Writer Kurt Busiek and artist Brent Anderson are always finding new ways to approach superhero stories in the pages of Astro City, making it one of the most consistently entertaining and surprising reads each month. After taking a month off, the Vertigo series returns to the stands with another intriguing concept this Wednesday: exploring a junkyard museum filled with fallen superhero robots.
Busiek once again chooses to spotlight the kind of character that doesn’t often get the focus in mainstream comics—in this case, an elderly female—and the combination of that character with a junkyard full of androids suggests that this issue could be Busiek’s take on the legacy of DC’s Red Tornado. Originally an older woman by the name of Ma Hunkel back in the Golden Age—with a ridiculous costume that included a cooking pot as her mask—Red Tornado was reimagined as an android for the Silver Age, and while the connection may not be intentional, this preview of Astro City #14 offers some strong evidence to support that theory.
After delivering a visual marvel in June’s Astro City #13, Brent Anderson continues to push himself in these preview pages, which feature a two-page spread that spotlights his attention to detail and incredibly diverse design sense. Anderson has an impeccable understanding of mood, evidenced in the transition between the calm staging of the museum scene with the superhero flashback on the final page, and those atmospheric changes are accentuated by Alex Sinclair’s color palette. Top it off with another gorgeous Alex Ross cover, and Astro City #14 looks like another winner in the series that every superhero fan should be reading.