The Honor guard emergency help line.
Trying to condense my reviews down a bit as I think there a little to long at points.
This is the only non-Marvel/DC comic I buy and with good reason it's one of the best. I'm not claiming that books like Walking Dead (I slightly object to Zombies full stop no matter how good the writing is), Saga or Valiant stuff isn't as good its just I got volume 1 as a surprise present, and fell in love with the series so with the release of the new series, and my pull list being open enough to get this I got the first issue, and loved it utterly loved it one of the best comics I've read in a while it was a perfect opener with setup, intriguing ideas, and great writing.
Marella Cowper takes a number of tests to try and get a job, but it turns out its working for the Honor guard emergency help line, and she begins her job helping people, and sorting out emergencies across the world.
The first issue was a set up for this series or volume in Astro City it set up this series but that doesn't mean this has to continue with last issues plot this is a larger part of an already fantastic series, and this series like in Volume 1 takes a look at other parts of Astro city and Superheroes before coming back to the main story as it jumps around with different characters and this issue is the same. After my waffle about how this series works let me just say that I loved this issue in some aspects more than the last issue which was so good, but this is just a phenomenal bit of writing clever creative, and above all engaging considering the concept of this issue. This issue had some really good twists in it, and interesting characters as well.
- That cover is gorgeous its simple in idea, but its Alex Ross so he makes it loo amazing and packs all the character details he can into the cover and Wolfspider (at the front) looks amazing as does Winged Victory but the best best part is the phone showing the characters in front, and the fact that its slightly different in colour due to how the picture appears looks fantastic and a great touch to the cover. I think this is also a connecting cover with next issues cover.
- We are introduced in this issue to Marella Cowper who tries to get a job at a call centre and takes a lot of weird tests and interviews, and then she finds out its the honor guard emergency help line. Busiek is a fantastic character writer, and every character in this series (of the ones I've read) all the characters have been different, and really interesting, and this one is no different. Marella Cowper seems like a really interesting character for who she is, she tries her best to do well, but she's not perfect. She isn't going to be as interesting as the superheroes, but for a civillian she's interesting, and well her jobs interesting at least.
- Still neat that this series is double the normal size of a comic, and it feels like you get a lot out of it.
- Busiek packs so much creativity into this book its little details like the help line HQ being moved around the globe, its the little touches in this book that make you smile.
- So the main point of this issue is a help line, yes a help line if this were a normal non-superhero comic I'd not go anywhere near it, such a boring idea, but then its a emergency help line for a superhero book so that was a bit more interesting, but I was still skeptical. Yet Busiek basically takes everything that's interesting about it, and puts it in this issue putting the characters in different scenarios that are possible with this series, but likely would happen in the real world if it were a normal call centre. The group also in this book that works with Marella in the call centre is interesting, and there is some interesting character interaction between them.
- There is also some scenes with honor guard and Samaritan, and I liked these scene especially the one at the start with volcanus which was an interesting fight, also liked the outcome of it and the fact that you get a break in the job sometimes.
- The final scene is a really cruel twist to Marella its harsh, but it really is a great cliffhanger with an incredibly powerful character moment.
- I wasn't the biggest fan of Brent Anderson's art last issue it was really goo and I can appreciate the effort put into each page just wasn't the best art I'd ever seen, but I liked it more in this issue. I think what it is the characters looked a bit more refined and the shading was better on the characters as there were a few bits on the art last issue I didn't like where it felt a little rushed. The emotions on characters is perfectly portrayed especially well in the call centre, also the designs for the call centre are particularly impressive with the designs of the interior of the building also the equipment used by the employees looks good as well. The characters did look more refined and more natural, especially with the splash pages with the superheroes especially Samaritan.
- The background were a little sparse on a few panels, but I suppose that's what the buildings actually look like.
- You maybe lost a a new reader as to who some of these characters, but I think with this particular issue you'll probably pick it up fairly easily.
This issue goes back to what the series is well known for showing Superheroes from a civillian view, and this is another great issue building up the world around while still telling a fantastic story. I'd say to anyone buy this series as this is possibly one of the best comics out at the minute, and for anyone not enjoying some of what DC and Marvel are producing try this its a superhero book done consistently well.