The latest issue of Astro City weaves around loosely-tied tales of a bank teller falling for a robber, a troubled romance, Jack-in-the-Box, and a robotic dog named Rover all through the reappearance of a celestial entity known as the Dancing Man. Although I think it’s a good issue, exploring themes of current civilization bottled up and asleep to the musical rhythms it once knew, it’s easily my least favorite of the current Astro City run.
Despite his appearance on the cover Jack-in-the-Box is really only on hand for a cameo as his thread of the story feels the most forced (and largely unnecessary) of the bunch. With the focus split in so many directions we learn less about any of the individuals like Gundog who we’re meeting for the first time than you might expect.
Although similar themes have certainly been developed and explored in more depth elsewhere, Astro City #13 still works by playing with the lives of normal characters and larger-than-life entities who don’t always have the same needs or desires. Worth a look.