This issue is the story of the most illustrious hero of Astro City, Astro-Naut, the man who saved the city from an alien invasion in 1946 after been touted as a traitor for refusing to hand his advanced technology to the American government during World War Two. What is the legacy of this industrious man who could travel the stars?
This is an origin story of Astro City in a sense. The story is told through the personal narration by Mayor Greenwald who recollects his memories about Astro-Naut, an old friend and an adventurer. While the story is comprehensive and well told within one regular issue, the narration is too strong and does not leave enough room for the adventure. It’s not an easy balance to reach and while Kurt Busiek tried to involve the characters in the action and to some extent avoid the talking heads, the story is slow.
There are hints of Howard Chaykin in Brent Anderson’s work, but it looks much better and is not as deformed as the other artists. In fact, I could detect some Gil Kane influence too. This is to say that the characters and their designs are fluid, dynamic and not stiff. It’s the right fit for a Golden Age adventure.