Astro City: Local Heroes
Reviewed: July 21, 2006
By: Kurt Busiek / art by Brent Anderson / covers by Alex Ross
Publisher: Wildstorm (DC) Comics
256 pages, $23.99
Busiek, Anderson and
Ross have created what is perhaps the best series in the world of comic books
today. Astro City is a place teeming with super types that echo the great
characters of the major comics houses. What is different about the stories
that are told there, particularly in this collection, is that they are mainly
about the ordinary folk and how they react to all the hullabaloo.
“Newcomers” is told
by the doorman at the Classic Hotel. The story covers decades of his life
and deals with all the times he’s given advice and aid to new arrivals and
“Where the Action
Is” comes from a comic book writer, who is trying to cope with the business
of writing fictional stories about real people, and what some of the implications
of that might be.
is the story of an actor playing a superhero, and how that works out.
“Shining Armor” reaches
into the city’s past to tell the life story of a woman who once romanced a
super hero and finally scared him away by prying too much.
There are four more
equally engaging tales, each told with a sure voice by Busiek and illustrated
in his best realistic style by Anderson, who does his best work on this book.
The collected covers are by Ross, the painter who has brought high quality
realism to the field over the last decade.
Once again, I’m happy
to report that these stories can be read anyone able to handle good writing,
though parents who have enjoyed comics themselves when younger will get more
out of these stories than their kids will.