Monday, November 18, 2013

Astro City #6

   What a breath of fresh air.

   Astro City by Kurt Busiek and Brent Eric Anderson (with covers by Alex Ross)  is, hands down, the most entertaining, unique and compelling comic book around.

   The creative team has the courage to tell stories that no one in comics (at least not since Will Eisner) has the courage to tackle.

   These are "street level" stories about real people and how they interact with the larger-than-life characters who inhabit Astro City.

   Sometimes it's a hopeful tale of heroism or heartbreak - and sometimes it's a look at an unexpected side of life. But that meshing of two vastly different worlds makes for wonderful storytelling.

   For this issue, a cosmic being named The Ambassador has taken up residence behind a giant door floating over the river - so naturally he gets a visit from a local union representative who also happens to have some shady dealings on the side - but who also operates under his own rules and tries to work the system to his own benefit.

   That leads to an unexpected power source - and other possible opportunities.

   I'm always very impressed by Anderson's artwork - it combines the best elements of Gene Colan's natural world setting and Neal Adams pseudo-realism into a unique and delightful package. Wonderful stuff!

   The only thing that has hurt this title over the years is that publication has been suspended a couple of times for various reasons - but happily, the creative team is cranking on all burners, and one of the industry's best titles is once again on a regular publishing schedule.

   Long may it wave!

Grade: A




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