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BRAIN BOY

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Full Name: Matt Price
Codename: Brain Boy
Nationality: American
Organization: Unnamed Agency
Occupation Agent

Creator: Herb Castle, Gil Kane
Time Span: 1962 - 2014

ABOUT THE SERIES

Matt Price, aka Brain Boy, is an agent of American Intelligence.

To be specific, he answers to Chris Ambers, director of - get reach for it - the Society of Active Anthropologists. The Society is a cover for one of the most secret branch of the U.S. Intelligence Community, known to just a handful of people although Ambers is connected enough to be able to reach out to the U.S. President or any Cabinet minister or the military.

Price has a gift - though he does at time not think of it quite so fondly - in that he has extraordinary mental abilities. Telepathy comes naturally to him, as does the ability to block his mind from other mind readers. Telekinesis is also a skill for which he has amazingly strong powers, including moving his own body up stairs by floating. Other abilities will be made known as his adventures are told.

The scenario presented to us in the first recorded adventure shows a car carrying Mary Price and her husband, Matt, experiencing a tire blowout throwing the careening vehicle into a high voltage power tower bringing it to the ground causing wires to fall "spreading deadly electricity". The husband dies instantly but "miraculously his pregnant wife escapes". Two months later her son, also named Matt, is born and raised as an only child by his mother.

Over the next few years as he grew, Matt Price came to realize that "his brain was far more powerful than others ... that it could do things other brains could not". He also learned tat being different meant trouble so he learned to keep his talents to himself. "And so Matt Price grew toward young manhood, hiding the power that was in him - the brain power that he alone possessed". It was at his senior high school prom that Price was approached by Chris Ambers entered his life and, after forcing Price to reveal his amazing powers, told him of his  bureau and the need he had for someone of Price's abilities.

Price is a fairly tall, thin young man, 18 years of age and quite handsome with wavy blond hair brushed back.

RETCON! When the adventures of Matt Price were revised a half century later, a bit of his history was given a "retroactive continuity".

"Matt Price is the world's most powerful telepath. Raised by his parents' employer after their deaths, Matt studied and honed his incredible psychic abilities under the tutelage of Albright Industries. He is a powerful asset when it comes to national security and Albright Industries now loans the young man out to the US Secret Service to safeguard important political figures by mentally sweeping area for danger. Just don't call him 'Brain Boy'. He hates that."

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:9
First Appearance:1962
Last Appearance:2014

1 Brain Boy Brain Boy
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: Herb Castle (writer), Gil Kane (artist)
Copyright: 1962

Printed in Dell's Four Color Comics #1330, Apr-Jun 1962.
Tells the origin of Matt Price, aka Brain Boy. How he got his amazing powers and how he is recruited by the secret government agency to use to them to fight the Reds. His first mission is to head to a small South American country where the Communist party there is planning to discredit the US some way. Three previous agents sent to lean the plans were all discovered and executed.

2 Pirates Of The Air Pirates Of The Air
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: Herb Castle (writer), Gil Kane (artist)
Copyright: 1962

Printed in Dell's Brain Boy Comics #2, Jul-Sep 1962.
Matt Price, aka Brain Boy, receives a summons to the Society's office where Chris, his boss, tells him of a rash of airplane hijackings, 39 in the past year. The passengers were abandoned in a desert and the planes just disappeared. Price's job was to surveil outbound planes 'listening' for hijackers and then, if found, let it happen to locate all those missing planes.

3 The Frozen Monster The Frozen Monster
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: Herb Castle (writer), Gil Kane (artist)
Copyright: 1962

Printed in Dell's Brain Boy #3, Dec 1962 - Feb 1963.
Eight men, each valuable scientists who were experienced in the frozen north, all disappeared from their research camp. When the two remaining men go looking for them, both are suddenly enchanted and wanders off to join the missing. Matt Price is quickly sent to the North Pole to investigate.

4 The Time Robber The Time Robber
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: Herb Castle (writer), Gil Kane (artist)
Copyright: 1963

Printed in Dell's Brain Boy #4, Mar - May, 1963.
On a small island off the coast of Bermuda, a reporter investigating what is happening on that small plot of land goes missing. His boss appeals to the White House for help and Matt Price is put on the investigation.

5 The Metal People The Metal People
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: Herb Castle (writer), Gil Kane (artist)
Copyright: 1963

Printed in Dell's Brain Boy #5, Jun - Aug, 1963.
The peaceful border between two South American nations, Taxana and Xochtan, has been without incident for years. Now mysterious raids have plagued the landscape of Taxana and many civilians and troops have lost their lives. The State Department asks the Society for help learning who is behind this and it in turns sends Matt Price.

6 The Mindless Ones The Mindless Ones
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: Herb Castle (writer), Gil Kane (artist)
Copyright: 1963

Printed in Dell's Brain Boy #6, Sep - Nov, 1963.

Taking a well deserved vacation after two years of service, Brain Boy, aka Matt Price, heads to the Canadian backwoods to get some R&R but finds all the townsfolks seem in a trance.

7 Brain Boy Brain Boy
Published by Dark Horse
Contributors: Fred Van Lente (writer), Freddie Williams II (pencils & inks), Ego (colors)
Copyright: 2013

Trade paperback collecting the 3-part story originally printed in Dark Horse Presents, Vol 2, #23-25, April-June, 2013.
Depicts an early mission of Matt Price, aka Brain Boy.

8 Psy Vs. Psy Psy Vs. Psy
Published by Dark Horse
Contributors: Fred Van Lente (writer), R. B. Silva (pencils), Rob Lean (inks), Ego (colors)
Copyright: 2014

Trade paperback collecting the 3-part story originally printed in Dark Horse's Brain Boy #1-3, Sep-Nov, 2013. Also presents as an introduction the adventure originally collected in Brain Boy #0, 2013.
"Ambushed while protecting an important statesman, Matt Price, a.k.a. Brain Boy, finds himself wrapped up in political intrigue that could derail a key United Nations conference and that sets the psychic spy on a collision course with a man whose mental powers rival his own!"

9 The Men From G.E.S.T.A.L.T. The Men From G.E.S.T.A.L.T.
Published by Dark Horse
Contributors: Fred Van Lente (writer), Freddie Williams II (arttist), Jeremy Colwell (colors), Nate Piekos (letters)
Copyright: 2014

Trade paperback collecting the 4-part story originally printed in Dark Horse's Brain Boy - The Men From G.E.S.T.A.L.T. #1-4, April-June, 2013.
Agent Price's new mission pits him against a doomsday cult leader with a political agenda that poses a direct threat to the president. But a mysterious hive mind has more menacing plans for Brain Boy. He'll have no choice but to go head to head--brain to brain--with the mysterious Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T.!

MY COMMENTS

I sort of remember the original Brain Boy series from Dell. My pal John introduced me to the amazing world of comics when we met in 1963 and he had at least a couple of these in his already impressive collection. I was hooked on the potential but then Brain Boy went away and that brain cell in my head went dormant.

When I researched Brain Boy for this entry, I was surprised to find out about the revival of the character by Dark Horse. I was super impressed with the quality of the artwork and the stories were incredible. The two mini series are well worth the time and money, if you like sci-fi mixed in with spy-fi.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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