Everyday Hero Machine Boy

Image Comics. Sept. 2022. 192p. ISBN 9781534321304. pap. $12.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
A powerful robot called Machine Boy falls from the sky and proceeds to rampage across the domed city of Mega 416, destroying everything in his path. The city’s inhabitants (a mix of humans and anthropomorphic animals) despair, until a retired karate instructor rushes to the rescue and, after defeating Machine Boy, manages to alter the robot’s programming so his demeanor shifts to that of a sweet young boy. Thus transformed, Machine Boy is plagued by guilt for his destructive abilities and sets out to redeem himself through service to his new neighbors. Complications accrue: Our hero adopts a tiny, adorable robot, only to discover it possesses an insatiable appetite and no impulse control; he begins attending public school but ends up battling hideous beasts in the sewers beneath the building; and he runs afoul of Orphan Universe, Mega 416’s premier musical group/superpowered defenders.
VERDICT Creators Kniivila (Year of the Dog) and Vuong (The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn) present a funny, uncommonly charming mash-up of martial arts, superhero, and sci-fi comics. The rare all-ages title that will entertain, and perhaps even enthrall, adolescents and adults alike.
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