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Kurt Busiek's Astro City: The Tarnished Angel

Astro City Vol. 4: The Tarnished Angel - Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, Brent Anderson Ok, Ok, I'm not going to say it because I'm just going to start gushing again about how amazing Astro City is, so I'll just stick to what I liked:

In Tarnished Angel (an awesome title on so many levels for this story), Busiek and crew get back to the multi-part narrative format and tell the tale of SteelJack, a supercriminal covered in steel just released from prison after a 20 year stint. His backstory reveals a childhood of poverty, desperation and bad decisions common to many criminals in the real world. He intends to go straight upon his release, but can't catch a break. His condition makes him readily noticeable to everyone around him and he has problems finding even a basic job and is thus forced back into his old neighborhood and old associations just to make a living. The story is about his struggle to walk the fine line between good and bad and is thematically very much "don't judge a book by it's cover."

This was a very emotionally driven story, very different than the wondrous type stories in the previous volumes, and at several points I found myself getting angry at the heroes for labeling SteelJack and for ignoring him when he had genuine problems, at the social injustice of life in Keifer Square and the arrogance of yuppie middle-class people. You find yourself rooting for SteelJack to succeed and gasping when he makes bad decisions and you feel like yelling, "What are you thinking???"

This is another amazing installment and Busiek and crew don't let down.