Home > Image Comics, Wildstorm > Astro City: Confession TPB

Astro City: Confession TPB

July 30, 2005

Astro City: Confession (Image Comics/Wildstorm/Homage)
by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson & Alex Ross

Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, while infrequent, is still hands-down the best comic book in recent memory, and possibly the best superhero series ever written. Busiek has created an entire universe with the feel and flavor of everything good about Marvel and DC’s superheroes, yet injected them with his own flavor. He’s got twists that make archetypes a little different than you’d expect — sometimes a little more human, sometimes a little less, always something you wouldn’t have thought of yourself but that leaves you slapping your forehead and going, “of COURSE!”

“Confession” is the second Astro City collection, and the first extended storyline. (The first trade paperback, “Life in the Big City,” was a collection of single-issue stories, this is one story over six chapters). Brian Kinney has come to Astro City in the hopes of becoming a superhero, a wish that seems on its way to fulfillment when the mysterious Confessor takes him under his wing. But the city is troubled at the moment. A serial killer terrorizes the people of Shadow Hill. Public sentiment is turning against superheroes. And Brian’s mentor is not at all what he appears to be.

For all of the great work Busiek has done, this book is easily my favorite. It’s everything that makes Astro City great — classic archetypes twisted around, lots of mysteries, a logical but unexpected point of view… it is superhero storytelling at its finest.

This book also contains the short “The Nearness of You,” which — I’m sorry, Alan Moore fans — gets my vote for finest single issue comic book story ever. It is tender, heartbreaking and wholly uplifting all at the same time. I still get teary-eyed when I read it.

Astro City is set to finally return to comic book shelves (now at DC with the rest of the Wildstorm stable). If you haven’t read it before, get books like this for a primer, then jump on-board.

Rating: 10/10

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