Tuesday, August 1, 2023

City Boy #3 Review


Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Minkyu Jung
Colors by: Sunny Gho
Letters by: Wes Abott
Cover art by: Minkyu Jung, Sunny Gho
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 1, 2023

City Boy #3 ends Cameron's first arc when Superman arrives to lend some mentoring advice before the City Dragon turns Metropolis into New Apokalips.
Is It Good? 

Between City Boy, The Vigil, and Spirit World, City Boy easily remains the best of the three by a country mile. In City Boy #3, Greg Pak takes that lead and runs with it by giving Cameron a challenge much bigger than himself, using Superman in the best way possible, and growing Cameron into the beginnings of the hero he could be. This is how you introduce a new character the RIGHT way.

When last we left Cameron, he was confronted by Dr. Mokkarisan (the evil scientist responsible for Cameron's powers) and a collection of Intergang goons, all under the orders or influence of Darkseid. Pushed to his limit, Cameron unleashed Metropolis's power in the form of a massive dragon formed of rubble. When the situation looked like it might be getting out of control, Superman arrives to set everyone straight.

Now, the Doctor and his goons are under control, but the City Dragon isn't. Superman, Metropolis's favorite son, tries to talk the dragon down to no effect, so Coach Superman gives Cameron the pep talk he needs to wrangle the City Dragon to a manageable size and to help Cameron learn that it's okay to accept your past hurts because nobody's perfect, not even Superman.

This issue works. Some may argue that it's too soon to bring in a guest star like Superman, but Pak uses Superman to provide guidance and wisdom through experience when Cameron needs it the most. Yes, Superman takes up quite a bit of the pages, but he does so to lead by example for Cameron, acting as a role model for how to handle the current conflict.

What's great about this comic? Despite the significant amount of Superman in this issue, Pak's story is all in service to Cameron's growth and development. Just because you gain superpowers doesn't mean you know how to be a hero, so Pak takes the time to show Cameron what a hero looks like. Pak's rock-solid pacing, dialog, and plot progression unfold the story naturally, and this issue firmly gets you on board with where Cameron is headed next.

What's not so great about this comic? In fairness, Superman does take up a large chunk of this issue. Some readers may feel Superman's larger-than-life presence takes the focus away from Cameron.

How's the art? Jung and Gho's artwork is excellent. Superman (and later, Cameron) confronting a massive dragon is a unique visual that works well in this context. The figure work is strong, the pencils/inks are clean, and Gho's highlighting/shading color work is outstanding.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

City Boy #3 continues to impress as one of the best new characters from DC in a very long time. Rather than using Superman's cameo as a shiny distraction, Greg Pak uses Superman's experience and wisdom to allow Cameron to grow into the hero he could be. This issue is an outstanding example of character development.


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