Saturday, September 4, 2010

Astro City: Silver Agent #2 (of 2)

The mystery of the Silver Agent has been lingering around the Astro City series practically since the beginning of the run 15 years ago, and those questions are finally answered in this issue.

The series is famous for telling its stories through a "ground level" character - usually an ordinary person thrust into a superhero storyline. This issue takes us on a journey with the Silver Agent and shows us his final fate.

Some of the story we already know. The Silver Agent is Alan Craig, a man who gains amazing powers after a strange encounter with The Silver Artifact, an alien creation he discovered deep in Mount Kirby.

He is accused and convicted of murder, and executed - and then his innocence is discovered. But that's not the end of his story. His sacrifice inspired a futuristic Legion (ahem) of followers, and they plucked him out of time.

He had many adventures and eventually began skipping through time, headed toward his inevitable fate - execution. But along the way he demonstrates true heroism and quite a lot of humanity.

If the Dark Age series (recently wrapped) left me kinda cold, this two-part series has rekindled my faith. Writer Kurt Busiek, interior artist Brent Anderson and cover artist Alex Ross are back in form again, telling stories that are moving, intelligent and darned entertaining.

I'm very happy to see this series back on a (more or less) regular schedule, and it's great to finally - finally! - get some closure for the tragic Silver Agent.

Now, if only Steranko would get around to publishing that third volume of The History of Comics.

Grade: A-


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