It’s been three years since co-creators Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson have given us a new issue of Astro City, the series that (much like Planetary) focused on re-imagining of several comic characters while examining how normal people coexist and react to them. With the folding of DC’s WildStorm print, the many character from Busiek and Anderson’s universe find themselves a new home at Vertigo with the start of a new series that includes faces both old as new, and Astro City’s first contact with an alien presence who appears through a rather large door hovering over the city.
Although I wasn’t quite sold on the opening pages of Astro City #1 featuring the character of The Broken Man who narrates the new story, the comic quickly takes off with the introduction of the ridiculously cool American Chibi and the alien ambassador Telseth who comes through the door only after the various heroes and military resources have stopped trying to destroy it. Part Galactus, part Celestial, and with a definite Jack Kirby inspired design, Telseth, much like everything in Astro City is not what you would first expect.
Much of the issue follows a normal member of Astro City, a retired information service manager with two grown daughters named Bill Pullman who is looking for a new adventure only to have it fall directly in his lap. Despite the uncertainty and possible dangers the man decides to volunteer to be Telseth’s aide (or herald, if you will) and help him better understand this world.
Although I thought The Broken Man’s intro was a little odd, the character’s sly narration works well to introduce the world of Astro City to both old and new readers as well as create an idea that the reader is being used to help steer the story to the outcome The Broken Man wishes. I’m happy to see the series get new life at Vertigo, and if this first issue is any indication it looks like Busiek and Anderson still have plenty of entertaining stories left to tell. Best of the week.