Monday, May 19, 2014

Astro City #12

   I don't review Astro City very often, for one simple reason: it gets tiring, always writing rave reviews.

   And it's rare that this series earns anything less than that, because it offers a fresh, unique take on the world of super-heroes, and there's no limit to the kind of story writer Kurt Busiek can tackle.

   This issue, for example, is told entirely from the villain's point a view. It's a character who has appeared before (in different guises), and we learn how The Gentleman Bandit came to assume different identities.

   Like all the best villains, we can sympathize - a bit - with his motivations, although they do take a bit of an odd turn along the way.

   Still, it's a compelling story, with heart and tragedy at its center.

   Hey, I haven't mentioned the most shocking thing about this issue - it isn't drawn by Brent Anderson, who has drawn every issue of the series up to this point. Happily, the fill-in duties are managed by Graham Nolan, a gifted pro who turns it a terrific tale (one splash panel would make a heck of a poster).

   As always, Alex Ross provides an amazing cover. Even with the temporary shake-up of the creative team, this series maintains its high standards and delivers the goods.

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A-





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