Everyday Hero Machine Boy

Everyday Hero Machine Boy
Everyday Hero Machine Boy review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Image Comics - 978-1-53432-130-4
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781534321304
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

One night a meteor crashes to Earth disgorging a small robot boy. Initially tragedy is the result, but the robot boy is actually well intentioned and technologically advanced, and as it stays around it builds a bond with an elderly woman. She names it Machine Boy, and it calls her Grandma.

On a world where humans exist alongside humanoid dogs, there’s no predicting where Irma Kniivila and Tri Vuong’s story is heading at any stage other than knowing good nature and intentions will pay off in the end. Machine Boy is resolutely upbeat and positive, whether building a greenhouse or competing for a prize with the school loner, and the world building is fun as ever more eccentricities are phased in. One is the megaselling band who’re also protectors of the universe.

There’s something about Vuong’s joyful and energetic storytelling that brings Chris Samnee to mind. One strength is that almost everything one needs to know about a character is presented in the way Vuong draws them, and he plants the cast in fully realised environments worth looking at a second time to pick up on the small details you’ll have missed the first time round

For much of Everyday Hero Machine Boy it seems as if Kniivila and Vuong are just jumping from one episode to the next, detailing whatever takes their fancy, but toward the end various threads tie together. Part of the appeal is Machine Boy being very human in all but name, to the point of being plagued by nightmares, and that factors into how things play out.

The door is left open for a sequel, and smarter readers may even figure out how the recurring threat could be dealt with. That’s for the future, though, and this stands well on its own as a joyful treat.