Recommended for ages 12+
The city of Acropolis is overrun with supernatural monsters that grab children off the streets. In a city plagued by corruption and fear, one man, scientist Haggard West, fights to end the monsters’ reign. He’s a scientist and a superhero – Clark Kent with test tubes and microscopes.
West is fighting heartbreak, too – his wife is a casualty of the monsters (hence, his motivation to end them) and his 14 year-old daughter, Aurora West, keenly feels her loss. Haggard has taught Aurora how to fight and kill monsters, and she often goes on patrol with him. One night, she discovers something from her past that could unlock memories of her past, her mother, and most importantly, the origin of the monsters.
Not being familiar with Battling Boy – writer Paul Pope’s first book in this series – I jumped in with Aurora West, which serves as a prequel to Battling Boy, giving us background on both Aurora and her father, Haggard West. While I didn’t have the benefit of knowing who the main players were, I found the story easy to get into and the characters and their backstories quickly drew me in. Aurora West is a great hero for tween and teen girls and boys alike – she’s smart, brave, and has an independent spirit and curiosity that propels her. She’s a dutiful daughter who struggles to be her own person.
Bottom line: you don’t need to have read Battling Boy to enjoy The Rise of Aurora West, but take the time to check them both out. Paul Pope is a multiple Eisner Award winner (for Batman: Year 100 and Solo, both from DC Comics) I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the art, and have already put Battling Boy on hold at my library, so I can read it and become more immersed in this world.
The Rise of Aurora West hits shelves on September 30, so check your bookstores, comic stores, and libraries. It’ll be on my shelves (barring backorders) in the next couple of weeks!