I’ve just finished reading the first collection of
Astro City stories. Read more to see my
thoughts, and Post a comment to add your own.

General Information

Title: Astro City: Life In The Big City

Author: Kurt Busiek

Illustrator(s): Brent Anderson (pages) and Alex Ross
(covers)

Original Publication Date: 1995 and 1996

ISBN: 1-56389-551-X

Cover Price: $19.95US, $31Can

Issues Reproduced: Astro City #1-6

Premise

Astro City explores the possible lives of
normal people
living in a city filled with super heroes.

High Point

Chapter 3 – the exploration of a possible outcome when
someone learns
a superhero’s secret identity.

Low Point

All six issues reproduced here are stand-alone stories
with different
characters. On one hand, it means that someone could
have picked up
any issue and understood the entire story without a
problem. On the
other hand, it means that there is very little
long-term development.
I hope that’s improved in later issues.

The Scores

The concept is one of the most original
concepts I’ve heard
of. It’s nice to see normal people dealing with
abnormal
circumstances. I give it 6 out of 6.

The artwork is excellent. Facial expressions
are done
wonderfully, the shading is excellent, and the people
look as varied
as normal people. It’s also nice to pick up a book
with female heroes
that aren’t all DDD cups. These people are drawn like
regular people,
which helps make their world believable. I give it 6
out of 6.

When rating the story, I have to admit
disappointment. The
individual issues were well written, but they don’t
work together all
that well. They’re completely unrelated, and it hurts
the coherence
of the book overall. As some of you have probably
figured out from my
other reviews and my taste in TV, I like a serial
story, not a series
of disconnected elements. I give it 3 out of 6.



The characters weren’t given the time to
properly develop.
We got some insight into each of the narrators, but
not a whole lot.
They never gained more than one or two dimensions. I
give it 3 out of
6.

The comic performed oddly in the emotional
response

category. While I never really had time to develop a
reason to care
for these particular characters, their stories did
come through and
get a response. Who can’t identify with the
overworked Samaritan?
Who doesn’t understand the frustration of the editor?
At the same
time, two of the issues were narrated by villains. At
no time did I
feel any reason to care for these villains or feel
sorry for them. It
was very uneven in this respect, but the high points
were high. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The flow of the issue from panel to panel
was, in general,
pretty good. Some of the large battles scenes were
overly talkative,
but the battles are not the point in these stories.
The flow between
different scenes in the sixth issue was excellent. I
give it 5 out of
6.

Overall, this was decent, but not as good as
the reviews I’d
read lead me to believe. I understand the desire to
keep the stories
centered around the mundane people of the city, but it
would help a
lot if there was a common group of normal people that
populated the
issues. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Astro City: Life In The Big City
earned 30 out of
42 stars.