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    Astro City # 21 ends the Quarrel story with few surprises

    A good ending can make or break a story. It can make an ok story great, and by the same coin make a good story seem poorer if the ending is lacking in something. The ending to the current arc of Astro City’s current storyarc doesn’t really fall into any of these categories. After a simply “ok” storyline, Buskiek and co have delivered a serviceable enough ending, but not one that makes the faults of the previous issues seem any better. The story has often felt drawn out, a bit prone to wandering, and the hope going in to the finale was that these problems would feel validated or justified. Sadly, that isn’t the case, and now that we can finally view the story a whole, the view hasn’t improved. None of which is to say that it’s been bad, just perhaps not up to Busiek’s usual standards. More

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    ‘Astro City’ #20 sees Quarrel’s story pick up speed

    After spending several issues focused primarily on the origins of Quarrel, Astro City issue 20 seems to have finally gotten around to the story proper, as the action in the current storyarc kicks into high gear in time for next issue’s explosive finale. Considering that the main problem with the previous issues was that they felt too much like setup, this makes issue 20 undoubtedly the strongest of the arc thus far, finally tackling the promised subject matter of non-powered crime fighters coming to terms with the fact that their prime is behind them and thinking about what the future holds. More

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    Astro City # 19 continues down a well-trodden path

    In last month’s Astro City, the first part in a multi-issue story about the past and future of longtime Astro character Quarrel, Busiek and co. told the story of Quarrel’s early life and the events that set her on the road to heroism. It was, and still is, a fine origin story, but the issue felt mostly like set-up for something more rewarding to come, a story more focused on Quarrel’s present, as she and Crackerjack near what passes for retirement age for crimebusters. A good origin story, even as deftly executed as we saw last month, still feels like old ground for superhero comics, and the prospective of a comic focusing on an aging hero’s choice to finally hang up the tights seems like a much more interesting and less-travelled idea for a story. More

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    Astro City # 18 Feels Bogged-Down with Set-Up

    What happens when a superhero starts to get old? Not Dark Knight Returns old, but just old enough that running around in long underwear on rooftops seems even more inadvisable than usual, and thoughts of “what comes after?” start to creep in. This is the question that Astro City # 18 stets out to grapple with in a multi-issue story starring Quarrel, an Astro City regular enjoying her first time at the forefront of a story. But while Quarrel’s story has a lot of potential, the first installment feels first and foremost like setup for what’s to come later, the foundation on which the story to come can be built, and as such is only a somewhat satisfying read. More

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    ‘Astro City’ #16 innovates in all the best ways

    A good twist can make a good comic, just as easily as it can make a bad comic worse. Thankfully, Astro City issue 16, entitled Wish I May… has the latter kind of twist, one that makes an already strong comic even better. Of course, the problem this presents is that it makes it extremely difficult to talk about the comic and what makes it interesting without giving away the surprise, which is why this review will sadly have to come with Spoilers More

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    Astro City # 11 Feels Familiar, but Not Unwelcome

    Astro City is a book (and a city, for that matter) populated largely by archetypes. While there are a few wholly original heroes and villains dotted about like bacon bits on a good pizza, for the most part what we get are thinly veiled variations on characters we already know. This is because Astro City is more concerned with the world and the normal people in it than the brightly colored people who fly about it in their longjohns, who for many stories are just set dressing. Astro City number 11, once you get to the heart of it, is about Doctor Strange and Wong. More

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    The Sandman Overture #2 is a Mindblowing Masterpiece

    The Sandman Overture #2 Written by Neil Gaiman Art by J.H. Williams Colors by Dave Stewart Published by Vertigo Comics Five months after the previous issue came out, Dream of the Endless returns to comics yet again and begins possibly his biggest journey yet courtesy of Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams. Williams continues to show his mastery […] More

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    Astro City # 10 Finishes the Current Winged Victory Storyline Well

    With Astro City issue ten, Winged Victory’s current story arc has come to a close, with Vic finally confronting Karnazon, the villain responsible for slandering her name and kidnapping former students. As an ending to the story itself, the issue isn’t anything to write an epic sonnet about. A few keystrokes and the help of a plucky supporting character reveal the location of Karnazon’s base, and the big bad is dispatched with all the gravity and dramatic weight of someone shaking a leaf from the sole of their shoe. Readers looking for epic confrontations and climactic battles will be let down, but those readers will have missed the point somewhat, as Astro City has never been concerned much with action and excitement as it has with characters and ideas, and this issue exemplifies this. More

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    Astro City # 9 Regains Some Focus in the Current Storyline

    It would be very easy to call this issue a dalliance or distraction, similar to the previous one. Not entirely essential to the story, but just a bit of padding to bring it to four issues. While this claim may not be entirely false, it feels more like an organic part of Winged Victory’s storyline than the last issue, mostly by the virtue of actually putting more of its focus on events which directly affect Vic as a character, and not sidelining her so “Astro City” can have a “Batman vs. Superman” moment. More

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    10 Best Comics of 2013: Part Two

    5. Captain Marvel (Marvel) Captain Marvel #9-#17 Writers: Kelly Sue DeConnick (9-17), Christopher Sebela (10-12), Jen Van Meter (15-16) Pencillers: Filipe Andrade (9-12, 17), Scott Hepburn (13-14), Gerardo Sandoval (13-14), Pat Oliffe (15) Inker: Filipe Andrade (9-12, 17), Scott Hepburn (13-14), Gerardo Sandoval (13-14), Drew Geraci (15-16), Tom Nguyen (16) Colorist: Jordie Bellaire (9-13, 17), Andy […] More

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