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Astro City: Local Heroes #3

Posted: Sunday, July 6, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Brent E. Anderson

Publisher: Homage Comics

Plot:
When a young teen from Astro City is sent off to spend the summer with her cousins in the country, we see she's not exactly big on the idea of wasting away her summer in Dullsville, USA. However, once there she discovers a secret that everyone else seem unable, or more likely unwilling to see, and she has to make a pretty big choice.

Comments:
I have to confess I was a bit disappointed with this issue as I found myself jumping ahead of the material, and unlike most times when I find myself doing this in a Kurt Busiek written story he's normally able to throw in an unexpected development that is able to catch me off guard. This time out though the book pretty much follows the path I had expected it to, and while the initial arrival of this book's hero was a bit of a surprise, everything that follows is pretty easy to see coming, long before the story gets there. Now the book does its usual wonderful job of giving us a look at the world of heroes from the outside looking in viewpoint, as the young girl who acts as our eyes & ears in this story is a fairly likeable creation.

The fact that she's from Astro City makes the move to the country a fun change of settings as well, as we see her encountering the various elements that come with country life, such as everybody knowing everybody's business, and the sense of community that one simply doesn't encounter in the hustle & bustle of the big city. Still I wish the book had been able to deliver a more impressive surprise than it managed.

As for the art, Brent Anderson continues to offer up some very solid work, as he's pretty much nailed all the basic elements, from his solid figure work, to a fairly nice array of facial expressions. In fact it's the over the top reaction of the young girl to the bank robbery that really sold me on the character.

Final Word:
An entertaining issue, with a nicely realized lead character, and a pretty enjoyable premise to hinge a story upon. However, in the grand scheme of the Astro City books this issue is far from being Kurt Busiek's best work, and of the three issues since the book started up again, this is my least favorite. Most of my disappointment stems from the simple fact that I could see where the story was going long before it got there, and as such there's several scenes in the issue where it was almost frustrating watching Cammie slowly piece the information together. Still, a highly likable lead character does help to redeem this issue.



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