Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Review: Astro City #42


By Philip Schweier
May 4, 2017 - 09:53

I rarely read Astro City. Not that I haven’t anything against it, it’s just one of those titles that I’ve never had reason to pursue. But this issue spoke to me on a personal level in a way few comic books have.

My wife has called me anti-social on occasion. I prefer the term non-social. It’s not an active dislike (well, sometimes) for people in general, just an indifference. If that puts me on side of the demons, well, so be it.

Mister Manta is a super-villain – or was – guilty of an ocean of maritime offenses, as well as more traditional crimes. But his last heist went a sideways – very sideways. In battle against the mermaid, his high-tech suit was catastrophically damaged. His flight system out of control, he ended up on a remote island in the middle of no place.

Thankfully, he’s a genius-level engineer, and survival comes easier than it would for most people. Rather than a modest lean to of branches and palm fronds, his shelter is an impressive cabin, complete with its own utility systems for water, power and sewage. But also on Mister Manta’s agenda is rebuilding his suit. It’s close to testing.

But then disaster strikes, in the form of modern-day pirate Skinner Bones. When he attacks a cruise ship full of well-heeled tourists, Mister Manta catches the distress call over his radio. A cruise ship? SALVATION!

But is it? Who will rescue who, here? Has decades of solitude had an impact on the super-villain’s goals and ambitions?

I’ve enjoyed Clark’s artwork before, several years back, but it is not as I remember. Not better or worse, just different. Maybe he modified it for the subject matter, maybe it just the natural evolution of his talent.

But if I were to begin actively pursuing Astro City, this is fine place for me – or anyone – to start.

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Last Updated: December 31, 2019 - 20:28

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