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Battling Boy: The Rise of Aurora West, by Paul Pope, JT Petty, and David Rubin

Review copy provided by First Second.

This comes out in September, but I read it today, so here we are. It’s the story of a young girl who is learning the ropes of the superhero trade–the Science Hero trade, they call it–from her father, while trying to figure out what role the imaginary friend of her preschool years had in her mother’s death. Aurora is eager for everything: eager to fight monsters, eager to get her own jet pack, eager to find out what really happened to Rosetta West.

And actually I think that’s where it didn’t grab me as well as it could have: Aurora didn’t have that much to her beyond that eagerness. She didn’t have a superhero name, but the right visor would have made her a very keen Bright Eyes. Occasionally people nickname her Roar, but despite the proximity to her name, it’s just…not that appropriate. It’s not appropriate directly, and it’s not appropriate like calling a big man Tiny. It’s just…sort of there. Maybe she’ll grow into her Roar? This wasn’t a tedious read, and it didn’t take long. There were lots of monsters for Aurora to stun and her father to slay, so if that’s your thing, come on ahead. If they send me another in this series, I will be glad to read it. Just not as excited as I’d hoped to be.

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