Review: The Boy Wonder #1

“The Boy Wonder” – Book One
Writer and Artist: Juni Ba
Color Artist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar

I’d gladly hand The Boy Wonder #1 to anyone aged 10 and up. To me, this issue is as strong an origin story for Damian Wayne as Frank Miller’s Year One is for Batman.

DC’s Black Label is where the most ambitious and grim of stories can be told, because not just anything can make it into your monthly titles. Black Label has brought us treasures such as Batman/Joker: Deadly Duo, Catwoman: Lonely City, and Suicide Squad: Get Joker.

This is the space where creative talents go to flex all manner of innovative story ideas, usually for more mature readers.

Boy Wonder doesn’t pull any punches in terms of how it portrays the history of Damian Wayne, a character who’s fine with bringing capital violence to the criminal element in Gotham. The story never lingers on it though, it keeps the tone light, the colors are matte and cartoonish, and the proportions of the characters classic and friendly to the eye.

There’s a perfect blend of visuals and writing here, often only possible when done by a single writer and artist. Juni Ba’s been able to keep the wording of the text mythical and fantastical. He keeps the visuals symbolic of the Demon, calling Batman a knight with many sons, spelling out their attributes for readers less entrenched than us. There’s a real sense of satisfaction seeing a story told in a way that’s simple enough for any reader to follow.

The action is consistent and the visuals are striking enough to engage anyone. The characters are written with a great deal of flair that we can tell the love and care they’re being handled with.

Conclusion

I will sing the praises of titles like this for the rest of time. The Boy Wonder #1 brings us a rare DC Black Label title that can be enjoyed by anyone and gives us a sincere and accurate portrayal of one of the most interesting and dangerous members of the Bat Family.

I am positively feral for the next chapter.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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