Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ASTRO CITY #44 by Kurt Busiek - Book Review

From the publisher: A tale of murder, mystery…and a cat. Starring Nightingale, Sunhawk…and their cat. Did we mention the cat? The cat’s the lead character. Featuring guest art by Rick Leonardi (SUPERMAN, Spider-Man 2099). Mreow.

Astro City #44, by Kurt Busiek, is a perfect example of what the Astro City comics do. They take ordinary superhero cliches or stories and give them a twist. Sometimes that means humanizing the heroes and villains, sometimes its focusing on the ordinary people and the effect the super people have on them. With this new issue, Busiek focuses on a cat, the hero Kittyhawk.

This particular story is all animal themed. The heroes Nightingale and Sunhawk need to find and rescue a young girl from the villainous Poppinjay. But, Nightingale's new pet cat, whom she affectionately calls Kittyhawk, keeps getting in the way. What the two heroes don't realize, however, is that the stray cat was given powers as a result of a previous Nightingale/Sunhawk adventure. As Kittyhawk uses her new-found powers, she receives help from Rocket Dog (the animal theme continues).

A nice standalone issue, Astro City #44 is simple but fun. Busiek is a master at telling superhero stories in unique ways. This origin story for Kittyhawk is another great example of his ability to constantly look at the history of superhero comics and find some unexplored corner to write about. I recommend this book to fans of Astro City and to new readers as well. It may not have the gravitas that some of Busiek's longer arcs have, but it's a terrific story, and something different from the norm.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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