Graphic Novel Review: Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

          First Second   Published  Sept 10, 2013              336 Pages
First Second
Published Sept 10, 2013
336 Pages

Historical fiction at its best.

In China 1898, Little Boa sees his father fall to pieces after a band of foreign soldiers try to change Chinese culture and traditions. Having enough of the “foreign devils” (i.e. white people) taking over, Little Boa uses powers of the ancient Gods to recruit and train Boxers ( common people train in Kung Fu) in order to take China back from the foreign devils.

This is the first book of two and it is extreme details. Little Boa is fighting not only white people coming to China to change its ways but also Chinese people who have converted to Christianity.  Little Boa and his Boxers begin traveling to fight injustice but when the God he transforms to commands him to get China back to where it use to be his goals shift.

If you like history than this is the perfect graphic novel for you. It is full of traditions and those that strongly believe in it. The book is also filled with extremism so if you are a bit sensitive regarding that then this is not the book for you.

Little Boa is an interesting character because he is still a little boy that allowed his anger to seek revenge. He holds on to what happen to his father and how he becomes a broken man and that leads him to seek help. However, even when he has this God like powers he is a ball of mess who can’t tell the girl he likes he likes her.  He doesn’t have a big enough back bone to actually understand how bad things got and how fast it got. Also he wasn’t wise enough to fix it.

What I thought was odd though was how these Boxers who have these abilities and appearances were able to die in these forms. It is as if it didn’t serve any protection, which I thought was weird and even the character was confused by it.

As for the graphics . . . flawless. It wasn’t graphic or gross or simple. The author was detailed, particular and clean. Also it is in color not black and white; this adds a lot to a graphic novel more than you think. There was a balance of pictures and words which made the graphic novel worth the time.

Overall the graphic novel gets 9 out of 10.



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