Agent Matt Price a.k.a. Brain Boy is an independent contractor working for the Untied State Secret Service. Raised by Albright Industries when his parents died, Matt exhibited extraordinary psychic abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis. From there, Agent Price has lived a good life being the world’s most powerful telepath and a powerful asset when it comes to national security. Albright Industries loans him out as a private contractor to safeguard important political figures by mentally sweeping dangerous areas. Although no secret can be hidden forever from him, Agent Price will learn that some secrets should be left buried.
Ending provides clarity to character’s final motivations
The city landscape artwork is detailed and realistic
Protagonist is an unlikeable character
Non-linear plot and hidden subtext makes story confusing
Previously in Brain Boy: Agent Matt Price has been assigned to guard President Emil Roberta during the annual UN Summit in New York City. The CIA attempts to blackmail Matt into read Emil’s mind in exchange for information on his parents’ death. Agent Price refuses. During a protest of President Emil’s arrival at the UN, Agent Prices meets Luisa, a protester whose father, Hernan Martinez, has been imprisoned by Emil. Emil Roberta turns out to be a psychic, just like Agent Price. Emil is in New York City to retrieve Hernan who was taken by the North Koreans. In exchange for Hernan, the North Koreans want Emil to sell them his fuel supply to power their nuclear missiles. Instead, Matt Price, with his new CIA partner Faraday, intercept the exchange, and Agent Price rescues Hernan. After delivering Hernan to Luisa, Matt goes to battle Emil for one last confrontation.
THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL TELEPATH
Fred Van Lente’s Brain Boy #3 concludes the first arc of his Brain Boy series. Agent Price confronts President Emil Roberta in a psychic versus psychic battle. After three issues, Agent Matt Price is an unlikable protagonist, due to his cavalier attitude and egotistic demeanor. Unlike other superheroes, he does not deal with the hardships of normal everyday life. The only conflict he faces is other psychics, who he blows away because he is “the world’s greatest telepath.” Despite Matt Price’s privileged lifestyle, he does have some emotional capacity. His desire to help people is his one redeeming quality as a hero. Meanwhile, President Emil Roberta goes from crazy, psychic dictator to sympathetic villain. The revelation of his past provides some clarity to a story that has way too many mysterious undertones and a nonlinear plot. It is difficult to follow at times. Still, there are hints of future comic book crossovers through Albright Industries, who are main players in other Dark Horse comics like Captain Midnight. The dialogue has some good moments, despite the writer using the “You had one job” shtick. There are a few unanswered questions in this story arc that will probably be addressed in future issues. However, it is not enough to keep the readers hooked.
SOLID ARTWORK IN A CITY BACKGROUND
R.B. Silva does the pencilings for Brain Boy while Rob Lean provides the inking. Although it is rough around the edges, the artwork is still done with great effort and clarity. The depictions of New York City landmarks are exquisitely life-like and detailed. I like how the artists incorporated sites that are not famous such as the West Side High Line and Washington Square Park. The psychic battles are also fantastic, combining subtle colors with established telepathic power tropes. It is a great job overall depicting a new universe to explore.
BOTTOM LINE: ROUGH STEPS TO REBOOTING
Fred Van Lente’s Brain Boy has the potential to be an interesting superhero in the new Dark Horse universe. With some great artwork support from R.B. Silva and Rob Lean, Brain Boy’s revival could find some permanency. However, his current personality makes him an unlikeable character. Combined with a confusing, non-linear plot, Brain Boy has a lot of work to do of it wishes to compete with some established superheroes in the industry.