Wednesday, June 28, 2017

ASTRO CITY #45 by Kurt Busiek - Book Review

From the publisher: “WHAT BROKE THE BROKEN MAN?” part one of two! Astro City’s tangled history of superheroes, music, counterculture, serpents and darkness comes to a head. Heroes are destroyed, minds are shattered…and an unlikely savior rises. 

Well, Kurt Busiek did it again. Astro City #45, the first of two parts, tells the story of Glamorax, a hero from the 70's who seems to represent everything about the 70's glam rock movement. When Glamorax's friend, Tom O'Bedlam, throws a party, a rather eclectic group of people from past decades shows up. This causes Glamorax to do some serious soul-searching. As Tom and Glamorax progress, they discover that a serpent cult has played a role in society for a long time.

Busiek has a knack for telling interesting stories with unusual heroes and villains. Sometimes they are new takes on familiar archetypes, sometimes they are new ideas that often seem obvious in retrospect. This story, and Glamorax in particular, is one of the latter. As a character, there isn't a lot of depth to him/her, but as an idea, it is tremendous. A hero who represents the counter-culture of a society makes perfect sense. Additionally, the narrator, known as the Broken Man, is also interesting. Having shown up in several issues lately, the Broken Man (who reminds me a bit of Dream from the Sandman) continues to break the fourth wall and warn the readers of a deadly menace called Oubor. The Broken Man is a curious figure, and seems like he has much to offer the Astro City universe. How the stories of these two characters, Glamorax and the Broken Man, converge with that of Oubor seems to be the set-up for the second part of this story. I'm anxiously awaiting the next issue to read the conclusion to Busiek's mystery.

I highly recommend Astro City #45 by Kurt Busiek. Long-time readers will enjoy it for the bigger picture aspects and new readers should find it self contained enough to please them.

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

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