comicsthegathering dot com logo

Astro City #48

by Olivier Roth on October 18, 2017

Astro City #48

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Mike Norton
Published by: Vertigo Comics

 

Before I begin this review, I have something to admit: I have never read Astro City before in my life. It’s one of those comics I’ve been meaning to read, but either never got around to it, or simply forget when it comes times to pick up new graphic novels.

 

No more.

 

This single issue, even if it is part two of a two-part story, has completely sold me on the series and reminded me how good Kurt Busiek is as a writer. I’ve been a fan of Busiek’s since his magnificent run on the Avengers back in the late 90s and he truly still brings it 20 years later.

 

In this issue, we are treated to the second part of the introduction of G-Man: a new hero in the Astro City universe who is part man, part corgi. The story revolves around Andy, the human half of G-Dog, who is trying to come to terms about becoming a superhero, but how he is also trying to figure out what exactly these powers mean. We learn that Andy was not always the nicest of guys when he decides to return to the scene of his crime - an old mansion where he first saw/stole the amulet that now gives his powers. There we meet the wife of the former hero who had Andy’s powers and we are given, through a series of brief flashbacks, the amulet’s power set.

 

The best moment of this interaction, however, is how this woman tells Andy that he needs a confidant about his alter ego, or else the “job” will drive him mad. And no, his corgi does not count in this instance.

 

The rest of the issue revolves around Andy and his dog continuing to fight the good fight over the span of years and how Andy grows up as a person because of it. Under it all, Andy still feels that he is not the hero, but that it’s his dog Hank that truly brings out the hero in him.

 

Busiek, as I recall, is a master of the one and done story that we too often don’t see in today’s comics. Though I did not read the first part of this two-part story, I was never lost and was able to keep up. Busiek does tug at the heartstrings though towards the latter part of the issue, and I’ll admit, a tear came to my eye as I continued to read about Andy and Hank’s friendship as they grew older together. Really, this issue can be boiled down to one overarching theme and that is the theme of friendship and Busiek truly breathes life into that friendship between Andy and Hank.

 

On art duties this month is Mike Norton from Battlepug fame. Knowing his pedigree, it is no surprise that G-Dog is probably one of the cutter superheroes around. Aside from that, Norton’s art is superb throughout the issue. I’d like to also mention, his designs for the Pet Patrol were awesome. A Kittyhawk toy/plush would be greatly appreciated.

Our Score:

10/10

A Look Inside