ASTRO CITY #1
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Brent Anderson
Release Date: June 5, 2013
After a small pause that Busiek addresses in the letters page, Astro City returns with a renewed vigor and a new publisher. Busiek does a great job with this first issue of making the comic accessible to new readers while also throwing in a plethora of little moments and references for long time fans to make this comic book feel like a nostalgic return to the city we’ve loved and missed. Much of the story is told through a narrator, guiding new readers around the city and world of Astro City, but I found I appreciated the tour as much as a new reader would, just to reacquaint myself with the goings on in the city. There are a couple new characters introduced to keep things fresh and new, but when I got to the last page and saw the famous road sign I felt like I had just finished visiting an old friend who has dozens of new stories to tell and hasn’t changed one bit over the years. The consistency in tone from this issue all the way back to the first panels of “Life in the Big City” amazed me, and I applaud Busiek for keeping Astro City true to itself. Busiek’s dialogue and pacing in this first issue are fantastic, and as I have always found with Astro City, the story flowed so seemlessly that I was able to completely dive into the world Busiek and Anderson are creating and enjoy it fully. Kurt Busiek is back and in top form, folks.
Brent Anderson’s art is strong throughout the issue and is a such a huge part of pulling the reader into the world of Astro City. His style is crisp, clean and inviting for new readers and his page structure is excellent. The flow of this comic is superb and Anderson does an excellent job of providing interesting visuals that do not distract or overshadow the narration of the comic. It is a fine balance to create a panel that is intriguing enough to keep the story flowing while the narrator is speaking, but also not so visually dynamic that the narrator’s voice is lost. The colouring by Alex Sinclair keeps the energy in the pages and makes this comic look like a 2013 version of Astro City, not a 1998 rehash.
Astro City #1 is a great return for an iconic series and also a great jumping on point for new readers. Welcome back, Astro City. I plan on staying and enjoying the scenery for quite awhile.