Kurt Busiek returns to his epic superhero world of Astro City in a new series from DC Comics. In a universe full of famous super-powered heroes and villains, Astro City focuses on the people who live in this unique environment. Some of them have powers, others do not. Kurt Busiek explores many areas in Astro City, both past and present, through short stories and biographies of the characters who live there.
Astro City is finally back! Hurray! The first two issues were warmly received and met the level of quality I expect from the series. Does the third issue maintain the quality streak? Find out with your Major Spoilers review!
Or – “It’s Never About The Fighty-Fighty…”
The first issue of the relaunched Astro City helped to assuage any fear that I might have had about the book’s return, by being a great story, a great Astro City story and a callback to the first issue of the original ongoing series. Can #2 keep up the winning streak? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Or – “OHMIGODOHMIGODOHMIGOD ASTRO CITY IS BACK, YOU GUYS!!”
Whaddaya waiting for??? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Or – “This One Is In My “Stuff That Makes Me Cry” Shortbox…”
There’s a certain magic to comics books that is seldom found in other media, a combination of the written word and a pictoral image that often amplifies both to a higher level. Sure, you can watch a movie over and over, but you can’t pore over each lavish image for as long as you want, and it’s nigh-impossible to catch every nuance of language. Likewise, prose novels may have epic language and story potential, but sometimes the author has to labor to try and explain to you what a particular image looked like in his or her mind, dragging you out of the enjoyment of their lovely words.
And every once in a while, a comic comes along that is so perfectly crafted, so intricately formed, that you just sit in awed silence and absorb every page in stunned silence. It’s a rare comic that moves me to emotional displays, but I’m a big enough man to say that I can’t read this one without getting a little misty-eyed, Faithful Spoilerites… Books like this are why Retro Reviews exist.
Or – “To Our Eternal Shame…”
Any longtime Astro City fan probably remembers The Silver Agent as a Captain America archetype (at least that’s how I remember him) whose fate was implied to be horrible, and whose statue in Astro City bears the insignia “To Our Eternal Shame.” The secret of what exactly happened to the Silver Agent has been one of the cornerstone unanswered questions in Astro City history, a question finally answered by the Dark Age miniseries over the last couple of years. Pulled to the future by a group of aliens inspired by him, Alan Craig is travelling backwards in time to stop a great tragedy, but what happens when he makes that final leap home?
A trope is a recognizable theme used in storytelling. The kidnapped princess, the final battle, the training montage, these are all tropes we have seen again and again. Usually recognition of a familiar trope is a good thing, it lets the audience know how they should feel about things and sets them up either for a satisfying conclusion or an excited twist. But what happens when a trope goes stale? When you can’t watch two hours of TV without seeing the same situation over and over, like the writers just emptied their cliche bladders all over the place? Some themes have suffered this fate, through excessive use now they accomplish the opposite of what the writers want. They take the viewer out of the experience. What follows is a list of tropes that I find tiresome, troubling and most of all, trite.
Not to be confused with famed Martian general Marvin, whose computers are so complex and naughty… Traditionally, this month has signaled the beginning of the season of military campaigns, and also the time when college basketball generals lead their troops unto the field of battle. For me, working in small-market TV for as long as I did, it’s a month which signals mighty pains in the butt, which explains why this is technically the FEBRUARY edition of RFR. We apologize for the inconvenience… Better to just press on.
Or – “I Decided To Trick Or Treat With My Kid Instead… Sorry.”
The MUSIC MEEEISSSSTERRRR! Sing the song that the world wants to heeeear! Man, I’ve had that stuck in my head for WEEKS, now. This particular RFR was meant to go up last week, just in time for the annual festival of half-price chocolate, but various things conspired to keep me from completing it until today. For those of you who can’t get enough comic review goodness, I’ve got the cowbell to slake your fever, and it’s time to ask ourselves, baby, what’s the word? In the words of the great philosopher Aloysius Bundy: “Let’s ROCK.”
Or – “It’s Always Hard To Watch Your Little Girl Grow Up…”
The early issues of Astro City hold a very special place in my heart, containing as they do the first glimpses into the world of Astro City, the introductions of dozens of new characters, and an entirely new take on superheroes and comics history.Â Among these early stories came the tale of Astra, youngest member of the First Family, and how she broke away from her protective parents and had her first solo adventure.Â Now, Astra is ready to graduate college, and it’s astonishing how touching it is to see the character as a young adult…
So, I have completed my daily labors, overseeing the dozen fellers and gals what make up the current workgroup to call themselves Team RamRod (“See, you’re Arkot Ramathorn… Ram. And I’m Rodney Farva… Rod. Team RamRod!”) and I am preparing to have some spaghetti and hang out with friends, but first I wanted to catch up with some of the many titles that I’ve neglected over the busy last days of August…
RAPID-FIRE REVIEW TIME!
In this issue: The House of Mouse buys the House of Ideas. And that’s it. Really. Nothing else happened this week. Okay, so the Major Spoilers Crew also take a quick look at some comic book reviews, and dive headfirst into Kurt Busiek’s Astro City: The Dark Age Volume 1.
Show Notes after the Jump!