City Boy #1
First seen in Wildstorm 30th Anniversary Special and Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn, there’s a new Korean hero named…City Boy! Or at least, that’s the best translation of what the cities call him. City Boy, a.k.a. 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 histories and the truths behind them. (It’s very loud in his head and something he has to live with.) As his powers get stronger, the cities start forming animal avatars from scraps in order to physically travel alongside him on his adventures. Of course, Gotham is a rat avatar made of city scraps, but what about Metropolis, Blüdhaven, Amnesty Bay, or even Themyscira? And not all cities are so kind…
Introducing new characters into the DC Universe without a League crest stamped on their chest is difficult. While the We Are Legends imprint has undoubtedly impressed with great introductions into the DCU, neither Spirit World nor The Vigil is a superhero story in the traditional sense. Both corner different genre markets and stories that would set them apart from the greater superhero mythos of the DCU.
City Boy was the one most akin to something traditionally DC and saw a lot less fanfare than the other two. However, no one should sleep on this book. Greg Pak & Minkyu Jung have introduced a fresh superhero concept into the world of DC with excellent narrative construction, solid art, and an identity that stands alongside the heroes of old without blending into redundancy.
The story follows Cameron Kim, a young drifter with a strange, near-magical connection to the city’s soul. He spends his days utilizing his abilities to scrap by off of the things people leave behind in, around, and under the streets of the Metropolis. These powers bring him into conflict with the Moon Gang and even more significant threats of cosmic proportion. Although the book does contain important cosmic DC characters, it keeps its feet on the ground by focusing the plot of this issue around Cameron’s relationship with the city and those who live within it.
Pak uses some pretty nifty narrative tricks to cram a lot of information into this issue without overstuffing it. You’ll wind up with the basest information regarding Cameron’s emotional origins, the origins of his powers, the culture he lives in, and the series’ primary antagonist. However, all of this is delivered through a narrative and not baseless exposition, making for an issue that’s never boring to read. Pak has crafted a fantastic voice for Cameron, making this character-driven narrative all the more strong. You get a feel for his compassion and kindness, but something darker is pulling beneath his most vital qualities, adding a level of unexplained depth that future issues will most likely delve into.
Minkyu Jung’s pencils aren’t jaw-dropping but excellent at telling a great visual story. His art may not be pin-up worthy, but it’s y great at using sequential art, detail, and facial emotion to draw readers into the book with consistency. The beauty of art in this book comes from Sunny Gho’s excellent coloring, which builds off of Jung’s solid penciling to create a book with an atmospheric and engaging look.
With great characterization, solid heart, and natural connection to the DCU, City Boy #1 is the start of something really great. Thus, with the debut of this issue, DC's We Are Legends imprint goes three for three with their titles in terms of quality.
City Boy #1: Metropolis Boomin’
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10