Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Paul Pope’s Battling Boy was one of the strongest comic debuts in recent memory, delivering an exhilarating action adventure story that combined pulpy science fiction with mythological fantasy to create something classic yet totally hip. This year saw the release of The Rise Of Aurora West, a prequel graphic novel delving into the history of the teenage girl hero at the center of Pope’s Battling Boy saga, continuing the series’ streak of excellence as Pope teamed up with co-writer J.T. Petty and artist David Rubín.

The Rise Of Aurora West does remarkable work expanding on the world of Arcopolis and the nature of the monsters that haunt it, and Rubín’s work maintains the dynamic motion and meticulous design work of Pope’s art while still maintaining its own distinct style. It’s an excellent all-ages graphic novel with massive appeal for both sexes, and while the yearlong wait for the sequel won’t be easy, at least it’s on a quicker release schedule than the main Battling Boy series. Fall Of The House Of West lands in October 2015, and First Second has provided The A.V. Club with an exclusive first look at the book’s cover and interior pages, along with a plot description:

Aurora West is on the verge of solving the mystery of her mother’s death, but it’s hard keeping her efforts a secret from her grieving father, the legendary monster-hunter Haggard West. Between her school work and her hours training and hunting with her dad, Aurora is hard-pressed to find time to be a secret sleuth. But she’s nothing if not persistent.

What Aurora doesn’t realize is that she’s about to blow open a secret that may very well destroy what’s left of her family…and, indeed, all of Arcopolis.


Next October may be a little less than a year away, but that gives readers plenty of time to catch up Battling Boy and The Rise Of Aurora West, if they haven’t done so already. Pope’s burgeoning fantasy universe is a riveting alternative to Marvel and DC’s superhero lines, and hopefully it will only continue to expand once the main Battling Boy story is completed.


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