And Then I Read: ASTRO CITY 1


Image © Juke Box Productions.

ASTRO CITY begins its new run at a new home, DC’s Vertigo imprint. What’s new, other than the storyline are mostly surface things: new numbering, trade dress and logo style (by J.G. Roshell, I’m sure). What’s not new? Same great creative team: Kurt Busiek, writer; Brent Anderson, artist; Alex Ross, cover; Alex Sinclair, colors; Comicraft, letters. Fine storytelling in a familiar yet unique world full of super-heroes.

“Open the Door” is narrated by a character who is clearly not to be trusted. Everything about him from his name, “The Broken Man,” to his sneering smile to his purple skin and odd lettering style says “trickster.” But, as we have no other narrator, we readers must follow his account and see what we think of it. The story begins with the appearance of a very odd crimefighter right from Japanese animé comics, and proceeds quickly to a giant door that has appeared over Astro City, a door that has “Jack Kirby” all over it: larger than life beings with immense power must surely be on the other side. Many heroes attack the door trying to find out, but to no avail. When it opens, the being that emerges is very much larger than life, and yet somehow familiar as well. And the person chosen to be his Earthly contact? Well, that’s the rest of the story. Except for the final reveal, which adds a new, but not entirely unexpected layer to things.

Fine work by everyone involved. And here’s a super-hero book where you can be almost sure there will be no crossovers. Highly recommended!

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