Triple-A Ratings

I still have a ton of comics to review, so let’s spend today looking at all my comics that started with the letter “A.”


Abe Sapien: The Haunted Boy

We get a flashback as Abe Sapien, Hellboy’s amphibious buddy, goes on one of his first assignments, traveling to a small town in Vermont to investigate a routine haunting. Two boys fell through the ice on a frozen pond during the winter — one died, but the other was rescued. After the spring thaw, the glowing spirit of a boy was seen floating above the pond. Abe’s investigation isn’t turning up much — the mother of the dead boy is still bereaved, and the boy who survived the accident is suffering some kind of survivor’s guilt and can’t offer any helpful information. But when Abe goes for a swim in the pond, Abe learns something very, very bad.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another great story from Mike Mignola and some more wonderful artwork from John Arcudi. The plot is nicely low-key, but still spooky and fun.


Ambush Bug: Year None #7

Okay, this one was supposed to have just six issues, but instead we get #7 this past week. A bonus? No, not really. Issue #6 has never been published, and no one seems to know why. This final issue has been delayed for about a year.

So in this issue, no one professes to know what happened to Issue #6. Dan DiDio acts evil and megalomaniacal, which is kinda like the real world, except without even that much entertainment. Some private eye investigates, um, something. And there’s not much more to it. About half the issue is drawn by Art Baltazar and Franco, from “Tiny Titans,” and that’s nice. But it’s not nearly enough.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Sooooo bad. Baltazar and Franco’s artwork is the only saving grace, and that still doesn’t change the fact that it’s soooooo bad.

Astro City Special: Astra #2

Astra Furst, recent college graduate and famous member of the superheroic First Family, has taken her boyfriend to the Gordian Knot, a twisted maze of stars, planets, and celestial bodies that Astra herself created a few years ago when she saved the universe — all these worlds are basically stuck together, meshing their cultures together, right at the edge of collapsing into nothingness. The planets can be rescued, but if it’s not done carefully, they could be destroyed, and the rest of the universe — maybe all universes — with them. But tonight is about Astra showing Matt the sights in the Knot, from a flight playground, to Astra’s multiversal pals, to the Caldera, the deadly center of the Knot. And Astra has two little pieces of news for Matt, neither of which he’s likely to enjoy very much.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a great story about Astra, and a great study on celebrity media culture, both in the comic-book world and the real one, too. Definitely worth picking up if you’re an “Astro City” fan.

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