Astro City comics

Discussion in 'Non-WOT - Literature and Fiction' started by Aran Cherubim, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Aran Cherubim

    Aran Cherubim Resident Citizen

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    Has anyone read any of this series? Astro City is a comic book series and universe that closely resembles those of mainstream American superhero universes, but plays a lot around with the themes, tropes and ideas of that genre. In many ways, if comic books such as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns are deconstructions of the superhero genre, then Astro City (which first started publication in 1995, but has been running on and off since) is a Reconstruction. In a way, the series seems to try and present the view that superheroes can still exist in a world that more closely resembles real life, and that the superhero ideal is not just idle immaturity and childishness, but sometimes it's good to have these kinds of archetypes to look up to and admire. Sometimes the day is saved, or at least we can escape into a world where it is, and that's not a bad thing. And even when things go bad... well, life goes on. And that's a good thing too. People cope. You might almost say that there is something Gaimanesque about it in that respect - if that makes sense.

    As you can probably tell, I've read a lot of these recently (I plowed through every issue in like three months), and I am a bit of a convert. Not every issue is amazing, but the series overall is great.

    Particularly good, in my personal opinion, is the fact that there's a lot of standalone issues and stories that still contribute to the overall setting. Unlike a lot of Marvel and DC stuff, where there is a constant ongoing storyline in a lot of the comics (something that always dissuaded me from buying monthly issues, as I felt constantly unsatisfied), and where the universe are so huge and sprawling it feels like things don't quite hang together, Astro City feels like a much more tight ship, imho.
     
  2. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    I got the first collection (maybe 4-6 issues?) and was entertained
     
  3. Aran Cherubim

    Aran Cherubim Resident Citizen

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    Yeah, the first issue is an interesting play on the "Superman psychology" as it were. The support group one is good too. Those themes both make a return in the most recent series, actually.

    I forgot to mention that another important conceit of the series is that it is published in "real time". So a lot of heroes have retired since '96 when the series first started. In the recent run from 2016 (I think) two fairly popular heroes hung up the cape. I can only imagine how that felt to long-time readers.
    (Of course, they do a good deal of retrospective and flashbacks, so they're not stuck only telling whatever's going on "now").