Wednesday, April 4, 2018
ASTRO CITY #51 by Kurt Busiek - Book Review
From the publisher: Our three-part look into the lives of Astro City “survivors” continues. A woman coping with a devastating loss joins the support group Michael Tenicek has been running for years. But will Michael help her, or will she tear the group apart? For those damaged by life in Astro City, hope and wonder are elusive things. Featuring Honor Guard, the Hanged Man and more.
Kurt Busiek gives us the penultimate issue of Astro City with issue #51. This is the 2nd part (of 3) that act as a sequel to the award winning story "The Nearness of You". In issue #50, we learned that Michael Tenicek (from "The Nearness of You") has started a support group of "survivors" for those who have been affected by both heroes and villains in Astro City. We learned that his bills are taken care of and the mysterious Hanged Man checks in on him occasionally.
This new issue picks up with a new member of the support group telling her story. As the days pass, she never quite settles in, and eventually confronts Michael about telling the truth of his past (it is recapped for those who haven't read "The Nearness of You" - you should really read this!). What Michael reveals threatens to tear apart what he has created.
With this issue, Busiek definitely moves the story along, but as its a middle story in a trilogy, it is more of a bridge. The overarching threat (if there is one) isn't revealed, but Michael Tenicek and his good work is thrown into a crisis. I don't really know where Busiek is taking this story, but I have some guesses. I also trust him, as I have over around 20 years of reading Astro City. The poignant, emotion-filled stories Busiek has been telling have earned him the benefit of the doubt. And as the series is ending, I fully expect a final issue that is teeming with awesomeness and a fitting conclusion to Michael Tenicek's story.
I highly recommend Astro City #51 by Kurt Busiek, as I do all of his Astro City stories. If you are a long-time fan, you owe yourself to finish the series with Busiek; if you haven't read Astro City, go find a collected edition or three right away.
I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.