Astro City: Through Open Doors (Vertigo/DC) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Astro City: Through Open Doors


Written by Kurt Busiek, Art by Brent Eric Anderson

Jul 15, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The most recent addition to Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s Astro City series, Through Open Doors once again returns readers to the eponymous metropolis where everyday citizens interact with heroesand villainson a regular basis. Five largely autonomous stories comprise the collection, which feature, in part: a giant, alien visitor to Astro City with supposedly honest intentions; a network of super-powered people who have opted not to don tights and capes, but rather live quiet lives; and a dedicated yet guilt-ridden telephone operator who works as a superhero dispatcher. Throughout each story, Astro City’s prominent heroesSamaritan and Cleopatra most frequentlymake appearances, but as always, the focus of Busiek’s writing remains on the “average” citizens of his fictional city, not on the heroes that fly above protecting it.

One of the most consistent and perhaps most appealing aspects of the Astro City series is its throwback to the halcyon days of golden age comics. Busiek’s tales and Anderson’s artwork propel readers back to a simpler age of comics where there is little gray between black and whitecharacters (and their actions) are either good or bad, wrong or right, and justice always trumps evil. Naturally, there is crime in Astro City, people die and steal and kill, but the path of the virtuous will always win out, and those who have chosen to do wrong or commit harm will not escape for long.

Through Open Doors does not deviate from the tried and true Astro City formula, nor should it. The creative team knows that what they have works, and readers who can appreciate the retro comics for what they arean homage to a simpler timewill surely delight in reading this latest addition to the canon. Interestingly, the incorporation of modern daily items such as personal electronic devices and tablets makes its own (perhaps unintentional) pointlife was simple before, and it can be simple now. Comics fans in need of a break from the fast-paced nature of most current comics and a return to something more comforting and reminiscent of innocencethe warm apple pie of comicswill surely enjoy Astro City: Through Open Doors. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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