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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Astro City: Life in the Big City - Kurt Busiek

Read for the Graphic Novel Reading Challenge.

Well, I think I’ve found a new addition to my short list of graphic novels or collections I’d recommend to someone trying to sample the genre. The different books within this collection are basically short story vignettes of the lives of some of the superheroes and regular people that populate the world of Astro City. It’s an interestingly diverse bunch of stories.

The first is a day in the life of Samaritan, a Superman-like hero, but this story casts him much more as a real world bloke going up his day job, and trying to fit all the parts of his life into a single day. I immediately found him much more sympathetic than Superman, who I do enjoy as a character, but is generally much too perfect to be a real person.

A fascinating contrasting story is that of a petty criminal who is “lucky” enough to spot Jack-in-the-Box’s true identity. At first, it feels like a gift, one that he’ll be able to millions from, but as the reality of having that knowledge dawns on him, he finds that reality to far different than he first anticipated.

All of the stories are like this – fascinating takes on what it’s like to be a superhero in a more real world. It’s a great book that I would highly recommend to anyone.

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