Pullbox Reviews: Rex Radley, Boy Adventurer #1- Dinos, Mechs, & Rocket Sneakers…

Rex Rex Radley is a boy born into adventure and excitement! (Hence the title). This comic is a short anthology following the two halves of his lives following his parent’s divorce. His mother lives in in Japan, fighting towering monsters with her giant robot, his father lives in the Amazon with his cavewoman bodyguard, defending the Earth from an army of Dinosaur people.

Inspired by every dopey cartoon made to sell toys, this all-ages comic is a sure fire hit for the whole family.

Who is Rex Radley?

He’s pretty much your average rocket shoe wearing boy genius. The son of two brilliant scientists, now divorced and sharing joint custody, Rex splits his time between the two. His father, Alan Radley, lives in a compound deep in the Amazon jungle, defending the world from an interdimensional dinosaur invasion with the help of his cavewoman bodyguard Tharga. His mom, Rin Hashimoto, pilots her giant robot to defend Japan from the kaiju menace that threatens it, while the home front is manned by her computer AI/babysitter Superrobotto. For his part, Rex has settled in to the new family dynamic… and does his part to combat the forces of evil that always seem to be at the doorstep.

So that’s the “who”… but what is Rex Radley, Boy Adventurer?

It’s a pleasure to read, that’s what it is. Winston Gambro has concocted a story that brings to mind several of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid, primarily Johnny Quest and Herculoids. The world he’s created is filled with threats and monsters aplenty, all handled with wit and style by his heroic tween protagonist. On the surface, these four mini-adventures might be pretty simplistic and lacking in high stakes consequences… but in all honesty I think that was kinda the point. Rex Radley is family friendly reading that may be geared toward a younger audience but is in no way painful to read as an adult. The dialogue is sharp and liberally sprinkled with humor that seems very well aware of its place in the comicbook world. Honestly, even though my kids are adults (more or less… my daughter might tell you that she’s more grown up than I am) I don’t think I’d have a tough time finding a reason to read this title on my own.

The artwork put in by the team of Panganiban, Hipp, Williams, & Pawlik- each handling the duties for their own short story in the issue- have done a great job of keeping things consistent between them while not giving up their own personal style. Character designs stay recognizable throughout the book, making the transitions between artists easy adjustments to take. The action in the stories holds a pretty high standard, dynamic while never getting too intense for the younger target audience. Finally, the artists seem to be fully on board with the relatively light tone of the stories, taking Gambro’s scripts and working in their own comedic beats.

The whole package comes together nicely. If you’re A) a parent looking for a title that will interest your youngsters, B) looking for a story that very thoughtfully puts a positive spin on family relationships after a divorce, or C) an emotionally stunted adult who still laughs inappropriately at fart jokes, Rex Radley, Boy Adventurer has a lot going for it. Fans of kaiju fighting robots, reptilian world conquerors, and improbably likeable dinosaurs are gonna want to pick this one up.

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