Astro City: Lovers Quarrel

astro city volume 12 lovers quarrel cover alex ross
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Continues to be a fun take on the world of superhero comics

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Comic Info

Comic Name: Astro City (Volume 2)

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Kurt Busiek

Artist: Brent Eric Anderson

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2016

astro city #18 cover crackerjack quarrel alex ross

Astro City (2) #18

Reprints Astro City (2) #18-21 and #23-24 (February 2015-August 2015).  Quarrel has had a long career as a crime fighter following a childhood of being the daughter of a supervillain.  As a member of the Honor Guard, Quarrel has saved the world, but now something is different.  Quarrel and her lover Crackerjack are getting older, and while Jessie is considering a different life, Jack is all in…even if it kills him.  Also in the city, Sticks is a gorilla from Gorilla Mountain.  All he wants to do is play music in band but being a talking gorilla in Astro City is a path to danger.

Written by Kurt Busiek, Astro City:  Lovers Quarrel is a superhero comic book collection released under DC’s Vertigo imprint.  The twelfth entry in the Astro City collections, the series follows Astro City:  Honor Guard and features art by Brent Eric Anderson.  Astro City (2) #22 was included in the previous volume.

Astro City is always a treasured read.  Over the years, I’ve fallen off reading the comic but every time I return I remember why I love it.  The format of Busiek’s world has been copied many times (Busiek even stole it from himself after writing Marvels), but Astro City still does it best.  Astro City:  Lovers Quarrel is a solid entry in the series.

astro city #23 cover alex ross sticks gorilla

Astro City (2) #23

The Quarrel-Crackerjack storyline takes up a majority of the collection.  The four issue story presents a “surprise” hero character in Quarrel who in classic comic style rejected her father’s behavior to become a hero (like Raven, Spoiler, or Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), but in addition to being a “family drama”, the story deals with the idea of aging.  While DC and Marvel characters generally don’t age, Astro City tries to take a more time-based approach and the idea of when a hero should “give up” is a legitimate questions since the hero MO is generally “never give up”.  In a real world scenario it has to happen.

The second story falls into the Astro City “fun” story category.  Gorillas (for whatever reason) have always been a staple of comic books.  Here we get a gorilla that has always wanted to be a musician but is pulled into the crime fighting life.  This of course creates a conundrum for the character (he’s really good at fighting crime and helping people), but it isn’t his dream.  The solution seems easy from the get-go, but it takes two issues to get there (which it feels a bit long).

Astro City feels like a comic book for those who truly love comic books.  While you can read Astro City and enjoy it on his own, it helps to have a strong background in comic books to understand the tropes and twists that bring the humor, social commentary, and satire to the series.  If you’ve never read Astro City, you can kind of jump in anywhere, but I still recommend starting from the beginning…whatever you start with, keep reading!  Astro City:  Lovers Quarrel is followed by Astro City:  Reflections.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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