Cameron has lived on the streets for a long time, but after events he can’t explain, those streets have begun to live in him. Your Major Spoilers review of City Boy #1 from DC Comics awaits!
CITY BOY #1
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Editor: Jessica Chen
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
Previously in City Boy: Cameron Kim, is just trying to make a living by using his powers of being able to speak to cities to find lost and hidden goods to pawn, and it’s only just enough to get by. And those abilities mean he hears everything everywhere all the time, including each city’s history and the truths behind them.
LOST AND FOUND
City Boy #1 opens with a young Cameron being introduced to his grandpa. Things then shift to the present with a grown-up Cameron wandering around Metropolis when a homeless man starts talking to him. The homeless man reveals he knows that Cameron has a knack for finding things that no one else can. As they’re scrounging up some money they’re confronted by Boss Chung, the local leader of an organized crime organization called Moon Cut. The story then flashes back to a teenage Cameron as he tries to find a place to sleep and finds himself inside a lab. Inside he witnesses a scientist unveiling his experiment that is supposed to tap into the consciousness of the city itself. Things go haywire and Cameron finds himself “chosen” by the city. Back in the present, he decides that he’s going to leave the city and begins using his connection to find enough lost items to pawn off and pay his way out. He’s caught by Boss Chung and a confrontation forces a large display of energy which catches the attention of someone very dangerous.
A GOOD FIRST WALK THROUGH THE CITY
City Boy #1 is a very efficient unveiling of a new character. While technically Cameron has appeared in other titles, this is the first time the focus has been solely on him. While many titles would opt for a more explosive unveiling, this one goes for a more measured approach that feels very utilitarian. In this issue we manage to learn about Cameron’s childhood, how he got his powers, his current state, a possible nemesis, and even a surprise reveal at the end that could hint at a very interesting future for Cameron. Intercut with all of these elements is a narration that was surprisingly noir-inspired that gave this issue a tone that was unexpected and kept things from being boring. Cameron as a character so far is a bit one-note, with that note being angst, but he’s written with restraint that gives him a more gritty and street-level feel as opposed to whiny or young, but it does get pretty close in some moments. If there’s one thing that could have been done better here is a more defined explanation of what Cameron’s powers are. As of right now, it seems like he’s just really good at finding things, but by the end, there seems to be another incarnation of his powers but it’s pretty unclear what exactly that is.
ART HAS THE SAME ISSUES AS THE WRITING
For the most part, the art in City Boy #1 is perfectly fine. It isn’t incredibly exciting to look at, but it is perfectly serviceable in giving life to the writing. But, much like the writing, it comes up short in one specific area and that is the depiction of Cameron’s powers. In this issue whenever Cameron’s powers are shown it’s done so via non-descript flashes of energy and some fuzzy allusions to maybe blueprints. It just isn’t interesting and it feels like a missed opportunity to establish a signature look for Cameron.
BOTTOM LINE: A MODERN SUPERHERO NOIR TALE
Coming into City Boy #1, I was not expecting a noir-tinged organized crime story, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got it. Cameron may come off as a bit melodramatic for some, but I think he manages to stay more on the grim side of things and doesn’t cross into whiny territory. There are some shortcomings though, specifically when it comes to expressing Cameron’s superpowers which become boring to experience. 4 out of 5 stars.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
City Boy #1
City Boy #1 is a perfectly fine first adventure for a new character that has a lot going for them, but could use a bit more refinement.