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Astro City: Life in the Big City (New Edition) Kindle & comiXology
|Length: 192 pages||Age Level: 12 - 17||Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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Astro City is very much about the relationship between the normal citizen and the superhero, as opposed to the standard comic fare being the relationship between the hero and the villain (Batman being the textbook example of this). In fact, villains play a fairly minor role in this series (especially this particular book, they are quite forgettable). Busiek fleshes out the concept of the superhero in the psyche of a normal person, even in a world where superheroes are fairly commonplace. The role of the superhero in society is deeply analyzed in this series.
One reviewer brought up the point of how Busiek can "only go so far" with the vignette story-telling style. This book is very much the introduction to the world of Astro City, and vignettes are perfect for this first installment. The books following this (Confession, Family Values, and Tarnished Angel) are full stories, analyzing in detail the characters presented in the first issue.
Literary grandeur aside, Busiek exploits many well-known character archetypes (i.e. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, JLA, and the Fantastic Four) by creating his own characters with these themes. In no way is Busiek "ripping off" other comics, all of this is intentional, once again as an element of analysis. However, he creates some very interesting heroes (The Confessor and The Hanged Man being my two personal favorites).
When all is said and done, this is an amazing series, one of the best of recent years. It is (amazingly) refresingly original and very familiar. I highly suggest this first book, and it only gets better from there.
Most recent customer reviews
The book consists of 6 standalone stories.Read more