the bandwagon. At least a million kids dressed up as Iron Man or the Hulk for Halloween.

Yet, most of the stories that have finally trickled up to the movies are decades old. (Example: the next film in the X-Men franchise features The Days of Future Past plot. Absolutely, one of the best stories ever made, but it was made in 1980!) So it's with this back drop that many of us fanboys search for something fresh. You know, somet
Wyatt Packard
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story opens with the death of Haggard West, the only hero to try to save and protect the monster-plagued city of Arcopolis. While Haggard's daughter deals with the death of her beloved father and hero, Battling boy embarks on a mission. Battling Boy is a Demi-God and monster slayer like his father and mother before him. As Battling Boy is about to turn thirteen his father tells him that he must leave their floating home and go on his "rambling" a journey and epic quest to prove oneself worth ...more
Battling Boy was one of my many exciting finds at ALA this year and as a big fan of graphic novels, I could not wait to dig into it. I loved the mix of mythology with fantasy right away. Now, I have to say I'm not a big fan of traditional super hero graphic novels, and I felt this one fell a little in toe with what you'd see in adult superhero stories. It's definitely a lot more graphic, gross and geared towards middle grade readers.

As for character development, Battling Boy has a long way to g
Tyler Hill
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Paul Pope is an artist whose work I've appreciated for a while now, but whose work I've read comparatively little of. Aside from his Escapo graphic novel, my exposure to him has largely been limited to a couple issues of Milligan's X-Force run (that he was the guest penciler for) and his Solo book he did for DC a number of years back.

That said, I was really excited when I saw the solicitations for this new series, and knew I had to check it out. With it's high concept of a boy defending a city
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I only had a vague idea of what Battling Boy was about when I started reading it. But from my experience reading some of Paul Pope's other graphic novels, I knew what I was going to get: awesome artwork, a wonderful story, and badass characters!

It was easy to become immersed in Battling Boy's journey. (Yes, Battling Boy is the main character's name!) He may be young, but he was cool and hilarious. I loved that he was brave, yet unsure of himself. That uncertainty is something that I thi
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The Nerd Uprising...: February Official Book Discussion: Battling Boy 6 9 Mar 04, 2014 05:30PM  

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PAUL POPE is an American cartoonist living and working in New York City. Pope has made a name for himself internationally as an artist and designer. He has been working primarily in comics since the early '90s, but has also done a number of projects with Italian fashion label Diesel Industries and, in the US, with DKNY. His media clients include LucasArts, Paramount Pictures, Cartoon Network, Marv ...more

Other books in the series

Battling Boy (3 books)
  • The Rise of Aurora West
  • The Fall of the House of West

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