Boy-1 #1 Review

Posted August 11, 2015 by Chris White in Comic Books

Written by: H.S. Tak

Art by: Amancay Nahuelpan & Sebastian Cheng

Publisher: IDW

From its premise, Boy-1 sounded promising, but ultimately, it lacks any real individuality or drive, and the characters are a little bland which makes it hard to care about what is happening. The story follows the heir to a multi-million genetic-engineering company as he begins to uncover secrets about its shady past. As the comic concludes, we are set up with a story that could quite easily improve over time; however, at the moment I have no real inclination to return for issue 2, and here is why…

It is hard enough for science fiction writers to come up with anything original as most of it has already been done in some capacity, so when you do get that ray of sunshine (The Infinite Loop, Onyx, Strange Fruit), it comes as a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, H.S. Tak falls short of doing just that, and the clichéd ‘new salvation drug’ and ‘corrupt evil corporation with ulterior motive’ shtick falls at the first hurdle, acting as a rather dull backdrop for the even duller, lead protagonist, Jadas. To tell you the truth, he comes across as a bit of a dick—living up to the spoilt offspring of a wealthy CEO character, and lacking any real charm. That’s not to say he’ll warm our hearts as the series progresses, but for me, Jadas has a bit of a hill to climb. The environment is dripping with heavy, almost plagiaristic traits that have been ripped straight from Blade Runner; one panel has an almost like-for-like illustration of that big, digital screen from Ridley Scott’s masterpiece. It is a nice world, but it is a nice world that we have all seen before.

One of the other traits of Boy-1 #1 that I struggled to appreciate was its myriad of pop culture references and straight up name drops. Hal 9000, Caesar (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), R2 D2 and more were all mentioned and on the most part felt forced. I understand that inspirations tend to shine through a writer’s work, but most seemed unnecessary. I don’t want to seem overly negative, as there is plenty more to come. H.S. Tak is a talented writer and there are good points as well. In terms of tension and character interaction, H.S. Tak nails it. There is a great sense of dread on display, and as the comic concludes, you do have those nerves as to what is going on with Jadas at the end.

The artwork is complementary of the writing, and there are some superb illustrations. It reminded me of some of the great work that 2000 AD do, and Amancay has crafted some stunning work. The flashback to Jadas’ childhood is nicely contrasted and the character detail is superb, even if at times the faces are off kilter and somewhat missing symmetry.

Boy-1 #1 is like the child who tries really hard in class, but ultimately falls behind the rest of his peers. It isn’t a bad comic at all, but I just didn’t find it engaging or appealing. It may be a little too early to tell, but so far, Boy-1 has done nothing to get me excited for the future of the series.

About the Author

Chris White

Rock n' Roll Nerd, Gamer, Writer, Lover and procrastinator.