marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Tarnished Angel

Astro City, Vol. 4: The Tarnished Angel by Kurt Busiek

A different one - this one is a single continuous story following the supervillain Steeljack, who wants to reform.

Steeljack has just gotten out of jail.  Given that his skin is metallic, he has a hard time hiding his past -- or doing such jobs as he does find, washing dishes.  He drifts back to Kiefer Square, where he shouldn't be; condition of parole, no hanging out with felons.

Meanwhile, two-bit supervillains are dying.  After a time, a man notorious for his alleged crimes, and with a business of fixing up supervillains with jobs, and a lot of the people of the square, hire him to investigate; he's tough enough to survive, and they don't mind if he calls the cops in when he catches the culprit.  Which begins a dreary round of the victims' families repeating the same story of sky-high and foolish hopes, and crashing failure.  It also draws in a superheroine whose supervillain father had been on a team with Steeljack; the advantage his weight can give him; an erstwhile hero and his sidekick; an attempt to appeal to the Honor Guard; a cool lab; a man betrayed by a woman; an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland shtick; a man who wants revenge on the woman who married another man (and is now divorced and going for money instead of her old causes), and much more.

And a great deal about angels, because what it is above all is a study of Steeljack.
Tags: fiction reviews: superheroes, graphic novel/manga

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