Home > Wildstorm > Astro City: Samaritan #1

Astro City: Samaritan #1

July 24, 2006

Quick Rating: Great
Title: The Eagle and the Mountain

Samaritan faces his arch-enemy Infidel… for dinner?

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Art: Brent E. Anderson
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: John Roshell of Comicraft
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover Art: Alex Ross
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm Signature Series

Boy this one was a long time in coming. Many years ago, Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross did a special feature for Wizard magazine to demonstrate how an Astro City character was created. The result of that feature was the Infidel, arch-enemy of Astro City’s premiere hero, Samaritan – and Astro City fans have been waiting for Infidel to show up ever since. Since we’ve been promised a standalone special in-between arcs of The Dark Age, this seems a great time to bring him in.

As Samaritan and the Infidel meet for their annual dinner together, the Infidel reflects on his own origins and how they brought him so deeply in conflict with Samaritan, eventually culminating in their unique understanding. Now the idea of a hero and his arch-enemy meeting for a truce periodically isn’t exactly new – I seem to recall a Fantastic Four story about Reed Richards and Doctor Doom meeting for a drawn-out chess game, for instance – but like all great Astro City stories, Busiek takes a convention of the superhero genre and gives it a nice twist. The reason for the meetings between Samaritan and Infidel are pretty clever, as are the conclusions reached at the end of this special. And if you’ve never read an Astro City comic before, fear not – this issue is totally standalone, and the archetypes are so familiar there’s no way any comic book fan could get confused.

Anderson steps up yet again with his classic artwork. His art style has a real timeless quality to it – there are Silver Age elements, to be sure, but nothing that looks out of place in a modern comic or a superhero tale of any genre – sci-fi, fantasy, horror… his style works with everything. Alex Ross contributes his usual snazzy cover, with a nice design to it that harkens back to a classic pulp magazine in a way that I like very much.

You can’t go wrong with Astro City, gang. Pick this one up.

Rating: 9/10

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