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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 354

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

My buddy Michael chastened me the other day for not having any Astro City moments on the list. And he’s right – my problem was that I keep thinking of Astro City in terms of layered stories where the more you read, the more you appreciate the work Kurt Busiek puts into the characters, but to pull out one moment is hard sans the context. Michael, though, squelched this thinking easily by recommending one of the one-shots that is very simple to get across the great moment within – Astro City #1/2! And he was totally right, so here ya go!

Astro City, by the by, is by the team of Kurt Busiek (the book is actually called Kurt Busiek’s Astro City) and Brent Anderson, with inks by Will Blyberg.

In #1/2, we see a regular resident of Astro City who has been having some odd dreams…

Eventually, he is visited by the Hanged Man!!

The tale the Hanged Man tells him is one of time travel, where a penny ante villain with a time traveling gimmick ended up seeking out more power to the point where he threatened the very fabric of time itself, which, tragically, led to…

“No one forgets. No one.”



I almost started crying reading that.

FINALLY!!! Thx Mr. Cronin for the Astro City…I thought it would be this story or something from Confession but I knew A.C. would have to make the list sometime….

This is probably my single favorite issue of Astro City. Such a brilliant idea, yet seemingly obvious. One of those “How did no one think of that before?” moments. And, of course, executed beautifully by Busiek and Anderson. Great stuff.

loved the moment when michel figures out his dreams were showing him he was not mad . and the hangman almost showing some emotions under his hood when michel figures out things. glad to see astro city on the list finaly

That was really cool. What’s the general idea of this series?

Perfect. What a bittersweet ending.

I always wanted to read that story. And it’s a brilliant idea.

That was really cool. What’s the general idea of this series?

Mostly slice-of-superhero life.

Often, Busiek will use a “normal” person to give us a view of superheroes from a different perspective (like this story, for instance).

High Flier- my description would be that it’s kind of a day-in-the-life/behind-the-scenes/slice-of-life series about heroes and the people they protect. I guess examples from some of the latest issues would be:

– Astra is the daughter of a FF/Inhumans type family, chased by paparazzi and trying to live a normal life while being superpowered royalty from a monster society.

– Two brothers trying to exact revenge on a supervillain who is involved in the death of their parents while fighting a superhero.

My descriptions don’t do justice. It’s stuff that’s done occasionally in mainstream books, but Mr. Busiek does a masterful job taking archetypes and really digging into them and making the characters real. I don’t know that I’ve read half of what’s been published, but it’s been greatly entertaining.

Ha! Brian beat me to it in fewer words. I’ll mention that Brent Anderson’s art is great too. It does a good job of depicting the fantastic and the mundane co-existing.

Pick it up. If you liked this moment, you won’t be disappointed.

Excellent. The whole 1st volume or so was made of 1-shots. All the way up to the Confessor story. And it’s ALL good… ;)

This is one of my favorite Astro City moments, but in the same vein I’ve always loved the “there’s always hope” moment from Astro City #6.

I’ve never read Astro City, or had any idea whatsoever of what it was about, but this is really great.

I especially love the narration. I don’t know who decided that third-person narrative captions should be abolished in comics, but a lot of series have suffered because of it. Sure, it was overdone a lot in the old days, but when it’s done correctly, omniscient narration can really add to a story. And this proves it.

I remember reading this for the first time and thinking it was one of the best cosmic crisis stories I had ever read. What took COIE, for instance, to tell in 12 issues, this book told in a double-sized splash page. The important part wasn’t the battle, but the effect it had on people in the new reality.

Really, when it comes to crises as an in-story explanation for retconning an entire line, that’s *exactly* what matters. The story of COIE, or Infinite Crisis, or Zero Hour, is for the most part incidental. What mattered was what changed.

I can’t remember which issue it was but i know it’s one of the first six. There was this moment, with Samaritan and a woman superhero and it just made my eyes fill up with water. It was a beautiful moment. Busiek sure knows how to tug at the heart string.

One of the things I loved about this story is that there is a Crisis-type event that DC or Marvel would have milked for six-plus issues plus crossovers that is disposed of in about two pages here, because it’s not what the story is about.

In Dreams, from volume one, is one of my favorite Superman stories, even though, of course, Superman isn’t in it. Issue #6, Dinner at Eight, has the great “there’s always hope” moment. Volume Two, issue #10, Show ‘Em All, is a terrific story about the super criminal who realizes the flaw in his perfect crime. Issue #15, The Long Treadmill, is a revealing look into the everyday lives of the typical super criminal. The Confessions storyline in issues 4-9 finished at #53 in the recent top storylines countdown here.

Recent issues have been a bit uneven but there are still a lot of very nice moments.

Daniel O' Dreams

December 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm

This is the ONLY issue of Astro City I ever read which is a pity because I loved it. When these huge Crises destroy entire universes and rewrite history the effects on the citizens of those worlds are almost never shown. This story is kind of the opposite of the couple in COIE who were reunited with their dead daughter (because she was alive on Earth Two). Great stuff and great choice Brian.

Great stuff.

That last shot of the wife is almost perfect comic art. The protagonist has poked his head in the bathroom. Guy can tug some heartstrings for sure.

@Crash-Man, off topic, I know but I have to ask-is your screen name taken from the olc Richie Rich “Super Richie” stories, or is it just coincidence?

Old, that is. My official Legion of Superheroes name is now Typo-Lad, methinks.

That’s taken already.

I love this story. One of the best ever!

Love Astro City. Great choice, Brian.
Like others have said, such a unique angle on the crises/timestream story…


Great to see some Astro City love.

And Brent Anderson is so underrated.

Undeniably my all-time favorite comic book issue.

heartbreaking. that’s why kurt busiek is the best.

Another great moment is when the sidekick asks the Batman-like Confessor (who’s — spoiler alert! — a vampire) if it hurts him to wear a cross on his chest asa his costume, becuase he’s a vampire. The answer: a straight-ahead “Yes.” Badass. Heroic. Punishing. Brave. Fearful. All at once, with one word.

Thanks Brian! One of my all-time favorite moments in comics (which I have discussed over the drinks with somebody who is likely the same Michael). Probably my favorite single issue ever after that one issue of Amazing Fantasy.

THIS IS MY MOST VERY FAVORITE COMIC BOOK EVER! i bought the 1/2 issue from Wizard [the only one that i ever bought] and still bought it when it was released again. There are so many moments in this book that are great. Brian, i wished that you had left in the part where he is taking sleeping pills and it is said that they made the dream go away for a time. He thinks to himself, maybe if i took a lot of pills it would stop, the implication is there that he is considering suicide as a way to stop the torment that he feels.

Also, the repeated, “He’s never met her. He knows he’s never met her” becomes so powerful when the puzzle is solved. This is a comic i feel that i could give to someone who has never been interested in them before and show them, “This is the beating heart of comics. This is why i love them.”

Thanks for this moment Brian!

I always seem to forget that ASTRO CITY is a stone masterpiece.

And here I think we have a contender for #1 in the inevitable CBR Top 100 one-shot stories. (unless some X-crap takes its place)

“Badass. Heroic. Punishing. Brave. Fearful.”

So you have a character that, in order to make up for a past transgression, puts on a costume that causes physical pain.

I suspect we can agree that this is better than the example that’s running around in Marvel.

In addition to the first “Who Is Donna Troy?” story from Teen Titans (there have been 3 to date), this is the only comic to make me cry. I still remember the first time I read it.

I suggested this way back at the start of your run of these spotlight and am glad it finally made the cut.

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