The latest standalone issue of Astro City gives us the return of the Broken Man and his crazy conspiracy-theory wall of clippings, yarn, and thumbtacks. Our host offers us glimpses into three separate stories from the past, but quickly pulls the reader out when he fears we may learn too much too soon.
The Broken Man is one of few pieces of the new Astro City comic that I haven’t been completely sold on. Consistently stepping in to pull the reader out of the story is a little annoying, but writer Kurt Busiek and artist Brent Anderson use that template to lay the groundwork for different stories they aren’t quite ready to fully explore.
The stories break down into a secret government agency in the 1930s dealing with the alien and bizarre, a Kobra-style cult leader in India during the 1940s, and a steam-punk heroine named Dame Progress chasing down a crafty villain whose motives aren’t as black-and-white as she believes. Each story, although truncated, is worth reading.