Image © Juke Box Productions.
You’d think after 99 issues writer Kurt Busiek would be running out of surprises, but issue 100 has an excellent one: the story of the man Astro City is named for. If you imagine Douglas Fairbanks playing an aviator with the inventing skills of Thomas Edison and the altruism of…well, every hero you can think of, that’s Roy Virgil. His story is told through the eyes of his friend, city councilman Joe Greenwald. Virgil has no intention of becoming a crime-fighter, the Astro-Naut, but the acclaim he gets when he captures a powerful villain appeals to him, and soon he and Joe are working together to help their city, Romeyn Falls, recover from the depths of the Great Depression with more crime-fighting and heroic deeds, ones that attract and inspire others to become costumed heroes. Yet, when World War Two arrives, Roy Virgil is not willing to give his help and inventions to the U.S. Military. He’s been traveling to distant parts of our galaxy and seen what happens there when too much power is put into the hands of those who aren’t ready for it. So, how does the tarnished hero recover his reputation and ultimately become the symbol of the city? You’ll have to read the issue to find out, and you’ll have a fine time doing it. Congrats to Kurt, cover artist Alex Ross, interior artist Brent Anderson, letterers/designers John Roshell and Jimmy Betancourt, colorists Pete Pantazis and Alex Sinclair, and everyone along the way who helped create this wonderful series.