"Yesterday's" Comic> The first Astro City comic
This one was hiding in my longboxes.
Kurt Busiek's Astro City #1
Image (August, 1995)
WRITER/CREATOR: Kurt Busiek
ARTIST: Brent Anderson
COLORING/PRODUCTION: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
COVER ART: Alex Ross
LETTERING/DESIGN: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
A typical day in the life of the Samaritan, this universe's answer to Superman...and he's just as busy. From disasters to crimes to public appearances to meeting up with the rest of the Honor Guard to his job as a fact checker at a magazine, the only time he has to truly fly is in his dreams...when he's allowed to sleep.
What they got right: This is the first issue but you can already see the groundwork for today's stories. Instead of writing a typical superhero story, which Busiek is quite good at, this series focuses more on the personal lives (or in the Samaritan's case, lack thereof...although now he's in a relationship with Winged Victory, who isn't even in this comic) of the heroes and (to come) citizens who reside in Astro City. Here, it's the stress that comes with being the Samaritan, the most powerful hero in the world, who is driven to help everyone even if it wears him out. Heck, the fact checking is actually done by his computer thing, the Zyxometer.
What they got wrong: But we don't learn anything about the Samaritan himself. Where did he come from? What drives him to help everyone to the point of exhaustion and lack of non-superhero friends or a social life? Where did he get his powers and the Zyxometer? This may well have come up in the many years, volumes, and publishers (currently Vertigo) that have come out but for this issue we know nothing about who he is, and only a glancing idea what his power are. It would be nice to have even a brief idea as to who he is, not just what he does.
Recommendation: Being a first issue, though, the main job is to introduce readers to the tone and theme of the new series and in that at least it does quite well. There's some great artwork and costume designs and you are left more curious about this new superhero world and the tone of the comic. It succeeds at its mission and if you come across it, even if you've seen the current stuff, pick it up and see where it started and how well Busiek set up this new world.