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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Astro City: The Dark Age

The Astro City series is a series about the reconstruction of superheroes. In other words, we get to see them as they would be created today, but with all the styles of yesteryear. What I like about the series is that it usually tells the story from the man in the street, with the superhero stuff being used as background. In fact, you are expected to pick up the superhero plot points as matter of deduction.

The Dark Age: Book 1 is told from the story of two (non-superhero) brothers who had a traumatic event in their childhood turn them towards different paths. The plot is unfortunately predictable: Busiek telegraphs what's going to happen between them early on, and so you're not surprised when the twists happen. The superhero plot points however are highly obscured, picking up from threads earlier in the series as obscure as that of a tombstone on a character's grave but not mentioned otherwise.

Busiek clearly enjoyed plotting the storyline in the 1960s and 1970s. New characters clearly inspired by old silver-age models show up. We don't see a lot of action, however, so I feel this book is sub-par compared to the others. I hope the next book picks up the pace a bit. Perhaps Busiek is getting stale. In particular, the man in the street angle is starting to wear a bit thin. Not recommended unless you're a fan.

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