Tuesday, September 5, 2023

City Boy #4 Review


Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Minkyu Jung
Colors by: Sebastian Cheng
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Minkyu Jung, Sunny Gho
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 5, 2023

City Boy #4 takes Cameron to Blüdhaven in search of his long-lost mother. When a run-in with Nightwing causes Cameron to help a fellow hero out, Cameron learns his troubles with Darkseid are far from over.
Is City Boy #4 Good?

City Boy #4 is generally fine, but it feels like a slight step back for DC's latest superhero. The sense of purpose and direction Greg Pak established in the first three issues takes a backseat to adventure-of-the-month shenanigans.

When last we left Cameron, his conflict against Intergang and nefarious forces in service to Darkseid ended when Cameron unleashed his full potential (with a little help from Superman). Now, Cameron follows the trail of his mother's aura to Blüdhaven where Nightwing hopes to solicit Cameron's help finding a woman who also has Intergang's interest.

While this issue takes a slight step back in momentum and purpose, Pak retains Cameron's subplot about finding his mother. This issue somewhat resolves that thread (or does it?), which may be a contributor to why the forward drive for the series slows down.

What's great about this issue? Cameron's coming into his own with his powers. Questions remain about the rules of his powerset and where his upper limit lies, but you can see with each issue how Cameron gets more comfortable making things happen. Also, Cameron's quid pro quo with Nightwing over an exchange of help is something you don't see every day and speaks well of Nightwing's negotiating skills.

What's not so great about this comic? Besides the aforementioned reduction in forward momentum, Cameron's actions are starting to become repetitive. Cameron tries to do his thing, but somebody gets in his way, an emotional outburst ensues, and Cameron facilitates the birth of a city's avatar. In this case, a bat represents Blüdhaven. Cameron can only pull that trick so many times before it starts to become a trope.

As a side problem, Nightwing seems to be everywhere at the moment, which speaks to the lack of editorial coordination and communication within DC. How can Nightwing be investigating Wally West's "murder," work with the Bat-family to prevent Batman from interfering with Catwoman's Henchmen Union plan, AND be chasing a woman hiding from Intergang all at the same time?

How's the art? It's very good. Minkyu Jung delivers clean lines, kinetic action, and a cool design for Blüdhaven's bat avatar.

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 is a fine issue that's starting to settle into the adventure-of-the-month model. There's nothing wrong with episodic adventures, but the great momentum and direction built up in the first three issues is noticeably absent. Still, the art is very good, and Cameron's power use is maturing nicely.


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