Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Astro City: The Dark Age: Book Four #4 (of 4)

With this issue of Astro City the Dark Age reaches the end - finally!

And it earns the title of being the first Astro City story that I really didn't much care for.

There are a few reasons for that. For one, the story was stretched out over 16 (plus) issues and quite a few years. For another, it focused on a "grim 'n gritty" storyline (not exactly my favorite), and it got very bleak for a while there. It also strayed from the "ground level" stories that the series does so well, wandering into cosmic territory at times. The ending also seems a bit unfocused, although I did enjoy the "afterword."

Which is not to say that there isn't a lot to like here. Lots of great characters, both new and classic (always glad to see the Silver Agent). Outstanding art by the underrated Brent Anderson, who provides some amazing action sequences, incredible detail and emotional sequences. And there's a neat twist at the end.

I wasn't aware that the entire storyline was based on a proposal by writer Kurt Busiek for (what I assume was intended to be) a sequel of sorts to Marvels. Some editing here and slight of hand there, and you have instead an original story.

Best of all, it's great to see this comic back on a (more or less) regular basis, and now that this story has wrapped up, I'm anxious to see what's next for the residents of Astro City.

Grade: B+

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