Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Astro City

I don't rave about this series of books nearly enough.

While carving through some of my July books, which didn't get read as soon as they got shipped to me because I spent a bunch of time reading graphic novels that I got my hands on, I stumbled onto Issue #1 of Astro City's newest offering: Astro City Special: Silver Agent.

One look through the first of this two part story reminded me of why I'm such an enormous fan of Kurt Busiek's Astro City work. His characters are deep, compelling and real and his stories span the feel of comics from the golden age right through until the modern age. There's a little bit of something in Astro City for everyone, and yet at no point in time do you feel like he sacrificed anything in order to accomplish it.

What I like best about Astro City stories, and this is a recurring theme in a lot of my favorite comics, is that Kurt isn't just telling me a story. He's building a mythology. There is historic depth and perspective to his characters that is often taken for granted or ignored in many mainstream books in deference to another action scene.

In Silver Agent #1 we follow the tale of arguably Astro City's greatest hero (although many Samaritan dans might argue) as he weighs the decision to return to the past (where he's from - our time) from the distant future and die for a crime he didn't commit. I won't give you any details beyond this, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might take my advise and go pick this book up, but I have a feeling that in only two issues Busiek is going to tell a story that feels enormous in its weight.

If you're not a regular comic collector and you're looking for a hero genre series to pick up in trade paperback and read leisurely, I would highly recommend Astro City. Start at the beginning and slowly allow the series to grow on you.

You won't regret it.

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