Images © Juke Box Productions.
This is the third four-issue story in this ASTRO CITY saga, making the entire DARK AGE twelve issues long. That’s a lot of pages devoted to two main characters, but of course there’s plenty of other things going on in Astro City, too. If you haven’t been reading it, DARK AGE focuses on Charles and Royal Williams, two brothers from the poor part of town whose parents are killed in a superhero battle when they are children. From there they follow very different paths, with one brother joining the police force, the other a criminal gang. This arc begins in 1982, with Charles now out of the police on disability, and Royal just out of jail. Both brothers are trying to track down the man who killed their parents, and to get to him, Royal agrees to infiltrate a secret criminal militia. Like so many of the inhabitants of Astro City, their personal plans are often disrupted by what the super-heroes are doing in and around them, and this time they’re thrown into some truly world-shaking events.
Brent Anderson’s art continues to be excellent, and in this storyline I felt him channeling Neal Adams at times. Both the writing and the art are full of inventive characters, both heroic, and villainous, with Kurt Busiek having his usual good time coming up with sort of familiar characters that have a unique Astro City twist.
I have to admit that by this time I don’t remember all that went before in this storyline, as it’s been a long while in the making, but I thoroughly enjoyed this four-parter. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever read an issue of ASTRO CITY that wasn’t great reading. I’m ready now for a different storyline, though. Highly recommended!