The Rise of Aurora West is simultaneously original and not. Paul Pope and J.T. Petty have a derivative adventure for an entirely original character, even though her back story is derivative. Sort of. The details are derivative.
Aurora West is the teenage daughter and sidekick to Haggard West. He’s a science hero. Just like Tom Strong. Except he fights monsters in a way quite similar to Bruce Wayne. So some of Aurora West is really just Batman and his teenage daughter hunting down criminals. Except they’re monsters.
But with a lot of science and Aurora growing up in a world with monsters, there’s just enough difference to let her not be Robin or anything like a Robin. So then some of Aurora West has nothing to do with Batman and his teenage daughter. There’s too much comedy for it to just be a riff. Pope and Petty maneuver Aurora very carefully through the book–the comedy relieves pressure, keeps the pace set, gives the reader a chance to reflect. It’s beautifully constructed.
David Rubín’s art is nice. He’s not as good as Pope but does a decent imitation, with the black and white lending to some of the more Eisner-like imagery.
It’s an extremely ambitious narrative presented easily. Neat comics, as usual, from Pope.
Writers, J.T. Petty and Paul Pope; artist, David Rubín; letterer, John Martz; publisher, First Second.
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