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Astro City #48 Review

Comic Books

Astro City #48 Review

G-Dog is a story every pet owner should read.

A dog themed hero is probably a no brainer, but why aren’t there more of them? They’re naturally good and also cute. Kurt Busiek continues the story he laid out last issue as G-Dog may be broken up by…old age!

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

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A tale of redemption and farewell, as G-Dog learns the secrets of his origin, faces personal tragedy and joins a very unlikely superhero team. Featuring the return of Kittyhawk and Rocket Dog, and the debut of Ghost Ferret. Part two of a special two-parter with art by guest artist Mike Norton (Revival, Battlepug).

Why does this matter?

Mike Norton draws a hell of a dog-hero hybrid. The cuteness mixes well with the concern and other emotions on this dog hero. Busiek is second to none in creating origin stories and this is yet another. Damn you Busiek for being so good!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Astro City #48 Review
Wait, dogs can’t fly!

The harsh reality of having a pet is that you’re more than likely to outlive them. Last issue ended on a cliffhanger you might not have seen coming as the protagonist learns from his vet the dog that he literally combines with to become a superhero is getting close to the end of his days. It’s an emotional moment — which Busiek makes us relive in this issue — and you might get some real pangs of despair while reading this issue if you’ve ever lost a pet. As these feels are deeply felt there’s also the question of guilt and regret too. Busiek weaves in the main character’s past actions as a burglar well and there’s some real hope buried with it. I won’t spoil it, but it’s not often you read a comic and feel hopeful about your own past mistakes as the protagonist does here and it all starts with those close to you.

There’s also some cool character work done as far as the powers of our hero go. With some well-timed flashbacks, the reader gets an idea of the past hero who wore the amulet as well as the trouble they went through when their “spirit animal” passed away. This and the last issue serve as a nice wrap up to a hero that I think we can all see in ourselves. To prove Busiek is a master at origins he even throws in a quickie origin of a villainous team called the Mecha-Nerds on the very first page. It’s a delightful little origin indeed.

Norton draws another good issue this time, having to draw other animal-centric superheroes. The real heavy lifting comes with the emotional moments and I dare you to read this and not feel a pang of sadness! Not only do we have G-Dog, a corgi headed hero, but there’s a cat with bat wings, a rocket dog, and a monkey who looks to be flying in a metal container. Given they all look either cool or believable I’m pretty sure Norton did his job and then some.

Astro City #48 Review

It can’t be perfect can it?

In a pro within a con, I was surprised to see the last issue was basically unnecessary to enjoy this one. The fact that last issue’s cliffhanger ended up in the middle of this book came as a surprise too. It doesn’t deplete the enjoyment of this issue since it progresses things nicely, but it does make some of the story beats seem repetitive.

Is It Good?

Pet owners need to read this two-issue story arc. You won’t be disappointed.

Astro City #48 Review
Astro City #48
Is it good?
Great origin story with some big time feels.
Excellent origin story
Art makes some of the ridiculous animal superheroes believable
Some deep feels in this one
Stands alone and you almost don't need the last issue to enjoy this, which does cheapen some of the story beats.

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