When I see the words “Kurt Busiek” and “new series” used in the same sentence, I take notice. Kurt Busiek has been one of my favorite writers ever since I took a chance and read the first Astro City trade, to see what all the fuss was about. Since then I have really enjoyed just about everything that Busiek has put out since. The numerous Astro City stories, his run on Avengers with George Perez, JLA\Avengers, his work on Superman, and one of my personal favorites Superman: Secret Identity.
This is a work of fantasy, with some sci-fi elements as well. This contains issues #1-6 of the first story arc, and tells a tale of a world whose residents are humanoid animals. The higher caste of society uses magic like technology to serve their gods, while the “lesser ones” provide all the labor that is need for whatever that magic can’t provide. The tension between the two grows daily. When one wizard realizes that their magic is fading the faster they use it, she convinces their greatest talents to band their magic together to bring back the Great Champion that legends told brought magic to their lands. The plan, however; does not go as they wished.
I really enjoyed this series, and read it as it came out originally. When I saw that the trade that collected the series came out soon after the first arc ended, I had to have in my library.
Once again Kurt Busiek uses his skill at world building to put together an engaging tale that was hard to put down. The art from Benjamin Dewey is the master stroke that makes this series all the more enjoyable to read. One of my favorite parts of this series is that somewhere in the beginning of each issue there is a piece of what I assume is painted art, accompanied by a piece of prose that fleshed out some bit of the world that the book is set in. I am not sure if that has ever been done before, but it really adds a lot to the experience. At least to me.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys fantasy, or at the very least the work of Kurt Busiek. You will not be disappointed.
This is rated R, for language, nudity and violence. So it’s not really safe for the kids.